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How the Fire Bomber On Floats WorksEnvision taking off from a small uncontrolled airfield somewhere in the middle of no-where with a set of coordinates, a couple of frequencies, and a map. The mission is to fly as fast as you can direct to the fire, find a scoopable lake or river enroute, grab a load of water, and then proceed direct to the fire with load after load after load for the next three and a half hours. (www.avgeekery.com) More...
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There were two twin engined scoopers flying on the 242 fire here by my house just north of Klamath Falls OR. Every day all day about five min or less apart in trail formation. Fire was less than two miles from my home. All was getting taken care of they were flying on a diffrent area suddenly they were coming right over my home due to a line jump. It came withing 50yds of my friends house that day. Without them many more homes would have been lost.
I would love to do a job like this. For a pilot who does not want to go to airline route, flying off floats and fighting fires would be a ball. As a commercial pilot it would be a great gig as well. I have flown for the Civil Air Patrol for many years and would love to extend that to float flying and fire fighting.
Fire Suppression flying is seasonal work..2-3 months max. Year-round Commercial float-plane flying? The B.C. coast, Northwestern Washington and the Maldives come to mind.
A friend sent me a video that was take by one of those who were flying on that fire that jumped could seem our home in the very first part. Had to evacuate for a few days the thought of loosing our retirement home and all belongings is an even no one needs to endure.
That's what they do and they are Damned Good at it!
A member of our local fire department flies the wheeled version of these in the summer fire season in western Canada. They sound like quite the sports car for handling when empty, and lots of grunt when full.