rampart
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ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:31 am

Hi all
I've been watching coverage of a new forest fire that's threatening my home-town in Colorado. Local news coverage has been great, and appreciated. They've shown remarkable footage of live firebombing by helicopter, a cropduster, and this plane. Can anyone help me identify it, and its operator. I'm guessing it's a Convair of some sort, but don't know how to tell the differences between the models. Or it could be a YS-11? I think it says "ConAir" on the fuselage.

Apologies for the quality of the image. I took a screen shot from the live internet feed from the local TV station, KOAA-TV. (http://www1.koaa.com/pages/live-stream-test-2/ )

Appreciate your input.

-Rampart
(the fire is burning the mountains from which I took my Anet name)

 
Spacepope
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:50 am

It's a CV-580. We've had 4 over COS today with our fire, tankers 42, 44, 471 and 474. The first two are from Conair, the second are from Saskatchewan.

Tanker 45 should be C-FEKF
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32145601@N05/7396748610


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Brodie Winkler - Hornet Hunter



Edit: correction, that makes it 5. They're flying out of the Air Force Academy.

[Edited 2012-06-24 17:52:52]
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B6JFKH81
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:23 am

Is this beauty going to be helping?


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Photo © Ryotaro Shinozaki

"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
 
Spacepope
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:26 am

Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 2):
Is this beauty going to be helping?

Not a chance in hell.

The C-130s from Peterson and Cheyenne will be starting tomorrow though.
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N766UA
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:29 am

It's a Convair 580 from the Canadian "Conair." At least one other, C-FFKF, is also in Colorado and last seen spending the night at BJC.

[Edited 2012-06-24 20:31:22]
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ykaops
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:37 am

Wonder if they'll bring in this bad boy....

The Mighty Hawaii Mars water bomber
 
studedave
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:54 am

You'll find more then a few pictures of ConAir (and others) here~

http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=46080




StudeDave
Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
 
rampart
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:07 am

Quoting N766UA (Reply 4):
It's a Convair 580 from the Canadian "Conair
Quoting Spacepope (Reply 1):
It's a CV-580.

Thanks!

I can see the larger/longer turboprop engines (with 4-blade props) make them recognizable over the 240/340/440 piston engines. Is there an easy way to recognize the difference between a 580, 600, or 640?

Quoting ykaops (Reply 5):
Wonder if they'll bring in this bad boy....

I can't imagine a body of water in Colorado large enough to allow it to take off!

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 3):
Is this beauty going to be helping?
Not a chance in hell.

I assume because of the confined terrain?

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 3):

The C-130s from Peterson and Cheyenne will be starting tomorrow though.

By Cheyenne, do you mean the ANG base at CYS?
Interesting that the current fire aerial support is based out of that AFA airfield (KAFF). Helps with proximity. But I've never seen anything bigger than a Twin Otter fly out of it; the runways are less than 4500' and no more than 75' wide.

-Rampart
 
Spacepope
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:16 pm

Quoting rampart (Reply 7):
I assume because of the confined terrain?

No, because the USFS isn't using that anymore. Last I saw it was parked without engines at MZJ

Quoting rampart (Reply 7):
By Cheyenne, do you mean the ANG base at CYS?

Yep, those are the guys. It's sad it's already taken 48 hours for DoD clearance.

I'm about 4 mikes south of KAFF, and I was getting quite a show yesterday afternoon, with the lead plan (Looked like a queen air) leading the tankers in one after another. There was also several Air Tractor SEATs, a Kmax, and an aerocommander which looks like it was just monitoring from a much higher altitude than the tankers.
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rampart
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:52 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 8):
I was getting quite a show yesterday afternoon,

No kidding! Must have been something to see. For a while, KOAA was showing numerous minutes of air-to-air footage, taken from one of the observer planes or helicopters, I presume. The CV-580 wheeling around then dropping slurry, the huge S-64 maneuvering, all amazing to watch. I saw some of this up close when I was involved with the Hayman fire 10 years ago. The dangers are sobering.

-Rampart
 
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ADent
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:04 pm

Quoting rampart (Reply 7):
I can't imagine a body of water in Colorado large enough to allow it to take off!

Not natural. But there are several large reservoirs that would be big enough - well over a mile long. How much space do they need?

Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 2):
Is this beauty going to be helping?

