N737MC
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Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Fri Jul 19, 2002 10:25 am

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/den/news/stories/news-156485320020718-070719.html


Theres the story. I am so sorry for the family of the pilots.


Thanks

Aaron Mandolesi
 
N737MC
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Fri Jul 19, 2002 10:25 am

I meant Air Tanker. Only 1.

Sorry.
 
Jj
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Fri Jul 19, 2002 10:36 am

So once again....

It's so sad
 
hkgspotter1
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Fri Jul 19, 2002 10:41 am

Both wings snapped off again ??. That is very odd. I think these planes are too old for such action.
 
asgeirs
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanker Crashed In Big Elk F

Fri Jul 19, 2002 10:47 am

It looks like this is starting to become a monthly occurrence. Exactly one month ago (on June 18th) a C-130A firefighting tanker crashed in Walker, California after both wings broke of in flight.

http://www.komotv.com/stories/18951.htm

Strange indeed...


My condolences to the families  Crying

Reykjavik Aviation Photography - Just bring the aircraft to us and we'll photograph them! :-)
 
flyf15
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Fri Jul 19, 2002 12:01 pm

This is really hitting me. I read the article and saw that it was Tanker 123. I've had traffic advisories for that plane and heard him over the radio quite a few times while flying in/out of Jeffco. Probably have heard the pilots who were involved in the crash.

Peace be with them...
 
Guest

RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Fri Jul 19, 2002 12:06 pm

If it is definitely #123, it is probably N7620C, Consolidated Privateer built 1945.
Same company as C130. Hawkins & Powers. What an awful situation.
 
flyboy36y
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Fri Jul 19, 2002 1:23 pm

Very curious... both wings snapping off. I thought that was a onc-in-a-million shot last time... but to happen twice.... I don't know. Any Ideas from the Tech Ops regulars?

My heart goes out to the family of this and the last tradgedy.
 
ExpressJet_ERJ
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Fri Jul 19, 2002 1:25 pm

Just heard, crashed about 15nm west of my friend's house.  Insane
ETOPS...Engines Turn Or People Swim
 
LMP737
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Fri Jul 19, 2002 1:39 pm

I know this goes without saying but I think it's time for someone to start investing in newer aircraft. The Bombardier CL-415 would be an excellent start. While a tanker dropping a load of fire retardant is better than just a water drop the CL-415 can make multiple passes in the time it takes the other tanker to refill.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
Red Panda
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Fri Jul 19, 2002 3:37 pm

Maybe the wing roots are just not strong enough anymore to hold the fuselage. Should they lower the MZFW? This may help.

r panda
 
wannabe
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Fri Jul 19, 2002 9:55 pm

A couple of points about these crashes

1. Most firefighting aircraft are considerably older than most other commercially used aircraft.

2. Most of these aircraft fly in moderate to severe turbulence all of the time and consistently perform maneuvers which involve stresses that are above the "norm" of regular usage. This includes steep and rapid climbouts after dropping fire retardant.

3. I would assume that the level of preventive maintanence on these kind of fleets would be somewhat less than a normal commercial fleet, given that the revenue in this operation is not that lucrative.

4. We have had several consecutive seasons of severe wild fires that have placed these fleets in continuous action.

I would also wonder about the possible corrosive propoerties of either the standard "red" fire retardant and also the smoke they are flying through. Given that most of these fires involve large quantities of pine based trees, there has to be elements of turpentine, benzene and other sap base gases in the smoke. What effect does long term exposure to these elements have on the aircraft.

Given all of this, it would probably be a good thing to examine all of the structural elements of these aircraft. If not, considering their age and usage, we can probably expect to see these accidents continue.
 
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VirginFlyer
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fi

Mon Jul 22, 2002 9:15 am

Another thing to add to Wannabe's list of hazards:

When the aircraft dumps foam (or water, or whatever), that is a sudden change in the aircraft's weight (I don't know how much of a load they carry, but I am assuming it is in the order of magnitude of a couple of tonnes), and this of course means the wings are going to flex somewhat at this moment. Over many cycles this will undoubtedly cause fatigue failure of the wing before the design life of the airframe is over.

I think it is becoming rather obvious that a serious study needs to be undertaken of just how much the design life is reduced by the operating conditions these firefighting aircraft are subjected to. It may even be necessary for government aid to be provided to ensure aircraft can be maintained to the highest possible standards if this isn't the case already.

Here's hoping these incidents don't become a regular event (with the fire season in Australia approaching in a few months, I hope the same accidents don't occur down under)

V/F
"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
L-188
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Mon Jul 22, 2002 3:49 pm

If memory serves the PB4Y carried something like 1800-2000 gallons of retardent.

CL415 and its older CL215 where both studied by USFS, BLM and serveral state fire agencies. The aircraft where found to be lacking in the design of the drop system. Also there is a shortage of lakes in the US with the needed, draft and length to allow the aircraft to operate, this is especially true in the mountain west and the plains areas of the state.

A lot of the older DC-4 and 6 tankers where let go, when the air tanker companys where allowed to bid on P-3 and C-130 aircraft that where removed from military service transfered to USFS or BLM and then sold to commercial operators. But there where some problems with the bidding and some accusations of fraud made. I don't know the compete story on this but from my understanding is that it got pretty ugly. The program was discontinued in light of the scandal.

As far as the retardent goes, don't know about the properties, but they do wash the aircraft down at the end of every day.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
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VirginFlyer
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fi

Mon Jul 22, 2002 8:51 pm

L-188 - I don't have that much idea of imperial measurements, so could you please tell me what sort of weight we are looking at when you say 1800-2000 gallons of retardant. Would that be around 8000 litres, or am I out there.

Related to my previous post, I wonder if this wing fatigue problem will show up in some older military bomber aircraft that have been in regular use over their lifetime. The one that comes to mind is the B-52, though I am guessing it is subject to significantly better maintenance practices than these civilian aircraft. Still, the stress effects on the wing structure caused by a sudden change in weight of the aircraft would be an interesting study.

V/F
"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
AC183
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Tue Jul 23, 2002 9:53 am

2000 US Gallons would be roughly 7000 litres. (note that 2000 Imperial Gallons would be closer to 9000 litres). So you're looking at, say, roughly 7 tons of water, maybe more if the orange retardant is more dense than water (???) (maybe 10 tons???).

I rather doubt wing fatigue due to dumping water would be the primary problem. If it was, I'd be worried. The structure *should* be able to withstand a high number of cycles of loadings of that magnitude or greater simply from turbulence, banking, and other flight loads. And at least in the case of the C130's, the continuous low-altitude operation should be within the design, as well. I wonder what the cause is??? Probably a combination of factors, possibly a mix of stresses, corrosion, maybe heat also being an issue???
 
j_hallgren
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Tue Jul 30, 2002 2:57 am

Regarding the C130 that had wing fold-up...a friend who works at Lockheed Martin told me last night that it was one of the early models that used a two-piece wing design which would "fold" more likely than newer three-piece design where center section is entire section between inboard engines...
COBOL - Not a dead language yet!
 
Mark_D.
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Tue Jul 30, 2002 3:15 am

N737MC I am so sorry for the family of the pilots.

Me too  Sad  Sad


May those pilots rest in peace


 
L-188
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RE: Breaking News: Air Tanks Crashed In Big Elk Fire.

Tue Jul 30, 2002 5:02 pm

Ok. guys...

A C-130 is a Type I tanker and holds 3000 gallons onboard.
A PB4Y is a Type II tanker and holds 2200 gallons.

The CL215/415 are Type III tankers and hold 1400/1600 gallons respecively

Haven't found out how much a gallon of retardant weighs.

OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.

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