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Helicopter Fire-fighting (Merged threads)

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Helicopter Fire-fighting (Merged threads)

Old 30th Jul 2019, 11:16
  #201 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: London/Atlanta
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One way to collect water

Not sure if this has been posted before? Does anyone know where it is? Another question how much of a potential hazard are the flying sunbeds!!!!!

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Old 30th Jul 2019, 12:23
  #202 (permalink)  
 
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.
Spain (Sky Helicopteros).
.
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Old 30th Jul 2019, 13:24
  #203 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: On top of the Longline
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A perfect example of why a 150ft line is always in my kit!!
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 06:15
  #204 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Blue planet
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Hereīs an old photo of a bambi bucket used for the mighty KA32

5000 Litres of water



5000 litres
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Old 22nd Oct 2019, 13:06
  #205 (permalink)  
 
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California Wildfires

Some good quality pictures and videos in this news report of the latest wildfires in CA. Makes you realize what the team of firefighters are up against.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...Palisades.html
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Old 22nd Oct 2019, 17:46
  #206 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Redding CA, or on a fire somewhere
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Originally Posted by nomorehelosforme View Post
Some good quality pictures and videos in this news report of the latest wildfires in CA. Makes you realize what the team of firefighters are up against.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...Palisades.html
Luckily that one was caught small. As a reminder of what happens when everything transpires to give you the worst possible conditions, I was on this one on day one, nothing we could do to stop it), we are still working this area restoring the power grid to this day:

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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 07:03
  #207 (permalink)  
 
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Location: Great South East, tired and retired
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We had another bushfire in my suburb today, luckily the wind was blowing it away from my place. The B 214 chopper and the spotter were on the scene pretty quickly, and worked like cut snakes as the fire was advancing rapidly on a line of houses that were threatened last month too.

But what puzzled me is the complete reluctance to use salt water to fight the fires - the ocean was 100 metres away, and a huge lake 1 km away, but they tracked up to 5km to a fresh water supply in an industrial area, greatly increasing the time between drops.

Obviously, salt water is going to stay in the soil for a while and kill the vegetation, but wouldn't that be preferable to losing your house?
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 11:16
  #208 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: New Zealand
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not sure about Australia, but in NZ we use sea water if its closer, and a high risk fire. In Nelson this year a fire was lit among some houses, and we had 5 helicopters running circuits out of the local harbour using sea water. It was really close to houses, in fact at one stage we were watering the deck trying to put the fire out underneath it, but ended up saving the houses.

I haven't been back to see what the seawater has done to the ground, so cannot report the results, but not too many people were complaining that day.

One consideration could be what the salt water does to the tanks that they use. Replacing that because you used sea water would eat into your profit for the year.
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 17:30
  #209 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Redding CA, or on a fire somewhere
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Originally Posted by SuperF View Post
One consideration could be what the salt water does to the tanks that they use. Replacing that because you used sea water would eat into your profit for the year.
Bingo....Tough to hear, and flame me for it if you must.

In reality, I would use sea water to save lives but not property. Like I tell my pilots at the beginning of the season, "we are not saving cute puppies & kittens here, all we are saving is acreage and insured homes---do not be a part of the problem and do not risk equipment damage unless you see said puppies & kittens".

At the end of the year, the homeowner whose house we save is not going to pay for a new bucket, but the insurance company will pay for his new house if it is not saved.

Last edited by Gordy; 23rd Oct 2019 at 17:31. Reason: spelling
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 20:51
  #210 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
But what puzzled me is the complete reluctance to use salt water to fight the fires - the ocean was 100 metres away, and a huge lake 1 km away, but they tracked up to 5km to a fresh water supply in an industrial area, greatly increasing the time between drops.

Obviously, salt water is going to stay in the soil for a while and kill the vegetation, but wouldn't that be preferable to losing your house?
Iím not sure of the circumstances youíre referring to, but in my part of the world we use salt water regularly. The vegetation isnít the limiting factor, itís the equipment used - any machine with a belly tank wonít dip from salt water as the spray generated from the down wash while filling will cover the machine & be ingested by the engines, not a good result as your helicopter corrodes away. Using a longline we can use salt water without the risk of covering the machine in salt.
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 22:20
  #211 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
We had another bushfire in my suburb today, luckily the wind was blowing it away from my place. The B 214 chopper and the spotter were on the scene pretty quickly, and worked like cut snakes as the fire was advancing rapidly on a line of houses that were threatened last month too.

