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Feds Bar Use Of Firefighting DC-10  
User currently offlineEchster From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 399 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 9203 times:

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Federal safety rules are preventing wider use of a major advance in firefighting - a jumbo jet modified to drop 10 times more flame retardant than the typical air tanker.

The DC-10 first flew this fire season, opening its belly and releasing torrents of pink liquid in a spectacular string of sorties that helped halt blazes threatening state land in California and Washington.

The aircraft is all but prohibited from federal land, however, meaning it cannot be dispatched over vast swaths of the West - 50,000 square miles in California alone.


http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/st...nat-gen/2006/oct/12/101204365.html

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 8985 times:

You make it sound like the Fed's are treating the DC-10 Fire Tanker different than everyone else, like they don't want it certified, which is not the case. The article clearly states that the owner have not supplied the Fed's with proper paper work supporting the tanker modification. When the paper work is submitted then the certification process begins.

You should not "Cherry Pick" the article pointing out only the parts that support your point of view and ignoring the parts of the article that are contrary to you point of view.


User currently offlineThreepoint From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 2147 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 8700 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 1):
You should not "Cherry Pick" the article pointing out only the parts that support your point of view and ignoring the parts of the article that are contrary to you point of view.

Wow. Where did you get that from? The title was accurate and the thread starter merely posted the first three paragraphs of the article (to keep within this forum's fair use policy I would assume) and then posted the link to the article itself. I did not get a sense of the thread starter's opinion one way or another.

Do you know much about the ongoing struggle for most airtanker operators to receive permission to operate over federal lands in the US? Because I do, and the USFS, among others, is reacting to the 2002 accidents mentioned with some draconian and unfair policy. The paperwork they refer to is not merely sending some documents to an office - it's way way way way more involved than that. Because the DC-10 was not originally designed to drop a disposable load, they want tests & research to essentially demonstrate an ironclad guarantee that the wings or some other critical structure will not fail in flight. As the manufacturer is not lending support, this is indeed an onerous task requiring the input and expensive assistance from many sources.

As an aside, I did not think the NTSB had any regulatory clout. They can make suggestions, but it is up to the FAA to legislate and enforce them.



The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
User currently offlineAfay1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1293 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 8642 times:

I guess this clears up the accusations of unfairness on the part of the FAA in relation to their refusal to allow IL-76 water bombers to be used; it seems like they hate fighting fires with any sort of large jet aircraft in general...

User currently offlineLucky42 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 8492 times:

Quoting Threepoint (Reply 2):
Because the DC-10 was not originally designed to drop a disposable load, they want tests & research to essentially demonstrate an ironclad guarantee that the wings or some other critical structure will not fail in flight

I agree....Do you all remember the C-130 that lost it's wings after dropping a load?


User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6895 posts, RR: 76
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 8437 times:

How about a firefighting B52? It was designed to drop large loads and do so from low to high altitude... I'd like to know if the USFS will still refuse.... *smirky grin*

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 8136 times:

Quoting Threepoint (Reply 2):
Wow. Where did you get that from?

Sixth, forth, third and second paragraphs from the bottom of the referenced article:

Forest Service has the responsibility to insure airplane airworthiness. Not the operator.

Forest Service has yet to complete the DC-10 study.

Company that owns the aircraft has not provided all the required data.

Company says it is working hard but is still in early stages of meeting requirements.

So it seems to be the reason the FEDS BAR USE OF FIREFIGHTING DC-10 is that the company has not provided the necessary data to the Feds. So maybe the forum title should read FIREFIGHTING DC-10 USE HELD UP BY OWNERS FAILURE TO SUPPLY FEDS DATA.


User currently offlineAeroWeanie From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1609 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 8136 times:
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Until the crash of the C-130A and the PB4Y fighting fires in 2002, firefighting aircraft were regarded as USFS Public Use aircraft and their airworthiness was administered by the USFS, not the FAA. The USFS relied on the operators to monitor the structural health of the aircraft.

After these crashes, the FAA took over administering the airworthiness of firefighting aircraft. They determined that the operators were not capable of adequately monitoring the structural health of the aircraft and the FAA grounded all of them, pending review. Eventually, the P-3s were determined to be OK and were allowed to be used again to fight fires. I believe that some P-2s were also eventually OKed too. However, all the PB4Ys, C-130s, etc. are all still grounded.

