Third DC-10 air tanker under construction

Posted on Categories Fixed wingTags ,
Part of tank for Tanker 912
About one-third of the retardant tank that will be fitted onto Tanker 912, the DC-10 that is being converted for 10 Tanker Air Carrier.

10 Tanker Air Carrier has posted some photos on their web page of their third DC-10 air tanker that is under conversion. They expect it will be complete by mid-summer. The aircraft has been added to the exclusive use contract, along with Tankers 910 and 911.

Below is a really shaky cell phone video of one of the DC-10s dropping on the Miguelito Fire at Camp Pendleton in southern California, May 16, 2014.


Night flying fire suppression drill scheduled in California

The Kern County Fire Department in Bakersfield, California will be hosting a night flying and night vision goggles (NVG) fire suppression drill on June 5. The Department recently distributed the following information. It is interesting in that it will involve not only night flying helicopters, but also crews, engines, and dozers.


“On June 5, 2014 the Kern County Fire Department will be hosting the Southern California Interagency NVG Fire Suppression Drill in the Greater Tehachapi area. Kern County Fire Department, Orange County Fire Authority, Los Angeles City Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Ventura County Fire/Sheriff, and the US Forest Service will participate in the drill with their aircraft.

The drill will begin at 2:00 PM with aircraft arriving at the East Ramp of Tehachapi Municipal Airport, the Drill Helibase. The airport east ramp will be closed to other aircraft and access will be limited to drill participants, Fire Service observers, and support staff only.

The Drill In-briefing will commence at 3:00 PM, following the brief aircraft will conduct area familiarization flights during daylight and return to the Helibase where dinner will be provided at 18:00. NVG Fire suppression operations will commence at approximately 8:45 PM, concluding at approximately 1:00 AM on June 6th. Fire suppression apparatus, including crews, engines, and dozers will be stationed at the burn site on Cummings Ranch.

Helicopters will depart the Helibase on order from the HLCO, proceed to the Tank-Fill site near Brite Lake, take on water and commence water-drop operations by flying circuits from the Tank-Fill site to the fire site on Cummings Ranch. Aircraft will complete as many evolutions as required for each pilot to demonstrate proficiency in night water drop operations. Additionally, Fire Crews will have the opportunity to work with night water-dropping helicopters to practice, train, and develop night water-drop coordination procedures (Identification, Communication, Feedback, etc.).

Aerial Supervision will be provided by the USFS Night Air Attack airplane and Kern County Fire NVG HLCO.”


American Heros Air Show

Posted on Categories MiscTags ,

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:


“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.