Airship Capabilities and Pilot Expertise Discussion??

Have no experience but I wonder about the utility of a 144 gallon bucket. Discussion is made regarding cost benefit of the big boys, so the discussion is applicable for this also. The cost to fly, the risks, the training required all to deliver at most 144 (capacity) gallons of liquid. I’m not for or against, just wondering.


I’ve put out a LOT of fires with a Type 3 helicopter and a 144 gal bucket.


144gal puts it in the Type 3 category. Definitely can bring a strong fight to light flashy fuels, cooling down jackpots of fuel near structures, etc. And it isn’t a restricted aircraft typical of some Type 2 and Type1 copters, so much better for urban bay area deployment.


The fuel model for the majority of the area the aircraft services is grass. There is a tremendous amount of debris fires in homeless encampments as well. Additionally much of the service area is marsh lands and islands. It’s the perfect service helicopter for what’s being asked of it.


Norcal, Twig, thanks for the additional info, putting it in context is educational.


East Bay Regional Parks Eagle 7, which is also a Type 3 copter, regularly is present at SCU fires and is a tremendous aerial asset. Think of it in terms of T944 vs. a S2T. Would you order up the 747 for every single IA fire? No, you wouldn’t, same thing here. Use the right asset for the right job.


Both aircraft are more limited than a typical cwn type three.
Con fire is a medical helicopter. So it’s allowable is even less. Eastbay regional parks is a law enforcement platform. Little to no fire experience. Just watch the recent video of the 20 foot bucket drops and rotor wash. Sometimes nothing is better than something.


ConFire has two copters staffed. On high risk days ConAir1 is prepositioned for fires and responds only as a 2nd out copter for medicals. They’ve been training a lot and in service as a fire platform one month. They’ll be on the majority of first alarms in the district and already have been responding out on LRA fires. Give them a chance.


East Bay Regional Parks copter Eagle program has been in daily fire suppression service for many yrs.



Considering the two CAL FIRE ships closest to that area are C106 and C104, something in the area is better than nothing. I’d say it will be effective on 80% of the fires it’s dispatched to. I’d call that a win for the public.


And if it blows something over the line trapping a crew or causing a spot - who benefits from that?

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What I do know is this. You show me a firefighter that has never made mistake, I’ll show you somebody who probably never tried hard enough. Sometimes finding the wrong in something prevents us from seeing the right. If there were things that can improve, that’s for us as individuals to approach. Minimal communication and chest forward approach is what enables us to take things head-on and be great problem solvers. It’s also what limits us from having simple human conversations that articulate concerns.

Maybe that copter did blow things over the line. Maybe the fire that blew over the line came at you. If that was the case, that sucks. I’m truly sorry you had to experience that. My point is this, as a person that has been put in bad situations, some my fault, other times not, it is still my responsibility to convey information so that we can all improve and become better. The whole point of this is not to draw lines, but never forget our ultimate goal is to protect and safeguard the citizens of our communities and state; and still return home to our loved ones. Both of those require us to address our concerns, but do so without our egos blocking our ability to listen.

Just so you are aware, what I heard you say was, there was an experience you had that made your job more difficult and heightened your sense of awareness; and maybe even made the situation uncomfortable for you or others around you. Which may have, in turn made you feel extremely uncomfortable when working around the copter in question. If that’s the case. I think you are right to feel that way. Just don’t let it inhibit you from constructively addressing the concern. I hope you are ok…


That was a horrible drop! He scattered fire everywhere. I hope the piilot sees this video and learns from it. You are right, sometimes nothing is better than a poor something.

So, by that logic, we should ground T944 forever because it made a very low, very bad drop on the Ranch Fire that caused the death of an Utah BC and injured 3 others.


Everyone makes mistakes and they are to be learned from. Just because someone makes a mistake means we have to turn them away from the tasks? There’s a learning curve to everything and we can’t expect people to just naturally be good at the task at hand. California is not in a place to remove resources from incidents when we are seeing large fires almost all year.


I hope you take time out of your day to get a cup of coffee with him and let him know exactly how the situation felt for you. That’s how we get better.


Lame response… personal responsibility has a place in this job…

Thanks for the advice… Not sure if you really heard me…
Let the experts do the expert stuff- this is not a model airplane club…

And you have one to yourself to tell him…