FATFlyer
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DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:32 am

The DC-10 fire tanker made an emergency landing yesterday at Victorville after encountering turbulence fighting a fire. The aircraft struck tree tops when it lost some altitude. The aircraft is currently undergoing inspections.

http://www.vvdailypress.com/news/fir...3___article.html/tanker_plane.html
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Flighty
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:46 am

Hitting trees with a DC-10 is not for the faint of heart. That is some hairy flying!! Good job, crew!
 
BigAppleCoder
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:50 am

Whew!!!! Way too f**king close  scared . I'm happy to hear they're safe.

I wonder if this close call means they'll re-evaluate the use of the DC-10 in a firefighting role?
 
threepoint
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:51 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 1):
Hitting trees with a DC-10 is not for the faint of heart. That is some hairy flying!! Good job, crew!

Man, you say this like it was somewhat intentional and to be proud of. Something went very very wrong. One can usually expect such turbulence (if that's indeed what to attribute as a factor) when flying low level over fires, but I will suggest that any recovery after descending to the point where metal meets wood may be due more to fortune than skill.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
Flighty
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:06 am

Right, I just meant good job surviving. They were very close to dying... way way too close...

In firefighting, do these downdrafts happen a lot?
 
6yjjk
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:20 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 1):
Hitting trees with a DC-10 is not for the faint of heart.

I'd rather hit a tree with a DC-10 than with a Cessna 150! It's the poor trees I feel sorry for, after an argument with a -10 - I bet they came off worse...  Wink
 
khobar
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:27 am

Quoting 6YJJK (Reply 5):
I'd rather hit a tree with a DC-10 than with a Cessna 150! It's the poor trees I feel sorry for, after an argument with a -10 - I bet they came off worse... Wink

Funny thing, in this wacky world we live in today, I was expecting the DC-10 to have been grounded following complaints and protests from environmentalists upset about the damaged trees.

Kudos to the crew for quick thinking and skill in recovering.
 
ChiGB1973
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:37 am

I saw this:

http://www.faa.gov/data_statistics/a...reliminary_data/media/D_0626_N.txt

and wondered if it was the fire fighter.

I don't imagine this will help their federal case.

M
 
KELPkid
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:42 am

Hmmm....wonder how the CF6s fared in treetop injestion tests?  Wink
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6yjjk
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:45 am

Quoting Khobar (Reply 6):
I was expecting the DC-10 to have been grounded following complaints and protests from environmentalists upset about the damaged trees

That'd be just like 'em - let thousands of trees burn because somebody broke one.  Yeah sure That, and the carbon emissions from such an old and inefficient plane (hell, any plane), which are going to be sooooo much greater than the carbon emissions from a forest fire!  Angry
 
DAYflyer
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:17 am

Wow, what a hairy time it must have been hitting those trees! I bet there were multiple requests for clean underwear.
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airfoilsguy
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:29 am

Quoting ChiGB1973 (Reply 7):
I saw this:

http://www.faa.gov/data_statistics/a...reliminary_data/media/D_0626_N.txt

and wondered if it was the fire fighter.

There is only one person flying that thing?
It's not a near miss it's a near hit!!
 
ONTFlyer
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:13 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 4):
In firefighting, do these downdrafts happen a lot?

With these large brush fires, yes they happen frequently.

ONT
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wjcandee
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:44 am

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 11):
There is only one person flying that thing?

No. That's a mistake in the preliminary data.
 
threepoint
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:01 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 4):
In firefighting, do these downdrafts happen a lot?



Quoting ONTFlyer (Reply 12):
With these large brush fires, yes they happen frequently.

Sort of. I'll expand upon ONTFlyer's remark by saying that ANY time you fly that close to uneven terrain on a day with weather that is conducive to active wildfires (warm temps, unstable airmass, lots of air movement, etc) then you will get up and downdrafts, often unexpected. Mechanical turbulence is also a prime factor when that close to terrain, but is not a product of the fire itself, it's just coincident with it. Generally speaking, when one flies directly above an active fire or through the smoke column itself, you find yourself moving rapidly UPwards and often with violent 'bumps' for good measure.
It's when you see the arm-diameter branches being thrown above your wingtips that you want to reconsider your location.
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a380us
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:56 am

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 13):
Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 11):
There is only one person flying that thing?

