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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
July 11, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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July 11, 2001

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14A Wednesday, July 11,2001 ~ressi Crew members from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Air At- tack Base near Chico were on hand to talk to people about their aircraft and operaP tions at the annual Wings and Wheels event June 30 at the Gansner airfield in Quin- cy. From the excitement of the Super Huey starting up, throwing up clouds of dust, to watching as a crew member dropped down the side of the helicopter, demonstrat- Ing how a short haul rescue is conducted, onlookers watched in interest. Photos by Victoria Metcalf 1 I I 1 m By Victoria Metcalf In the Quincy airfield current fire season. The re- Staff Writer demonstration, a member of maining two will be used as California Department of the flight crew was lowered maintenance relief planes. Forestry and Fire Protection to the upper airfield, where Within CDF, the OV-10A (CDF) personnel from the he assisted a second member are aeplacing the Cessna 0- Chico Air Attack Base wereof the team into a harness. 2As that CDF used for air at- on hand to put on demonstra- They were then lifted offtack. tions and give spectators an the ground, flown a few fee.t The OV-10s are newer, larg- opportunity to see some ofaway to the runway, and low- er, faster, and provide a larg- the air equipment routinely ered. er field of vision for the crew used on wildffires. The exercise demonstratedand are more maneuverable Landing at the Quincy air-how the team works in emer- than the older O-2As. field for the Wings and gency situations. The CDF uses this aircraft Wheels event Saturday, June as the command and control 30, Battalion Chief/Air At- UH-1H Super Huay aircraft on wildfires. tack Officer Steve Iverson di- The CDF took over the Su-One of Iverson's jobs is rected his pilots to land a UH- per Huey from the U.S. Army, from inside the aircraft, 1H Super Huey chopper, andwhich used them from 1963 to where he directs other air- an OV-10A air attack plane, 1975. Then it was used as a craft to drop loads of water or for static displays. A S-2Aair. troop and cargo transportfire retardant on strategic tanker was used in a fly-over and for specialized opera- points of a fire. demonstration, tions. The OV-10A weighs 10,500 Crew members were avail- In 1981, the CDF acquiredpounds, can fly up to 300 able to discuss operations, 12 of the helicopters, modi- mph, but has a cruising speed the particular dynamics offled them to suittheir specif- of 230. Flight range is 1,000 each aircraft and its use in ic fire fighting needs, and put miles, with an endurance of fighting wildfires, and then them into service in 1989. fivehours. participated in a short haul This year, nine helicopters The wing span of the air- rescue using the Super Huey. are available in the state, craft is 40 feet and two Gar- with two maintenance relief rett T-76 turbines, with 715 Short haul rescue choppers kept on standby,horsepower each, propel the Using the chopper, a shortThe CDF now uses the Su- plane. haul rescue was conducted per Huey on an initial attack by CDF crews, phase on wildfires. They are S-2A airtanker A short haul is an emer- capable of delivering a nine- Manufactured by Grum- gency rescue tool meant toperson fire crew to just about man Aerospace in Bethpage, quickly get an individual out anywhere they're needed. N.Y., the S-2As were origi- of a dangerous situation and They're also used to do water nally used by the U.S. Navy place them in a safe location, or foam drops over fires,from 1954 to 1972. explained Mary Huggins, Other uses of the Super Their original purpose was forester for CDF at the Quin- Huey include medical evacu- as a carrier-based antisubma- cy station, ations, backffiring operations rine warfare airplane. It involves a rescuer being on wildfires, and igniting Acquired the by CDF in lowered on a rope, from the prescribed burns using el- 1972, 19 S-2As were converted hovering chopper to the vic- ther a helitorch or a Chemi- for f'ire fighting in 1974. tim below, cal Ignition Device System. The S-2A is considered an The rescuer puts a harnessThey can also transport car- "efficient and reliable" part around the victim, so he can go, work in reseeding opera- of CDF's fire fight force. be raised to the chopper. If tions, are used in infra-red The CDF is currently up- the victim is injured, the res- mapping of incidents, and in grading the fleet, by adding a cuer may be placed in a numerous other capacities, newer, faster and more ma- stokes litter basket that's sus- When used in fire fighting neuverable turbine S-2T. Ten pended from the aircraft, operations, the Super Huey is of these were expected to be The CDF initiated a short capable of carrying a bucket ready for the 2001 fire season, haul rescue program in 1997 with up to 320 gallons of wa- with 13 of the original S-2As to broaden the department's ter or foam. still in use. emergency response role inSome statistics on the chop- In using the aircraft in fire the state, Hnggins explained, per include its gross weight fighting situations, the CDF A year later, all CDF hell- at 10,500 pounds, with a relies on it for a fast initial at- tack crews--180 people--had cruise speed at 126 mph; it tack, delivering 800 gallons of completed the training, has a range of 250 miles and fire retardant to a site. Short haul training re- can operate for two hours. Its The S-2A has a cruising quires about 50 hours of in- rotor diameter is 48 feet, and speed of 213 mph, with a struction and practice. The the engine is a Turbine Ly- range of 1,000 miles. emphasis is on the need for coming T-53-703, derated from Its wing span is 70 feet, and teamwork between the pilot, 1800 horsepower, has tWo Wright R-1820-82 the crew inside the chopper, with 9 cylinder radials at and the rescuer. OV-IOA Air Attack 1,500 horsepower each. Once the training program Manufactured by North is over and the person is cer- American-Rockwell in Battalion chief tiffed, every three months, he Columbus, Ohio, the aircraft Iverson has been with the or she must demonstrate skill was originally used by the CDF for 29 years, serving in levels in order to keep certifi- U.S. Navy and Marines from different assignments cation current. 1968-1993. throughout the state. Short haul rescues by the At that time, it was used as At the Chico Air Attack CDF may only be conducted a counterinsurgency aircraft Base, as the Air Attack Offi- during daylight, in good visi- and close air support to mill- cer, Iverson is prepared to re bility and after assessing the tary ground forces, spond to emergency inci- risk to the crew and the vic- In 1993, the CDF acquireddents. tim. When no other timely 15 OV-10As from the Depart- In flight, he can help locate method of rescue can be ment of Defense. Thirteenfires, and manage air control achieved, then the short hauL. have been converted for use in fire suppression efforts. rescue is done. as air attack planes for the \ HEROES WANTED, COME GET A FREE A FREE GouRmET MEAL Ano A FREE DrAoon Voted "Top 30 Summer Resorts," =Only the Dalai Lama will ever be ab/e to master them (greens). Chanting may help." Ski Magazine An "All Star" course. =Top 100 Fairways" for Women. Golf For Women "A Circuit breaker." 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