HELiFIRE™ firefighting buckets, are available in a wide variety of capacities from 180 – 5000 litres.  They are designed to be suspended directly under a helicopter from the cargo hook.

Our goal is to design the safest, economical and practical aerial fire suppression equipment and training for pilots and firefighters.  We are well known for quality workmanship, reliability, durability and an uncompromising dedication to safety and dependability backed by 24/7 customer support.

We are dedicated to building helicopter buckets to meets the operational needs of Helicopter operators around the globe.

HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket Special Features

The HELiFIRE™ Monsoon Bucket and HELiFOAM™ Class-A Foam Proportioning System certainly rivals its competitors and has features not found in other Helicopter buckets.

There are a number of variants of helicopter buckets around the world, most if not all of these have complicated rigging, require deep water sources when filling and are not FREE STANDING.

HELiFIRE Bucket Sizes

The HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket displays the best qualities of any freestanding collapsible helicopter fire suppression buckets World Wide, when it comes to transportability, ease and speed of deployment, in-flight handling, methods of filling and variable pilot actuated dump characteristics.

Because of its low weight and compact profile, the HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket can be carried when collapsed in the cockpit or passenger compartment. Because of its low drag and in flight profile the HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket can be flown up to 100 knots when empty, and it can even be used as a rescue bucket to retrieve victims located in floodwaters etc.


Our system would have to be one of the most user friendly (Pilot, Flight Crew and dare I say Fire Fighters) rigging systems in the world when it comes to helicopter buckets.

The Pilot, Flight Crew or Fire Fighter simply attaches HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket to the helicopter hook, then plug in the two standard ARO quick release bayonet connectors which supply air to the system via two 8 mm airlines, which are attached to the four lifting strops.

The discharge of water is controlled by a pneumatic ram. The air supply is drawn from the helicopters Turbine bleed air delivering a minimum of 30 psi up to a maximum of 100 psi or on board air system using a Breathing Apparatus cylinder to supply compressed air for piston powered helicopters.

Another limitation of our competitor’s helicopter buckets is the number of cables and cinch straps which are require to keep the bucket stable both on the ground and in flight, these have huge tendency to tangle, and even strangulate fire fire-fighters filling buckets at the hover on the ground.

The HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket uses a collapsible internal stainless steel frame, which makes field deployment quick and easy and allows the HELiFIRE™ Monsoon Bucket to be dip filled whilst hovering or free standing on the ground by fire fighters.


In addition to the cockpit-controlled variable fill and multiple-drop capability, other standard features of the HELiFIREMonsoon Bucket system that appeals to helicopter operators are:

  • Compact free standing collapsible helicopter bucket
  • Lightweight, tough and easily stowed within its carry bag in the helicopter
  • Modular design for easy installation, field service and repairs
  • Simple installation (existing helicopter hook, bleed air coupling and cyclic control)
  • Excellent long line characteristics under a variety of flight conditions (do not spin in flight)
  • Pilot controlled instant monsoon system allows variable flow/multiple drop rates
  • Exclusive monsoon system provides wider pattern of atomised water/foam
  • Ground fill and hover fill capable and has the ability to carry Class A foam or retardants
  • Can be dip filled vertically at the hover in less than 30 sec, reducing pilot workload
  • Can be ground filled free standing with ground crew using high volume pumps
  • Can be landed full for free standing tanker support for ground crews
  • Can be used as an emergency rescue extraction platform for up to 2 people
  • Class A Foam/Retardant compatible


 Advantages – The advantages of HELiFIREMonsoon Bucket include speed of operation, lightweight, and it is a mechanically simple operation. The HELiFIREMonsoon Bucket is normally transported internally within the helicopter until deployed.

Integration – A Helicopter equipped with a HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket can be easily integrated into your existing fleet of helicopters to enable rapid wildfire suppression operations.

Certification, STC, CAA & NRFA Standards for Helicopter Firefighting Buckets – As the HELiFIRE Monsoon bucket is underslung from a Helicopter Hook (which is STC’d), there are no structural and electrical modifications required for the installation for a HELiFIRE Bucket on any Helicopter, and as such there is no requirement for HELiFIRE Bucket to have a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) or to be certified by CAA to manufacture. 

In saying that our range of HELiFIRE Monsoon buckets are built to and operate under the New Zealand Civil Aviation Rule (CAA) Rule Part 133 – Helicopter External Load Operations and the National Rural Fire Authority (NRFA) Fire Equipment Standards for helicopter firefighting Buckets. 

Specifications – The HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket’s modular 316 stainless steel construction consists of a collapsible frame, base, fire dump doors and a corrosion resistant constant multi-cycling pneumatic ram and, a yellow urethane reinforced liner, which is UV stabilised, flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Effectiveness – Thanks to its superior performances, HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket is capable to deliver high concentrated water (suppressant/retardant) spray more accurate onto the fire line under different conditions (determined by fire behaviour, fuel type, terrain and weather) providing a high heat absorption capability.

