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Firefighting plane down in NSW

Old 24th Oct 2013, 00:51
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Firefighting plane down in NSW

Only just happened, crews rushing to the scene. Just hope he survived.

Aircraft fighting NSW bushfire crashes
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 05:05
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Looks like he did not survive, confirmed dead at the scene according toreports.
Tragic news for his family.
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 05:39
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-12 Dromader is what lost the wing.
This loss of life should never have happened CASA has been warned repeatedly of the years that over weight with the turbine modification is dangerous this is the second know accident with wing seperation from the airframe. CASA you have now no where to run. I hope you will now go to his wife and kids and expain your selfs and how sorry you are. But i bet you dont you hide in your castles and beat your ******* chest and say how good you all are well you cant hide this on away.
last transmission from aircraft
may day mayday mayday wings off.

now his wife and 3 kids have to live with what is left my heart gose out tho them after growing up in the industry i feel for you all at this time of need.
RIP David.
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 07:18
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Terrible news. RIP.
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 08:55
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ATSB report on previous wing failure is at . Sad anyway but so much worse if this proves to be an avoidable rerun.
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 09:07
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The Skull should be charged with manslaughter
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 13:07
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What type of aircraft was it?
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 13:36
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Yes very sad indeed. RIP

We are talking about affordable risk here. Can CASA afford not to let these aircraft operate in times of emergency?? All the bomber pilots are aware of the stress put on firebombing aircraft to a certain extent I am sure. There is also the severe turbulence in and around fires and hill country especially in strong to gale force winds. Not to mention the strain and aerodynamic buffeting a bomber is subject to, when dispensing material at jettison rates. Surely this is a national emergency for Australia, so get the water and retardant on. What does need looking at is the remuneration for pilots.

Grab a piece of metal and bend it long enough and often enough it will break. We all know this. The trick of course, is the determine where it will break, before it does.

What I want to know, is where are the DC10's and B747's and other heavy bombers are, the Americans use? Surely these should have been hired in. I think light aircraft and helicopters is weeing in the wind trying to fight fires on this scale.

The Dromader is an old Eastern block design, originally fitted with a 1000hp "iron" engine. Used to carry 2500 liters then IIRC. Since then some have put been fitted with turbine engines, God knows what they are carrying?

Last edited by Don_Apron; 24th Oct 2013 at 16:01.
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 14:15
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"I think light aircraft and helicopters is weeing in the wind trying to fight fires on this scale."

It certainly looked like that on the news with some of the footage.

You could see the water work where it hit but the fire / flames were
so large either side, not sure what effect it had after 5 minutes.

Very sad. Nice words said on the news.
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 21:26
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What type of aircraft was it?
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 22:25
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SMH article

Quote from SMH article Safety fears flagged earlier over make of plane in death crash:
The aircraft that crashed on the NSW south coast while fighting bushfires is the same make of plane aviation investigators had raised safety concerns about seven months ago.

The plane's 43-year-old pilot, David Black, died on Thursday morning when his fixed-wing aircraft crashed in rugged terrain while water-bombing a bushfire about 40 kilometres west of Ulladulla. The husband and father of three young children was from Trangie in central NSW.

It is the fourth fatal accident in Australia involving an M18 Dromader aircraft since 2006. Of those four, it is the second to have crashed while fighting bushfires.

Narromine mayor Bill McAnally said the small Trangie community of 1000 people would feel the loss immensely. ''He was trying to do the right thing, fighting the fires and for something like this to happen - it's just tragic,'' he said. ''We really feel for his family.''

He described Mr Black as a decent, hard-working family man with a big heart. ''It's a great loss to our area because he was a real community man,'' he said.

Following the spate of accidents, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau released a report in April that found a range of safety issues arose when Dromader aircraft were flown at take-off weights above 4.2 tonnes.

''The investigation identified several safety issues indirectly arising from the operation of the M18 aircraft at increased weights,'' the bureau's report in April said.

''Though some of these issues were minor in isolation, collectively the increase in risk was more significant.''

