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Agreement reached on firefighting helicopter night drops PDF  | Print |  E-mail

By Debbi Baker

UNION-TRIBUNE BREAKING NEWS TEAM

1:24 p.m. September 22, 2008

SAN DIEGO – Two of the region's biggest firefighting agencies signed a historic agreement Monday lifting the ban that kept the city's helicopters from dropping water at night over state owned lands.

 

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, now known as Cal Fire, is the agency responsible for responding to most major wildfires.

Citing safety issues, it has long banned water dropping helicopters from flying at night because of the inherent dangers pilots face when navigating in remote and often times unfamiliar areas. More than one million acres of land, mostly in the county's backcountry, are controlled by the state.

But the agency's approach to fighting fires was heavily criticized after the 2003 and 2007 wildfires that destroyed thousands of homes and left several people dead.

When public officials identified the inability to fly at night as one of the primary problems facing the agency, the county Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a recommendation aimed at changing the policy.

 Full San Diego Tribune article...

 

 

HAI Helicopter Firefighting Safety Forum PDF  | Print |  E-mail

 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 / HAI

Helicopter Association International (HAI) is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the Fall 2008 HAI/Federal Interagency Helicopter Firefighting Safety Forum. The Forum will be held in conjunction with the Fall HAI Government Contracting Committee Meeting at the Courtyard by Marriott, Meridian, Idaho (located eight miles from the Boise airport).

HAI operator members who conduct helicopter firefighting operations, with an interest in providing services to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Department of the Interior (DOI), are strongly encouraged to attend the Forum. The Forum will address safety initiatives, safety management systems, training, human factors, accident analysis, and an overview of the past fire season as well as looking ahead to the 2009 fire season.

The Forum allows interaction between industry and government personnel to address all aspects of aerial firefighting safety. Interested helicopter operators, who are not HAI members, are welcome to attend on a space available basis. The HAI Government Contracting Committee will meet Wednesday, November 12 from 2-6 pm and again with the government on Friday, November 14 from 8-12 pm. All meetings are open.

To register for the HAI Helicopter Firefighting Safety Forum, email a completed registration form to Nicole Graves at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . Completed forms may also be faxed to Ms. Graves at 703-683-4745.

REGISTRATION FORM (PDF)

 

Original Vertical Magazine newsletter release...  

 

 


 

Update on the fires in Italy as of 29 Aug, 2008 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

FIRES: FOREST SERVICE, 58 FIRES TODAY IN ALL OF ITALY

      

 

(AGI) – Rome, 29 August – There were 58 forest fires that broke out in Italy today – locally autonomous regions excluded – that occupied the means and personnel of the State Forest Service.
  Again, it was the south that registered the highest number of fires. The region that was struck the worst was Calabria with 30 fires, followed by Campania with 10, and Lazio with 5, then Liguria and Tuscany with 3, Molise and Piedmont with 2. Only one fire in Abruzzo, Puglia, and Umbria. The province that was struck the worst by the flames was Cosenza with 19 fires, Catanzaro with 11, Salerno with 6, and Caserta with 3. There were various missions undertaken by Forest Service aircraft. An AB 412 helicopter departing from Roma Urbe intervened to put out a fire that broke out in Pontecorvo in the province of Frosinone. The fire, with a front of 500 meters, burned 15 hectares of Mediterranean scrub, and put another 200 at risk.
  Two Forest Service helicopters, an Erickson S64F and an AB 412, departing from Pescara, intervened both in the town of Rocca San Giovanni, in the province of Chieti. The flames with a front of 200 meters, burned 10 hectares of scrub. Another helicopter, an AB 412, departing from Rome is presently occupied in putting out a fire in the province of Terni which is putting several hectares of scrub at risk.

 Source:  HAI RotorNews.  Sign up now!

RotorNews is published daily/weekly by the Helicopter Association International, 1635 Prince Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-2818; (703) 683-4646. RotorNews is a membership benefit.

 

The original article on the AGI (Italy) website... 


 

San Diego Fire-Rescue Sign for Bell 412 Helicopter PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Thursday, September 04, 2008 / Bell Helicopter

Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced the delivery of a 412EP model medium lift helicopter to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, joining "Copter One," a model 212 Bell helicopter currently operated by the air support division. This new 412 will significantly enhance the citizens of San Diego access to 24 hour, seven days a week emergency response capability.

 

The full article on the Vertical Magazine website... 


 

Los Angeles Firefighters, Preparing for the Most Challenging Fire Season in Recent History PDF  | Print |  E-mail

 

Erickson Air-Crane - World leader in aerial firefighting called upon to help save lives and property

Central Point, Oregon, USA - Preparing for the most challenging fire season in recent history, the Los Angeles (City) Fire Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department have obtained two of the largest fixed-tank firefighting helicopters in the world.

The Erickson S-64 Helitanker, known for the extraordinary ability to maneuver and drop up to 2,000 gallons of water, foam mix, or retardant on fires threatening highly populated, high value urban interface areas, has already helped California save homes in Malibu, Topanga Canyon, Sepulveda Canyon, and others during its 9-year history of working with both City and County departments.

The full article on the HAI website... 


 

Preliminary NTSB report on Carson Helicopters accident PDF  | Print |  E-mail

NTSB's preliminary report notes loss of power in helicopter crash

by Helen Jung, The Oregonian
Thursday August 21, 2008, 8:08 AM

 
NTSB investigators flew on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2008, to the wreckage of a Sikorsky S-61N that crashed Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008, killing one crew member and eight firefighters. The helicopter crashed seconds after takeoff while ferrying firefighters from a remote helipad on the Buckhorn Fire in Trinity County back to basecamp near Junction City, Calif.

A helicopter that crashed on Aug. 5 and killed nine of the firefighters and crew on board "experienced a loss of power to the main rotor," during the takeoff initial climb, according to the preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The report, released today, said the helicopter then hit trees and went down in the terrain near Redding. The agency is continuing to investigate the crash, with a final report to be released later.

The crash of the Sikorsky S-61N helicopter in the Shasta Trinity National Forest near Redding, Calif., killed seven firefighters, a pilot and a Forest Service airman. The crash also injured another three firefighters and a second pilot. Everyone except the Forest Service employee were from Oregon.

Click here to read the full article in the Oregonian...


 

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