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NSW burns but where is the 737?

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NSW burns but where is the 737?

Old 15th Dec 2019, 02:35
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Red Dirt, are you a firefighter? Our DWELP guys and girls do very nicely thank you, looking after national parks, and they work to an award. The volunteers on the other hand, are there for asset protection. In campaign fires, there are usually food and rest breaks provided however last time I seem to remember going to work at 7am and not getting back to base till 1 am.
- And then you get to fraught the tanker maybe wash hoses and ensure the vehicle is ready before you rest.
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Old 15th Dec 2019, 03:10
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Old 15th Dec 2019, 05:28
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
Red Dirt, are you a firefighter? Our DWELP guys and girls do very nicely thank you, looking after national parks, and they work to an award. The volunteers on the other hand, are there for asset protection. In campaign fires, there are usually food and rest breaks provided however last time I seem to remember going to work at 7am and not getting back to base till 1 am.
- And then you get to fraught the tanker maybe wash hoses and ensure the vehicle is ready before you rest.
Actually Sunny I’ve been both with more than 30 years service at both task and strategic ranks so I can assure you with absolute authority that those beliefs and attitudes of yours are the very things that us who sit in the “ivory castles” or “towers of power” or “colleges of knowledge” or whatever hasbeen’s like yourself like to call it are trying to stamp out because we are all here for the one job.

Last edited by red_dirt; 15th Dec 2019 at 06:26.
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Old 15th Dec 2019, 08:24
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Originally Posted by red_dirt View Post


Actually Sunny I’ve been both with more than 30 years service at both task and strategic ranks so I can assure you with absolute authority that those beliefs and attitudes of yours are the very things that us who sit in the “ivory castles” or “towers of power” or “colleges of knowledge” or whatever has been’s like yourself like to call it are trying to stamp out because we are all here for the one job.
Big Thread drift.

Perhaps you'd better update your profile then. Age 42? yet 'more than 30 years at both task and strategic ranks'

Sunny generalises, but when the $hit hits everyone get's on with it. When it's less hectic the O/T does seem to get drawn out, (Is it UC1 or UC2 yet? Big decision. Big effect on O/T.) Victorian DELWP seasonal 'project' firefighters aren't in the land of plenty - standby allowances and O/T make a big difference. A season without fire is not good for them financially.

But Sunny, and others, are right about vols still needing to do their jobs BEFORE and AFTER their shifts. I know of guys who will only do Night shifts (12 hours plus travel) so that they can still feed, water and check stock morning and night.

(And yes I've worked in some pretty big IMTs too, as well as still turning out with my brigade.)

Edit: Back on thread, as linked above the 737 is (or was) in Perth. The Vict. based Large Air Tankers have also done sorties to Perth and Tasmania in previous years. The benefit of a national approach and interstate resource sharing.
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Old 15th Dec 2019, 21:24
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Yes lets get back to the origins of the thread although the discussions on ground resources has been illuminating.

What I still don't understand is why there is so much negative opinion on large aircraft? I understand that there are limitations on their use but the divide between the rest of the World and Australia is particularly glaring. As I understand the current Australian fleet is a DC10, 2 x B737 and an RJ in NSW and a C130 and RJ in Victoria. Only one of those seven is locally owned but even that is overseas operated. Why aren't there any in the rest of the states?

A quick search of US data shows CALFIRE alone has 23 Trackers and has just obtained 7 Hercs. The total fleet of private operators in Canada and the US is over 80 including MD80s, B737, Hercs,Electras, Orions, CV580s,B747 and Baes/RJs. Coulson has just purchased 7 C130H, just the same type that the RAAF recently scrapped. Airstrike are now using Orions of the type that we recently disposed of from the RAAF.

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Old 15th Dec 2019, 21:58
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What are the turnaround resources like for big aircraft? You would need the mother of all pumps and sufficient water to reload quickly and a sealed long runway.

Helos with a bucket just need a dam or a swimming pool.
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Old 15th Dec 2019, 22:31
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Sunfish.
Calfire have fixed bases so I assume that they have installed water systems. From experience of refuelling a B747, we could load 140 tonnes in 30 minutes or less so I reckon probably at least that for a B747 water tanker as there are no filtering requirements for water. So much less time for a smaller aircraft

I've seen video of a temporary bladder system where the whole system operates on compressed air. The bladder is filled by local pumpers and a compressor coupled up for the aircraft reload.That system has been used in the US for a very long time.

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Old 15th Dec 2019, 22:34
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
What are the turnaround resources like for big aircraft? You would need the mother of all pumps and sufficient water to reload quickly and a sealed long runway.

