6 thoughts on “Firefighting with a helicopter”

  1. An interesting question to the readers?. Buckets versus internal tanks on helicopters which is best?, In Australia Casa prefers helicopters to have internal and belly tanks rather than buckets and restricts helicopters with buckets bushland areas and ban some from operating in city areas. Personal comment looking at some YouTube videos of helicopters using buckets the buckets are able to get closer to the fire and a more effective?.

  2. Tanks definitely, with snorkel. Able to carry more water with quicker turnaround times. Like to see more tanks on type 3s, especially with more 407s being HPd.

  3. Snorkeled tanked helicopters are slower to fill than an external bucket carrying helicopter. The useful load (water) of a tanked helicopter is lower as the “attached” equipment is part of the weight and balance. A bucket helicopter will fill in thirty seconds, a full bucket. With tanked helicopters there is no way to measure how much water has been pumped.

  4. For a Bell 205, a 324 gallon bucket weighs 154 lbs. A Simplex tank weighs 287 lbs. I’d gladly sacrifice 16 gallons of water to eliminate set-up time, be able to use a shallower dipsite, and not have to worry about the bucket falling off, not to mention cutting down on turn around times (80 kias bucket, 120 kias tank), especially with the bucket on a long line. You can use the HOGE-J allowable with a bucket if you choose, which would give you a little extra. Filling the tank would take 60 seconds, so there is that trade-off. I do think the bucket is a great tool, especially if it’s attached directly to the belly. Not sure of the benefits of having it on a long line, although I’ve heard them all.
    I, too, would like to hear more discussion on this.

  5. I have an idea Jeff. Lets put a pump in the bottom of a bucket. History: First known concept of this idea was in the spring of 2000. Bambi Buckets provided the 324 gallon bucket and pump. CDF (Cal Fire) Baseline Skunk Works did the modification and Intermountain Helicopter of Columbia, Ca. tested the concept under their 205. The rest is history; today know as the Tarantula Bucket by Bambi.

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