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Arkansas Forestry Commission aircraft comms

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wbswetnam

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This morning I saw a television interview with an official of the Arkansas Forestry Commission, and in the interview she said that "the Arkansas Forestry Commission has aircraft continuously in the air, monitoring for wildfires". I looked at the database for AFC and it lists one frequency (151.1975) for aircraft in AFC District 1 (which is in the southeast corner of the state). Is 151.1975 actually a statewide frequncy for aircraft dispatch / reporting or is it likely that each district has its own channel? Has anyone heard any AFC aircraft lately?
 

safetyobc

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I monitor the AFC aircraft all the time here in SE Arkansas. Not sure if that freq is used statewide or not but it is commonly used here. I hear the aircraft calling to dispatch which checkpoint he is at and which one he is going to next. He will also call out coordinates to fires, how bad the fire is and what equipment he estimates will be needed to fight the fire. Also he will tell if any property is in danger and estimated size of fire.
 

wbswetnam

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I monitor the AFC aircraft all the time here in SE Arkansas. Not sure if that freq is used statewide or not but it is commonly used here. I hear the aircraft calling to dispatch which checkpoint he is at and which one he is going to next. He will also call out coordinates to fires, how bad the fire is and what equipment he estimates will be needed to fight the fire. Also he will tell if any property is in danger and estimated size of fire.
Interesting... I have entered all of the frequencies licensed to AFC into an unused bank in my Pro-96 and I've set it loose monitoring them all. We'll see what I hear up here in Independence County. I'll report what I find out.
 

milf

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In Garland County, I heard them sometimes call GCOEM direct on the 154.2200 SO/OEM CH 5 repeater. That one got rare usage, so it stood out when it got used lol.
 

wbswetnam

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I monitored the VHF frequencies for AFC for several hours yesterday, and I didn't hear a peep. I heard them a few times on AWIN, though.
 

safetyobc

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They don't talk a lot on VHF. I typically only hear them when the plane is in the air. I think they may make 2 passes a day.

I actually heard them this morning. Pilot talking to dispatch about an "ag plane" working in the area so he was going around the checkpoint.

The use of the aircraft to spot fires is also going to depend on the geography of your area. If you are in the delta and mostly flat ground, it is likely they wouldn't use the air plane.
 
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milf

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AFC, along with LFC, MFC, and others uses a few spotter towers, very few since they are obsolete with newer methodology. They also use spotter planes, and helos, equipped with meteorological gear, and FLIR systems. And then there is a shared system with the USFS... The big eyes in the sky... Satellites that alert when hot spots caused by a true flare up are located. Aircraft are the most dependable in almost any location as long as the weather is flyable. With the GPS systems, FLIR gear, and the advanced weather gear packaging, they are the best bet for spotting, and mapping out a fire, as well as giving "on the fly" data as to size, direction of travel, speed, etc... Then combine that with the suppression aircraft, you have some pretty powerful tools!
 

wbswetnam

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We had several out-of-control wildfires today in Indepedence County. So I finally heard the Arkansas Forestry Commission on VHF, on 151.460 MHz. I also heard them on AWIN. Still no aircraft, though.
 

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We had several out-of-control wildfires today in Indepedence County. So I finally heard the Arkansas Forestry Commission on VHF, on 151.460 MHz. I also heard them on AWIN. Still no aircraft, though.
Did you hear much 'useful' stuff on 151.460 when they were responding? Or just a basic "we're en route to ________" and that was it? Just wondering if it was a lot of chatter or very little.

I did hear there were a few today. The craziest one was the guys in the stolen truck who drove deep into the woods and then the truck was burning...and apparently some of the woods caught on fire or maybe they were setting a few fires as they ran? One or the other. It was hard to keep up, with troopers talking on AWIN and the county on the conventional channels - I only had one scanner with me at the time so it was going back and forth between the two, catching bits and pieces of each.
 

wbswetnam

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AFC airplane down!

This afternoon an Arkansas Forestry Commission airplane went down over western Arkansas, somewhere east of Mena. The search parties are using an ADEM channel to coordinate their search.
 

03msc

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This afternoon an Arkansas Forestry Commission airplane went down over western Arkansas, somewhere east of Mena. The search parties are using an ADEM channel to coordinate their search.
I wondered what they were talking about. I was also hearing them on MAC 5, I believe it was, talking to Air 4 (ASP helicopter) until just a little while ago.
 

wbswetnam

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They're still looking this morning, southwest of Mina it seems. Lock on to ADEM MAC5 to hear periodic updates... MAC5 is the search coordination channel. Right now several agencies are searching, including Air National Guard out of Fort Robinson.
 
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