Helos with a bucket just need a dam or a swimming pool.
This has been done to death. Right tool for the job at the right time.

As someone who flew multiple seasons as a Helitak B212/412 bombing and rappel pilot, there were times when the C130 made a huge difference as to the way things were going on certain fires (right in front of my own eyes).
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Old 16th Dec 2019, 00:25
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Why aren't there any in the rest of the states?
The States are broke.
But I am willing to overlook that if they buy these assets on a credit card.
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Old 16th Dec 2019, 05:15
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Why aren't there any in the rest of the states?
What's the point of each having their own aircraft? We borrowed a 737 yesterday. Only takes 4 hours to get over here.
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Old 16th Dec 2019, 05:17
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What are the turnaround resources like for big aircraft? You would need the mother of all pumps and sufficient water to reload quickly and a sealed long runway.
Reminds me of the minister a couple of years back who said a DC-10 wouldn't be any good because it had to it had to go all the way back to Perth (which was 15 minutes away from the fire ground).
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Old 16th Dec 2019, 10:34
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Capn.

Exactly my point. Right now NSW is turning to ashes and we are sending one of the B737s to WA?

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Old 16th Dec 2019, 12:45
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Right now NSW is turning to ashes
Depends on where the fires are. Maybe someone has made an executive decision to let the fires in inaccessible areas to burn to reduce fire load in those areas for the near future.

What's the point of each having their own aircraft? We borrowed a 737 yesterday. Only takes 4 hours to get over here.
The point is is you can hit the fire as soon as it is spotted with you own assets, you may not need interstate assets to fly four hours to a fire that is now out of control.
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Old 16th Dec 2019, 13:11
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The economical cure (manpower) is to backburn and contain fires that don’t threaten assets or people. There is not much else you can do with large fires in inaccessible terrain.
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Old 16th Dec 2019, 20:08
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
What are the turnaround resources like for big aircraft? You would need the mother of all pumps and sufficient water to reload quickly and a sealed long runway.

Helos with a bucket just need a dam or a swimming pool.
They have portable GSE assets that they bring if needed. Obviously something like a 737 or DC-10 needs a decent sized airfield to operate from - that would be a major limitation in some areas.
Several years ago I was in Colorado working on the old family house when they had the Royal Gorge fire. The Pueblo airport is about 5 miles due east of the house, while the Royal Gorge fire was about 50 miles due west of the airport, and the main runway runs east/west (8R/26L). They brought in a DC-10 along with the needed GSE and operated out of the Pueblo airport to fight the fire. They'd take off to the west and head directly to the fire - without bothering to climb much - overflying the house at very low altitude, then return to land and do it again. When I was a kid in the 1960s, United did 727 flight training out of that airport - I'd often sit out on a big dirt pile behind our house and watch them (back then we could see the airport out our back window) - but I never saw a big jet go over our house anywhere near as low as that DC-10 was. The guy doing some tile work for me had his tile saw set up in the backyard - at one point he came in and said he knew how many rivets there were on the bottom of a DC-10 wing because he'd counted them during the last pass .
Anyway, I don't know their ideal turn time, but it couldn't be very long - the DC-10 was going over the house at about a 40 minute interval .
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 03:40
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Originally Posted by 601
The point is is you can hit the fire as soon as it is spotted with you own assets, you may not need interstate assets to fly four hours to a fire that is now out of control.
True, but then how many fires get so big and threatening, within 4 hours of starting, that they require a VLAT, especially after it would have already been attacked by the local bugsmashers and probably choppers?
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 10:12
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Judging by the current RFS fire map I could nominate quite a few???

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Old 17th Dec 2019, 11:41
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Originally Posted by Capn Bloggs View Post
True, but then how many fires get so big and threatening, within 4 hours of starting, that they require a VLAT, especially after it would have already been attacked by the local bugsmashers and probably choppers?
I don’t know how many but there was one fire a couple of weeks ago out of Arimdale in NSW that started after a car was torched (usual story: kids steal it get chase by NSW Police Highway Patrol, drive dangerously enough so the pursuit is called off, take it into the bush and torch it). The satellite feed the RFS use identified a hot spot, helio sent to investigate, identifies a car fire, 4 helitaks go in, multiple ground crews and then the VLAT came in with retardant. Couldn’t get it out, it burnt uncontrolled for days. This all happened in about 2 hours.
Police did arrest the 3 suspects and took them to safety.

Having worked in a number of the RFS Fire Control Centres over the past month I do find the comments about the professional RFS employees not wanting the fires out because they get overtime extraordinary. Certainly wasn’t the feeling I had. I suspect these sorts of comments are unfounded in any fact and are an exaggeration to the point of simply being wrong.
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