The M18 Dromader involved in the latest crash was operated by Rebel Ag in Trangie, and had been contracted to the Rural Fire Service for firefighting efforts.

As a result of the investigation earlier this year, Rebel Ag told the bureau it would make a raft of modifications to its aircraft, including fitting vortex generators on their wings. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority subsequently approved the changes.

The manager of Rebel Aerial declined to comment on Thursday.

Dromader planes are commonly used for crop dusting but are often pressed into fighting bushfires during summer.

A bureau spokesman said on Thursday it was important not to pre-judge the accident despite the findings of its report in April. A team of three investigators, including an avionics engineer, were expected to reach the scene of the crash in bushland by early Friday.
Condolences to the family and friends, may DB R.I.P. Boy that RFS Fire Chief wear's his heart on his sleeve...true blue Aussie that bloke! On the crash let's not prejudge and let the bureau get in and do their job
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 22:59
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About time we invested in at least half a dozen cl415's. It surely couldn't be that hard to attach them to a herc squadron. We're going to see lots more of these fires, and likely to occur in distant locations at the same time. Crikey, Greece can even afford them.
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 23:21
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Montenegro, with its population of 600,000 and air force of 10 aircraft in total can afford two dedicated firefighting aircraft. Why can't we? If cash is that tight, fund it with an insurance levy in high bushfire risk areas.

In the past, at least in NSW, this was more because Koperberg doesn't like aircraft than because aircraft were actually unaffordable.

Problem I see with the 215/415 is a lack of lakes to scoop water from, and and in many cases long distances from the coast to the fireground.

Despite the smaller capacity of something like an AT-802F compared with a CL-415, given that you'd need to fill the aircraft on the ground 99% of the time anyway, wouldn't the turnaround time be lot faster on an AT-802? There is also already plenty of qualified aircrew for that type. You can also buy several 802F's for the price of a CL-415.

Last edited by bankrunner; 24th Oct 2013 at 23:27.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 01:42
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This is an extract from a Canadair document published when the aircraft was demonstrated in Oz

QI2 Could It Be Useful In Australia ?

Australian bush fire fighters will not begin to appreciate the support and increased personal safety the SuperScooper will provide until they work a fire with the planes overhead.

Aerial firefighting for bush fires has largely been confined to fixed-wing agricultural aircraft and helicopters, both of which have an important continuing role to play in the fight against bush fires. These aircraft have some very real advantages, but they also have some very real disadvantages, which include limited payload, ground-based operations and flying weather restrictions.

While the most effective way to utilize the punch of the SuperScooper is by early detection and rapid response - hitting the fire with a massive drop of Class A fire fighting foam to allow fire fighters direct access to the fire - the aircraft will continue to operate effectively when fire intensity and extreme weather have grounded all other aircraft.

The greatest fire threat facing Australia is not amongst the valuable forest plantations scattered around the States, but from the burgeoning urban I bush interface sprawl which was exposed in no uncertain terms during the NSW fires recently. Once the risk was confined to the Adelaide Hills, the Dandenong Ranges, and the Blue Mountains, but it has now become apparent that no urban bush land settlement, whether it be in outskirts of Perth or Brisbane, or in Lane Cove, is exempt from the risk of a high intensity and devastatingly fierce bush fire.

Arguments that all aircraft would be grounded during a fire of "Ash Wednesday" intensity are incorrect; extreme weather conditions and high intensity fires are certainly the order of the day, but there are many windows of opportunity during firefighting operations in extreme conditions where the sheer ruggedness of the purpose-built aerial fire fighter enables it to fly and fight. Fire fighters on the ground do not all go home just because the fire intensity is beyond 3OOOkW/m where it is assumed ground forces are ineffective. During the Ash Wednesday fires in South Australia in 1983, Canadair aircraft could have been flying almost continuously- after all, Resue 1, the State Rescue Helicopter, a Bell205, flew around the Adelaide Hills throughout the worst periods.

