P-3 Firefighters Fly into Fairhope for Repairs

A P-3 Airstrike Firefighter on the job

West Coast wildfires occupied much of TV in 2019, with California alone recoding 7,860 wildfires.

Among the flashiest video clips were P-3 firefighter planes dumping tons of fire suppressant from its belly.

Two of those workhorses of the aerial first responders recently flew in to the H.L. Sonny Callahan Airport, in Fairhope, Alabama, to get an overhaul of their props, four each, at the facilities of Segers Aero Corp.

Fairhope-based Segers Aero is the U.S. maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) subsidiary of Segers Group, which owns and operates three other aviation aftermarket companies around the world — in the United Arab Emirates, the UK and Singapore.

The Group’s Alabama cohort will be implementing new equipment, tooling and processes to overhaul and repair the Hamilton Sundstrand 54H60 propellers installed on the P3 aircraft, which are owned by Airstrike Firefighter LLC, based in Anchorage, Alaska.

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The Lockheed P-3 Orion has a long history of aerial firefighting in the United States and has operated under contract with the US Forest Service for nearly 20 years.

Established in 1976, Segers Aero moved to Fairhope in 2008 and currently employs 120 full-time workers.

Segers is a Rolls-Royce Authorized Maintenance Center for the T56/501 engine, a Lockheed Martin Hercules QEC Service Center and a Honeywell approved facility for the fuel systems on the T56 engines (including the E-2 Hawkeye aircraft). The company also provides full repair and overhaul of C130 and P-3 propellers (Hamilton Sundstrand 54H60 propellers). Segers also was the first facility selected worldwide to upgrade and install the Rolls-Royce T56 3.5 engines on a customer fleet.

Although Segers Aero is located adjacent to the Fairhope Airport, most of the engines and propellers Segers Aero works on are from aircraft too large to fly into the airport. They are shipped there. The P-3s are just small enough to land in Fairhope.

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