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Country Discussion Topics
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Water tankers?
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deadcarp    Posted 10-16-2003 at 20:50:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
at first we wondered what they were up to - fairly bulky planes were flying low over the trees at the end of our lake, then they'd do it again in a few minutes. i thought maybe taking pot pictures but they seemed awfully low and their route was consistent. well, once the wind dropped i could hear the engines revving like they had landed, and next trip i saw that they were apparently letting down for a landing as they dropped behind the trees. since there's no airstrip out that way, i decided they must be landing on blueberry lake for some reason. josh & i drove over to blueberry bridge and inquired - turns out there was a brush fire nearby and they were hauling water to drop on it. what a sight - big old clumsy-looking plane comes coasting out of the sky, and just as he lets down on the lake, drops a kinda scraper blade to scoop it, skims the lake surface, hits the throttles again and in maybe 200 feet, has another load of lake water! flies away trailing a stream and looking decidedly heavier. that was a treat :)



michele    Posted 10-17-2003 at 08:25:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I don't know if it actually happened; it was
mentioned in the movie, "Magnolia" as one of
those odd occurrences: one of these water
planes scooped down and picked up a
snorkeler from a lake and dropped him onto a
forest fire. The snorkeler was found in the
trees after everything died down and no one
could figure out how he got there.


Willy-N Picture    Posted 10-17-2003 at 07:08:42       [Reply]  [No Email]

Here is one droping a load. This is a C1 Trader. Mark H.


Willy-N Picture    Posted 10-17-2003 at 07:04:09       [Reply]  [No Email]

Here is a Canadair CL415 that dose that, scoops the water off the lake to drop on the fires. Mark H.


rhudson, gutsey!    Posted 10-17-2003 at 04:57:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
we don't have stuff like that around here, seen it on tv. can you imagine the guts it takes to fly and fill a plane like that!


toolman    Posted 10-17-2003 at 10:20:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
here the danger seems to be when they are dumping,in the rocky mountains the air currents wind strength all play havoic with them , when they make their dump run it,s usually after a spotter plane (a smaller plane)picks their target for them, its pretty hairy either way though, i watch them ,looks like their goona fly right into the mountain side then all a sudden they pull up skim the tree tops and dump,last year we did lose a pilot and his co-pilot on a fire near here.crashed into the mountain side,there pretty brave folks .


deadcarp    Posted 10-17-2003 at 08:01:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
that's what i was wondering - how big an oops would it take for the lake to eat that thing? kinda like surface-skipping a locomotive fer pity's sake :)
speaking of which: years ago, they tried to haul loads of logs on tracks across the frozen lakes - well, they cut it a little too close sometimes - spider lake still has a rusted-out donkey engine poked into its mud. during low water, (like now) the big boats and water-skiers have to watch out for it.


screaminghollow    Posted 10-17-2003 at 02:06:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ever hear the expression or term a "jerk water" town. In old railroad days, they developed a way for steam engines to scoop up water they needed with out stopping. there would be a trench or large ditch along the tracks, usually filled with mosquitoes and other vermin, As the train chugged by, a scoop would lower into the water and the force of the train pushing forward, "jerked" water up the shoot into the tank to replenish the water for the steam boiler. The towns nearby became known as "jerk water" towns, the trains wouldn't stop there any more to refill with water. I remember the term being used in a Bob Hope movie referring to an actor who had hit the small time by playing every jerk water town between here and Poughkipsie.


Hal/WA    Posted 10-16-2003 at 22:51:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
Probably a PBY Catalina, kind of a flying boat that most likely was made during World War II. They go low and slow, way less than 100mph and are very efficient at fighting forest fires, especially if there is a lake or deep, wide river nearby. Rather than having to land to fill up with water, some of the PBY's have a scoop that they can lower and refill the water tank by just skimming the lake surface. Turnaround time back to the fire is pretty fast that way.

The air tanker method is quite an expensive way to fight a brush and timber fire, but often doing it this way gets the fire controlled before it really gets out of hand. We often see them when there is a significant brush fire in my area. I don't know if the DNR owns them or hires the service.

One thing, if you are in a position where you are likely to be hit by a water drop, hit the dirt and take cover! If the drop hits you directly, it will knock you down and it really hurts! But the air tankers are always a welcome sight on a fire.



toolman    Posted 10-17-2003 at 10:30:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
four of us got caught when a fire jumped a ravine and came roaring up a mountain side behind us,all we had was shovels and chainsaws, we were trapped the spotter pilot saw what happened and directed a bomber loaded with fire retardant(the pink yucky stuff)to come to our rescue,in order to save us he had to pretty much drop right on us,when that stuff hit you sure felt it but the real danger is from it snapping off tree tops and getting hit with them.they have one bomber here in BC costs 10,000an hour to operate, the govt. wouldn,t use it on the kelowna fires, after they lost 250 houses and the news media started asking questions as to why have it ,if your not gonna use it they brought it in and it sure made a difference. guess where it was sitting all summer, right outside victoria the captial where the govt. folks all had their homes and the fire threat was extreme.


Willy-N    Posted 10-16-2003 at 21:46:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Welcome sight when you have a fire. They are fast for getting water, dumping it and making a return trip again. Helps if you have a Lake nearby too! Mark H.


toolman    Posted 10-16-2003 at 21:00:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
yup something to see, watched lots of that around here this past summer.


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