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Many people think the BCFS is one of the best fire fighting institutions in the world. Hot fueling, hover exits, drip torches, and landing without a "landing officer" aren't done by the USFS.

 

They do night time fire fighting though with NVG though and have to keep track of every single drop they make :S

 

After working several fires in the States for the USFS I've found that safety is absolutely paramount in the US. They don't screw around at all!! Follow thier strict rules of aviation or go fly somewhere else.

Canadian Forest Services have a LOT to learn when it comes to aviation safety. I've seen a lot of "lip service" from Canadian Forest Services but the bottom line is they are riddlled with wannabees and amatures.(sp)

 

John Nixon

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You can still hot refuel with the USFS if......

-your USFS Manager approves it,

-it is approved in that USFS Region,

-you have the right equipment on helicopter and truck,

-there are assets at risk that necessitate not shutting down,

etc etc.

 

You can do a lot more with the USFS than what some people will tell you.....

but you just have to follow their many Rules and Policies.

 

Now, back to the topic......A-star fuel caps.

What did you expect ???.......after all, even the cyclic is made from old patio furniture. He He He.

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Once upon a time, I saw an Astar with a piece of lexan spliced into the baggage covers (those .016" aluminum things) in the LH compartment. They then jiffy marked the tank with the fuel level denominations...

 

And it's just that easy to tell how much fuel you put in without looking at the gauge.

 

Of course, you could just look at the gauge...

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Once upon a time, I saw an Astar with a piece of lexan spliced into the baggage covers (those .016" aluminum things) in the LH compartment. They then jiffy marked the tank with the fuel level denominations...

 

And it's just that easy to tell how much fuel you put in without looking at the gauge.

 

Of course, you could just look at the gauge...

 

The older A-stars with the resistor type fuel sending units used to stick quite frequently.

What you describe was a common mod at one point.

Nowdays, it's all capacitance type sending units.

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Nowdays, it's all capacitance type sending units.

 

 

I wish. I watch the gauge, with the cap holding the nozzle open. If the gauge doesn't rise, I run back and shake the tail... Normally it'll become unstuck.

 

But, I've never had one stick while refueling hot. Generally the machines are rough enough that it won't... I think. I've only had to deal with a couple with the floats.

 

Given my druthers, they'd all have the window 'mod' in the baggage compartment. KISS. But those sort of decisions are above my pay scale.

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I can see the day when hot fueling will be illegal across Canada. It only makes sense. I have never been in favour of hot refueling. Such a stupid practice. How much time do you really save and for who. Why would you want to risk your life, your machine, and your passengers to save a 2 minute cooldown so the customer can save .01 flight time. Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!

Now, pressure hot refueling is another story. Closed system, chance of a spill greatly reduced. Even then, check what is required as far as safety personel. By the time you pay all the extra people required it's probably not worth it.

Nope, I've seen to many machines toasted over the last 50 years to even consider hot refueling.

Hot refueling??? Dumb, dumb, dumb, Stupid, stupid, stupid.

For all you Crackerjack Pilots out there that think you are doing someone or yourself a favour by hot refueling, put this one in the bank. It's just a matter of time. WHOOF!!! And if you think you will put out the fire with that piddly-arsed fire extinguisher you carry, forget it!! Best advice--Run like H-ll and hope you get away.

 

John Nixon

 

 

+1

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It's easy to say Never to Hot refuel

But.....

 

When you are refueling sometimes 18-22 A/C an hour it's just not practical

I have personally done this kind of A/C volume (17,584 L) in a Day mostly with lights and intermediates and the odd medium in just one day on an extremely large fire.

 

So if you start doing the Math having each one do a 2 Min cool down, have the blades slowdown, plus the start and everthing else.

 

Couple things that Help Reduce the Risk (SMS!!!)

 

Good properly installed and used ground wires

Attentive and properly trained Fuel operators

Proper nozzles that turn off with no auto feature (I have seen lots of F/gear with nothing but a camlock fitting

A small ladder for the 204's

Closed circuit would be much safer but I doubt you could get the operators organized

Astar caps aren't Ideal but a least you can reach them unlike a 204 EH Amphibious!!

The 407's will choke you and burn your eyes with a ton of exhaust I would prefer to fuel them shutdown but hey thats life ;)

 

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