She isn't on the USFS approved fire-tanker list. So unless somebody else hires here (say the state), she isn't going to help.
 
rampart
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:22 pm

Quoting ADent (Reply 10):
Not natural. But there are several large reservoirs that would be big enough - well over a mile long. How much space do they need?

Yes, but some distance away from the fire, and I was wondering how shallow these might be. Maybe Eleven Mile Resrvoir if taking off in the right direction. Have no idea how much lake a fully laden Mars would need to take off. I've seen videos, seems to be a lumbering beast. Awesome, though!
 
FX1816
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:22 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 8):
Quoting rampart (Reply 7):I assume because of the confined terrain?
No, because the USFS isn't using that anymore. Last I saw it was parked without engines at MZJ

Actually that photo is of 947 which was the original one, 979 is the second one and it is parked at MZJ.

FX1816
 
spiritair97
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:22 am

Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 2):
Is this beauty going to be helping?


View Large View Medium

Photo © Ryotaro Shinozaki




Isn't that beauty retired?
 
Spacepope
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:58 am

Quoting rampart (Reply 11):
Maybe Eleven Mile Resrvoir if taking off in the right direction. Have no idea how much lake a fully laden Mars would need to take off. I've seen videos, seems to be a lumbering beast. Awesome, though!

Eleven Mile is at 8575 feet. A Mars would have to rely on the proverbial curvature of the earth operating from there.
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rampart
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:29 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 8):

I'm about 4 mikes south of KAFF, and I was getting quite a show yesterday afternoon

Everyone on A.net, Spacepope's note above from a few days ago indicates that he is in the evacuation area on the northwestern quarter of Colorado Springs, the fire took a terrible turn for the worse yesterday and started intruding on, and burning, residential areas. I appreciate his information, and hope everyone here on A.net can wish him well.

The Air Force Academy has also started mandatory evacuations; and the smoke is awful. I'm assuming the fire bombing staging will be moving from AFF, on Academy property, to elsewhere. That could be Fort Carson (FCS) or COS, not sure. I've not heard whether regular airline operations at COS have been impacted because of visibility (or fire fighting operations).

-Rampart
 
threepoint
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:33 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 1):
Edit: correction, that makes it 5. They're flying out of the Air Force Academy.

No they're not. Three Convair 580s from BC are based at Rocky Mountain Metro and the two 580s from Saskatchewan are based in Grand Junction. They reload retardant for the Waldo fire (just west of Colorado Springs) at Metro and in Pueblo.

Quoting rampart (Reply 7):
I assume because of the confined terrain?

No, even if the 747 were operational, it is not a suitable airtanker platform and the pressurized retardant-delivery system (much like the MAFFS units aboard the C-130s) are notorious for giving poor and ineffective coverage levels on the ground.

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 8):
the lead plan (Looked like a queen air) leading the tankers in one after another.

The USFS uses King Air 90s as lead plane platforms. The groups from BC and Saskatchewan use Rockwell Turbo Commander 690s as the birddog (same as the lead plane).

Quoting rampart (Reply 9):
dropping slurry

Dropping retardant. The word 'slurry' fell out of favour sometime in the 1940s.

Quoting ADent (Reply 10):
But there are several large reservoirs that would be big enough - well over a mile long. How much space do they need?

Allow 5000' linear feet at sea level. A Mars with operational fuel will start scooping approx 4600 US galons, and as the fuel burns off, will increase its payload top approx 5600 US gallons. It has a 70000 USG capacity in theory, but that's without fuel and a few helium balloons affixed to the wings to provide added lift.

Quoting rampart (Reply 11):
Have no idea how much lake a fully laden Mars would need to take off. I've seen videos, seems to be a lumbering beast.

It is at sea level, never mind the extreme density altitudes we're seeing in Colorado at over 5500' valley bottom elevation and temps in the upper 30s Celsius.
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threepoint
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:35 pm

Quoting rampart (Thread starter):
Can anyone help me identify it, and its operator.

I can identify the plane, the operator, the names of the pilots and the flavour of ice cream they bought the base staff as a price for appearing live on the news.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
BA
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:10 pm

Why don't they charter some Beriev BE-200s? They can scoop water from Colorado's many reservoirs.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
threepoint
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:05 am

Quoting BA (Reply 18):
Why don't they charter some Beriev BE-200s? They can scoop water from Colorado's many reservoirs.

