The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

RAAF Richmond & firefighting

Old 11th Sep 2013, 10:31
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Aus
Posts: 205
RAAF Richmond & firefighting

The last few days have seen extreme fires in western Sydney destroy at least one home & injury fire fighters. Ground based fire crews battle to keep the dangers at bay and overhead light aircraft & helicopters drop a comparative spit onto an inferno of destruction.

Meanwhile, just a few kilometres away, millions/ billions of dollars of serious transport aircraft remain idly grounded. C-130 aircraft are designed to carry & drop, already operate in this role outside Australia and military transport crews are perfectly skilled for this type of operation.

Why does our country make it so hard for simple, logical ideas to become reality?
Nulli Secundus is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2013, 11:21
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NSW
Posts: 210
The USAF uses the MAFFS system in the C-130 today. Why not us? It was "trialed in Victoria some years ago but not followed up on I believe. The earth is still flat for some folks Down Under....
Project Maffs/Hercules - The modular airborne fire fighting system in Victoria

Research reports - listed by theme


Research Report No.15
Author: R. Rawson, B. Rees, E. Stuckey, D. Turner, C. Wood & M. Woodman
September 1982
This report documents the Forests Commission Victoria's (FCV) use of a Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) installed in a RAAF C-130 Hercules aircraft for firebombing during the 1981/82 fire season. The MAFFS is capable of discharging 11,250 litres of retardant in either a single drop, or up to three separate drops. A more complete description of the system is attached as Appendix 1 (see PDF of Research Report No. 15 above).

Fire Research Report No. 15 [PDF File - 812.3 KB]
http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/__data/ass..._Report_15.pdf

Last edited by TBM-Legend; 11th Sep 2013 at 11:26.
TBM-Legend is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2013, 12:13
  #3 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Aus
Posts: 205
Excellent data TBM.

"The Hercules proved capable of operation in a very wide range of topographical conditions" & " .... a Hercules crewed by RAAF crews could fly effective firebombing operations......."

The hardware exists and the sooner the relevant authorities put together a serious airborne unit such as this to rapidly respond to these emergencies, the sooner we become seriously effective at saving lives & property.
Nulli Secundus is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2013, 13:09
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sydney
Age: 39
Posts: 265
Really? This was done back in 1982 and still nothing has happened?
SgtBundy is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2013, 20:45
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: 'Stralia!
Age: 42
Posts: 437
The RAAF doesn't approve of flying. Wears out the aircraft.
RatsoreA is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2013, 21:35
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NSW
Posts: 210
Remember several years ago there was a project for Oz to purchase a few S-64 AirTankers. Rejected on cost and "what are they going to do in the non-fire season"?. If we had some big helos as well as fixed with dedicated we could move them around the states as required. Hardly MBA material.

But its the bureaucrats not knowing what they're doing and pollies not funding loss prevention correctly. There always seems to be money to pay for damage but not for "insurance"....

BAE Assists in Converting Commercial Jets to Firefighting Aircraft
BAE Systems is assisting several North American companies with converting BAe 146/Avro RJ regional airliners into 3,000 gallon U.S. type 1 air tankers, designed to join the aerial firefighting fleets of the U.S. and Canada.

According to the British manufacturer, a number of Type 1 Air tankers currently in the United States' federal wild land aerial firefighting fleet are converted Korean War era aircraft, such as the Convair 580s and Lockheed Electras, are entering the last few years of their operational lives. This forces the need to replace them with more modern aircraft.

Currently BAE Systems is providing assistance with air-tanker conversion programs for Canada's Conair Group, Tronos Plc, and Minden, Nevada-based Minden Air. Minden recently completed its for BAe 146 Fireliner, and is now undergoing flight testing with a second aircraft currently undergoing conversion. The companies operate aerial tankers and provide conversions for the U.S. Forest Service.

"The specialist design and engineering services provided by BAE Systems Regional Aircraft to these operators/conversions in support of their individual tanker designs include aerodynamic/computational fluid dynamics analysis; dynamic loads assessment; structural analysis; technical data packs; flight test planning and analysis; and flight test engineers and pilots," said Mark Taylor, director of engineering for BAE Systems' regional aircraft unit.

Last edited by TBM-Legend; 11th Sep 2013 at 21:40.
TBM-Legend is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2013, 23:44
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: nocte volant
Posts: 1,101
There are quite a few surplus H-models now, why are three-four of these not equipped for disaster relief, SAR and fire-fighting instead of being gifted to Indonesia. The RAAF probably couldn't do it due to funding, manpower and operational constraints, but another agency, operating with government funding and RAAF support could.
Trojan1981 is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2013, 05:12
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NSW
Posts: 210
The joke is that the RAAF/Govt says these Hercs are worn-out. NZ/USAF/Austria /Israel are upgrading theirs. Hello, Indonesia is upgrading our old beasts too..

