The U.S. Forest Service has issued the solicitation for a flight crew to operate the C-130H air tanker that they expect to have available at McClellan at Sacramento, Calilfornia beginning in mid-May. They intend to fill the following jobs initially for a nine month period with options to extend the term of the contract for an additional two years.
- 1 C-130H Qualified Contractor Aircrew Project Manager
- 2 MAFFS II Qualified Instructor Pilots,
- 1 US Coast Guard Qualified Flight Engineer Instructor, or US Air Force Qualified FE Instructor
- 2 MAFFS II Qualified Load Master Instructors
The requirements for the two pilots:
- Must be current and qualified as a MAFFS Instructor within the last two years
from the closing date of the solicitation.
- C-130J pilots must have been previously qualified as instructors in the C-
130H, and must be a MAFFS IPs (AC/IP) with the following minimum experience:
- (A) 1,500 hours flight time in a C-130H aircraft,
- (B) 30 drops on fire,
- (C) 4 seasons conducting MAFFS II Missions,
- (D) 6 Deployments (Fire Deployments)
- (E) Instructor status in respective crew position.
- (F) 100 instructor hours.
The closing date for the solicitation is April 10 — about a month before the C-130H arrives at McClellan.
A few weeks ago the USFS changed their plans about how many of the seven C-130H aircraft that are in the process of being retrofitted and transferred from the Coast Guard, will be operational this year as air tankers. On February 4 their intent was to have two of the C-130Hs this summer, both outfitted temporarily with the MAFFS pressurized internal retardant tanks, rather than a conventional gravity-based retardant tank. One would be used on fires within 500 nautical miles (575 statute miles) of McClellan, California, and the other aircraft would have been used as a training platform until it departed for programmed depot-level maintenance in the Fall of CY 2015.
Their revised plan is to have only one C-130H operational this summer and it would still be used only on fires within 500 nautical miles of McClellan. Aircraft 1721 is scheduled for delivery to Warner Robins Air Force Base for “MAFFS panel installation” around March 13, and should arrive at McClellan by mid-May. There appear to be no other changes to the schedule. The last of the seven C-130Hs are expected to be delivered, with internal gravity-based retardant tanks, in FY 2019. More details are in our February 9 and March 11 articles.