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Author Topic: Smokejumpers  (Read 17673 times)

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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2009, 06:03:18 pm »
We never had smoke jumpers back east here that I know of. If so, no one in the public knew. But, I know they were in the west , northern regions of the Prairies and also still around in northern BC, I have read. I think a lot of them trained in Manitoba, but my info is sketchy. I do know there is a film clip of the BC crew from the 70's in the National Film Board archives. Here in NB, the firefighting programs were started by George Miller, a cousin of my grandmother who grew up just down the road. He was chief forester for the province of New Brunswick.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline Norm

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2009, 01:30:34 pm »
What an interesting post Ron, thank you.  :)
WM LT30HDD-E25

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2009, 09:07:38 pm »
Thanks Norm. Glad that you find it interesting. I appreciate the smokejumpers and their firefighting specalty which many aren't aware of. I've worked with and have known a number of them over the years, great guys and gals.

~Ron

Offline Norm

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2009, 08:28:21 am »
Ron I might suggest that if you haven't already done so to write a memoir of the things you've done and seen in your life. I know there's plenty of us here that would love to read it.  :)
WM LT30HDD-E25

Offline pappy19

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2009, 06:24:15 pm »
I saw the movie "Red Skys in Montana" today. Pretty good film considering. My 16 yr old grandson liked it too and that's saying something.
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2009, 07:21:00 pm »
Great! Maybe a future Smokejumper. ;)
~Ron

Offline Qweaver

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2009, 03:29:41 pm »
In 1961 when I was a 17 year old paratrooper the idea of becoming a smokejumper seemed to be a logical and exciting profession to follow after my service time.  When I finally ended my Army career in 1971 the reality of the danger of exiting an aircraft over a live fire became much more clear to me.  Teaching school during the week and jumping for fun during the weekend became much more appealing and the path to a much longer lifespan.  I've met and talked to a few real smokejumpers and those gents are the real deal.  Way more moxie than I have.  They have all of my respect.
Quinton
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2009, 08:23:27 pm »
Smokejumper Aircraft. The Shorts Sherpa C-23 waits to take a crew of 10 jumpers to a California fire. The vintage Ford Tri-Motor transported many of the early smokejumpers on their fire suppression missions. Other aircrtaft, still popular as jump planes are the Douglas DC-3TP and the Twin Otter DH-6300. Missoula, Montana, 9/09.



~Ron

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2009, 08:53:42 pm »


Here is a de Havilland Twin Otter (red) and 2 single Otters at Harbour Air in Prince Rupert, BC. Flown in them all, including the Beaver. I remember reading the manufacturers tag inside the single engine Otter planes and remembering these planes were 1950's vintage and still in service. The Beavers were from the 40's I think. ;D :o  The Twin Otter began production in Canada in the 60's after the availability of Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-20 propeller turbine engine. Viking Air in Victoria, BC now has exclusive rights to make replacement parts and new Otter aircraft.  The Twin Otter now has a more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 or 35 (option) engine since 2007.

Oh, the smell of airplane fuel exhaust in the fuselage. ;D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline pappy19

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2009, 09:16:23 pm »
I'd go about anywhere on a Twin Otter. Hell of an aircraft and very popular with Smokejumpers.
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Offline firefighter

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2009, 09:58:38 pm »
We watch the MANN Gulch documentary each year as part of our standard traning .We do not have smoke jumpers in our program .It was avery sad event ,this year while in BC we hade a helcopter pilot die in a crash it was a very sad day .Hopefully theseevents never happen again.

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2009, 11:02:48 am »
Parachute Hanging Room. Smokejumper parachutes are packed out after the fire jump and are then hung in the hanging room at the base for safety inspection and repacking by a certified paracute packer.

 



 



USFS smokejumpers still use the traditional round parachute while the BLM smokejumpers use the ram-air parachutes of the parafoil type which have greater steerability, glide, and control. The USFS may change to this type chute in the future.
Missoula, Montana, 9/09
~Ron

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2009, 01:36:29 pm »
Forest Service Reviews No-Night-Flying Rule

The Los Angeles Times reported the US Forest Service is reviewing its practice of not flying firefighting helicopters at night, in an apparent response to criticism of how the agency handled the early hours of the huge Station fire.

At the urging of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the Board of Supervisors last week called on the federal government to authorize deployment of water-dropping choppers after dark to battle fires in the Angeles National Forest, where the Station blaze began to spread on its first night. The Forest Service has long considered night flying too risky for pilots.

For more information, visit the Los Angeles Times website.

