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German Police Squadron firefighting presentation

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German Police Squadron firefighting presentation

Old 14th May 2020, 21:28
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Germany
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Originally Posted by hueyracer View Post
Like. I said... Apples and oranges....

Yes, the police will be less efficient compared to a commercial operator....
But the police helicopter will always be there and available-at no extra "standby fee"...

So it's not really about the money....

Training-wise I must say I now disagree with either police or military in Germany saying they are "very well trained" - this is something I kept hearing from everyone within, and only once I started flying on the commercial side I figured that what we considered "experienced" flying was just a piece of cake for any commercial pilot..
(put aside the specialized flying with nvgs, or firing rockets and stuff...)..


It was not my intention to hijack this thread to bitch and moan about commercial vs governmental pilots....
Well, you can't really judge very well trained - if you don't have a closer insight.

The joint training academy really brings out very good pilots - if you put proper candidates in at first.
Much more training done as would be required for the normal commercial license.

I did some freelancing and have also an insight, what is going on in the civi world.
But that should be another thread, this is about introducing fire fighting into an organisation, which hasn't done it before.
And as far, as I can say, the ones involved did quite a lot of research and met with experienced pilots from the civi world as well as the police world (flying bambis for decades)
The approach at the moment may seem strange for the standard civi operator - but worked out for the first two fires.
We will see, if during further training and fire fighting procedures will be modified.

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Old 14th May 2020, 21:40
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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FB, thanks for the detailed response

My immediate thought is still to get rid of the crewman, and if the cycle for 1,000lt is the same as for 700lt then reduce fuel to 1.5 hours and constantly lift a tonne from the very first lift. The first drop will have significantly more impact with a 1,000lt than a Jetranger load of only 500lt, and you’ll most likely reduce the overall drops such that your cycles will actually be either the same or less than thimbles full with little real effect. Keep the door on and use the ability to open it in flight as explained.

Having a 50kt speed restriction because of the crewman on the skids is further reasoning to remove him (or her) from the operation; if experienced Helitack pilots were consulted I’m intrigued that this was not queried. Any competent pilot should be able to release the Bambi load while flying a drop pattern; indeed, judging a deliberate swing to throw the load around the curve of a burn is far easier if the pilot does it without having another warm pink body second guessing the move.
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Old 15th May 2020, 05:45
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Some pretty harsh criticism here of an outfit that are introducing a new capability - frankly it's a good idea to start super safe and then modify the SOPs as you gain experience.

How much would it cost to have a dedicated fire-fighting helicopter on call all through the summer? And how many would you need across Germany?

Compare that to having the capability to re-role your existing police helos that you have already paid for and are available 24/7.

Sure there is a training burden but that will quickly diminish.

And before I get 'flamed' for not knowing about fighting fires, I did 3 years of it in Cyprus back in the 80's with a Sims rainmaker under a Wessex. We used single pilot and a crewman in the cabin and it worked fine.

Just because you can pare crewing to the bone for commercial reasons doesn't make it the best way of operating.
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Old 15th May 2020, 07:34
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Gordy View Post
. And why is the guy on the ground sitting on the bucket as they lift up?
That bucket seems pretty light and was ballooning soon after leaving the ground. I imagine if there was no one holding it until there was at least some distance between the bucket and the worst of the down wash, that it could potentially find itself recirculating through the rotors.😬Not a helo guy but I did not like the look of that.




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Old 15th May 2020, 13:49
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Thanx for the insight, FB,
I only hope that you see the reasoning in John Eīs staement about smaler fuel load and no crew(wo)man and bring it to the attention of your team and superiours.
Even with 2,5 hr fuel you would need a bouser for a fire operation - so you could start right away with efficiency. If you left the crewman on ground he could do the sitting on the bambi and you could leave person nį 4 at home .

I much apeciate the whole operation and NRW police being the leading force again, but there need to be some adjustments right away, me thinks:

@crab - during the last years the east of Germany has suffered the most of the fires during the dry season. NRW police is right on the other side of the country.
They are just starting this operation, so the other forces will wait and see first - so far for having the police helicopters on stand-by anyway.

By the way - German operators have their aircraft in the south of Europe during fire season because here nobody is willing to pay them. The "poor(er)" south seems to have the budgets!? If Germany had a reasonable budget I am sure the operators would have some aircraft available.
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Old 15th May 2020, 15:08
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Thanks for all the replies.
Iīm sure, there will be a development with more pilots getting training.

