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chopperman

Numbers

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Every fall when we do our annual meeting with forestry (Alberta) we (Gemini) always ask that they go with numbers on the aircraft, and it has yet to happen...

I have worked many big fires over the years and I have always found it easier and safer working in the provinces that use the numbers for the ident. It is a lot easier to remember a half a dozen or more numbers than registrations. Also in Ontario for example the numbers also have meaning as to whether it is a light or medium aircraft, even is a medium and odd is a light. I was on a fire where there were several registrations that were similar (yet all different operators) and with busy radio's it definately got confusing (I was flying EAP and working with EAT) they were constantly mixing us up.

So I ask what are your thoughts, pro's and con's. And if you are a Alberta operator and go to the fall meeting at PFFC and agree please ask them to use numbers, maybe with enough operators asking they com around to it.

 

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Myself I have only flown fires with numbers, cannot imagine what and how confusing it would be will similiar call signs. Time to standardize it across Canada, US has already done this

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Todd,

 

Good call, but maybe we have to go further than that. The central provinces have this policy, so as you know there can be many numbers on the tailbooms and windows. A centrally issued number? One number all provinces????

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Working on fire near airport would be rather confusing as you would have to try and remember that EAP leaving the airport on VHF would be heli 11 on the fire.

 

If echo alpha papa is confused with echo alpha tango then maybe heli 7 and heli 11 would be confusing too.

 

Am thining that "tanker 5" in USA is "tanker 5" for call sign into airport as well thus illimanating that confusion.

 

It is easier for the fire fighters to identify which aircraft they need to get in but there is no rule saying that you cannot have great huge C-GEAT or AT on tail.

 

My opinion is leave it be and use phonetics when around simalar registrations.

 

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Working on fire near airport would be rather confusing as you would have to try and remember that EAP leaving the airport on VHF would be heli 11 on the fire.

 

If echo alpha papa is confused with echo alpha tango then maybe heli 7 and heli 11 would be confusing too.

 

Am thining that "tanker 5" in USA is "tanker 5" for call sign into airport as well thus illimanating that confusion.

 

It is easier for the fire fighters to identify which aircraft they need to get in but there is no rule saying that you cannot have great huge C-GEAT or AT on tail.

 

My opinion is leave it be and use phonetics when around simalar registrations.

 

I have used both Heli Tanker 70* or the call sign depends on the airport you are flying too. As for on the fires, it has all been tanker numbers, heli numbers, (meduims and heavies) Not the A/C call sign.

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For the most part Helilig56 you are right it shouldn't make a difference.... but when you are on a campaign fire with 29 other helicopters, bird dogs, tankers and torch machines....I believe it does make a difference.

And yes if everyone used the phonetic alphabet there would be less confusion, but when the radios are crazy everything thing gets short-formed so to speak.

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For the most part Helilig56 you are right it shouldn't make a difference.... but when you are on a campaign fire with 29 other helicopters, bird dogs, tankers and torch machines....I believe it does make a difference.

And yes if everyone used the phonetic alphabet there would be less confusion, but when the radios are crazy everything thing gets short-formed so to speak.

 

Well everyone has their opinion....as I fly heavies and mediums on both sides of the border....and on fires with well in excess of 30+ different types of aircraft, in areas such as prime "L.A.", I am well versed on busy....my take is, "get used to it" !

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