No. That's a mistake in the preliminary data.

it looks like its saying one injury
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iwok
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:40 pm

Quoting Threepoint (Reply 14):
It's when you see the arm-diameter branches being thrown above your wingtips that you want to reconsider your location.

 rotfl  Ahh yeah, pull up now please, we almost hit a squirrel.  Smile

iwok
 
Kuna
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree

Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:12 pm

Is it me, or does that -10 look like an ex NW -10? The tail looks to have the red tail.

Edit: Glad everyone is ok, and they successfully landed.

[Edited 2007-06-27 07:19:31]
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Fly2HMO
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:15 pm

I hope they disarmed the GPWS, because If I was the GPWS, i'd sure as hell be bitching at them constantly. Big grin
 
WesternA318
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:18 pm

Quoting Khobar (Reply 6):
Funny thing, in this wacky world we live in today, I was expecting the DC-10 to have been grounded following complaints and protests from environmentalists upset about the damaged trees



Quoting 6YJJK (Reply 9):
That'd be just like 'em - let thousands of trees burn because somebody broke one. That, and the carbon emissions from such an old and inefficient plane (hell, any plane), which are going to be sooooo much greater than the carbon emissions from a forest fire!



Quoting Iwok (Reply 16):
Ahh yeah, pull up now please, we almost hit a squirrel.

Did they kick up Bugs Bunny's house by chance?
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andrewuber
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:23 pm

From the article posted by thread starter:

It has not yet been certified by the U.S. Forest Service, so on Forest Service lands, such as the site of the Angora Fire at Lake Tahoe, it is not authorized to fight fires.

Isn't that great. Red tape keeps this aircraft on the ground while hundreds of homes burn in Tahoe. WTF.
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XT6Wagon
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:30 pm

Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 20):
Isn't that great. Red tape keeps this aircraft on the ground while hundreds of homes burn in Tahoe. WTF.

I think its a response to some planes that broke up in midair doing work for the forest service.

and honestly while I appreciate the thought, I'm not sure I would want a DC-10 doing this work.

Maybe time to spend more time convincing 742/743 conversions into firefighting/emergancy response planes? Yah I know they are HUGE... but that reduces the need feed the engines small wildlife flying so low, and alot more payload.
 
wjcandee
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:34 pm

Quoting A380US (Reply 15):
it looks like its saying one injury

Indeed, it looks that way, but I'm familiar with the format of the reports. It should list the number of total crew there, then break out in subsequent columns the number and severity of that number that were injured. It says 1 in that column, which means one crew member total on board, which is wrong.

Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 20):
Isn't that great. Red tape keeps this aircraft on the ground while hundreds of homes burn in Tahoe. WTF.

Worse, the Evergreen Supertanker 747, which is bigger, IS approved by the tanker board and DOES have its FAA cert, and is grounded by further red tape from the Fire-O-Crats while those houses burn. Incident commanders keep refusing to call in these planes because they don't believe that they can do a good job, but when they are basically forced to do so, they then express wonder and amazement at the actual performance of the aircraft, as they did regarding Tanker 910 on the latest fire, before the mishap.

Quoting Kuna (Reply 17):
Is it me, or does that -10 look like an ex NW -10? The tail looks to have the red tail.

That's the livery protocol for firefighting air tankers. The thing was all-white before.
 
andrewuber
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:42 pm

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 21):
I think its a response to some planes that broke up in midair doing work for the forest service.

You are probably right. But in my personal opinion - it should be more prudent to inspect the aircraft to prevent in-flight breakups instead of grounding them to preveng in-flight breakups.

I guess a better way to say it is - if my home in Tahoe was in danger, I'd be extremely pissed to know that these capable aircraft were sitting on ramps, unable to help due to a slow approval process by the USFS.

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 22):
It says 1 in that column, which means one crew member total on board, which is wrong.

LOL I noticed that too - you would think of all people the FAA might know that it takes more than one person to fly a DC10!
I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
 
Kuna
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:45 pm

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 22):
Quoting Kuna (Reply 17):
Is it me, or does that -10 look like an ex NW -10? The tail looks to have the red tail.

That's the livery protocol for firefighting air tankers. The thing was all-white before.

Ahh ok, was not sure, thought with the recent retiring of the -10 from NW, it was a possibility.
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XT6Wagon
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:50 pm

Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 23):
You are probably right. But in my personal opinion - it should be more prudent to inspect the aircraft to prevent in-flight breakups instead of grounding them to preveng in-flight breakups.