To evil7 - Fuel bowser isn't necessary - there are lots of small airstrips around with A1 available - and we have the keys/dongles for most of them ;-)
If the fire will be bigger, I'm sure, the "Bundespolizei" would also bring in a helicopter (and probably a bowser) ;-)
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Old 15th May 2020, 16:49
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lord Farringdon View Post
That bucket seems pretty light and was ballooning soon after leaving the ground. I imagine if there was no one holding it until there was at least some distance between the bucket and the worst of the down wash, that it could potentially find itself recirculating through the rotors.😬Not a helo guy but I did not like the look of that.
This is not a problem. The empty weight of that bucket is 76 lbs. Depending on the fuel type, we will use the same bucket but attach it direct to the belly on a Huey, where it gets the maximum down wash and have never had a problem. On long lines, we almost have a competition when landing after a cycle of buckets to see if you can land the bucket and get it to stay upright---we then hover descend 150' coiling the line and land right next to it.
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Old 15th May 2020, 21:55
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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I love fire fighting & I talk to as many operators as I can when I’m on a fire as everyone has a method of doing things which is just a bit better than everyone else, alternatively I see it as our collective responsibility to say STOP when we see a catastrophe unfolding.
My 2 cents worth -
- I believe a 150ft longline is a minimum length for AS350 size & above to minimise downwash. Not so critical when battling a running blaze but for spot drops & cleanup it makes a big difference.
- You need to carry as much fuel as you can while lifting the maximum water load you can. With the multi drop buckets available now I fill the AS350B3 to 100% fuel then button off water as I’m lifting to stay within the limits. It’s not uncommon in big timber country or in the hills to burn 10% fuel just getting back to the fire from the fuel truck, & when the water point is 5% fuel from the fire the fuel gauge goes down pretty quick. Once I’m down to 70% fuel I’m lifting the full 1000 litres that the bucket can hold. I know this isn’t a commercially competitive operation, but you can be sure the firies notice when 1 company consistently goes for fuel 30 minutes before everyone else does on a fire. Multiply this by 100’s of cycles on a campaign fire & you lose a lot of bucketing time to fuel ferrying.
- Forget the cycles, with the money that’s being blown on this operation the cost of changing parts is negligible.
- Use the FM limitations to work out what you CAN do, not what you CANNOT do. The FM determines the limits, operate to the limits. If the pilot needs the doors off to see properly then get the doors off & operate the machine to the appropriate limits. There is nothing more dangerous in fighting fires than not being able to see as much as possible, with multiple AC operating low level in a smoky environment in a tight circuit if I had my choice I’d be sitting out on the skid with the crewy so I could see better! If the pilot is not looking at the bucket then it’s just a matter of time until they drag it through the trees, & the trees usually win.
- Only critical people on board the AC, if the pilot can’t fight a fire on his own then the pilot should not be fighting fires.
- No one near the bucket or longline when lifting or landing, this goes for bucketing or utility work longlining. I hate people handling the line, it introduces risk to the ground crew & is unnecessary. With an inexperienced pilot (video example) ensure there is a large enough area that they can safely land with lots of clear area around the fuel truck, longline & helicopter. As they gain experience that area will be able to be reduced. For example when I started a football field seemed too small, now I Place the bucket at the bumper of the truck, coil the longline beside the truck & land at the back of the truck so a couple of rotor diameters beside the truck works fine.
- There is a lot of fire fighting experience in the civilian commercial industry around the world, none of those operators fight fires using the procedures the German Police have developed. This begs the question - Have the police developed a groundbreaking new way of doing things that the rest of the world will follow, or has the rest of world tried all of this before & through hard lessons learnt decided that it’s not the safest or most efficient method?
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Old 16th May 2020, 12:45
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by heliduck View Post
With the multi drop buckets available now I fill the AS350B3 to 100% fuel then button off water as Iím lifting to stay within the limits.
Are you saying that you fill the fuel to max and then fill the bucket to the full capacity and then do a partial drop in the hover?
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Old 16th May 2020, 13:57
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Aser View Post
Are you saying that you fill the fuel to max and then fill the bucket to the full capacity and then do a partial drop in the hover?
Yes. In your scenario you pull to a specific power setting and then release a little bit of water at a time until you establish a positive rate of climb.
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Old 16th May 2020, 18:43
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Aser View Post
Are you saying that you fill the fuel to max and then fill the bucket to the full capacity and then do a partial drop in the hover?
Thatís correct Aser, on the Bambi multi-drop bucket you need to hold the button in to open the valve so each time you press the button for about 1 second you drop approximately 50 litres of water. Fill to the top then pull to the first limit on the FLI, button off enough water to get the load airborne & away you go. Itís a good technique for large open dip sites but There is a risk when dipping from a small hole which requires a vertical descent/departure that if the bucket malfunctions youíll be stuck there unable to lift the load, so if the dip site wonít allow you to tip a bit of water out by resting the bucket against a rock or log etc. then donít fill it to 100%.
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Old 17th May 2020, 08:53
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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The problem I see, is that they arenít starting super safe. They have created one of the most dangerous fire fighting operations I have seen.

