Seeing and hearing the DC-10 - 911 and 912 maybe both, I think I’ve seen this week, is a welcome distraction from the constant state of alert. The DC-10 in particular, and it’s role saving lives and property, I like it. They are using CBR as a stop, not sure what facilities there are there for fire retardant..
Update on the bushfire situation, as at mid-February 2020. As many have probably heard or read, quite a number of the fires are now out, thanks to decent rainfalls down the eastern seaboard, particularly those fires north of Sydney. The fires south of Canberra are not yet out. They were certainly still smoking away well last Friday evening, but not so much now with the weekend rains.
In fact, as the pattern of extreme weather goes, there has been some major flooding, more around Sydney and the coastal regions, than my own. Beach erosion is now also a concern in these areas. Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-10/ ... s/11948158
For me, away from the coastal areas, I won’t be unpacking my suitcase for a ‘grab and go’ evacuation, before the end of February. It is a welcome relief though, to not be stuck in the alertness of ‘what is going to happen next’ scenarios. There is some sense of normality returning. The air is certainly a lot cleaner, and the rain has washed away a lot of the dirt and dust.
Of course, there is much to be done. Over a billion animals lost, and many months of assessing which species may be more endangered, or even now extinct. We are being encouraged to ‘holiday at home’ as tourism has taken a big hit in regional areas. …and the talkfests ensue…
Aviation-wise, it means the fire-fighting efforts will soon be wrapping up their work here. I found two articles on the local firefighting efforts online. The accident of the C-130 has made closer people’s recognition of the unseen crew behind the efforts. The two here feature the VLAT and the ‘bumble bees’.
I did not get out to the airport to see any of the operations, but maybe next time.
The preliminary report on the C-130 crash is due in the next couple of weeks. Source: https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/ ... h-unclear/ The Californian airman flying the DC-10 waterbomber in Canberra's skies
Source: https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/ ... our-fires/
Excerpt from the article: “It is dangerous work because it's low-level flying of a big and cumbersome aircraft, "by hand", as the pilot puts it, rather than relying on computers and automatic navigation. The plane is stripped out inside to keep the weight down. There is the basic insulation and all the internal cabling and a bare floor, but not the 380 seats and overhead lockers which would be in the passenger version.
At the end of the inside of the Canberra DC-10 is the Australian flag alongside the Stars and Stripes - and a hammock for crew and the accompanying American maintenance staff to relax while waiting for the call from the sky. There are three seats in the cockpit, for the captain, co-pilot and, behind them, the flight engineer. Captaining a huge firefighting waterbomber is not routine. "When that call comes and it's time to go fight fires, it's exhilarating," he said.
From the ground, there is gratitude.” How the fire is being fought from the air
Source: https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/ ... m-the-air/
Excerpt: “Canberra airport has just been upgraded, partly because of the fear that more fire-fighting capacity would be needed. The airport and the Emergency Services Agency learnt from the bushfires last year and put in more water tanks and made those tanks more easily movable so they could fill many fire-fighting aircraft at once, so minimising delays to getting them back in the air. In difficult uneven terrains this might be the small tankers sometimes used for crop spraying. In the fire-fighting business, they are called "bumble bees" because they are black and yellow and buzz around. They can carry 2500 litres of fluid and are small and agile.”