1. The Beriev doesn't have a certificate of airworthiness in North America. It can not fly for hire.
2. The performance of the Beriev (or any other water scooper) would be severely degraded in the high elevation/high temps of Colorado at the moment. There are few suitable (long enough) water reservoirs near the High Park, Waldo or Boulder fires.
3. A water or water/foam mix would be next to useless in the single-digit relative humidities in the state now. The effectiveness of a suppressant would be measured in a couple of minutes at best; even 3 or 4 airplanes couldn't possibly perform quick enough turnaround times to make any headway.
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threepoint
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:14 am

Quoting ykaops (Reply 5):
Wonder if they'll bring in this bad boy....
The Mighty Hawaii Mars water bomber

That's actually the Phillippine Mars. The Hawaii Mars has bottom-mounted doors, not side-dumping.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
BA
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:57 am

Quoting threepoint (Reply 19):
1. The Beriev doesn't have a certificate of airworthiness in North America. It can not fly for hire.

Given the nature of this emergency, I am sure the FAA would provide an exemption if this unique aircraft was deemed a valuable asset in putting out these fires.

Looks like certification may be coming anyway:
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...s-bid-for-us-certification-373254/

Quoting threepoint (Reply 19):
2. The performance of the Beriev (or any other water scooper) would be severely degraded in the high elevation/high temps of Colorado at the moment. There are few suitable (long enough) water reservoirs near the High Park, Waldo or Boulder fires.

The BE-200 has a high aspect ratio high lift wing making it ideal for hot and high environments. There are numerous videos online that shows its impressive take off performance.

As for reservoirs, right next to the High Park fire is Horsetooth Reservoir which is long making it ideal for scooping water.

Quoting threepoint (Reply 19):
3. A water or water/foam mix would be next to useless in the single-digit relative humidities in the state now. The effectiveness of a suppressant would be measured in a couple of minutes at best; even 3 or 4 airplanes couldn't possibly perform quick enough turnaround times to make any headway.

The BE-200 has tanks to carry chemical retardants.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
threepoint
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:06 am

Quoting BA (Reply 21):
Given the nature of this emergency, I am sure the FAA would provide an exemption if this unique aircraft was deemed a valuable asset in putting out these fires.

Nonsense. They wouldn't. And the USFS is evidently not desperate for more aircraft; there are plenty available for export in North America that haven't been hired.

Quoting BA (Reply 21):
As for reservoirs, right next to the High Park fire is Horsetooth Reservoir which is long making it ideal for scooping water.

I thought about mentioning the Horsetooth but didn't. On purpose. It may have been suitable for one fire at one instance in time but as I mentioned, the product the Beriev or any other scooper would carry (water & foam) would have had next to no effect on the HIgh Park fire. Personally, i would have imported and used an amphib fleet of 4 x CL-215Ts or 6 x AT-802s..either option would outperform a pair of BE-200s.

Quoting BA (Reply 21):
The BE-200 has tanks to carry chemical retardants.

But so do all the other airtankers, all of which are certified and legal to fly commercially in the United States.

The answer to the Colorado fires, or any other fire bust scenario, isn't "more and/or bigger airplanes". With fire behaviour as witnessed in the state the past couple of weeks, all the airtankers on the planet would not have put out or appreciably slowed the fires when at their most aggressive. There are a number of systemic flaws in the way aerial firefighting resources are employed and managed in the US. The answers to many of the long-standing problems lie in the models used in other jurisdictions, but the political will & desire to look elsewhere for improvements does not yet exist. Perhaps it's a pride thing. The tug of war between competing land managers makes seamless integration of aircraft near-impossible until they get together and decide to simplify the existing system. In the meantime, the US and fire managers rely on help from other countries and cringe as governors bow to public pressure and call up comically inefficient and grotesquely expensive resources (I'm talkin' to you C-130) while they ponder what else to do. The recent announcement of so-called next generation (read: jet-powered) airtankers will not solve the problem. The issue at hand is not the type of airplanes they're using - with some exceptions - but rather the manner in which they assign & manage these resources strategically on a federal level and tactically once overhead the fire.
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woodsboy
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:27 am