In any event the fundamental purpose of the SuperScooper is to put out bush fires before they rage out of control

One of the biggest criticisms of the aircraft is the supposed lack of water sources suitable for scooping. The fact is that there is more scoopable water adjacent to high risk areas (see attached maps) than the detractors would have you believe. In many, many cases, a quick survey of your fire district will indicate that scooping water is available.

The combined national firefighting forces which responded to the New South Wales fires could have been very effectively supported by Canadair aircraft. For example, the fire which almost destroyed Winmalee in the Blue Mountains could have been controlled two days before the fire reached the urban area. Scooping from the Nepean river, and with a flying distance of23 kilometers to Mt. Wilson, 2 CL-215's could have dropped at least 188,000 liters of firefighting foam on the fire before nightfall on Thursday, leaving fire crews to trek in to the fire site the next morning to black out the fire completely. Instead, nearly three days passed, with a very risky backburn conducted, before the fire hit Winmalee with terrifying force.

To the north, in the Banyabba Nature Reserve, Bush Fire units had to drive for
four hours before reaching the fire front whereas two CL-215's could have dropped a conservative 288,000 liters of fire fighting foam per day on the fire.

Firefighting in urban fringe areas and in national parks frequently means that fire fighters cannot attack the fire front with safety because it is located in dangerously inaccessible terrain. They are forced to light backburns, which are a big risk in themselves, or wait until it reaches roads and tracks, at which time the intensity is well beyond the ability of ground forces to control. The advantage of initial attack is lost because of the inability to access the fire, and fire fighters watch in frustration and growing fear as the fire approaches homes and threatens lives.

It is in these circumstances that the SuperScooper can provide its greatest support; rapid attack with huge quantities of fire suppressant long before the fire threatens lives and properties, enabling fire fighters to extinguish the fire without extreme personal risk.

Annex F gives some indication as to the issues that need to be addressed in the event that authorities wish to trial the SuperScooper in Australia.
Maybe the CL412 could have helped in the case of the fire in the Army range and now in areas where the fire has been left to its own devices.

Last edited by 601; 25th Oct 2013 at 01:45.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 01:54
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Dear Bankrunner;

I'm no expert in purchasing aircraft, it may well be that the cl415 is not the best choice. But you agree, I think, it is time to have dedicated aircraft for bushfire fighting. It seems obvious to me that the Air Force should be running this group. Regarding scooping; there would be precious few areas in Tasmania unsuitable. Second, the current aircraft have to be filled on land, and the cl415 is amphibious. The cl415 has a payload of around twice the Airtractor, it's purpose built, for durability etc, has sufficient power for tight situations. Herc drivers could be endorsed on the aircraft, and integrate the flying missions with their other flying duties. I'm sure the crews would be keen to operate these missions.

Last edited by growahead; 25th Oct 2013 at 11:38.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 02:31
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Boeing Frontiers Online
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 02:43
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Great stuff!! Like all inventions, necessity is the mother. This seems a brilliant idea, in it's simplicity and adaptability alone.

"If it ain't Boeing, I'm not going."

Last edited by Don_Apron; 25th Oct 2013 at 02:44.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 03:36
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Wasn't Col Pay killed while experimenting with a water scoop on an AG aircraft on Lake Liddell. I wonder where this work went, or is someone still carrying on with it?

Re DC10 and bigger fire bombers: Wouldn't their speed cut their time down from the fire to the lake. I'm thinking of The big Lake...Pacific Ocean or Botany bay for the Sydney region being discussed in these fires. I guess you need somewhere for it to stand while a big pump fills it up.

The Boeing idea appears sound. a C130 could utilize this idea.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 03:54
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RFS dont like aircraft cause they work its not a shinny red fire truck wake up smell the roses RFS is a mini emprire building place where the super heros live, sorry guys sad but true and once again im in the know here.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 11:38
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the 415's would be great, but why would you want/need the military to operate them.. Canada and the US as well as others (spain etc..) all run them as a civil operation.. are we not that capable..?
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