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Helicopter Fire-fighting (Merged threads)

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Helicopter Fire-fighting (Merged threads)

Old 7th Jul 2002, 15:31
  #21 (permalink)  
Nick Lappos
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Talking Diver story is all wet!

The diver story is all wet! It is an urban legend that has been around for years.

Check out:

http://www.snopes.com/horrors/freakish/scuba.htm


The site has hundreds of urban legends de-bunked (or proven true!) and will cost you a lost afternoon.
 
Old 9th Jul 2002, 03:42
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After several years on fires of varying sizes, I would use a short line while the fire is hot and therefore not hovering over flames, also I found I could refill significantly faster with a short line, thus putting more water per hour on a hot and growing fire. When its died down I would switch to a longer line for mop up when the ground workers want water on hotspots and the bucket can be positioned in the hover. This enables as much as possible of the load to saturate one spot without fanning the embers.
I tend to fly with the door off and use a mirror. The mirror is useful for filling up on a shorter line and watching the electrical connections, but in my case, accuracy did improve somewhat with my head outside.
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Old 22nd Nov 2002, 14:43
  #23 (permalink)  
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Talking Rotary Water Bombing

Considering the situation with the firefighters.
Are any United Kingdom helicopter pilots trained, to use hanging water buckets? The big red ones and not those 2 gallon things seen at Helicopter championships.
How much water could a Gazelle lift.
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Old 22nd Nov 2002, 16:44
  #24 (permalink)  

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I used to do this in a previous job, using different sized buckets of up to 600 gallons against forest, scrubland and grass fires.

We occasionally got asked to put out fires in wooden buildings, with some success but this method of water application would be of of only very limited use in domestic fires, if that's the sort of thing you are thinking of.

For example, most buildings on fire but worth saving still have an intact roof so the water rolls off. It can also be VERY hazardous to the aircraft and those beneath, bearing in mind that 600 gallons of water weighs 6000lbs plus the bucket.

I have the Gazelle on my licence and used to instruct on it; although I never flew a version with a hook I don't honestly think it would be powerful enough to lift enough water to do anything much more than to make a token effort.
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Old 22nd Nov 2002, 18:51
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saw a pic some time ago of a helicopter demo with a fire hose beeing sprayed into a building , somewhere from the west of Canada I think.
 
Old 22nd Nov 2002, 19:25
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Interesting link: http://www.erickson-aircrane.com/firefighting.asp

go to water cannon.....

RB
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Old 22nd Nov 2002, 19:35
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ShyTorque is right, the amount of water the Gazelle would be able to carry wouldn't be very much. SEI (who makes the Bambi Bucket http://www.sei-ind.com/sei/seii1114.htm) recommends a 90 imp gal 110 us gal bucket (430 Litre).

Cheers

Randy_G

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Old 15th Jan 2003, 02:00
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Firefighting - Increase and decrease in helicopter weight

I'm not a helicopter pilot, so I hope someone can explain this for me.

During recent bushfires in Australia there has been a lot of publicity about the use of helicopters. My question relates to the fairly rapid changes in weight as water is collected or dumped.

I think dumping water quickly would be OK, as the 'excess' lift would just cause the aircraft to climb if the pilot didn't compensate by reducing the collective. It may be a good thing to climb anyway.

I think filling an Erickson S-64 with 9,000 kg of water in about 40 seconds would be a bit more tricky. Does the pilot need to compensate for the sudden change manually, or is there some automatic system which helps him ? I imagine that it would get pretty busy combining all the controls to maintain a steady hover during filling.

Any info which may help satisfy my curiosity on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 15th Jan 2003, 02:40
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Arrow

It's just another aspect of flying that gets compensated for. Dropping at a constant height is important, so a natural reduction on the collective keeps the machine steady. Filling a bucket is the same as lifting a load, with constant collective pull. Tank fill is slower than a bucket fill, and most of the time the tank fill will be stopped when the hover torque gets to about max less 5-10%, giving reserve to translate away from the water source.

S64 fills in about 30 seconds with the donkey D., about 18 seconds with the boom arm. Since the boom arm is dragged across the water surface, it's similar to lifting a load, just keep pulling power.
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Old 15th Jan 2003, 04:46
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Thanks very much for your reply John. That's exaxctly what I wanted to know.
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Old 15th Jan 2003, 06:37
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Firefighter Pilots

I am just about to finish my FAA Commercial and CFI/CFII ratings in helicopters (Scweizer 300CB and R22) and would like to know does anyone have any advice as to what path (career wise) I should take in order to become a firefighter helicopter pilot. Doesn't matter where it would involve working in the world. Something I have always dreamed of and hope to become some day.
Thanks for any help anybody has.
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Old 15th Jan 2003, 09:20
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Spec,

To add to John's comments, the fill and release is usually a gentle manouevre particularly with a belly tank. For example, . You might go from an empty hover power setting of say 45% to a full power setting of say 95% to leave you a bit of margin to get off the water. In other words, when you fill over the 40 seconds, you are applying say 50% of your torque progressively over the 40 seconds as you get heavier. During a lift off from the ground to the hover, you might apply 50% torque in just a few seconds to get airborne.