if they want to use a twin with two pilots, I guess, go for it. But that is already an extra person that doesnít need to be put into the additional risky area of fire fighting. Having the crewy, and hanging outside the helicopter is just crazy.

as someone above said, if the pilot canít do the job, by themselves then swap pilots. Long lining is no different to IFR, in that it is simply an additional skill to be trained in. Train the pilots, and let them VR the bucket. If they snag a tree with a bucket, the crew member wonít be able to tell the pilots to stop flying or drop the bucket quick enough, and they will drag a helicopter in....
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Old 17th May 2020, 11:40
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by heliduck View Post
Thatís correct Aser, on the Bambi multi-drop bucket you need to hold the button in to open the valve so each time you press the button for about 1 second you drop approximately 50 litres of water. Fill to the top then pull to the first limit on the FLI, button off enough water to get the load airborne & away you go. Itís a good technique for large open dip sites but There is a risk when dipping from a small hole which requires a vertical descent/departure that if the bucket malfunctions youíll be stuck there unable to lift the load, so if the dip site wonít allow you to tip a bit of water out by resting the bucket against a rock or log etc. then donít fill it to 100%.
My experience is in the 412 and I could not load full fuel plus 2800lbs of bucket (setting aside performance) without exceeding the max. gross weight, that's why I was surprised. I guess you are talking about a B3 or other "plastic helicopter" .
I was always using a bucket restricted to 90 or 80% and ~1.5h of fuel

Regards.
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Old 17th May 2020, 19:51
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Originally Posted by Aser View Post
My experience is in the 412 and I could not load full fuel plus 2800lbs of bucket (setting aside performance) without exceeding the max. gross weight, that's why I was surprised. I guess you are talking about a B3 or other "plastic helicopter" .
I was always using a bucket restricted to 90 or 80% and ~1.5h of fuel

Regards.
Yes, Iím talking about a H125 ďplasticĒ as you call it.
The 412ís I share the circuit with carry 1500 litres & do a 1.5 hour fuel cycle, I carry 1000 litres & do a 2.5 hour fuel cycle - I love those plastic machines!😉
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Old 17th May 2020, 22:04
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Originally Posted by heliduck View Post
Yes, Iím talking about a H125 ďplasticĒ as you call it.
The 412ís I share the circuit with carry 1500 litres & do a 1.5 hour fuel cycle, I carry 1000 litres & do a 2.5 hour fuel cycle - I love those plastic machines!😉
But we can take ~10 firefighters to the initial attack.
It's always a compromise, that's why have heavy/medium/light helicopters and airplanes.
Anyway, this thread is about the German Police.

Regards.
Aser
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Old 18th May 2020, 03:23
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
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Originally Posted by Flying Bull View Post
Well,
I haven't been trained yet, ........

I know, there is a lot of experience in Portugal, Spain, US and Australia - but also some in Germany.
It went a lot of effort in the procedures, working together with squadrons doing Bambi for years, as well as the fire brigades, the forrest department and so on.
We will se, how this develops
The idea of "bucketing" was invented in British Columbia, Canada in 1964 by Okanagan Helicopters using a Bell 47G3B1 and 45 gallon fuel drum with a trap door on the bottom.

I have bucketed with a 204, 205, 206, 212, Hughes 500, SK55T, SK58 Piston & T and SK61.

This ain't how ya do it.🙄

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Old 18th May 2020, 11:49
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
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Originally Posted by SuperF View Post
The problem I see, is that they arenít starting super safe. They have created one of the most dangerous fire fighting operations I have seen.

if they want to use a twin with two pilots, I guess, go for it. But that is already an extra person that doesnít need to be put into the additional risky area of fire fighting. Having the crewy, and hanging outside the helicopter is just crazy.

as someone above said, if the pilot canít do the job, by themselves then swap pilots. Long lining is no different to IFR, in that it is simply an additional skill to be trained in. Train the pilots, and let them VR the bucket. If they snag a tree with a bucket, the crew member wonít be able to tell the pilots to stop flying or drop the bucket quick enough, and they will drag a helicopter in....
I guess that very much depends on the quality of your crewman - if they are any good they will tell you before the bucket gets snagged and help you manoeuvre to prevent it happening in the first place. Plus they are an extra set of eyes in what is often a poor visibility and sometimes very busy operation.
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Old 18th May 2020, 15:32
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Redding CA, or on a fire somewhere
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Originally Posted by Old Dogs View Post
The idea of "bucketing" was invented in British Columbia, Canada in 1964 by Okanagan Helicopters using a Bell 47G3B1 and 45 gallon fuel drum with a trap door on the bottom.
Might want to check your facts there "Old Dog". This photo was taken in April 1957 at the Redding airport and is currently on display at North-Ops, the command center for fires in Northern California and further North. The pilot is Burt Train who formed Redding Air Service that month as a fire fighting company, We are still in business today doing the same thing. I am sure we did not "invent" bucketing either.



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