Consolidated-Vultee P4Y-2 at Estes Park, Colorado on July 18, 2002:


Lockheed C-130A at Walker, California on June 17, 2002:


[Edited 2006-10-13 18:25:03]

User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5191 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 8117 times:

There is no question that the Fire-O-Crats have held up the DC10 and 747 certification for some reason that has nothing to do with effectiveness or "providing the required data". If you ever saw the movie about the army officer who tried to run real tests on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and the crazy bureaucratic roadblocks that the Army threw in front of him, that's what's going on here. (For example, when he wanted to put sheep in the Bradley and fire a shell at it to see if the sheep lived, the Army set up a "Ruminant Procurement Office" to acquire said sheep, and it's first mission, which they said would take about two years, was to develop "Sheep Spec's", because "You can't just use any old sheep; these are test sheep." He ended up buying some from a farmer, which the army promptly confiscated. You get the point.) Every time I read something about the use of these tankers, and the illogical bureaucratic nonsense thrown about by the Forest Service and others as they continue to delay use of these aircraft in the face of strong political criticism, I just say, "Ruminant Procurement Office" and "Sheep Spec's".

User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7942 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 1):
You should not "Cherry Pick" the article pointing out only the parts that support your point of view and ignoring the parts of the article that are contrary to you point of view.

 rotfl  if everyone on Anet followed this guidance to the letter, there would be far fewer posts....


User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7844 times:

The problem, regardless of the source, is PAPERWORK!!

Our society has become so bogged down by bureaucracy that even in an emergency situation, desperately needed assistance cannot be utilized because of "rules".

  • In the disastrous fires of San Diego in October, 2003, military assistance was politely declined, due to jurisdictional overlap. The result - dozens of homes needlessly burned down. Even today, people cannot get past the bureaucratic hurdles thrown at them - some are even getting kicked off their land because they haven't rebuilt. Problem is, they CAN'T rebuild, because there are paperwork problems with their new house plans.

  • The recent "Day" fire in Los Angeles county demonstrated the effectiveness of the DC-10 tanker. It was permitted to drop its load on STATE forest land, which helped dramatically...but it was not permitted to fly over FEDERAL forest land, for which it was not certified. Like the fire would respect man-made lines...

  • Hurricane Katrina - is there any level of government that does NOT share in blame there?

    It just astounds me that in desperate situations we are willing to allow destruction to "satisfy paperwork demands".



  • Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
    User currently offlineUnited787 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2713 posts, RR: 1
    Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 7323 times:

    Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 8):
    There is no question

    Why is there no question? Because you saw some movie that makes you think everything the government does is a lie?

    Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 10):
    The problem, regardless of the source, is PAPERWORK!!

    You are right, paperwork is the problem. No one has provided paperwork that documents or proves that the DC-10 won't lose its wings when performing a task that it wasn't engineered to do, dropping large loads.

    I understand why Boeing won't do it, there is no economic benefit to them taking the risk and spending the money on testing.

    Until someone does, I think it is perfectly understandable that the Feds bar the use of the DC-10 for that use.

    Would you sign off on an approval to use the DC-10 for this use? On what basis? Are you willing to put the lives of pilots at risk?
     Yeah sure


    User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
    Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 7043 times:

    The problem is that paperwork would require everyone involved to prove that it WON'T happen. Prove that it is 100% totally completely failsafe. How does one do that?

    Would I sign off on this? There's some risk to everything. The pilots of the DC-10 stand a better chance of being killed driving home from the airport than they do having the wings snap off.

    I would sign off on it IF I knew that maintenance had been done, the converting company had run basic tests, AND I knew that good faith had been met.



    Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
    User currently offlineFlyUSCG From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 656 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6994 times:

    Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 8):
    If you ever saw the movie about the army officer who tried to run real tests on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle,

    "The Pentagon Wars"? If that's the one your talking about, it's a pretty funny movie and I would recommend seeing it for those of you who haven't. But Wjcandee was right about it, the whole movie is just about the army making themselves the biggest speed bump they can in obtaining the Bradly (but keep in mind it is just a fictional comedy)



    Go Trojans! Fight On!
    User currently offlineUnited787 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2713 posts, RR: 1
    Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6946 times:

    Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 12):
    The problem is that paperwork would require everyone involved to prove that it WON'T happen. Prove that it is 100% totally completely failsafe. How does one do that?

    Go ask the people at Boeing and Airbus. They do it for every new plane model. They don't guarantee it 100%, but within reason...

    Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 12):
    The pilots of the DC-10 stand a better chance of being killed driving home from the airport than they do having the wings snap off.

    Maybe they airlines should stop following maintenance guidelines, because passengers would still have a better chance of being killed on the road.