The USFS decided a few years ago to discontinue using the older piston engined tankers after those accidents, most notably the NOT piston engined Herc accident in California and the Privateer accident in Colorado. They were very fast in suspending the use of most privately available airplanes with absolutely no plan on how to take up that slack. Many of those now unused aircraft were in perfectly flyable condition and as we all know, if properly maintained even old planes are safe. Now the USFS is limited to calling in the Canadians or waiting till the States find a situation serious enough to ante up the $$ for the Evergreen 747 or the DC-10 tanker. Up here in Alaska we have used the Airspray Orions, the Evergreen tanker on occassion and routinely have the Candian CL-215s and 415s from Environment Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan. Gone are the days when we saw the Privateer but ConAir's DC-6 has been used fairly recently and thier CV 580s are here every summer. If the USFS thinks there is a suitable next generation of jet aircraft that can take on the role previously filled by DC-6s, DC-4s, Neptunes, CV-580s and the like, they are dreaming! Unless they have a secret plan to get some purpose designed and built Beriev BE-200s online in the next few years they are going to find themselves fighting future fires with AgCats carrying 5 gallon jugs of water.
 
BA
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:51 am

Quoting threepoint (Reply 22):
Nonsense. They wouldn't. And the USAF Argentina">FS is evidently not desperate for more aircraft; there are plenty available for export in North America that haven't been hired.

The U.S. Forest Service has a shortage of aerial tankers that currently stands at 11 aircraft, down from 44 in 2002. If they didn't have a shortage, they would not have just called in four USAF C-130s to help combat the fires:

http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_20937378

That said, my earlier point is that if the BE-200 is deemed more capable at fighting fires than USAF C-130s, and the case was made to the FAA, they could grant a temporary exemption to allow them to be hired to fight these fires.

The BE-200 has peaked the interest of the USAF Argentina">FS, or else they would not have sent a team last month to Russia to assess its capabilities:

http://fireplanes.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/be-200-usfs-testing-update/

Russia's BE-200s have been hired by Greece, Israel, Indonesia and Portugal to fight some very big wildfires over the past couple years. That to me is a testament to the aircraft's capabilities.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
threepoint
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:27 am

Quoting woodsboy (Reply 23):
if properly maintained even old planes are safe.

Yes. Too many people judge airplanes by age in years and not component, airframe or cycle life. There is a huge difference: you can have an airplane built 50 years ago in far better shape than a well-used 5 year old airplane.

Quoting woodsboy (Reply 23):
waiting till the States find a situation serious enough to ante up the $$ for the Evergreen 747 or the DC-10 tanker.

Therein lies the problem (notwithstanding the fact the 747 is a dead program): they wait until fores are severe and then call in the large airplanes. Hire the DC10 when fire activity has reached a defined, moderate-to-busy threshold and then when it's on contract, fly the damn thing. It's crazy the way they use it: paying its daily availability and then not flying it because it's 'too expensive'. On short dispatches (viously filled by DC-6s, DC-4s, Neptunes, CV-580s and the like, they are dreaming! [/quote]
Well sure they can; they will just be more expensive and less efficient than the turboprop aircraft. The day of piston aircraft (the Douglas & Lockheed products you mentioned) are indeed over. But there's no reason the L-188, CV580, Q400 and other medium-to-large turboprops can't serve well into the future. But no matter how new, shiny and awesome the platform, if it isn't well-managed, it's a lost effort from the start. And there's nothing to suggest that the arrival of new jet airplanes will improve the sad state of fixed-wing aerial fire suppression in the Lower 48.

Quoting BA (Reply 24):
The U.S. Forest Service has a shortage of aerial tankers that currently stands at 11 aircraft, down from 44 in 2002. If they didn't have a shortage, they would not have just called in four USAF C-130s to help combat the fires:

The federal large airtanker fleet stands at 9 aircraft, not 11. They lost 2 airtankers on June 3rd of this year.
The C-130s were called in by a formal request by the CO state governor after the Waldo fire started west of Colorado Springs. The USFS does not want to use them, but is being politically influenced from far above. The opportunity for at least 9 more large airtankers from Canada exists; there are several provinces with wet summers who have aircraft available for export. The USFS has decided for now they will not import them (stopping at five Canadian aircraft for now).

Quoting BA (Reply 24):
they could grant a temporary exemption

Sure they could. But they won't.

Quoting BA (Reply 24):
That to me is a testament to the aircraft's capabilities.