I think why is they put in place holds and what not due to the sudden insight that firefighting has more in common with combat maneuvers than freight hauling, and thus they needed to do some regulating of the fleet. Agency inertia and lack of direct expertise within said agency have thus prevented moving forward.
 
FATFlyer
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:06 pm

The latest is that the aircraft is out of action for at least 30 days, what a start to its contract with the state of California.

Word is it has damage to the left wing leading edge and the left flap.

Quoting Kuna (Reply 24):
Ahh ok, was not sure, thought with the recent retiring of the -10 from NW, it was a possibility.

I believe this aircraft was at American, Hawaiian, Omni, National and Pan Am during its commercial life. It never spent time at NW.
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Jetfixr757
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:16 pm

Guys, it's all about money, what does it cost to operate the 74, they just don't want to pay, OR, the fire is not close to the right person's house yet, us commoners don't have the throttle to get that aircraft dispatched, however be it a celebrity of one kind or another, or a politician, and you bet that airplane would be dropping water if nothing else. Sorry for the ground impact with the 10, they need to repair it and get it done. My 2 cents.
Jet
 
F9Animal
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:57 pm

Thank goodness they were able to recover. Imagine the disaster of losing the plane, but the fire it would have created if it had not recovered. Good job by the crew for recovering the bird from that.
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beechnut
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:26 pm

Call me skeptical but I rather doubt the DC-10 was designed with this kind of low-level, high-stress work (usually in turbulence) in mind. When this thing develops a high sink rate...well that's a heck of a lot of momentum to overcome.

Even C-130s, built with military missions in mind, can shed wings in firebombing...

Beech
 
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SEPilot
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:32 pm

Quoting Threepoint (Reply 14):
Generally speaking, when one flies directly above an active fire or through the smoke column itself, you find yourself moving rapidly UPwards and often with violent 'bumps' for good measure.

Add to that, whenever you have a violent updraft you will also have a downdraft (less intense but larger) nearby; a violent downdraft (like in a thunderstorm) will also have a nearby updraft. They can be very unpredictable.

Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 23):
You are probably right. But in my personal opinion - it should be more prudent to inspect the aircraft to prevent in-flight breakups instead of grounding them to preveng in-flight breakups.

The problem is that firefighting involves extensive flying in turbulence more extreme than any plane in normal service sees except in very rare occasions, and so is way beyond what the plane was certified for. Add to that that planes used in firefighting are usually old to start with, and you have a very difficult situation. A number of years ago there was an AD put out on Piper Cherokees after one had the main spar break in flight, which required inspection of the main spar after 8,000 hours of flight. This was expensive, because it involved removing the wings to perform, and so it severely impacted the value of Cherokees. After a few years and many, many inspections without finding a crack it was finally decided that since the accident plane had spent its entire life surveying pipelines, which was done at low altitude and usually in turbulence, that this was an unusual event and did not pose a danger for the rest of the fleet. The situation for firefighting aircraft is even more severe, and so the authorities are being extremely careful in what planes they allow to do it. Since there were several disasters recently involving structural failure of firefighting aircraft this caution is certainly warranted.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
cpsarras
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:08 pm

One thing I never understood is why hasn't the fire-fighting authorities/agencies invested in the excellent Canadair or Beriev firebomber planes. These are proven planes, and even before I moved here from Greece 25 years ago, we were using the CL-215 back then with excellent results.

One would think that in the Lake Tahoe fire for example, with the lake next to it, these planes would have made fodder of the fire quite quickly.

There has to be some reason, and cost cannot be it. Smaller countries can afford those planes. What is it, job security or national pride???

Christos
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dl021
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:40 pm

Quoting FATFlyer (Thread starter):
The DC-10 fire tanker made an emergency landing yesterday at Victorville after encountering turbulence fighting a fire. The aircraft struck tree tops when it lost some altitude.

Wow. Incredible. I did not know they were going to operate that airplane THAT low to the ground....I was under the impression that they were going to drop from higher with bigger loads and let the smaller craft (Neptunes, etc) do the precision drops.

Quoting Threepoint (Reply 3):
I will suggest that any recovery after descending to the point where metal meets wood may be due more to fortune than skill.

