Cbphoto From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1607 posts, RR: 5 Posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2864 times:
Heard a rumor going around today that the US forest service has canceled the contracts with the heavy tanker operations, and instead are sticking to helicopters, and smaller tankers. Can anyone confirm this???? From what I hear the service canceled the contracts due to safety of the aging fleet. Wonder what would happen to those old birds if this is true. Any thoughts, comments??
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13381 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2818 times:
From what I read in the news, some (about 30 or so) of the a/c used for tankers have been grounded. Recall how one a/c had it's wings fall off last year (?) so need to ground popular older models. Will have to switch to smaller a/c and helicoptors, saying that they can drop water with more precision.
CitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2552 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2803 times:
The Forest Service and the Department of the Interior Monday terminated contracts with the owners of 33 aging firefighting aircraft, saying their airworthiness can no longer be assured.
The surprise decision comes in the wake of three crashes involving such older aircraft between 1994 and 2002. Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth said the aircraft -- some of them more than 60 years old -- an "unacceptable risk" to those who fly them, firefighters on the ground and people who live in areas threatened by wildfires.
The aging planes include the DC-4, DC-7 and P-3.
The Forest Service had grounded tankers in 2002, after two firefighting aircraft went down while on the job in California and Colorado. In both cases, wings folded on the aircraft as they were in flight.
Most of the aircraft suspended two years ago were reinstated to flying status after they were inspected by the Energy Department's Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque (NM). But last month, the NTSB reported that maintenance and inspection programs were not adequate. http://www.fs.fed.us/
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
Cbphoto From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1607 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2762 times:
ohh ok, thanks a lot for the info. What do you think will happen to those DC-4s, DC-7s, and P-3s. I sure hope some of them get a good home. I am currently in Prescott, AZ and there was a P-3, and a DC-4 stationed out here up untill a few days ago. Sad to see them gone.
4holer From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 3081 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2743 times:
I'm real bummed about this, on 2 levels.
First, a few weeks back, I had one of the DC-7s fly low over be headed to Mesa Falcon Field. So low and so beautiful. It is depressing to bar these classics from the skies from an aviation perspective.
Second, as an Arizona resident, and with the fire season just getting going in a state with a 9 year drought and millions of standing dead trees resulting from the bark beetles, it will be sad to see so many acres burn this summer as a direct result of this. I can't believe they did this without a replacement.
If my home burned in a fire these planes could have stopped, I know who I would sue.
Rotor1 From Tajikistan, joined Mar 2003, 230 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2312 times:
Tristar: The Los Angeles County Fire Department used Canadair 215s and 415s for a few years in the early and mid 90s. By in large, they were pretty uneffective...
They were instituted in response to the Malibu fire, as a political action to make it look like the politicans were doing "something", all along hiding the fact that they were virtually useless in the California environment. Winds were too high, the terrain was too rough, and the proximity to dippable water sources was too far. Throw in a little wind and pretty much any water source is off limits (ask the Canadair pilot who ripped a sponson off in the Pacific thanks to a mild chop). Their drop system combined with the performance they were capable of meant it often took up to 10 drops to get one solid load of water on the target they were aiming for... those things sure looked good swooping in to heroically save the house on the burning ridgeline (exactly what the politicians wanted), but if I was the owner of that house, I'd feel much safer with an S2 or Helicopter swooping in. Thats why the CDF didn't buy Canadairs, and the LACoFD is spending its seemingly infinite budget on new helicopters instead of longer leases on the 415s.
IMHO, the best solution to the cancellation of the tanker contract is the A10 "Firehog"... the warthog is designed to fly low and slow with a heavy load every day of the week. The plan they've got set up for them now means they'll be able to dump much more accurately, much closer to the fire than ever before... even at night. If only the politics would clear up...
The best aviation photo I've ever taken was rejected by Airliners.net
L-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29963 posts, RR: 58
Reply 16, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2262 times:
Water is a crappy thing for a fire bomber to carry. Retardant is where it is at.
This rulling is complete B.S.
I love how they announced it right at the start of fire season. You think the forest service could have decided at the start of winter so that some lead time to consider alternatives would exist. As it is now, Alaska just lost two of the four heavy tankers that it normally contracts. The remaining two are a pair of DC-6's chartered in from Canada.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
IMissPiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6386 posts, RR: 32
Reply 19, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2220 times:
And here in Arizona, most mountain areas are not accessible to vehicular traffic meaning that without large aircraft, the fire will burn. Helicopters as Ag aircraft are only able to aid the ground crews and when it takes 2 days to get them on site, the battle is already lost.
On the positive side, a wilderness fire does have beneficial effects. It can also be a catastrophe.
I am glad I was around to fly before de-regulation.
Skydrolboy From Canada, joined Sep 2003, 341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2180 times:
Yes, the Martin Mars are definetly flying in canada, mainly in British Columbia.
The company I work for converts Convair 580's into air tankers, and is looking at converting some Convair 5800's into air tankers aswell. So far the Convairs have only flown in Canada and in France, maybe now we can start making some for the US.
StearmanNut From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 352 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2162 times:
I fail to understand how aircraft like the 2002 Colorado crash of a PB 4Y and C-130, having such flaws as long-existing wing spar cracks, were ever signed off by A&P's in the first place. Is there some FAR maybe that allows "temporary use" aircraft to fly without a valid airworthiness certificate?
I would like to see the new Evergreen 744 air tanker in action.
I have also seen Air Tractor model 802 water bombers in Italy, France and in Spain, I've seen them on floats.
Maybe some investments in more Canadair 415's and MIL 26 helicopter water bombers?
If wishes were horses, a Tail Dragger I would fly...
NorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 3137 posts, RR: 36
Reply 23, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2123 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW CHAT OPERATOR
Maybe some investments in more Canadair 415's and MIL 26 helicopter water bombers?
Alas, the CL-415 is basically finished. Production finished almost 2 years ago and the line is currently being disassembled for transport and storage (probably at Mirabel or Downsview). Bombardier had high hopes for the 415 when it moved production to North Bay, but no new orders have been forthcoming. There are currently 3 CL-215s and 1 CL-415 here in North Bay, stored.
The 415 cannot be beaten for "water on target". In a 2 hour timeframe a 415 can dump twice as much or more than any land based aircraft (i doubt even the 747T will match it). This is due to its short round trip pickup to drop. It can use any good sized lake, the ocean or a straightish river and return to the fire site long before any landbased plane can fly back, land, taxi, park, get reloaded, taxi, takeoff and get back to the fire.
The main problem the 415 had was price (3.5 million USD give or take) vs conversions of older land planes (500k USD to 1,500k depending).
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.