National Wildfire Coordinating Group

S-270, Basic Air Operations, 2011

Decorative banner: Four photos of wildland fire air operations. A single engine airtanker drops a load of retardant while flying over trees. A firefighter talks on handheld radio giving instructions as a helicopter overhead drops a load of retardant. A helicopter pilot stands with hands on hips in front of a helicopter. Six firefighters stand in a group around the back door of a helicopter in discussion.

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This course covers aircraft types and capabilities, aviation management and safety for flying in and working with agency aircraft, tactical and logistical uses of aircraft, and requirements for helicopter take-off and landing areas. Note: The regulations, procedures, and policies addressed in this course are primarily those governing federal agency and ICS operations. State, county, or other political subdivisions using this course will need to consult their agency having jurisdiction with respect to regulations, procedures and policies. Refer to the Interagency Aviation Training (IAT) Guide for IAT A-course equivalencies:


  • Upon completion of this course, the student will have obtained the basic understanding of the different functions of Air Operations.

Target Group

Personnel desiring to be qualified as Single Engine Airtanker Manager (SEMG), Helicopter Manager, Single Resource (HMGB), Aircraft Dispatcher (ACDP), and other positions that require basic knowledge of aviation operations. 

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

Satisfactory completion of pre-course work.

Session Offerings

Sessions of this course may be available in the NWCG Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP). Enrollment requires an account. Log on as a guest to search for session offerings of this course and to view other public content. To search for a specific course, use the FIND LEARNING menu at the top of the page, then select UPCOMING COURSES. To view Geographic Area training schedules, select the specific GEOGRAPHIC AREA information using the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Contact your local Training Officer for more information about local course sessions.



S-270 is available as instructor-led (classroom) training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course Component Course Time
Pre-course work 1
Pre-selection assessment N/A
Online training N/A
Instructor-led training 16
Total Hours 17

Course Level


Minimum Instructor Qualifications

The lead and unit instructors must be knowledgeable in the use of aviation resources in wildland fire suppression, agency aviation policy, and Federal Aviation Regulations.

See NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1, Instructor Standards for more information.

Certification Date:


Previous Certification Dates:

  • 2003-03
  • 1991-08
  • 1978-01



Print Training Overview Page



Functional Area: 
Air Operations
Required For: 
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 

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