Better lucky than good.
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aeroman444
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:47 pm

Omega Air owns the Dc-10 Tankers
 
cedarjet
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:00 am

Quoting 6YJJK (Reply 9):
That'd be just like 'em - let thousands of trees burn because somebody broke one. That, and the carbon emissions from such an old and inefficient plane (hell, any plane), which are going to be sooooo much greater than the carbon emissions from a forest fire!

Grow up. Why do you think we are having so many fires these days?
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Lemurs
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:21 am

Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 20):
From the article posted by thread starter:

It has not yet been certified by the U.S. Forest Service, so on Forest Service lands, such as the site of the Angora Fire at Lake Tahoe, it is not authorized to fight fires.

Isn't that great. Red tape keeps this aircraft on the ground while hundreds of homes burn in Tahoe. WTF.

One thing to keep in mind is that they want to make sure these planes are safe to operate for extended periods of time in intensely dangerous situations. Needless to say, the idea of a jet breaking up and dumping tons JET-A on a wild fire (or God-forbid a forward fire crew on the ground) is nothing to mock. These are not new axes or oxygen tanks we're talking about here, where a few easy tests can confirm they'll do the job. They can do tremendous good, but if they end up not being safe, they'll be more disasterous than helpful.
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shane
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:23 am

Quoting Khobar (Reply 6):
Funny thing, in this wacky world we live in today, I was expecting the DC-10 to have been grounded following complaints and protests from environmentalists upset about the damaged trees.

The "wacky" thing would be to NOT be an environmentalist knowing what we know now in this day & age.
 
spacecadet
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:49 am

Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 20):
Isn't that great. Red tape keeps this aircraft on the ground while hundreds of homes burn in Tahoe. WTF.

I'm pretty sure it's not red tape that's keeping it on the ground, it's structural damage due to hitting trees while fighting a fire that's keeping it on the ground. Something which this "red tape" you speak of is designed to prevent.

The DC-10 was never designed for this kind of low-altitude, high-stress work. The certification process should be long and difficult.

Or do you care more about your house in Tahoe than the firefighters on board this plane?
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Flighty
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Thu Jun 28, 2007 2:07 am

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 37):
I'm pretty sure it's not red tape that's keeping it on the ground, it's structural damage due to hitting trees while fighting a fire that's keeping it on the ground. Something which this "red tape" you speak of is designed to prevent.

The DC-10 was never designed for this kind of low-altitude, high-stress work. The certification process should be long and difficult.

Yeah, definitely. The DC-10 is strong, we can assume. Even this incident probably makes the DC-10 designers (if they are still alive) swell with pride. But the mission requires careful inspections of the jet on a regular basis, just to be sure.

Can they certify the D10 firefighter as a new type, well... I'm not sure the FAA has standards for what a firebomber should be able to handle. If so, the D10 may already meet it.
 
wjcandee
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Thu Jun 28, 2007 2:44 am

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 37):
The DC-10 was never designed for this kind of low-altitude, high-stress work.

At least with the Evergreen 747 Supertanker, the "work" it will do is entirely within its normal flight envelope. It makes its passes straight and level, as if configured for landing. There is no "dive bombing" in the Supertanker, unlike what was being done to the twice-as-old propeller P3s. The missions and mission profiles are totally different.

http://www.evergreen-eagle.com/supertanker/safety.html

Note a few more things: pressurized aircraft, autopilot, simulator training for mission formatted for Part 121,

[Edited 2007-06-27 19:47:14]
 
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Thu Jun 28, 2007 2:50 am

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 39):
At least with the Evergreen 747 Supertanker, the "work" it will do is entirely within its normal flight envelope. It makes its passes straight and level, as if configured for landing.

It's not the maneuvering that's hard on the plane it's flying at low level (denser air) and in extreme turbulence. The airframe was never designed for this kind of service, and it will age much, much faster than in any other service.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
MCIGuy
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:00 am

After seeing that C-130 crash and now this, I have to wonder if a fully FBW aircraft wouldn't be better suited to this role. One with it's own code for flying treetop and suddenly losing weight.
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NIKV69
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:02 am

If I remember correctly its orange and white. I saw it at Victorville but a pic was impossible as it was wedged between 2 buildings. Very interesting!
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Curiousflyer
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:03 am

Quoting Cpsarras (Reply 31):
One thing I never understood is why hasn't the fire-fighting authorities/agencies invested in the excellent Canadair or Beriev firebomber planes. These are proven planes, and even before I moved here from Greece 25 years ago, we were using the CL-215 back then with excellent results.