But what puzzled me is the complete reluctance to use salt water to fight the fires - the ocean was 100 metres away, and a huge lake 1 km away, but they tracked up to 5km to a fresh water supply in an industrial area, greatly increasing the time between drops.

Obviously, salt water is going to stay in the soil for a while and kill the vegetation, but wouldn't that be preferable to losing your house?
AC, Peregian Beach fire? Report here from Nine News shows the proximity to the beach, start 50 seconds in with shots of the MacD 214B and the belly tank

Quite an early start to the bushfire season here in Queensland and northern NSW, crews look to be busy for a few months yet


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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 22:26
  #212 (permalink)  
 
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214B? = T55?

Same/similar engine used in Unlimited Hydro boats. Enough saltwater in one of those and the PT eventually locks up as it builds up on the PT wheel rim and blades causing surge and stall as well - not pretty!

I think a surge or stall in a 214B would be a pretty expensive exercise and trash a lot of the drive train.

San Diego is the only place they run in saltwater. Big teams just change engines between races. Small teams clean the PT wheel between races - interesting to watch as the parts are still pretty hot!!

They run extended inlets to try and mitigate it but it is still a big issue.

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Old 24th Oct 2019, 00:21
  #213 (permalink)  
 
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Yes John, that is the one. Last fire was started by 2 teenage kids, this one looks like it started near the Coolum High School, so probably some Year 12 kid didn't want to do his exams today!
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Old 24th Oct 2019, 00:42
  #214 (permalink)  
 
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We use salt water in South Africa and there is no visible damage to the vegetation when it regrows that I can see. We've been doing this for 25 years that I personally know of. It's a tiny amount of salt anyway and there is probably more salt deposited by the wind over time.
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Old 24th Oct 2019, 04:28
  #215 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Australia
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Seen video of the skycrane filling up on saltwater a few years ago during a fire on the NSW coast, guess filling up using the snorkel while on the move limits the effect of any spray kicked up by the rotor.
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Old 25th Oct 2019, 12:47
  #216 (permalink)  
 
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Here is a news report with some pictures and videos of this weeks California fires, these pictures really show what the firefighting teams are up against and the tragic loss of homes and property as people have to evacuate.

Los Angeles area residents ran for their lives on Thursday evening as wildfires, whipped up by strong winds, reached residential neighborhoods, forcing 50,000 evacuations.

Two blazes are threatening LA, while another has taken hold in Sonoma County in California's wine country, where 16,000 acres are burning. Two other fires are moving across the center of the state.

Pacific Gas & Electric said it has discovered a problem with a transmission tower in Sonoma - but that it was too early to say if it was the cause of the blaze. The company had cut power in anticipation of high winds, but left live sections of high-voltage transmission lines, which were blamed for a series of deadly blazes that tore through the same area two years ago, killing 44 people.

This morning, as fire crew battled to contain the fires, it was revealed that six homes had burned down in Los Angeles and 49 buildings had been ravaged by the flames near the wine country town of Geyserville in northern California.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...mph-winds.html

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Old 25th Oct 2019, 15:03
  #217 (permalink)  
 
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Location: Redding CA, or on a fire somewhere
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The ramp outside my of my hangar yesterday morning getting ready to go fly. I had 6 helicopters flying for PG&E, (including myself), checking for downed lines. Incidentally, my area was Magalia and Paradise, site of last years deadliest wild fire. No doubt we will be re-assigned to fires.

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Old 1st Nov 2019, 09:29
  #218 (permalink)  
 
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Full marks to KTLA news helicopter which is live streaming to You Tube.
Uninterrupted vision for hours at a time, live pilot mic most of the time.
A fabulous way to educate the public of fire spread and of the workings of ground and aerial firefighting.

The PR value to the aviation industry is enormous. An oil company could at least sponsor your fuel for these flights!

With the advent of ubiquitous 4G in most cities around the globe, Live streaming for hours on end of significant events from a single viewpoint is flourishing. Checkout RUPTLY who use streams provided from Indi journalists around the globe.

mjb
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 16:21
  #219 (permalink)  
 
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Use of siren

Reporting of the NSW fires in the past few days has included eyewitness accounts from homeowners under direct threat who recall being warned by helicopter sirens.

