Jump to content

Vertical Fire Article


Recommended Posts

:rolleyes: Well glad to see there are no ego's on this forum. I think there is merit to both sides of this equation longline vs belly. The pilots that are competent professionals and use what there clients require (provincial policies vary) will more than likely be the last asked to leave (all things being equal... ie tariff rates, local machine etc...). This summer was an annomoly, we are all aware that when we are on a regular fire season ( or any job for that matter) pilots that are not competent, safe or professional will be asked to leave. Yes, I believe using a longline for me personally is safer, as outlined above in previous posts by the rest of the longline boyz, there are many benefits. However if MNR policy requires me to remove my duals and carry a "spotter" and it does not contravine CARS than they are after all the customer, and ultimately are responsable for signing my flight ticket and putting food on the table for my family. Use the tools that you are being tasked to use. If you can't, you have no buisness being there. Training pilots on fires or any job is not the responability of the customer it's solely that of the operator. Provinical, Federal as well as State fire agencies all have minimum skill and hour requirments, I'm sure longlining will be on that list shortly if it not already.


:down: Some of the slander on this topic is way out of line, This fourm is a place for all of us to share views and opinions and spark discussions in our respective fields in the interest of anonimitity and our industry, not a place to verbally BASH or counterparts. <_< Just my humble opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 94
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Well said Big Duke. There are some of us out there that have flown helicopter for 30 years that can't long line, I for one am one of those pilots I will give it all I have when I am asked, and after an hour I am feeling not so bad as long as it is not moveing drills but a water bucket is a blast. I am not out there to show off I am out there to get the job done. I feel the same way you do about the MNR I would like someone explain why I have to have a spotter with me, I am a big boy and when told where to bucket I think most of us out there can do it and do well with out another 200lbs sitting there doing nothing. That is all I have to say.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's what I've heard.


Firstly, having a passenger in the left seat, with the dual controls installed, is usually not illegal. After all, many fixed wings have passengers in the right front seat on a regular basis.


Secondly, if you have an STC that allows you to fly from the left seat, then I believe there can be a passenger in the right seat, UNLESS that STC specifically prohibits it.


Remember, individual Company Ops Manual rules may outlaw this.


Please let us know if I'm incorrect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few other thoughts on this...........


I choose who can ride in the front once I know them on a personal basis, regardless of rank !!

Luckily, most of the fire-bosses and fire-fighters head straight for the back seats when they see the duals installed. The problems usually arise when a recently promoted "sector" boss decides to use a Bell medium for a recce of his area and thinks he must ride in the front. Some diplomacy usually clears up this situation.......(if that doesn't work.......use less diplomacy!!).


I don't let anyone else touch the controls while on-the-job, and especially if I have passengers on board.

When I've let someone else hold the controls it often seemed to result in someone misunderstanding what is happening, then some boss hears about it, and then the manure hits the rotor etc. etc.

If you want to let someone else experience the joy (or ****) of helicopter flying, let them do it after-hours.


Though some of the various STCs allowing left-seat flight don't prohibit flying with passengers in the back while the pilot is in the left seat, it is not something I do.

Personally, I just feel I should be on the right when passengers are in the back.

Maybe it's because I can reach the FIRE t-handles, throttle frictions etc. without taking my hand off the cyclic.


What about you guys??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not having flown a medium for a few years, I don't recall seeing an emergency release in the 204/05/12. Foot pedal.


Back in the sixties Rollie Simard flying a C180 on floats was attempting to land, when his pax sitting in the RH seat had a heart attack and began pushing on the pedals, the C180 ended up inverted in the water.

That was before Rollie became an Alahoot Engineer for Lac St Jean Helicopters and prior to Air Alma.


I do believe TC made it illegal for anybody without a licence to sit were aircraft controls good be manipulated by that unairworthy person.


Stories from the past.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can anybody advise of what stc's are out there to fly the Bell Med from the Left side? I believe one would be required to do so as it not permitted in the FM? Some of the ones that are out there only to provide a left hand Bubble window BUT no right to fly the aircraft from the left side with a single pilot as far as I can see. Maybe some of the fire photos might not be such a good thing? Is there a site that lists STC'S or LSTC'S ? CTD are we ok here?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As part of the STC, Bell mediums are fitted with a center pedal or t-handle to act as the mechanical emergency release for the belly hook. Is this what you mean Blackmac ??

As always, if someone is riding up front they have to be told what not to touch. (And advised of the perils of having a heart-attack while in the front seat).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mawddawg, the only STC I have ever flown with was the one under which the CHC/E/W/I/L machines were modified. With that STC, in those days (almost 8 years ago and prior), we could fly single pilot from the left side with no restrictions. There was nothing written prohibiting the cartage of passengers, and I did just that from time to time (without the longline, of course), when a shut-down and seat change were not convenient. I spent so much time flying single pilot from the left seat that I felt much more comfortable on that side - working the throttles, starter, and other collective-mounted and overhead switches, etc - than I did from the right.


In that kit, the door was modified with a bubble window, a triple tach, torque gauge, #1 and #2 fire lights, and a master caution light. There was a manual release pedal between the t/r pedals. Also, the force trim had to be installed and functioning (to hold the cyclic still during start, when both hands were busy).


Having said that, may companies (including CH/X I believe) have since restricted the practice of flying from the left with pax, in their Ops Manuals.


As for a site listing STCs etc, I have no knowledge of that. We'd have all that info at the office - I could snoop around and see if it's catalogued anywhere.


Most of the guys here are far more current than I on mediums (and everythig else for that matter). I'm sure some of them can chime in....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...