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crashresidue
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Cheers all,

OK, I'm breaking a promise - but enough is ENOUGH!

 

The USFS, in all it's brilliance - has NOW decreed that to pass the 133 part of their check-ride, the applicant MUST hold a load stationary for 30 seconds over a 10 foot circle - WITH A 150 FOOT LONG-LINE!

 

Just what are these people smoking? Their own check pilots can't long-line and now they want ME to demonstrate something that some idiot sitting at a desk somewhere has now decided was the criterior(sp?) for "long-line proficiency". GIVE ME A F*CKING BREAK!

 

I've long-lined since the beginning of the 80's - and at NO time have I EVER had to hold a load - OR HOOK for 30 seconds! If you're over a load for 30 seconds then someone is 25 seconds too slow! And he needs to be FIRED!

 

It's time we started to tell them to "go pound sand" 'cause we, as an industry, have had enough. "I'm sorry, Sir or Madam. but I've had all the CRAP I'm going to take from you and your organization. I am NOT applying for or accepting any position in which you have any input." "Fight the fire by yourself, thank you very much!"

 

I've told my CP that I won't be back next year - because of the politics - and he asked what I was going to do, "Be a Greeter at Wally World" was my answer. At least then, I'll have some dignity in what I do!

 

Gentle winds,

cr

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It's time we started to tell them to "go pound sand" 'cause we, as an industry, have had enough. "I'm sorry, Sir or Madam. but I've had all the CRAP I'm going to take from you and your organization. I am NOT applying for or accepting any position in which you have any input." "Fight the fire by yourself, thank you very much!"

 

 

I think you mean "go pound dirt" hahahahaha!

 

There was probably an incident where a ground pounder got hurt because a load moved for some reason unexpectedly or what not? So they (pencil pusher in the USFS/USDA) came up with a novel concept to fix and attempt to prevent another injury. Maybe somebody has a better idea on why this came around?

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Cheers,

 

Maybe, maybe not. When we do "sling training", the grunts are told NOT to approach the load until it is on the ground and the hook is slack. With the required remote hook, as soon as the load touches down, I release it and fly away.

 

I think it's just another desk jockey who thinks he's God and plans to extend his rule any way he can. But, that's just me!

 

cr

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Crash,

 

Got a stupid question for ya. Being a 2500+ hour pilot that took 5 years off I tried long line after the 5 years off for the first time. With a 100' cable with 2 truck tires on the end I was supposed to have it aced in 3 hours in 25 to 35 kt winds. You or anyone else know of anyone being able to keep 2 truck tires perfectly still in 3 hours of training that consisted of someone telling me to fly to the tires quick?

 

:unsure:

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KMWK, 25 to 35 kts?? With a couple of tires that spin around and change aerodynamically? Not me, and nobody I know personally. If when you say first time you mean first time you ever flew a line I'll share a break through I had when I was learning. If you mean first time after coming back to flying after 5 years I'll keep my mouth shut.

 

d

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KMWK, 25 to 35 kts?? With a couple of tires that spin around and change aerodynamically? Not me, and nobody I know personally. If when you say first time you mean first time you ever flew a line I'll share a break through I had when I was learning. If you mean first time after coming back to flying after 5 years I'll keep my mouth shut.

 

d

 

First time long line ever! And first time flying anything but fixed wing, gyros and ultralights after 5 years.

 

:blink:

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Cheers KMWK,

 

At the three hour level, I was damned lucky if I was still upright and not pukeing my guts out the door. I "might" have kept it in a 100 acre field. In the same spot - how about in the same pasture?

 

About 20 years ago, I was "living out the door" in Lama's - and was damned good at what I did - then two friends got killed doing what I was doing. I went home, got really drunk, took out my soul and discovered that I'd had had an ego failure - on the high side. About this time, I also stuffed a helo into the side of a mountain, hovering up a switchback road in a blizzard. This had a MAJOR sobering effect on me - in fact it scared the sh*t out of me and made me take a long hard look at the way I was living/flying.

 

Since then, remembering those two friends, who were "hook junkies" - just like me, I've approached ALL long-line missions with a "lets find another way to do it" attitude.