I agree, those Canadairs are designed for this, have been doing a great job in France for about 30 years, they are not recycled old airplanes. However it looks like noone wants to buy new ones, to create new fleets or renew old ones. It's certainly quicker to refill the water tanks in a nearby lake or ocean rather than landing, re-filling and taking off again.

I also know those Canadairs have had quite a few crashes.

So what's up with efficient firefighting?
 
6yjjk
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree

Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:35 am

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 34):
Grow up.

That's completely uncalled-for. Perhaps you might consider taking some of your own advice?

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 34):
Why do you think we are having so many fires these days?

I don't know. Would you care to enlighten us all, from your extensive knowledge of fires?

It seems that you think I don't believe human activity is responsible for climate change. Go back and read my comment again. Nowhere did I say anything of the sort. In fact, I do believe that we are at least partly, if not entirely, responsible for climate change. Regardless of whether it's humans, nature, or some mixture of both, looking after our planet better than we have has got to be a good thing.

However, in my opinion, the environmental movement doesn't do itself any favours - a few vocal crackpots almost seem to be trying to destroy its credibility from within. The ones who oppose anything just because - even if it'd help. Wind power just because it might chop up a bird or two (far less of a problem with modern slower-turning turbines, and intelligent siting makes it a smaller problem still). Nuclear just because it's nuclear (yes, the waste is a serious issue, but you can't complain about the carbon footprint - and even the founder of Greenpeace has come around to it). Public transport just because the new rail link runs through a green bit (strangely close to their house). The fact is, people aren't going to stand for living in the Stone Age, so if we're going to do anything on a large scale to fix things then there has to be compromise. Some environmentalists don't see it that way, and would rather use lawsuits, public inquiries, mad rants and out-and-out lies to obstruct things that might make a difference just because of some smaller problem. Those are the ones I was complaining about in my post.

That's my position. If you want to discuss it like adults, I'd like that - feel free to crack open a new thread in Non-Av and PM me the link. Otherwise, wind your neck in and apologise.
 
lostturttle
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:13 am

Global Emergency Response markets the IL 76, carries 100,000 to 135,000 lbs of liquid, more here..........

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cpsarras
Posts: 62
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:30 am

Quoting CuriousFlyer (Reply 43):
I also know those Canadairs have had quite a few crashes.

That's true, anytime you push the envelope accidents can happen if not careful!


The newer CL-415's have some stability enhancing devices on the wings and elevators BTW.

Christos
BHM
- To Fly Is To Be Free -
 
miamiair
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:44 am

Quoting A380US (Reply 15):
it looks like its saying one injury

The seat cushion had to be surgically removed from the F/E's ass...

All kidding aside, it takes a special quality to fly down in the weeds. There is some nasty turbulence, and the airplane doesn't respond very quickly. Usually the drop plane follows an escort, in somce cases it is is a light twin, but there has to be something else due to the differences in speed.
Molon Labe - Proud member of SMASH
 
threepoint
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:28 am

Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 20):
Isn't that great. Red tape keeps this aircraft on the ground while hundreds of homes burn in Tahoe. WTF.

I can say that whether or not that one plane was flying, those homes would still have burned. All the king's horses and his airtankers too have very limited effectiveness on fires once they have reached a critical size and or intensity. But red tape in the federal (not state) fire management domain has created a lot of unnecessary waste and inefficiency.

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 22):
Worse, the Evergreen Supertanker 747, which is bigger, IS approved by the tanker board and DOES have its FAA cert, and is grounded by further red tape from the Fire-O-Crats while those houses burn. Incident commanders keep refusing to call in these planes because they don't believe that they can do a good job, but when they are basically forced to do so, they then express wonder and amazement at the actual performance of the aircraft, as they did regarding Tanker 910 on the latest fire, before the mishap.

Check your facts. The Evergreen program has officially been placed on hold, likely never to return. The Incident Commanders to whom you refer realize that the DC-10 and 747 are not as you imply very good airtankers in the mountainous western states.

Quoting BeechNut (Reply 29):
Call me skeptical but I rather doubt the DC-10 was designed with this kind of low-level, high-stress work (usually in turbulence) in mind. When this thing develops a high sink rate...well that's a heck of a lot of momentum to overcome.