It is the bureaucracy not wanting to allocate resources as they'd rather pay the damage bills afterwards because it comes from a different budget!!!

The RAN are grounding the S-70B Sea Hawks. The USN are looking to refurbish theirs for sale! How about a Firehawk conversion for 5-6 of our Sea Hawks???
TBM-Legend is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2013, 05:40
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 702
Some light reading for yoo folks
http://www.pprune.org/pacific-genera...eed-these.html
http://www.pprune.org/pacific-genera...ber-trial.html
Heavy aircraft discussed in those
Super Cecil is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2013, 06:14
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NSW
Posts: 210
Are the Convair tankers coming back this season?
TBM-Legend is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2013, 07:41
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: nocte volant
Posts: 1,101
Good point about the Hawks TBM, the Army are also retiring the Black Hawks soon, and while there are issues with airworthiness and conversion for civil use, these are not insurmountable. You could even N-reg them, like half the bombers we have now!
Trojan1981 is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2013, 10:21
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NSW
Posts: 210
Aircraft like these can be operated in the Restricted Category whereby mods and airworthiness requirements are modified or not required for special purpose flying. Australia like the USA and Canada has a Restricted Cat.

All it takes is some Gumnit half-wit to sign off. One reason they don't like ex-mil aircraft hanging around is their perception of latent liability. In other words the lawyers are running the show. Uncle Sam's mob has no such issues. I'll leave this to the Canberra "flat earth society"...
TBM-Legend is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2013, 23:22
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: nocte volant
Posts: 1,101
Yes TBM, you are on the money there.

The thing about Restricted CAT is that it does limit their operations. Some agencies want their aircraft to be in Charter in order to be used for RAFT (and other acronyms!) teams etc. This means they will get a twin-engine helicopter in Charter Cat that may not have a lot of performance, even though, say, a Black Hawk in Restricted Cat would have much more performance in the case of an engine failure in the hover while winching.

So yes, the lawyers run the show!
Trojan1981 is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2013, 01:53
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sydney
Age: 39
Posts: 265
With the fires going on at the moment, and our PM donning the photo op suit again, perhaps he could better expend his efforts into securing some MAFFS systems for use off the RAAF base in the shade of the current fires.

We seem to go through this every year, and every year we hear time and time again that "resources are stretched" and follow up with a 3 year inquiry as to how things got so bad.

Maybe its about time we actually put some resources behind it.
SgtBundy is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2013, 04:07
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia - South of where I'd like to be !
Age: 54
Posts: 4,245
"and our PM donning the photo op suit again,"

A tad unfair.

He went and did his bit with his crew on Saturday, without media or fanfare,
it was others who took photos and posted it on twitter and that was when the
media found out.

Last edited by 500N; 21st Oct 2013 at 04:08.
500N is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2013, 04:24
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: over the rainbow
Posts: 93
He's only been doing it for the past 13 years so I guess that marks him as a poseur.....at least in some small minds.
LewC is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2013, 04:38
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia - South of where I'd like to be !
Age: 54
Posts: 4,245
Probably longer than Sgt has been a Sgt
500N is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2013, 04:49
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sydney
Age: 39
Posts: 265
Sorry - just so used to seeing him in fluro for no purpose.

Yes, he is a volunteer and has been for some time, but surely as PM there are things he could be doing at a higher level.
SgtBundy is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2013, 05:13
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia - South of where I'd like to be !
Age: 54
Posts: 4,245
"just so used to seeing him in fluro for no purpose."

I have hardly ever seen him in RFS unform, I think he makes a point
of trying to do it out of the glare.

"Yes, he is a volunteer and has been for some time, but surely as PM there are things he could be doing at a higher level."

Couple of things I would say to that.

Firstly, even if he is PM, isn't he allowed to do what he wants in his spare time ?

Secondly, it's a bit late for him to do anything as PM if the fires are already here, unless we want a situation of the PM directing fire trucks from the PM's office

I'd much prefer to have a PM who knows what it is like and what is required and then use his influence as PM later if needed.

Anyway, Fire fighting is a State responsibility.

All good. At least he gets out there, more than you can say about Rudd.
500N is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2013, 05:33
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sydney
Age: 39
Posts: 265
Ok, fine, he is god amongst men and has never posed for a photo op in his life and labour probably started the fire as a smear campaign.

So, as an experienced RFS volunteer he can appreciate the needs at the front, and perhaps as PM he could get the wheels in motion for a larger scale solution to help combat this recurring threat using some of the capable skilled personnel and machines we have available to our government. Probably not for this fire, no, but surely this recurring theme needs to be addressed.
SgtBundy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.