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Bushfires.

Old 2nd Jan 2020, 21:32
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Bushfires.

Good luck to the fire bomber crews. The next few days are going to be difficult.
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Old 3rd Jan 2020, 03:15
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Yeah a massive thank you to all the volunteers on the ground and those supporting from the air. So heartbreaking.
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Old 3rd Jan 2020, 08:37
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I don't know what aircraft are fighting fires at the moment though if I was the government
I would buy the Beriev BE-200 say get 10 of them. Attached them to the RAAF for training
and logistics. They can scoop 12000L on a touch & go they would put out the front line of a fire storm
quicker than that 737. They can configured to search & rescue, maritime patrol, cargo, transport up to 72 pax.
I think it's an ideal aircraft. Just a suggestion.
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Old 3rd Jan 2020, 09:23
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Or, as has been raised before...……

A fleet of C-130's 'traded in' by Ronny RAAF, you know, last year';s model, who could, (in my opinion), drop plastic modules filled with water / retardant, via the ramp, directly over the leading edge of said fires.....
a la parachute extraction methods....
We've already paid for the aircraft....Haven't we..?? Just 'donate' them to the State Fire-fighters and have 'Ronny' continue to maintain them...or subby it out if cheaper.

Could have pre-prepared palletised cargo avbl for quick loading / turnaround at nearby regional airport, of which there are plenty in this case….

Yeah, I know....can't litter the country with disposed plastics......NAH! Just let it burn...…

Comments..??
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Old 3rd Jan 2020, 18:29
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Did the bushfires make anyone think of getting an ag rating? Might be a bit late for this season, but for subsequent ones?
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Old 3rd Jan 2020, 19:24
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Originally Posted by Okihara View Post
Did the bushfires make anyone think of getting an ag rating? Might be a bit late for this season, but for subsequent ones?
There’s a lot more requirements to getting a gig dropping wet stuff on fires than simply getting an ag rating. Have to need all the client/NAFC pilot requirements on top of what ever operators want.
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Old 3rd Jan 2020, 21:35
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Interesting. Last two days, either no air assets flying or everybody has their XPDR/ADSB turned off. Nothing showing on FlightAware. Same from me, regardless of leadership issues, all the best for everyone today up in NE Vic, Gippsland and Southern NSW. Before this change hits you guys are going to be in for a rough ride. Hope you all keep safe.
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Old 3rd Jan 2020, 22:10
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Originally Posted by OZBUSDRIVER View Post
Interesting. Last two days, either no air assets flying or everybody has their XPDR/ADSB turned off. Nothing showing on FlightAware.
More likely, the amateur receivers that feed FlightAware are turned off or have no internet connection.
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 05:29
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Originally Posted by havick View Post


There’s a lot more requirements to getting a gig dropping wet stuff on fires than simply getting an ag rating. Have to need all the client/NAFC pilot requirements on top of what ever operators want.
Out of interest, would anyone know what the requirements are to fly the Birddog aircraft for AgAir or similar? Say the Turbo Commander or Caravan? Not much on their website.
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 06:20
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Has anyone considered that the weather systems associated with the fires may preclude aerial assets?
VFR requirements etc!
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 07:54
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Merimbula airport, dark as midnight with 2 hours to go before sunset with VIS at about 20 meters...
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 08:22
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didn't they give some away or Qantas aircraft sent for scrap save dollar spend money here
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 08:27
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They have discovered that to the unique and never before seen magnitude of some of these fires that it is pointless to try and fight them with what would literally equate to a bug on a windshield splash of water.
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 09:05
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Originally Posted by Squawk7700 View Post
They have discovered that to the unique and never before seen magnitude of some of these fires that it is pointless to try and fight them with what would literally equate to a bug on a windshield splash of water.
The issue is how they got so big in the first place...Because we don't, as a nation have sufficient assets to stop small fires becoming big fires.

For ScoMo to say "Bushfires are a state issue" shows how little concept he has about the significance of worsening fire seasons. NSW can't afford a fleet of CL-415's (we're too busy building new football stadiums), but Australia happily gives away $4 Billion a year in foreign aid. At today's exchange rate, that's 80 CL-415's. Or 70 if you budget for maintenance & crewing too. Putting 10 at a time in a racetrack dumping onto any fledgling bushfire this season could well have stopped what we've witnessed so far - and we are still a couple months away from the end of the bushfire season, with 1,500+ homes already gone, triple that in outbuildings destroyed and over a dozen dead with twice that still missing. What's the economic cost of all that devastation?