 

I WILL long-line, I'll do a good job of it - but I'm going to find ANY and EVERY reason to do the mission a different way. That "long, shiny thingie" hanging from your belly hook is going to try to kill you every time you pick it up. One of these days, it's gonna win!

 

Sorry, got a little windy there.

 

Gentle winds,

cr

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Guess I'd have to say I was lucky to even keep an aircraft in 100 yds first time I got in one, and I had F/W time etc. Sounds like you did great. Guess I would be wondering about the instructor who thought it was a good idea to instruct long line in 25 to 35 kts to a new helo pilot?

 

Crash thanks for sharing, makes a guy think. I don't know if I could give up the line yet though.

 

Safe flights

 

d

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All I'm gonna say is bureaucracy sucks-in ALL levels of government.

 

Later

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After about 50 hrs of long line a guy should have no trouble holding a load still in 1 spot for 30 seconds.

Edited by fatnlazy
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I have to agree with CR on this one. One of our pilots was recently carded and that is what they wanted from him. I demonstrated the 150' for 30 seconds within a compass rose in 1995. The check pilot had me do three circuits of doing that each with an enroute phase of flight. (I later learned he actually went inside after he saw the first 1 minute of the circuit to complete the paperwork while I continued the sling exercise.) I thought it was excessive and I still think it is excessive. I have noticed that it also depends on the OAS Check Pilot. Some are more practical than others. I can sort of understand the OAS requirement in 1995 because the contract I was going on just had a longline accident and they wanted to be sure I could sling.

 

A lot of these USFS/OAS contracts don't even use a line longer than 100 feet. I would like the OAS Check Airmen to first demonstrate the 150' line (empty hook) for 1 minute then ask us to repeat what they can do. If your region does 150' lines often then their Check Pilots should also be able to hold a 150' motionless for 1 minute over a 10 foot diameter circle 2 feet above the ground. The Alaska Region is difficult too because in Southeast Alaska we use 150 foot lines a lot around the trees. In the Interior they rarely go over a 75 foot line because there are no significant trees north of the Artic Circle. It is still the same region but extremely different flying environments.

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I WILL long-line, I'll do a good job of it - but I'm going to find ANY and EVERY reason to do the mission a different way. That "long, shiny thingie" hanging from your belly hook is going to try to kill you every time you pick it up. One of these days, it's gonna win!

 

cr

 

A wise friend of mine says he wants to fly a helicopter with no belly hook. I like that idea. Hanging out the door gets old fast when you realize it is actually your ass that is hanging out.

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A wise friend of mine says he wants to fly a helicopter with no belly hook. I like that idea. Hanging out the door gets old fast when you realize it is actually your ass that is hanging out.

 

Who would state such a blasphamy?

:huh: ?

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Thanks for sharing CR and to you too D_F. Hey, I look at it like a lesson learned. They needed someone to catch on fast, it wasn't me, and frankly I'm glad it's not me.

 

It does make me feel better to know that it wasn't just me unable to get it right away. :lol:

 

Gary

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I can't help but wonder what purpose is served by holding a bucket over the fire for 30 secs. though keep in mind thats time the hobbs is turning. The whole circus routine is always going to be in question so I guess this is just another act in the big show.

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I can't help but wonder what purpose is served by holding a bucket over the fire for 30 secs. though keep in mind thats time the hobbs is turning. The whole circus routine is always going to be in question so I guess this is just another act in the big show.

 

 

JEFF SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO MOVE CARGO ON A FIRE, AND SOMETIMES YOU MAY HAVE TO HOVER AWHILE WHILE THE HOOK YOU UP, ITS NOT ALWAYS JUST THE BUCKET. I'M NOT TRYING TO BE A SMART ASS BUDDY I JUST THOUGHT THAT I WOULD JUST GIVE A LITTLE INSITE.

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Cheers all,

 

When you do cargo, you set the hook next to the load, slack the line, and wait for the cargo personel to attach the hook to the lead line - you do NOT hold the hook 2 feet off the ground while you wait for this to happen!

 

I'm still waiting for some USFS person to answer the subtle question of WHY DO YOU WANT US TO DEMO THIS MANEUVER? When do we EVER need it?