You can be accidently rough with the bucket filling though. (Of course I never have ) If you pull up too quickly, you can snatch the load by jerking it from a slack line to taught. This "shock loading" can be quite rough, but is not as severe as doing the same thing during a normal load. That is because a normal load is either weight on or off the hook, but the water supports the bucket as it is pulled out, and can bob up and down in a bit thereby lessening the shock loading.

Releasing takes a finite time from both bucket and bellty tank and causes little abrupt change. If you accidently punch the whole bucket off rather than release the water (of course I never have ) then you do get quite a jerk.
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Old 15th Jan 2003, 09:26
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If you punch the bucket off, the jerk is behind the cyclic!:o
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Old 15th Jan 2003, 13:15
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Ascend Charlie,
if you punch off, the jerk is behind the cyclic.....
Be careful, as the saying goes, "those who have and those who are about too"
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Old 15th Jan 2003, 13:24
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Nothing specific - in most companies it's just one of the jobs a pilot has to do, but I would concentrate on slinging, so you want a company that gets their boots muddy (not too many in UK). The rest of the training involves sex and booze

Phil
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Old 16th Jan 2003, 05:20
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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A few possibilities

Hi Murdock:
One way would be to first build your TT up to 1,500 hrs instructing, about two years at a busy school. After that there's a couple of things you could do. #1 Apply to Columbia Helicopters in Portland to be a co-pilot. During the summer they fight fires all over the Western US in Heavies, which is the best job on a fire. After you've spent a few years with them, they'll put you in command of a light aircraft, (eg. H500 or 206L) hauling chokers. A few years after that you can be commanding a BV/KV107 logging and fire-fighting. It's the best of the Heavy lift world, log all fall, winter and spring, fight fires all summer. You won't face layoffs or loss of contracts either.

Option #2 is to go to Temsco in Alaska or Papillon in the Grand Canyon and fly tours for two years. (Contact Eric Eichner at Temsco, Chuck Rush at Papillon) At that point, they may bring you on as a utility pilot and put you on a fire contract somewhere, but it will be in a light aircraft (eg H500, AS350 or B206L). You can still have fun on a fire if you're the first one there, but once the mediums or heavies show up forget about throwing water. You'll be the mapping ship or Air Attack, or occasionally you'll sling cubies into a crew. If fire-fighting is your goal, go all the way into heavies.


Just my opinion though. Ask around, see what other ideas you get.
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Old 16th Jan 2003, 10:58
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AC,

On a serious side, there have been a lot of bucket drops this season, most of them equipment failures, rather than pilot error. We always fly with the cargo master Off, but have had two uncommanded releases earlier this season, which we tracked down to an inherent hook fault, when NSW NPWS BK also had two identical uncommanded releases.

Anyone using a Breeze A45L or similar, beware. It is possible for it to "auto release" when the load on the hook is less than 100lb, which can happen in turbulence, or putting the bucket into the water. We have scrapped the hook (as have NPWS) and have had no further problems. Breeze no longer support the hook, ref. Service Information Letter dated 26th April 2002.
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Old 16th Jan 2003, 20:04
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Thanks paco and inthegreen - both of those options sound pretty cool. It seems that its always a case of getting to the 1000-1500TT mark as an instructor. Then move from there. Definitely the first option sounds exactly like what I would like to do - now its just having to do anything to get there.

Cheers.
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Old 17th Jan 2003, 12:18
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Check out Chroman Helicopters (possible misspelling) in the Pacific Northwest. About two years ago a fellow I knew went to work for them with a background like yours with only 500 hours TT.
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Old 22nd Aug 2003, 12:49
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Firehawks, skycranes, and the like

This may (probably is) a stupid question but why would a company spend 10 million dollars on one firehawk instead of getting 9 Astars or the like for fire work? Wouldn't it be better to have 9 guys dropping water at a constant rate (think chain with buckets in civil war days) instead of one guy dropping one huge load? Also I think this would make more since in the fact that you would be able to more easily spread out your attack and not have to just concentrate on one area. Also I realize the firehawk can dump much more per sortie but wouldnt 9 astars be able to dump the same amount combined per sortie?
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