Well, no...interest or use by a few governments does not speak to any aircraft's capabilities. But listen: nobody's denying the Beriev's suitability. As mentioned, the problems lie not with the aircraft type (pressurized retardant tanks excluded), but with the manner in which they're used.
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Spacepope
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:56 pm

Quoting rampart (Reply 15):
Everyone on A.net, Spacepope's note above from a few days ago indicates that he is in the evacuation area on the northwestern quarter of Colorado Springs, the fire took a terrible turn for the worse yesterday and started intruding on, and burning, residential areas. I appreciate his information, and hope everyone here on A.net can wish him well.

Thanks for the note.

We evacuated all the way to Kansas CIty yesterday. I'm not sure we still have a house. We're all safe.

The MAFFS C-130s and Skycranes were pounding the canyon behind the ridge behind the house all morning and into the afternoon. Later the even brought in the CV580s. Everything seemed to be happening much closer than usual. I was working from home since it's now a 3 hour commute to work in Woodland Park nowadays.

Just before 2:00 we were put into pre-evacuation. I stopped work, cleaned up, and started packing. The wife left work early too and got home soon after.

We were listening to the 4pm fire briefing when it was interrupted with "Mandatory evac, get out now!!". Started chucking the essentials into the car then anything else that could fit.

A thunderstorm to the west was shooting out a downdraft that sent winds from pretty calm to 65mph straight into our neighborhood. It was like hell on earth. Like driving through a smoky pumpkin, visibility was almost nil. Traffic was a nightmare. Took us 40 minutes to get to the other side of the interstate. We stayed on the south side of town that night, and watched houses around our neighborhood burn. We decided to head further east to KC to get away, and more importantly get out of the way.

Now we wait.
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rampart
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:35 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 26):
We were listening to the 4pm fire briefing when it was interrupted with "Mandatory evac, get out now!!". Started chucking the essentials into the car then anything else that could fit.

Thanks for checking in. Glad you are safe in KC, I can only hope your home is OK. From what I could see, there was some hit an miss, so perhaps some hope there for your neighborhood and house.

Harrowing in the extreme. Good lord, I can't imagine what it was like. I've been through tornado winds, floods, nerve-wracking to be sure, but I think a firestorm would do me in. Probably the scariest thing I can think of.

I was glued to the internet live feed, my brother was shooting me cell phone pictures as he was coming in on I-25 as it was happening. I lived there 22 years (and been in close contact for another 25) and never saw anything like that so close to the city. I know the hazard is there, just as in Southern California, but Colorado Springs managed to avoid it for, well, decades.

Hope it ends soon, hope you can get back soon. Again, thanks for the news.

-Rampart
 
tp1040
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:26 pm

Hope all are safe.

From the linked story, the C-130's cost about 6600 and hour to fly. I wonder hour much money it costs per hour to have numerous governmental agencies fight about politics of fire fighting.
 
rampart
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:46 pm

Quoting tp1040 (Reply 28):
From the linked story, the C-130's cost about 6600 and hour to fly. I wonder hour much money it costs per hour to have numerous governmental agencies fight about politics of fire fighting.

This is an issue that needs attention immediately. 10 years ago it needed attention. Although on this fire, there appears to be good cooperation between Forest Service and local fire protection. It's the outside resources that have the impression -- not sure if it's accurate -- of being slow.
 
N766UA
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:50 pm

Quoting BA (Reply 21):
As for reservoirs, right next to the High Park fire is Horsetooth Reservoir which is long making it ideal for scooping water.

That photo doesn't even do it justice. That's a long stretch of water.
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spiritair97
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:32 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 26):
Thanks for the note.

We evacuated all the way to Kansas CIty yesterday. I'm not sure we still have a house. We're all safe.

The MAFFS C-130s and Skycranes were pounding the canyon behind the ridge behind the house all morning and into the afternoon. Later the even brought in the CV580s. Everything seemed to be happening much closer than usual. I was working from home since it's now a 3 hour commute to work in Woodland Park nowadays.

Just before 2:00 we were put into pre-evacuation. I stopped work, cleaned up, and started packing. The wife left work early too and got home soon after.

We were listening to the 4pm fire briefing when it was interrupted with "Mandatory evac, get out now!!". Started chucking the essentials into the car then anything else that could fit.

