Jump to content

Thank You Fire Fighters

Guest ozzie

Recommended Posts

On returning to Sydney today, i found myself (like many others) caught between the two fires on the F3/ old pacific highway. It started to look bad. Then the helicopters turned up. These guys have perverbials like rockmelons.They flew straight into the smoke filled valleys. I wonder if they have clean air to breath as continuous exposure to the smoke cannot be good for one's health. It was really interesting to watch. It looks like one helicopter flies high over the area and coordinates the movements into and out of the firezone. I'd like to by them a beer.


If anyone from this site knows these pilots please give my thanks to them all and i hope they have safe flying and a lighter workload.(also to the groundcrews)


There were no outs from where we were trapped.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

i still cant understand why our government refuses to even TEST some of the firefighting aircraft on offer around the world! like the Canadair ones used in Europe, the big bright yellow twin engined things, or even the B747 tanker! just one pass with that will extinguish a small fire alone! sure the choppers have their place, but the fires in OZ are rarly small, the the govt refuses to test them saying they would rather stick to "tried and true" methods...... which is just keep spitting at it and let the weather change control the fire, sure our fire troops and pilots do a fantastic job, but the rarely control a big fire, just limit the damage when property are in its path..



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fire fighting is a big industry now, so it wouldn't do to control fires too easily, think how many petty beaurocrats would be out of work.


What I can't understand is why they have given up on fuel reduction and let the fuel build up to an uncontrollable state.


In this state (Qld) we have an ongoing advertising campaign to make everyone aware of fire and the advertisers don't seem to realise that our fires are different from those in the Southern states, but it does provide employment to someone to talk it up all the time.


Ian Borg



Link to comment
Share on other sites

SEATs (Single Engine Air Tankers) are in fact used extensively in Aust. aerial firefighting, not just helos. Their more common role is as Ag. spray aircraft. The more common ones seem to be PZL Dromaders with 2500 litre capacity, and Air Tractors with 3,200 litres.


Very large aircraft have in fact been trialled in Aust, at least in Vict & NSW that I can recollect, although we have obviously stuck with the more flexible and manoeuvable craft that are currently utilised. (I'll excuse your ignorance in not having known that they have been tried out here, even though it was written up in aviation mags at the time - it may have been before your time, I'm thinking around 5, out to 8, years ago.)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of the bigger ones are designed to scoop water from the sea/lakes, that would be a fair haul for a lot of Australian fires. The others like the Jumbo there is no way you could have support outside a major capital city which makes them impracticle. Even with the larger AG machines used now it takes anything up to 10 minutes to load so you could imagine how long it would take to load something with 30,000 litres.


With the machinery now if say four Aircraft worked as one unit they can get 12,000 litres on in one hit, the big chopper drops 9,000 in one hit.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Ultralights and Yenn


Further info today on the effectiveness (?) of large firefighting aircraft - from a critic of the current situation (of the whole thing, not just aircraft use):


Some selected quotes (confined to aircraft) from today's Crikey ezine (item 13) which unfortunately is available only by paid subscription -


" Fire authorities fiddling while the bush burns


Nicholas Gellie is a fire ecologist and former fire manager with 25 years experience with various agencies, including the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. He is currently completing a PhD thesis at the ANU on the topic of "Exposure of the ACT region to severe drought, fire weather and lightning ignition". He writes:


As south eastern Australia braces itself for another day of intense bushfire activity, it's fair to question why our fire authorities are again fearing the worst. Simply, they are unprepared.




We need to critically evaluate the effectiveness of large helicopters, such as the Ericsson sky cranes. “Elvis†might be a cult hero, but in many situations he is ineffective when compared to smaller and more deployable helicopters.



For first attack purposes, small to medium sized helicopters equipped with buckets are more effective because you can hit the fire hard and more often. Then there’s the cost issue. One sky crane costs more than $250,000 a day, but you can have ten medium helicopters at $25,000 a day supporting fire operations. It’s a huge cost difference and nobody is doing the cost-benefit analysis. People who have lost property, national park users and taxpayers should be asking why."



Dear Ultralights and Yenn - are you still sure big is better??? Even in America there are far more SEATS and helos than ultra-large bombers. In fact it's considered that the ultra-largies are only suitable for ridgetop work - of which there's not a lot - there's far more stuff burning in the valleys and gullies than along the ridges. I will admit that the ultra-biggies have their proponents, notable amongst them are the companies that provide them! The old story, do your homework, don't just listen to the sales pitch. Buyer beware.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...