900 Litre HELiFIRE™ Monsoon Bucket – Eurocopter AS 355 Ecureuil Dip Filling_med

HELiFIRE Dump System Controller – The HELiFIRE Dump System Controller contains a pneumatic solenoid valve body with integrated electrical connection plugs with LED, dual airlines and breakaway couplings. The HELiFIRE Dump System Controller can be powered using one of the following options:

Option A – a cyclic mounted switch from an existing 24 volts DC source; or

Option B – Pneumatic Switch, which is coupled to the controller via micro airlines.

Source of Compressed Air – The HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket is controlled using one of the following sources of compressed air to operate the integral pneumatic ram within the HELiFIRE bucket:

Option A – turbine bleed air; or

Option B – compressed air from a Breathing Apparatus Cylinder

HELiFIRE Dump System Operation – The HELiFIRE Bucket’s monsoon doors allow the pilot to perform multiple drops according to the operational needs of the mission.

The HELiFIRE Bucket’s monsoon doors are operated by the Pilot using the aircrafts existing cyclic mounted Pilot actuated switch, which in turn operates the HELiFIRE Dump System Controller’s solenoid valve, which is mounted using one of the following options:

Option A – mounted permanently inside the aircraft; or

Option B – mounted on a hard point next to the Helicopter Hook. 

The pneumatic ram within the bucket is controlled via two 8 mm airlines, which are connected by two standard ARO quick release bayonet connectors between the HELiFIRE Bucket and airline outlets (Port A & Port B) on the HELiFIRE Dump System Controller.

Attachment to Aircraft – In simple, the Pilot/Flight Crew or Fire Fighters simply attach the HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket to the Helicopter hook, then they plug in the ARO quick release bayonet connectors to the source of air i.e. turbine bleed air or compressed air from a Breathing Apparatus Cylinder.  They then connect the HELiFIRE Dump System Controller to an existing 24-volt dc power source on board the Helicopter…and you are ready for operation.

Helicopter STC’s – If your Helicopter has an existing type ratted helicopter hook, source of bleed air, cyclic mounted switch and wiring loom to an external 24-volt supply DC power outlet, then no other equipment will be required to operate the quoted HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket.  If, however, your Helicopter has an existing type ratted helicopter hook but does not have a STC mod to use bleed air, cyclic mounted switch and wiring loom to an external 24-volt supply DC power outlet, then your options are as follows:

Option A – Procure an STC for aircraft type to install a bleed air outlet, cyclic mounted switch and wiring loom to an external 24-volt supply DC power outlet; or

Option B – We supply a modified HELiFIRE Dumping System Controller, which is set up to use a Breathing Apparatus Cylinder and cyclic mounted Pneumatic Switch, which is coupled to the controller via micro airlines.

Cargo Hook Attachment – The HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket is attached to the cargo hook so that it is suspended directly beneath the helicopter. The pilot flies to a suitable water source, and then manoeuvres the helicopter in a manner, which allows the HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket to fill with water then flies away with it.

Payloads – At the beginning of the fuel cycle, adjust the bucket capacity so as not to exceed the actual payload limit.

Faster Filling – Thanks to its operational dipping and freestanding characteristics the HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket is capable of a very fast bottom fill and shallow water capability whilst hovering or free standing on the ground by fire fighters using a high volume pump and two 70 mm deliveries.

Dump Rate – With wide spray and varied helicopter speed, different spray flux and spray coverage can be simply achieved using our HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket. The HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket dump rate is designed to dump at approx. 150 – 300 litres per second, however this varies depending on the bucket size, airspeed and forces applied.

Accuracy – The HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket provides pilots with excellent precision in multiple drops and/or variable flow rates – it is the most versatile, innovative monsoon bucket available. Thanks to dense and wide spray coverage, accurate deposit of the water (suppressant/retardant) spray onto the fire line can be easily carried out.

Flying Characteristics – Pilots have reported that the HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket is stable and predictable under a wide range of flying conditions, both full and empty.

In-Flight Emergencies – If engine failure occurs, or there is a hydraulic failure or loss of tail rotor authority, the HELiFIRE Monsoon Bucket can be jettisoned, to allow the pilot to execute appropriate emergency procedures, if time permits.

Durability – Because of its resilient construction, pilots often drag HELiFIRE Monsoon Buckets through treetops, scrubs and even no 8 wire fences with little resulting damage.



The HELiFIREMonsoon Bucket is the ONLY freestanding collapsible helicopter bucket that can also be used as a technical helicopter rescue device during natural disasters and other emergencies; its usefulness depends on the circumstances.

The HELiFIRE Bucket can make the job of rescuing patients from our oceans, rivers and lakes much easier for both patient and crew. A skilful long-line helicopter pilot can use a HELiFIREMonsoon Bucket in an emergency to extract personnel from the fire ground in an emergency or for multi-victim rescues during flooding events etc. The HELiFIRE Bucket is lowered on the existing long-line, patients climb/swim into the Bucket and then are airlifted to safety and support.

HELiFIRE Bucket Sizes
ModelCapacity LitresCapacity US Gallons
HF-30003000 793
HF-50005000 1320


For more information refer the HeliFire Monsoon Bucket website