Very few airplanes were actually designed for the aerial firefighting mission: CL-215/415, Air Tractor 802, Beriev 200 for instance. All others have been converted from more conventional designs and some work very very well. However, the inertia as you mention and the lag between throttle command and corresponding thrust in a large jet are certainly factors in what a DC-10 can or can not do.

Quote:
Even C-130s, built with military missions in mind, can shed wings in firebombing...

The wing design by Lockheed is a major factor in why the C-130 is a less-than ideal firefighting aircraft.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 30):
The problem is that firefighting involves extensive flying in turbulence more extreme than any plane in normal service sees except in very rare occasions, and so is way beyond what the plane was certified for.

Nonsense. There is no flying in turbulence beyond what the plane was certified for, unless the crew aboard make a mistake. If the turbulence is that severe, the plane has no business being there and any firefighting efforts will likely be ineffective at that point anyway.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 30):
Add to that that planes used in firefighting are usually old to start with,

Old airframes filled with new or reconditioned components. There is no design life placed upon these aircraft, may of which amass no more than 300 flying hours per year.

Quoting Cpsarras (Reply 31):
There has to be some reason, and cost cannot be it. Smaller countries can afford those planes. What is it, job security or national pride???

Neither. The terrain and lack of suitable water sources coupled with the ineffectiveness of a water & foam mixture in high temps and low humidities make the waterscoopers generally ineffective in western NA. An agency can't justify a fleet on contract in that small area alone based upon the low chance that a fire may or may not occur. Smaller countries (you mentioned Greece) are relatively low in elevation and are literally surrounded by water.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 32):
I did not know they were going to operate that airplane THAT low to the ground....I was under the impression that they were going to drop from higher with bigger loads and let the smaller craft (Neptunes, etc) do the precision drops.

No matter the size of airtanker, AT-802 or DC-10, they should drop at the same height AGL. It's the pattern of the retardant when it hits the tree canopy that matters, or else the whole flight is futile.

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 39):
At least with the Evergreen 747 Supertanker, the "work" it will do is entirely within its normal flight envelope. It makes its passes straight and level, as if configured for landing. There is no "dive bombing" in the Supertanker, unlike what was being done to the twice-as-old propeller P3s. The missions and mission profiles are totally different.

They are not. And there is no more 'divebombing' with the P-3's than with any other plane. All airtankers are best used when dropping at a level or slightly descending attitude.

Quoting CuriousFlyer (Reply 43):
However it looks like noone wants to buy new ones, to create new fleets or renew old ones.

Look harder. Agencies in Europe and Canada are investing heavily in new or renewed fleets and manufacturers & operators are responding accordingly. AT-802, AT-1002, Dash 8-400, CL-415, Beriev 200, Convair 580, S-2T, etc

Quoting Miamiair (Reply 47):
There is some nasty turbulence, and the airplane doesn't respond very quickly. Usually the drop plane follows an escort, in somce cases it is is a light twin, but there has to be something else due to the differences in speed.

The 'light twin' is called a lead or birddog plane, depending on where one works and is more than capable of leading in a DC-10 at what I imagine is 140-160 KIAS on final. More conventional propeller planes drop at a speed of 125 KIAS ideally. In my opinion, all airtankers including the DC-10 should be preceded by the lead, which will have checked out the run for adverse terrain, turbulence, obstacles or descending air and warned the following tanker before they descend low-level.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
wjcandee
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RE: DC-10 Fire Bomber Grounded After Grazing Tree Tops

Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:11 am

Quoting Threepoint (Reply 48):
The Incident Commanders to whom you refer realize that the DC-10 and 747 are not as you imply very good airtankers in the mountainous western states.

You have said this before, and were then rebutted by 757DC10fltmech, who cited these quotes and articles:

"Testing with loads showed that Tanker 910 provided appropriate coverage on the ground."

From this CDF Press Release: http://www.fire.ca.gov/php/newsrelea...ownloads/2006archive/DC10Facts.pdf

"The tanker left "very impressive coverage - a very long line of retardant" - in the area in which it dropped, Estrada said."

From The Desert Sun:
http://www.thedesertsun.com/apps/pbc...060717/NEWS0806/607170326/0/TOPICS


More recently, the head of CalFire's air ops has praised the supertanker, even in spite of what now appears to be media criticism based on the airframe being "old". The Victorville paper seems to have done the most actual investigation, and has been a bit more balanced than the AP article that seems to have been making the rounds.