Is the use of the siren increasing?
Is there a policy on use of sirens as a warning?

Iím all for it, but as usual, the public are not well informed.
What are the public meant to do when a helicopter sounds a siren? Shelter or flee?

In a submission to the Black Saturday Royal Commission I called for helicopters to fly well ahead of a fire front and use sirens to warn communities. Not necessarily to direct them, but initially just to wake them up.

But the introduction of the emergency warning message system, which uses mobile phone and landlines, I thought would provide this advance warning.

But the town of Paradise California, destroyed by wildfire on Nov 8th 2018, showed the shortcomings of an early warning system delivered by a commercial telecommunications network. The majority of emergency warning messages were not received. In some areas, the failure rate was 95%.

The fire started at 6.50 am and impacted the town an hour later. Paradise was a nice spot to retire so many residents were not too active at 8 am.

Paradise had become reliant on wireless delivery for voice and broadband. The trusty, fire resilient, copper landline has been marginalised. Seven wireless towers were knocked out simultaneously.

Fibre optic is not ubiquitous in rural areas due to the cost of rollout.

Australia has gone the same way. 80-85% of premises in NBN fixed wireless zones (rural areas) have disconnected their copper land line. At the time the Royal Commission published its report, it was forecast that the majority of premises in rural areas would maintain a landline, but the opposite has occurred. The LNP favoured more wireless and less landlines in rural areas.

Communications failure was not on the radar so government policy was based on the network being as resilient in the future as it had been in the past. The center piece of reform generated by the Royal Commission was the emergency warning system. Australia led the world in its activation, but it relies on a reliable comms network for distribution.
VoIP presents an additional hurdle to identify and prioritise callers.

To make matters worse, since 2016, mobile phone carriers have been encouraged to install antennas on NBN towers. This often occurs in high risk bushfire areas where mobile phone blackspot funding has subsidised the telco. The unintended consequence is that a community receives mobile phone, VoIP and internet service from a single tower. The landline is usually disconnected due to the additional $55 per month cost of keeping it active.
Most of the public are unaware of this reliance on a single tower.

You can identify a nbn monopole tower as it has a circular gantry. If it also has a set of antennas located below the gantry then it is one of these co-located towers which is a particularly critical piece of infrastructure.

In the Macedon Ranges, in Victoria, approx 7 of the 14 NBN towers are planned to have mobile phone equipment attached. Endurance of backup batteries under heavy use is only 3 hours.
There is no legal requirement for towers to have permanent generators, two of the mobile phone towers atop the strategic location of Mount Macedon, do not have permanent generators.

There are no bushfire related studies into this rapid change to wireless.
The politicisation of the NBN has had a chilling effect on research and reporting.

So, based on Paradise and the NBN network, the use of helicopters as an early warning tool in Australian rural areas should be given more weight in the public warning strategies of emergency management.

A turbine and siren screaming overhead or a ďpingĒ from your phone on the bedside table?
Which is the effective wake-up call?

On the 10th anniversary of Black Saturday, Australiaís two top fire scientists wrote that the nation had become complacent to the threat of bushfires.

Last week the Governor of California called for more resilience in telco infrastructure, Australia lacks this kind of leadership.


Love to hear your experiences on how the public react to skyshout. when under threat of bushfire.

Mjb
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 17:13
  #220 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Originally Posted by mickjoebill View Post
But the town of Paradise California, destroyed by wildfire on Nov 8th 2018, showed the shortcomings of an early warning system delivered by a commercial telecommunications network. The majority of emergency warning messages were not received. In some areas, the failure rate was 95%.

The fire started at 6.50 am and impacted the town an hour later. Paradise was a nice spot to retire so many residents were not too active at 8 am.

Paradise had become reliant on wireless delivery for voice and broadband. The trusty, fire resilient, copper landline has been marginalised. Seven wireless towers were knocked out simultaneously.
Love to hear your experiences on how the public react to skyshout. when under threat of bushfire.
Mjb


From someone who was there by 07:20 that morning, it would not have helped. That fire grew so fast that by the time those who would have initiated helicopter sirens figured it out, it was too late. Also not too many helicopters have sirens, (extra weight and all).

Also, there was only limited ways out and the skyway was already blocked.

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