It's all well and good to say "but the 'Murican's are the experts at that kind of thing" and I would agree that that is a true statement. But there is nothing stopping us following in their footsteps instead of continually contracting out the job. We just don't have a government with the will to take ownership of the issue - because footy grounds and better internet in PNG are more important.
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 09:22
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"For ScoMo to say "Bushfires are a state issue" shows how little concept he has"

That is not his opinion, it is in fact the law.

That could be changed, with legislation. Good luck getting that through by this time tomorrow....

As it stands the Feds throw money at the States to contribute to the procurement of aerial assets.

Have a look on JB. Some fire issues discussed outside the aviation arena that have a big effect.
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 09:49
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Originally Posted by currawong View Post
"For ScoMo to say "Bushfires are a state issue" shows how little concept he has"

That is not his opinion, it is in fact the law.

That could be changed, with legislation. Good luck getting that through by this time tomorrow....
It isn't about getting it through tonight, or tomorrow, it is about getting it through at all! We lost 173 Citizens a decade ago, and we are straight back onto the hamster wheel. Defence is a national issue. As is currency and welfare, yet health and fire suppression? Nope, upto the states to go it alone, and good luck with that...

Originally Posted by currawong
As it stands the Feds throw money at the States to contribute to the procurement of aerial assets.
Not enough to buy their own. NSW has only just now bought one 737. One. Yes they lease other assets as the need arises, but that is because it is a State issue, not a national one. The most numerous aircraft in the aerial firefighting fleet is the venerable Air Tractor.

We have two Hercs, 1 737 and 3 RJ85's, according to the NAFC, though that was only current as at last years fire season. ISTR we have a DC-10 this year as well. More are on the way (now, after a business case lodged 18 months ago by recent reports) and may be here for this season, yes, but 6(7?) "heavy" fixed-wing bombers are not sufficient for a country this size. We need our own fleet, crewed by our own people ready to go, we cannot continually rely on overseas assets, particularly when we do have the resources to take care of things ourselves, if not the political will.
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 10:37
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" The most numerous aircraft in the aerial firefighting fleet is the venerable Air Tractor."

8 are sitting idle not 5 minutes from where I sit now. There has been no interest in using them.

However, all the air support in the world means nothing without work on fuel loadings.

Recommendations were made 10 years ago for fuel reduction burns of at least 5% preferably 10% to be made.

Actually more like 1% has been achieved. This warning from a year ago -

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-...ZCRGnYvcbGEJ24
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 10:42
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I’ve been fully expecting to hear the words “pilot shortage” however it hasn’t popped up yet.
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 10:43
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KR, from where do we operate this large fleet of Very Large Air Tankers (VLAT) and CL415's?
An RJ85 or a C130 (Multi Engine Air Tanker - MEAT) may be able to operate from a few Regional Airports, however a B737 or DC10 needs suitable runways and support facilities.
Within Victoria a B737 would be limited to YMML, YMAV, YMES and YMIA. It can't use YMEN because it is above 45 tonne.
Even at B737 speeds Victoria would need several in order to be able to lay an effective retardant line on the flank of a fire from the limited number of suitable aerodromes.
The CL415 needs around 1300m of obstacle free smooth water in order to scoop fill. Victoria doesn't have many such suitable waterways. Most that would normally be suitable, large reservoirs, are at 50% or less capacity.
Back in the 1970's trials were conducted using military C130 fitted with a retardant dispersal, pallet. The trials weren't all that successful.
Perhaps the better option, for Victoria in particular, is to increase the fleet of AT802A and AT802F Single Engine Air Tankers (SEAT). This should be coupled with the acquisition of more large helicopters: S61, S64, or utilize the fleet of B412 that exist in country.
SEATs and helicopters can operate from just about anywhere and should be used for initial knockdown of small fires, ie don't let them become large fires.
It has been said many times that aerial firefighting is just another asset (tool), along with manpower, tankers and earth moving equipment used to fight fires.
It has also been said that fire bombers make great television, but they do not put out fires.
RG
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 10:58
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And, some of the public needs to take a long hard look at themselves -


Last edited by currawong; 4th Jan 2020 at 11:18.
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