Saturday, April 5, 2008

Something different


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The National Guard copters want to get certified for firefighting. San Diego Fire wants to have a few military copter managers on hand so we can use them in the city. Put those two needs together, and it eats up my weekend.
I headed up to Los Alamitos early morning, and had a briefing with the blackhawk guys. We briefed on the Bambi bucket and headed out to Irvine Lake to practice some drops in the Santa Ana foothills. Man---the blackhawk is big. I have to lean way out my window to direct the bucketwork. The new pilot kept missing to the left so I started steering him in more to the right. That worked well. Only having two radios to talk on makes it easy, versus the six (!) I'm used to.
Cool stuff---flew over Mike F's house in Orange. Flying over our old stomping grounds was cool too; I've flown over San Diego County enough to recognize most of it, so to have that perspective over my old neighborhood was a trip. Also flew over Knott's and Disneyland. We probably flew over RBG's and Shoo's place too but I'm not sure. If you see a big blackhawk with '830' painted in giant lime green numbers Sunday, wave; we're going to ruin another nice day of fishing at Irvine Lake tomorrow.

7 comments:

Lee said...

Hey Shoo's pool needs filling...

Tina said...

So.. do you wear a parachute when you do this stuff?

Just wondering (says the woman with the aversion to heights).

flyingvan said...

I suppose we could fill his pool with mucky lake water...Really not supposed to fly over neighborhoods with the bucket (That's why our copter in San Diego has a fixed tank)
No parachute. When something goes wrong in a copter, they usually spin wildly out of control making exiting safely impossible. If there's no spin you can usually land without power and do just fine. We practice autorotations all the time. Each of our 3 pilots have over 15,000 hours flying so they are pretty good

Jeff said...

Who was the pilot? I know a CMFD Captain who flew "830" during the Oct fires.

flyingvan said...

Adam H.

Jeff said...

Ah. The guy I know is Bruce P.

flyingvan said...

'830' isn't the tail number anyway (the aviation ID for a craft; in the states usually starts with 'N') 830 is a 'chalk number' and isn't assigned permanently to a particular machine. 830-834 though are numbers assigned to Los Alamitos station