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Fire Season 2006


Guest rookie101
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Guest rookie101

Well, I am literaly foaming at the mouth to find out what the fire season was like this year. Now, I realize that this topic maybe coming a little early because as fare as I know there are still some fires burning, but I couldn't wait! So tell use fire pilot's, was it a season to remember? Did you meet any old friends, make new ones, or even lose some? Tells us some stories and most definetly post PICTURES!!!

 

While those of use who are stuck waiting for your replies (and pictures of course) here are some interesting facts from this year's fire season and one's past. The National Fire News web page ( http://www.nifc.gov/fireinfo/nfn.html ) says that even though the year 2000 had about the same amount of fires (84,208 fires in 2000 compared to 85,998 this year) it didn't burn as much acerage as this years fire season which was a whooping 9,394,740 acres :o :blink:. If you visit the web site check out the statistics near the bottom of the page. It'll be very interesting to see how much this fire season cost (a lot of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$).

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Hey Aaron, I was talking to Mike last week about a fire he was flying. He was flying the 214, not a crane, and they had to decend like 4000 feet to pick up water. He was saying the bird doesn't like to descend even if the collective is all the way down, so they descended by settling with power. They'd fall about 2000 feet and recover, fly to the water, and fly to the drop. The recovery usually ended up being a sort of downward spiral with the bucket swinging way out. Oh how to have fun whilst working.

 

Mike showed me settling with power. The bird seemed to fly very mushy and flat. We fall about 300 feet and recover in about 20 seconds. We did it again and fell another 200 feet in about 15 seconds. Now that was interesting because there were no sensations of falling. Kind of like an airplane stall without the shuddering.

 

Later

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I do know we lost at least two pilots, two Ericson Skycranes and one bell during the fires just in California. The Day fire in Los Angeles really sucked. Besides the TFR the visiblity was horrible for about 30 miles around.

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Mike showed me settling with power. The bird seemed to fly very mushy and flat. We fall about 300 feet and recover in about 20 seconds. We did it again and fell another 200 feet in about 15 seconds.

 

wow, thats a long time to recover from a settling with power situation, if you don't catch it quick enough you could probably ball the ship up in those 15-20 seconds. I guess thats a con to working with the 214....is it because the blades store so much energy that it kind of just lingers in its vortices while your trying to coax it forward or what?

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wow, thats a long time to recover from a settling with power situation, if you don't catch it quick enough you could probably ball the ship up in those 15-20 seconds. I guess thats a con to working with the 214....is it because the blades store so much energy that it kind of just lingers in its vortices while your trying to coax it forward or what?

Actually, it was in the R-22, and we were about 1500'AGL when we started. The recovery was almost instantainous to say the least. All you have to do is dive into clean air and get a little airspeed goin'. But I'm sure you know that. Besides, Mike didn't want to die that day.

 

The blades on this 214 are huge-about twice the normal blade width. My guess is that these blades provide too much lift for ops in fire areas because of downdrafts? I'm guessing, I haven't a clue.

 

On the bright side, if the bird is light, it might not be as suseptable(sp?) to settling with power as a heavier machine. Thoughts anyone?

 

Gotta go return overdue library books. Egads! $7.00 fine?

 

Later.

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Cheers,

 

We lost two pilots in the Heavy Lift crane, lost one pilot and three fire-fighters in the AStar, lost a pilot and an Air-Attack in the OV-10. Nobody lost in the Erickson crane crash.

 

I'd say that this year SUCKED from the fire stand point!

 

Other than that - you could smell the GOATS! Especially on the Day Incident!

 

Gentle winds,

cr

Cotton_Wood_fire.jpg

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I was going to try and upload some pics tonite, but its limiting me to the size of photos I can upload. I will work on getting them into a web server and linked here tomorrow. I got too frustrated in dealing with pixel sizes and file limitation of 47kb. The pictures are too crappy when downsized 90%, and not worth looking at I am afraid.

 

Admin, I am only able to upload a max file size of 47kb. Somewhere I read 200k was the limit for VIP's?

 

Here is at least one for now, I will have more and they will have some copters in them, I promise!

 

brushfire21_Paterson_Fire_SCU_July2006_image001.jpg

This is my crew (Ivan, Myself and Nick) after demob and heading back home at the end of the strike-team.

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  • 5 weeks later...

WB-

 

i don't mean to thread hijack but what are the advantages of the simplex system over the bambi bucket?

 

A quick version: each has benefits and liabilities. The simplex/belly tanks are bolted to the airframe and can be used for urban operations (LA & such) where the FAA doesn't like to see buckets get pickled accidently or inadvertantly. Great for W&B and no real worries about getting a tag line or long line tangled up in the t/r. They do cost $$$ and require about a half hour-hour to bolt-on/take off with a good crew, so if extra load capacity (say another few hundred pounds is needed internaly) & needed pronto, you'd be SOL. Also, generally the helo would need a helispot to tank up or access to a "clear" tank point with ~12" to siphon from (i.e.,pool, lake, stream tha has no obstacles/trees to hit wit the m/r).The buckets are nice with a 100-150' line in that they can be quckly deployed and released (and sometimes recovered) if things go bad, + they allow really precise water placement in deep forest canopies...yes, dead man curve is the next signpost ahead, but worse. They are generally a lot less $$ to acquire and can hold up pretty well for a few seasons. They do require a good stick & vert ref skills to keep the full bucket load stable. One of the rags (Heli-Ops, Vertical or maybe Rotor&Wing) had a really good contrast and comparison between the two systems pretty recently. Anyways, my $.02.

 

Oh yeah, Air Tanker 10 out of VCV only charges ~28k/hr for 2 drops of 12,000 gallons. And Evergreen is still working on their 747 with around (if I correctly recall, 25,000 gallon capacity). Nice to see when all the aircraft can play nicely together.

 

-WATCH FOR THE WIRES-

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