Fire bug suspect arrested: Army chopper in dramatic chase

 

A suspected arsonist has been arrested after an extraordinary chase through the bush in the Royal National Park, south of Sydney, by an Army Black Hawk helicopter normally tasked with Special Forces missions.

The 6th Aviation Regiment unit in the Black Hawk was returning to its Holsworthy base after helping with movement of resources to fire fronts in the Blue Mountains when the crew spotted a man "acting suspiciously" in the northern area of national park.

 

Leading Seaman Aircrewman Benjamin Nixon, Petty Officer Aircrewman Damien Wallace and Rural Fire Service volunteer Jeff Hodder prepare to leave RAAF Base Williamtown, Newcastle, on-board a Royal Australian Navy MRH-90 Taipan Multi-Role Helicopter, to support the firefighting efforts in NSW. Picture: Defence
Leading Seaman Aircrewman Benjamin Nixon, Petty Officer Aircrewman Damien Wallace and Rural Fire Service volunteer Jeff Hodder prepare to leave RAAF Base Williamtown, Newcastle, on-board a Royal Australian Navy MRH-90 Taipan Multi-Role Helicopter, to support the firefighting efforts in NSW. Picture: Defence

 

A fire had just begun nearby; the park had been closed because of the fire dangers.

The information was relayed to NSW police on the ground who dispatched patrols but the man ran and a chase ensued.

The Black Hawk crew gave chase flying as low as they could and spotted him again and then assisted from the air to co-ordinate police on the ground to his hiding spot.

The man was arrested late in the evening and was being questioned and is expected to be charged.

The Black Hawk crew gave chase when they spotted a man behaving suspiciously.
The Black Hawk crew gave chase when they spotted a man behaving suspiciously.

Rural Fire Service confirmed "multiple ignitions" had been lit about the park in Loftus which were put out quickly by crews from the RFS, Fire and Rescue NSW and NSW Parks.

The 6th Aviation Regiment is one of the Australian Army's three Army Aviation regiments, raised in 2008 to provide air mobility for the Special Operations Command and is based at Luscombe Army Airfield at Holsworthy Barracks.



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