A thunderstorm to the west was shooting out a downdraft that sent winds from pretty calm to 65mph straight into our neighborhood. It was like hell on earth. Like driving through a smoky pumpkin, visibility was almost nil. Traffic was a nightmare. Took us 40 minutes to get to the other side of the interstate. We stayed on the south side of town that night, and watched houses around our neighborhood burn. We decided to head further east to KC to get away, and more importantly get out of the way.

Now we wait.

Oh God. Hope you and your family stay safe and, as already stated, hope your home does, too. I'll be keeping you and everybody out there in my prayers.
 
ATCGOD
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:06 pm

Quoting woodsboy (Reply 23):
Now the USFS is limited to calling in the Canadians or waiting till the States find a situation serious enough to ante up the $$ for the Evergreen 747 or the DC-10 tanker.

The DC-10 was sitting in Boise as of a few days ago.
 
threepoint
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:24 am

Quoting tp1040 (Reply 28):

From the linked story, the C-130's cost about 6600 and hour to fly. I wonder hour much money it costs per hour to have numerous governmental agencies fight about politics of fire fighting.

The flying hours are reasonable (although a private contractor can operate a similar-capacity airtanker for half the amount). Where the costs become ludicrous is in the daily availability charges. The military brings up to 40 personnel and a virtual circus to manage two airplanes. It is a grossly inefficient and enormously expensive resource and at the end of the day, it doesn't not deliver retardant in an acceptable concentration on the ground to do much good. Also, what most don't realize that despite the airplanes being based a few minutes' flight time away from the fire, the retardant delivery system requires over 20 minutes to pressurise with engines at high idle or in flight. So they end up flying or idling for a while until the pressure is up before arriving at the fire. Over the course of a day, that adds up to a lot of running ($$$) time and no product being any closer to where it may be needed. Despite the shortcomings of the C-130 system, they have been brought on by governor's decree and politics trump operational realities in such times. People want or need to see airplanes flying overhead at such times, regardless if they are actually achieving some positive results.

Quoting atcgod (Reply 32):
The DC-10 was sitting in Boise as of a few days ago.

Yes, it's still there. I think that many people believe that airplanes are the panacea of firefighting. No aircraft extinguish fires and when the weather, fuel and topography conspire to result in extreme fire behaviour that roars down into neighbourhoods, there's precious little except for spot protection that airplanes can do. Even then, horizontally-directed embers and high radiant heat exposure thwart the best-laid lines of retardant or water. It's a continuous experiment that almost always ends up with the same result.

One might do well to ask if a mechanical line was constructed from the lines of retardant on the north and east flanks of the fire that were laid down to support existing dirt roads and other fire breaks. Did the crews burn off from the lines? Or did the fire simply spot over them? Sometimes, the best firefighters are soundly beaten by mother nature, and no amount of people, aircraft or good wishes can stop a natural phenomenon from doing its will. The heavy concentration of fuel, the unforgiving terrain and the inability to safely place ground firefighters adjacent to that section of fire all contributed to what happened when the winds picked up.

Spacepope, I have no idea where your house is or its status. I know I personally tried to protect as many houses as possible in the Cascade area and above the Garden of the Gods. I was frustrated to see homes burn throughout the past couple weeks here in CO, despite our best efforts near High Park, Estes Park, Colorado Springs and Boulder. I sincerely hope yours remains undamaged.
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cbphoto
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:45 am

Quoting threepoint (Reply 25):
The federal large airtanker fleet stands at 9 aircraft, not 11. They lost 2 airtankers on June 3rd of this year.

I seriously think the USFS needs to address the issue of the heavy tanker program. Their was another thread that we discussed this in depth, but as hot/less humid conditions continue to grip a large part of the US season after season, the fires get worse and worse. 9 (realistic) tankers on the contract is ridiculous, considering the amount the nation had just a few years ago! Someone needs to look into reinvesting in the tanker business, even if it means picking up Aero Unions assets and starting over! It's amazing that our friends up north can operate and maintain a relatively older fleet of tankers just fine, but here in the US all we have essentially is a handful of P2s to cover the entire nation!
ETOPS: Engines Turning or Passengers Swimming
 
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:17 pm

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 34):
I seriously think the USFS needs to address the issue of the heavy tanker program.

I think everyone in the country agrees with the statement.