    User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
    Reply 15, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6735 times:

    Quote:
    They do it for every new plane model. They don't guarantee it 100%, but within reason...

    You're making my argument for me!! Nothing is guaranteed 100%, but this bureaucratic nightmare seems to require that 100%.

    And I completely agree with your last part - within reason!! Logic doesn't seem to apply here.

    Quote:
    Maybe they airlines should stop following maintenance guidelines, because passengers would still have a better chance of being killed on the road.

     rotfl 



    Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
    User currently offlineLightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13152 posts, RR: 100
    Reply 16, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 6283 times:
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    Quoting United787 (Reply 14):
    Go ask the people at Boeing and Airbus. They do it for every new plane model. They don't guarantee it 100%, but within reason...

    Good quick summary. I will also point out that Boeing and Airbus have it a little easier. They're building "known aircraft." For example:
    1. Test the plane to see what the minimum speed the thrust reversers can bring it to.
    2. Test the plane at MTOW with the brake pads and rotors shaved down to the last legal takeoff. Abort said takeoff and prove nothing falls off, burns, or blows up (you will hear the tire relief valves go...).

    Much of the equipment will be certified like any other add on equipment. E.g., we added a wiring tray. Thus it had to be shown safe for Xg's in flight and to stay in place (via analysis) in a 9G crash. (Above 9G's the passangers are toast anyway, so it doesn't matter what happens.) We've also worked on vents and exhaust from an aircraft and the amount of analysis (CFD) required to show that it won't interfere is... a lot. Airworthyness tests are required too. (e.g., how many g's of vibration at what frequency occur due to the fire drop).

    Its all paperwork (w/testing + analysis). It doesn't prove the plane is 100% safe, but it does look for the known prior problems.

    I hope to see the DC10 and 747 certified... Soon! But the problem with some buracracies is that once you meet their requirements, they add more. That shouldn't be. If the DC10 or 747 isn't safe... fix it. But if it is safe, get them out there before the next fire season.

    Lightsaber



    Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
    User currently offlineJeb94 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 602 posts, RR: 5
    Reply 17, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4720 times:

    There are also some other, perfectly safe aircraft designed to do this very work yet they won't be certified to fly in the U.S. Even if they were certified they wouldn't be certified to make water/retardent drops, even though they are designed for that very task, due to some bureacratic excuse. The scaremongerers have everyone terrified of planes falling out of the sky. both that PB4Y and that C-130A were owned and operated by the same company. The captain originally scheduled to fly the PB4Y was changed just before the mission that it didn't return from. Unfortunately for him he was the pilot on the C-130A that went down. I have a solution. Instead of converting existing airplanes for this task that they aren't designed for, how about a proposal get submitted by the USFS to Northrop/Grumman, Lockheed, and Boeing to come up with a good firefighting aircraft. Then let them compete.

    User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5191 posts, RR: 22
    Reply 18, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4697 times:

    Quoting United787 (Reply 11):
    I understand why Boeing won't do it, there is no economic benefit to them taking the risk and spending the money on testing.

    Boeing has provided engineering support to the 747 tanker.

    Quoting United787 (Reply 11):
    Why is there no question? Because you saw some movie that makes you think everything the government does is a lie?

    The movie reference was an analogy. Read some other threads on this subject, as well as media reports, and you'll probably end up sharing my view.

    Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 13):
    "The Pentagon Wars"?

    Good memory. That's the one.

    Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 13):
    (but keep in mind it is just a fictional comedy

    It's actually a screenplay based upon the following non-fiction book: Lt. Col. James G. Burton, The Pentagon Wars: Reformers Challenge the Old Guard, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press (1993). Cary Elwes plays Lt. Col. Burton in the movie.


    User currently offlineJeffry747 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 963 posts, RR: 2
    Reply 19, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4135 times:
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    Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 18):
    Boeing has provided engineering support to the 747 tanker.

    When all of these fires are going on, what is the 747 tanker doing? Is she ready to go yet? Or is there still alot of work to be done? I have seen a video of her doing a demo flight. And with Evergreen being a well established reliable company with Boeing backing them up on this one, they should not have any problem getting the 747 certified



    C'mon Big B, FLY!
    User currently offlineDTWAGENT From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1283 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 20, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4061 times:

    Sure that is how the goverment works. Let's kill more land, burn more houses, lose more lives so that we can make sure that we are 100% sure their is a need for this plane. Dumb if you ask me. I say we have it. Use it. The only way your going to get true data on this plane is to use it in a fire. But, hey the feds have an open check book.

    chuck


    User currently offlineGalapagapop From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 910 posts, RR: 4
    Reply 21, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3952 times:

    Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 10):
    The problem, regardless of the source, is PAPERWORK!!

