American Heros Air Show

The American Heroes Air Show will be coming to the Los Angeles area on June 21, 2014 at the Hansen Dam Sports Complex. Admission is free for the event that is scheduled for 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Established in Los Angeles in 1992, the show began as a grass-roots community effort to celebrate the dynamic role of helicopters in law enforcement, fire service, search and rescue, homeland security, communications and national defense. Today, this non-profit event is offered in several major U.S. cities, enabling spectators from coast-to-coast the opportunity to view advanced military and civilian helicopters and meet the pilots who fly them.

Subject to local fire conditions the organizers expect aircraft from U.S. Forest Service, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Los Angeles City Fire Department, CAL FIRE, Ventura County and others from law enforcement and EMS.

The show features aerial demonstrations including:

  • Helicopter displays, flyovers and tactical demonstrations
  • Interactive exhibits and hands-on family activities
  • Public safety and emergency preparedness displays
  • Helicopter rides
  • Live local entertainment
  • Public safety career fair
  • Concessions

Photos from the Marines during their fire fight

When Marines are involved in a fire fight, it usually means bullets, not flames, are in the air. There have been at least 22 military aircraft available for fighting the wildfires in southern California over the last five days, from Camp Pendleton and the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar. The latter has an official Twitter account where we found these photos:

Continue reading “Photos from the Marines during their fire fight”

U.S. Navy helicopters assist with the fires in southern California

MH-60S Seahawk
An MH-60S Seahawk with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3 lifts off from Camp Pendleton May 15 to assist the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Joan E. Jennings)

A total of 19 military helicopters are providing fire suppression support to firefighters in southern California, including eight Marine Corps CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, seven CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters and four UH-1Y Huey helicopters.

A report from the military:

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“SAN DIEGO – Six flight crews from the “Merlins” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3 provided firefighting support to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) in response to wildfires throughout San Diego County May 15.

At the request of CAL FIRE, the six specially-equipped MH-60S Seahawks are supporting firefighting efforts in the vicinity of Camp Pendleton, Calif. by conducting aerial water drops.

“The critical part of our role is supporting CAL FIRE to help save lives, prevent human suffering and mitigate great property damage,” said Lt. Cmdr. Todd Stansfield, Third Fleet’s Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) lead. “We have Navy personnel and their families that live and work in the areas of San Diego threatened by the fires. Our efforts support both our people and the communities we live in.”

In August 2011, U.S. Third Fleet, Naval Air Forces Pacific and Navy Region Southwest entered into a memorandum of understanding with CALFIRE. Under the agreement, naval units provide helicopters when notified by CALFIRE of weather conditions favorable to wildfires.

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Wing Pacific prepares ready, trained and certified resources to combat wildfires and crews conduct semi-annual training with CAL FIRE to ensure an immediate response capability in support of local authorities for emergency events. The assigned crews are capable of being airborne within four hours of receiving a request for assistance to combat fires.”

Video of DC-10 air tanker drop

The video shows one of the DC-10 very large air tankers making a drop on the San Miguelito Fire south of Lompoc, California. More information about the fire can be found at webpronews. The DC-10 carries 11, 600 gallons of retardant.

UPDATE: in response to some of the comments, below is a video of the DC-10 making a drop on what is definitely not a long, flat flank.

And another, suggested by “R”:

And, by Steve:

This next video is from the Falls Fire on the west side of Lake Elsinore in southern California, August 5, 2013. Photos taken at the fire, including one from overhead as the DC-10 made the drop, are at Wildfire Today.

Video from California National Guard aerial firefighting training


This “B roll” footage is from the April 5th, 2014 California National Guard and Cal Fire Joint training exercise at the Cal Fire Training Academy in Ione, California. It includes shots of helicopter takeoff and landings, air crew members, aircraft refueling, helicopter controls, and California National Guard personnel working with civilian firefighting personnel from CAL FIRE.

Sacramento aircraft

We had an opportunity to photograph some of the aircraft at McClellan Air Force base today. Click on the photos to see larger versions.

S2T
CAL FIRE S2Ts at McClellan AFB March 17, 2014. Photo by Bill Gabbert.
OV-10
CAL FIRE OV-10s at McClellan AFB March 17, 2014. Photo by Bill Gabbert.
P3
P3s at McClellan AFB March 17, 2014. Photo by Bill Gabbert.
P3 at McClellan AFB March 17, 2014. Anyone know why this aircraft has "MAFFS" painted on it? Photo by Bill Gabbert.
P3 at McClellan AFB March 17, 2014. Anyone know why this aircraft has “MAFFS Protection from Above” painted on it? Photo by Bill Gabbert.
P3
P3s at McClellan AFB March 17, 2014. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

The Predator UAS on the Rim Fire

Predator drone
The 163d Reconnaissance Wing, California Air National Guard prepares the Predator MQ1 for lift off on it’s maiden voyage from Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) on 25 February 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sergeant Stanley L. Thompson)

(UPDATE at 6:41 p.m. MDT, March 17, 2014)

The Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center has publicized information from two reports about the Unmanned Aerial System, the Predator, used on the Rim Fire. There is a report written by the LLC, and an AAR developed by one of the Incident Management Teams that was assigned to the fire.

One thing is clear. We need to decide on a name. UAS, drone, RPV, or UAV.

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(Originally published at 12:49 p.m. MDT, March 14, 2014)

These videos describe the use of a California Air National Guard Predator unmanned aerial system on the Rim Fire, which burned 257,000 acres in and near Yosemite National Park last summer.

HERE is a link to a 17-second video which can’t be embedded, but it shows the operator’s screen.