 

Yes, it's a GREAT maneuver to "weed-out" pilots that are a little shakey with a hook. If the USFS REALLY needs to weed pilots out of the system - then tell me why there are contracts that were NOT EVEN BID - because of the lack of pilots?

 

You want pilots - then pay a wage that reflects the fact that us "dinasaurs" are leaving the system in numbers - because of the pay and this BS infusion of politics into avaition! Pay me what I'm worth - not what someone somewhere decides is the approiate "wage rate" for a pilot. Show me a "wage rate" that covers "GS 11 - with 14,000 hrs" - and pays ME for the experience you want. Don't pay me the rate you pay a pilot with the quals and 1500 hrs! (Not to dis you low timers. We all started with "0" hrs.)

 

OK, rant OFF.

 

Gentle winds,

cr

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Cheers all,

 

When you do cargo, you set the hook next to the load, slack the line, and wait for the cargo personel to attach the hook to the lead line - you do NOT hold the hook 2 feet off the ground while you wait for this to happen!

 

I'm still waiting for some USFS person to answer the subtle question of WHY DO YOU WANT US TO DEMO THIS MANEUVER? When do we EVER need it?

 

Yes, it's a GREAT maneuver to "weed-out" pilots that are a little shakey with a hook. If the USFS REALLY needs to weed pilots out of the system - then tell me why there are contracts that were NOT EVEN BID - because of the lack of pilots?

 

You want pilots - then pay a wage that reflects the fact that us "dinasaurs" are leaving the system in numbers - because of the pay and this BS infusion of politics into avaition! Pay me what I'm worth - not what someone somewhere decides is the approiate "wage rate" for a pilot. Show me a "wage rate" that covers "GS 11 - with 14,000 hrs" - and pays ME for the experience you want. Don't pay me the rate you pay a pilot with the quals and 1500 hrs! (Not to dis you low timers. We all started with "0" hrs.)

 

OK, rant OFF.

 

Gentle winds,

cr

 

I know that you set the hook on the ground and wait, but while you are waiting you are in the air hovering and I know that its not the same as holding the line in one spot but come on guys its not that hard, if you don't want to do it, or can't do it go back to the gulf and quit your complaining. I'm not sure what you think you should be paid but the company that I work for pay there carded guys very well. And for your info my check pilot can do everything he asked me to do. IT'S NOT THAT HARD, PUT THE BUCKET BACK ON / WITH A 150 LINE AND GO OUT FOR A COUPLE OF HRS AND YOU WILL GET IT WORKED OUT.

Edited by fatnlazy
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I know that you set the hook on the ground and wait, but while you are waiting you are in the air hovering and I know that its not the same as holding the line in one spot but come on guys its not that hard, if you don't want to do it, or can't do it go back to the gulf and quit your complaining. I'm not sure what you think you should be paid but the company that I work for pay there carded guys very well. And for your info my check pilot can do everything he asked me to do. IT'S NOT THAT HARD, PUT THE BUCKET BACK ON / WITH A 150 LINE AND GO OUT FOR A COUPLE OF HRS AND YOU WILL GET IT WORKED OUT.

 

I think CR does have a valid point. It seems like the OAS system may need some auditing either internally or externally. Can we hold the line within the criteria? Of course but with the pilot shortage and the realistic need for that maneuver demonstrated, it seems excessive. If we are putting a pilot on a drill move we would expect the longline precision to be very accurate (much more stringent than the current OAS criteria). If we are putting a pilot on fire duty we need that pilot to be able to (water bucket) line drop, spot drop, or move a net load to within a general area but we would not expect the pilot to be able to assemble a drill from a 200 foot longline. Realistic criteria I think is missing from the new OAS criteria for longline rides... but that is just my opinion which could just be BS.

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Cheers fatnlazy - did I get that right?

 

NOT a problem dude! When I first read your post, it ruffeled a few fethers - but then I remembered how I was when I first mastered (and that's the right word for it!) the "long-line". I was KING of the world, I had NO fear, I could do NO worng! And then I watched an "idol" die - on the line. Put the fear of God in me!

 

I understand what you're saying - what I'm saying is - "there is NO need" for us to have to demonstrate this ability! By the way, I've NEVER worked the GOM.

