Report: two Coast Guard C-130s to be transferred to USFS will not need major maintenance

Coast Guard C-130H No 1719
A Coast Guard C-130H, No. 1719, one of the aircraft to be transferred from the Coast Guard to the U.S. Forest Service. Photo taken October, 2008 by Rico Leffanta.

A reporter for Gannett newspapers in D.C. interviewed me yesterday for an article he later wrote about the transfer of the seven C-130Hs and up to 15 C-23B Sherpas from the Coast Guard and the military to the U.S. Forest Service’s firefighting division. To the regular readers of Fire Aviation there is little new information in the piece. However, he told me that a spokesperson for Senator John McCain, who wrote the amendment that requires the transfer, said two of the seven C-130Hs will not require major maintenance and could be available as air tankers this year after they are converted to air tankers.

The reporter also interviewed Florida State Forester Jim Karels, who led the 54-person team that investigated the June 30 deaths of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots on the Yarnell Hill Fire.

The article looks to be pretty factual, except that he misquoted me saying the C-130H maintenance at the Depot “may be placed ahead of the line”. I told him there was no indication, in spite of the fact that the maintenance is required to be promptly scheduled, that they would be placed at the head of the line. Scheduling the work and performing it are two different things. The reporter also said the Pfeiffer Fire continues to burn, however according to InciWeb 100 percent containment was expected on December 20, 2013.

More information about the transfer of Coast Guard and military aircraft to the U.S. Forest Service.

Link to the legislation authorizing the transfer.

Typos, let us know HERE. And, please keep in mind our commenting ground rules before you post a comment.

9 thoughts on “Report: two Coast Guard C-130s to be transferred to USFS will not need major maintenance”

  1. Good report, Bill

    But McCain’s office and Karel’s office has not got the Depot report yet

    McCain saying no major modifications? Sorry to say, wing box modifications at the Depot level is a MAJOR modification…….

    Typical….we are ready for fire,season 2014 with 2 C130’s that have not made it to Depot level, yet…


    1. Maybe two of them don’t need the wing box replacements, even though it’s spelled out clearly in the legislation that they WILL get them replaced.

  2. OK Bill

    I can stand corrected… there a REAL report other than a “spokesperson” report? Documentation from USCG sources would be a start….

    But I know how things can be spun in DC!

  3. Back in the day, the operators that had the C-130’s thought they had “good aircraft”, until the the wings fell off.
    Let’s not miss the chance to get some aircraft that are really up to speed maintenance wise.

  4. MAFF, McCain’s Aerial Fire Fighters. As we all know Senator McCain is a pilots pilot. Isn’t it time for him to get back in the saddle? Leave the day to day politics to staff members, put on your flight suit, pull out the congressional juice card and lets get something accomplished. Several of the crop duster pilots that I have know flew well into their seventies and a few lower eighties. There is nothing like low level work to keep a persons mind clear and focused. Give me a call if you need a hand.

  5. Theirs at least one if not more tanker pilot’s in there 80’s and several more in their 70’s and still going strong. Age is just a number that most people look at and then they think they know when a person should quit.

    I for one will be going until I either fail a check ride or a medical.

    1. Amen to that. I’m dealing with a new left hip (at 60) and it’s better
      tha the original I am to keep going, myself..

  6. John (McCain) hasn’t called yet, however the Watchman team of fire aviation experts has come up with this thought. Not knowing who, what, where or how the Forest Service is going to “manage” these aircraft (C130) in order to get the possibly two airworthy Hercs into service this season install (I hate to say it) MAFFS units until the new gravity constant flow systems can be built and installed. Why does Coulson come to mind? Who will perform the maintenance (i.e. company like or Dyna Corp) As the rancher watched the tail lights of the horse trailer traveling down his dusty road, it grips him “I just got a horse” NOW WHAT!!!!?

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