Unfortunately the position we are in today is due to a decade of the USFS addressing the issues of the heavy tanker program.
 
ak
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:29 pm

Quoting threepoint (Reply 16):
Quoting rampart (Reply 9):
dropping slurry

Dropping retardant. The word 'slurry' fell out of favour sometime in the 1940s.


So are we to call them "Retardant Applicators" now?  Yeah sure

[Edited 2012-06-29 10:31:23]
" I am serious...and don't call me Shirley!
 
threepoint
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:51 pm

Quoting ak (Reply 36):
So are we to call them "Retardant Applicators" now?

You can be facetious I guess - go for it. But it's not slurry, and they're not bombers. Just sayin'.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
rampart
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:13 am

Quoting threepoint (Reply 37):
You can be facetious I guess - go for it. But it's not slurry, and they're not bombers. Just sayin'.

We understand the accurate terminology used by professionals, thanks. But, there is also common usage by the non-professionals that, while not accurate, isn't wrong. It's the same thing as the lame argument that pops up here about "tarmac". We're all guilty of throwing around terminology outside of our fields. Not the end of the world.

-Rampart
 
alasizon
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:22 am

I do know that the USFS is requesting, unofficially on a mutual aid basis, more resources from agencies within the US.

VCFD (Ventura County Fire Department), my local CA fire department is sending additional resources (we have some equipment there now but I am unsure of if they are air or ground, I know we are sending air this time).

Overall though, I will agree that the politics prevent the issue from being handled as well as it could be.
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threepoint
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:53 am

Quoting rampart (Reply 38):
But, there is also common usage by the non-professionals that, while not accurate, isn't wrong.

Except, as I said, it is wrong. A slurry is a powdered solid in a liquid carrier. The retardant in use today (save for some older stocks in certain places) is a liquid concentrate. Not the end of the world, I agree. But if one offers a helpful correction, one doesn't expect an adult Anet member to post one of those ridiculous 'roll eyes' icons in response.

In more serious news today, one of the military C-130J Hercules (labeled #7) tasked to fight wildfire (in South Dakota) crashed on the fire this afternoon. There are reported fatalities and some survivors.
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cbphoto
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:07 am

Quoting threepoint (Reply 40):
In more serious news today, one of the military C-130J Hercules (labeled #7) tasked to fight wildfire (in South Dakota) crashed on the fire this afternoon. There are reported fatalities and some survivors.

Guessing it's a Guard C130 that was called into service? Either way, it's sad and shows just how inherently dangerous the tanker operation is!
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cbphoto
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:40 pm

It looks like the USAF has grounded all of their C-130 Air Tankers in response to the crash that occurred in SD! Still more challenges that face the entire heavy tanker fleet!
ETOPS: Engines Turning or Passengers Swimming
 
widebody
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:00 pm

http://fireplanes.wordpress.com/2012...tement-concerning-the-supertanker/

Evergreen statement on supertanker use or lack thereof. Going on the offensive it seems.
 
threepoint
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:48 pm

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 42):
Still more challenges that face the entire heavy tanker fleet!

I wish they would listen to an outside opinion. There are quick ways to resolve the challenges with a minimum of cost. I do not foresee any meaningful changes on the horizon, even with the 'next-gen' airtankers they are contracting. The USFS seem to be decent firefighters. But they're God-awful aircraft managers.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
Spacepope
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:47 am

Quoting spiritair97 (Reply 31):
Oh God. Hope you and your family stay safe and, as already stated, hope your home does, too. I'll be keeping you and everybody out there in my prayers.

Finally was able to return home today. The house made it. Everyone is safe. I was sure for a few days it was toast, but it seems it burned to within three blocks of my place.

All the spiderwebs are black.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
spiritair97
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:15 am

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 45):
Finally was able to return home today. The house made it. Everyone is safe. I was sure for a few days it was toast, but it seems it burned to within three blocks of my place.All the spiderwebs are black.

Thank God for that. Glad you all are safe and hope that recovery around you isn't too bad.
 
rampart
Topic Author
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RE: ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire

Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:23 am

Quoting spiritair97 (Reply 46):
Quoting Spacepope (Reply 45):Finally was able to return home today. The house made it. Everyone is safe. I was sure for a few days it was toast, but it seems it burned to within three blocks of my place.All the spiderwebs are black.
Thank God for that. Glad you all are safe and hope that recovery around you isn't too bad.

Yes, glad your home survived! Best wishes for your neighbors.

-Rampart

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