 

A couple of hours in my machine is $2000 per hour - who pays for the training - the company, ME, or .gov?

 

I've moved drills, was too slow, but the accuracy (sp?) was "spot on". I DON'T DO THAT NOW - why should I be tasked with that level of perfection? There is NOTHING that you do on fires that requires it - except maybe "short haul", and I won't do that because of the guilt, if something goes wrong.

 

If you're out west, then you need to travel Commisary Ridge, in the "overthrust belt" in WY. There are more dead helicopters and helo pilots there than anywhere else in the world. It was the seismic hot bed for YEARS - and we paid the price for doing it. It's where "the GREAT pilots" died - way TOO many of them! All because of the "long-line"!

 

Like I said before - that "long shiney thingie" hanging from your cargo hook is going to try to kill you EVERY time you pick it up!"

 

Genlte winds,

cr

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It sounds like OAS is getting a little nervous with the advent of a major pilot turnover. Making the long-line ride harder isn't going to bring the more experienced pilots back out of the woodwork, it's just going to make it harder and more costly for the operators to card pilots. The end result will be contracts not bid, fires not fought. The whole industry is competing for experienced pilots. I left fire about ten years ago for EMS to start a family. In my case, more money won't bring me back, (...well, unless it's insane money). Minimums are lowering everywhere. The OAS minimum was always 1,500 hours, but until now that was just a tongue-in-cheek little joke in the contract. The average fire pilot had 5,000 or more hours AND experience doing everything. Today, the 1,500 hours is probably becoming a reality. I don't know about you guys, but I wasn't even capable of wiping my own ass at 1,500 hours, but maybe I was just slow. The thing that really pains me is that the one who really will benefit from this whole trend is that guy running the flight school pyramid scam. He wants to legitimize his empire with a contract-side. A year of flight instruction and BAM!, straight into a fire contract. :o

 

That OAS ride you guys were talking about sounds like a short-haul checkride I did about 10 years ago, but I think we had to hold a 100' line in the circle for 2 minutes, but it was for good reason in that case.

 

cheers,

ITG

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I just took the long-line ride yesterday. Between the actual flight and oral, the experience lasted about eight hours. I can't even remember a DES check in the military being as thorough. Thank God that the ride is good for three years because I'm in no hurry to repeat the experience (I also thank God for Imodium!).

 

The experienced guys here at the company pretty much share the setiment of the other posters in this thread. I'm guessing that it will just be a matter of time before the vendors push back with political connections. Not sure how this one is going to turn out. The vendors and government will probably meet in the middle eventually.

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My 2 cents..........

 

I have been fortunate to have done longline work and fires for a while and this has helped me to be reasonably competent with the line. I have been very grateful for that on more than one occasion where I have had to dip out of a porta-tank or chemical tank and managed without too much fuss. However, I really felt sorry for the guys who were not quite so familiar with the longline when they were struggling to get the bucket into the tank while a daisy chain of Skycranes, Vertols etc were waiting for their turn. A LOT of pressure being in that position and I am sure those guys wished they had a bit more practice behind them. This is not a common situation, requiring more precision, but it does happen.

 

The checkrides are irritating and stressful but I do believe they are a good thing, they uphold a certain standard. I have worked in other countries where they do not have standardized checkrides and I have encountered some real turkeys out there who dont have a clue what they are doing and become a hazard to everyone else on the fire. The Forest Service may often be cumbersome, bureaucratic and slow but as long as safety is their goal I must support them. I like the fact that when I get to a fire, I can expect a certain level of competence from the other pilots out there.

 

If there is a lack of pilots with the right experience, as mentioned previously, then the Forest Service will just have to pay more to retain the existing expertise and make fire-fighting an attractive career option to those still gaining experience. Lowering the standards will never help. They may be forced to have different grades of carding, a basic one for those of us who can get the bucket into a lake 2 out of 3 times, and another for the gurus who can thread the cable between the trees. This will obviously mean a different salary scale too. Seeing how negative and frustrated pilots are with the system, it will soon reach crisis proportions when these same pilots give up and leave for less stressful and more lucrative jobs. I sincerely hope the Forest Service wakes up and changes before that happens.

 

Fly safe.

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