    Our society has become so bogged down by bureaucracy that even in an emergency situation, desperately needed assistance cannot be utilized because of "rules".

    # In the disastrous fires of San Diego in October, 2003, military assistance was politely declined, due to jurisdictional overlap. The result - dozens of homes needlessly burned down. Even today, people cannot get past the bureaucratic hurdles thrown at them - some are even getting kicked off their land because they haven't rebuilt. Problem is, they CAN'T rebuild, because there are paperwork problems with their new house plans.

    # The recent "Day" fire in Los Angeles county demonstrated the effectiveness of the DC-10 tanker. It was permitted to drop its load on STATE forest land, which helped dramatically...but it was not permitted to fly over FEDERAL forest land, for which it was not certified. Like the fire would respect man-made lines...

    # Hurricane Katrina - is there any level of government that does NOT share in blame there?

    It just astounds me that in desperate situations we are willing to allow destruction to "satisfy paperwork demands".

    Well if people got some brains they'd figure it out that NATURE HAPPENS! Bush, Clinton, and all others by your logic have failed to stop nature.
    Forest Fires happen, get over it. Its a known risk and its a natural occurance, stopping it only increases the risk over time and its EXTREMELY harmful to the enviroment.

    Point 1: The Torrey Pine in SD is down to 4000 mature trees (mainland variety) and that is the result of man settling in the middle of its habitat on the San Diego coastline. Their pine cones are much more effective and more are released after a fire. The tree was made for them, but no, due to "People's Property" (Its nature's land bar none), no fires occur in SD or anywhere for that reason, outside the controlled ones in parks that never reach the intesity fires normally reach that nature needs to properly sterilize the ground.

    Point 2: Yes a fire will not respect manmade lines but by no means should any line be drawn, let it run it coarse its natural and has been for thousands of years.

    Point 3:
    A Hurricane was always to happen in NO. No governement interference can stop that. Its also their neglect of the enviroment that it was to the extent it happened. Just keep in mine for every 2.4 miles of proper river delta coasts (with grass, bogs, and all; those plants that are naturally tuned for hurricanes) can take off 1-2 feet of storm surge. New Orleans has been destroying their buffers for years and no one seems to care until its brought to their attention. Governement fault yes, people's fault for electing them and neglecting this themselves (for the sake of more room), Yes.


    So before you go on to more of this Anti-paperwork stuff (which I agree with 100% when it comes to helping people and all that jazz). Just don't include such enviromental incidents as its people that are the problem not the fire/storm or the paperwork.


    User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13120 posts, RR: 12
    Reply 22, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3848 times:

    There is no doubt that way too much development has occurred in the USA where the enviroment, including where frequent flooding (rivers), earthquakes (west coast), shoreline areas from hurricanes (and some other adjacent areas, like most of Florida), and in the middle of wooded areas in dry climates. Yet these people expect miracles when nature takes it dominate normal paths. In these cases, there was not enough regulation by government, due to payoffs to and pressures upon politicians to allow such development. Then there was too much regulation with 'no-fire' policies to allow for natural burn off of the fuel that makes these recent fires so deadly and extensive. Now 'they' complain when there is too much regulation red tape, in part due to 2 deadly accidents of older water bombers, to ok larger water bombers to protect their homes they built in these high risk areas.
    I do wish there was a much quicker way to certify the DC-10 and 747 water bombers as we need such equipment to reduce the risks of such fires, including other enviromental problems such as the affects on those areas when rain does return (including erosion, mudslides, and so on)


    User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
    Reply 23, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3700 times:

    Quote:
    Forest Fires happen, get over it.

    Then let's just disband any forestry service fire department. If we're getting in nature's way, we should back out. And if people's houses are destroyed, well, then, I guess they shouldn't have built there.

    Quote:
    let it run it coarse its natural and has been for thousands of years.

    Agreed. We have to have a way to have a controlled burn. It should be directed away from populated areas with some semblance of control.

    Quote:
    Just don't include such enviromental incidents as its people that are the problem not the fire/storm or the paperwork.

    People are the problem in EVERY environmental incident/disaster. Saying that we should "just let nature take its coarse because we've messed up as human beings" is not logical. We should learn from the mistakes (granted, we rarely do), but not just blame the people and say "that's too damn bad".



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