MAFFS videos, Rim Fire

These videos were shot by crews on MAFFS 4 and MAFFS 6 while dropping on the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in California August 18, 19, and 22. The first one has spectacular views of the fire from a vantage point seen by very few people. If you only watch one, watch the first one.

If you’re not familiar with the “Landing Gear” audio warning, it comes on automatically when the lady in the dashboard senses the terrain and thinks the crew is landing without lowering the gear. The MAFFS folks are working with Lockheed on a way to disable it while dropping retardant, but it will not be available until 2014 at the earliest.

Thanks go out to Michael

Typos, let us know, and please keep in mind the commenting ground rules before you post a comment.

12 thoughts on “MAFFS videos, Rim Fire”

  1. Thank you for your site. I have family affected in the Rim Fire and knowing anything good.

  2. Thanks to all the pilots and co pilots that risk their lives to do this. Air Tac included. Great video. Thanks, STEVE

    1. MAFFS airplanes have more than just a pilot and co-pilot. J models have two Loadmasters as well. H models have two Loadmasters, a navigator, and a flight engineer. God bless everyone in the firefight, regardless of what they do.

  3. Damn, I miss doing ATGS work. Haven’t flown for eight years now, but I still miss it.

  4. I watched you guys work Jawbone Ridge from the Rim on the first day after the fire started. You’re amazing. Sunday afternoon the 18th, I was swimming on the Clavey River at the one place it has a paved road bridge. Now that is apparently a burn area. Sigh.

  5. As an old driver of various types of a/c, (No longer active due to CVS(STROKE)
    I have always admired and envied guys fighting these fires from the air. The
    precision required reminds me of carrier qualifications except there you would sink or swim whereas these guys would have the heat from the fires to contend with.

    God Bless them all,

    “Bo” Richardson
    Captain, USN, (Retired)

  6. Great videos, but perhaps with your description, you are being a bit facetious. The lady in the dash does not ‘sense’ terrain. If the flaps are extended beyond a certain setting (which is typical for landing) and the gear is not down, the gear warning horn (in this case, the repeated phrase ‘landing gear’) will sound. Later in the video, the warning stops because the flaps are retracted to a lower setting that does not trigger the alarm. This is common of many airframes. The flaps were probably extended to increase lift during this ‘slow flight’ maneuver. There may be a secondary device installed which does warn of terrain, but the gear warning is independent of that.

  7. Capt Richardson
    Thanks for your service. Having cat’ed off a carrier and landed on one a couple of times I have all the admiration in the world for you folks that have done that as well as great admiration for those who fly Air Attack and those who make retardant drops

  8. I spent a summer one year at Columbia Airbase loading retardant into the ass end of the cdf aircraft. Nothing like standing behind two giant turning props while trying your best to be precise on the amount your were dumping into the aircraft. These pilots are both remarkably able, but (most of them) characters and throwbacks as well. It was an honor to meet and work with them. God bless them all

  9. Have spent most of my time at the PML Airport observing from “dip site” setup around Aug 20-21 at E end of airport to actual helo operations sucking up both from water tank/retardant and reminding myself what I experienced in flight deck carrier operations during Korean War….as I crouched alongside multiple bags of retardant…..
    Spoke to most of “mixer”/ground crews……
    All awesome in my opinion!
    To fire crews from all over the state, flight and ground crews, hot-shot crews on fire lines:


  10. The precison, the ability, the courage of these firefighters is truly
    amazing. Here in Colorado where we have had our share of fires,
    I have watched these planes in their arduous work. God bless them for their
    devotion and ability in a tough environment.

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