~Ron

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2009, 03:12:05 pm »
Seems risky to me also. That tail rotor striking a tree top or something. We always had to be careful even landing in a swamp in the forest, so a cedar shrub wouldn't get struck and take the rotor out. Pilots were very safety conscience. They would often land with full power on if they though the ground was a bit soft in those swamps. Had to step easy getting out and grabbing the gear. I've seen lots of hovers to. Many times if we had 4 guys the Jet Ranger had to take two off the swamp at a time, not all four. Not enough umph to lift off unless there was a good breeze. The Hughes 500 (The "Angry Egg" we called it) had no troubles, could seat 5 guys and lots a power.

Had one Russian pilot who took chances, actually brought a chopper down doing unsafe flying and was sent packing after wards. No one was killed, thank God. The fool had 4 passengers on board doing what we were doing in the bush.

We had a nice woman pilot to, she was easy on the eyes. I liked sitting up front. ;D :D She had eyes for another pilot, as if this bald forester had a chance. :D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline pappy19

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2009, 03:02:00 pm »
Night retardant drops would really be the most effecient since the humidity is up and the fire usually dies down somewhat. I think if they had a good fire team with air traffic control just for that fire, it would work, especially with choppers.
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2009, 04:33:36 pm »
The Johnson Flying Service DC-3 # NC 24320 which dropped the smokejumpers on the Mann Gulch Fire on the Helena National Forest. The plane is located in the Museum of Mountain Flying next to the smokejumper base at the Missoula, Montana airport.




In Memory of: The 12 Mann Gulch Fire Smokejumpers and 1 Firechaser who lost their lives in the fire.


~Ron

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2009, 08:20:16 pm »
DC-3 Tail # 24320. This Johnson Flying Service DC-3 which dropped the smokejumpers on the Mann Gulch Fire on August 5, 1949 has an interesting story. The Museum of Mountain Flying which has a number of vintage aircraft tried to obtain DC-3 #24320 and searched for it for a long time. It could not be found.

The aircraft had become lost from history when an Eastern aircraft pilot flying his route spotted it in a junked condition sitting in an over grown field . The Eastern pilot recalled the tail numbers #24320 as the plane that dropped the Mann Gulch smokejumpers. He contacted the Museum of Mountain Flying of its location. A fund raiser was initiated and the aircraft was returned to Missoula, Montana, its home, where is was restored and placed on display in the Museum of Mountain Flying.

The front cockpit of #24320
 



DC-3, tail #24320


~Ron

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2010, 09:21:08 pm »
Ex-Smokejumpers Fix Up Old Oregon Base for Museum

Ashland Daily Tidings (June 23) - More than 50 former smokejumpers from across the nation have gathered to help turn the former
Siskiyou Smokejumper Base into a museum about the airborne firefighters.

The E-Forester
~Ron

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2011, 11:14:48 pm »
Forest Service Smokejumper Retires with Record for Parachute Jumps

A North Cascades Smokejumper Base (Washington) employee retired September 20 after completing 893 Forest Service parachute jumps—a record that may never be broken given the longevity of his 38-year smokejumping career.  Dale Longanecker’s total Forest Service parachute jumps include practice, fire suppression and rescue jumps.  His record includes 362 fire jumps. 

Smokejumpers often make a distinction between practice and fire suppression jumps because the latter are often more hazardous and located far from medical assistance.  The excitement of parachuting to forest fires was not the reason he jumped for 38 years.  “It was the opportunity to be on small fires in remote locations,” Longanecker said.  “It was just a great way to see the country.”

The base’s parachute loft supervisor and a Federal Aviation Administration-approved master parachute rigger, he worked with the Missoula Technology and Development Center before retirement to develop an FS-15 parachute prototype which will potentially replace the FS-14 parachute now used by all Forest Service smokejumpers.

The Chief's Newsletter
~Ron

Offline mad murdock

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Re: Smokejumpers
« Reply #39 on: September 26, 2011, 11:35:00 am »
I worked as a contract mechanic on smokejumper contracts in Alaska in 1992-93, We supplied them with CASA 212-200 Aviocar aircraft.  They were much favored over the Shorts 330 Sherpa, as they could climb faster, cruise faster, and were an all around better platform.  I have to say I much enjoyed the USDDA F/S smokejumpers as a lot, over working with the BLM smokejumpers.  The latter had quite the ego trip going on, compared to their F/S cousins, but I guess you have to have somewhat of a big head to want to jump out of a perfectly good aircraft into a raging fire..  My hat is off to all smokejumpers, as it is definately a job that I would not want to do!
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