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New Orange County Fire Authority Night-flying helitanker

Markb

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According to the article, these will be available anywhere within SoCal Edison's service area, as they are the grantor.

This month the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) is beginning a trial of a night-flying firefighting helicopter that can refill its collapsable external water tank while hovering. Thanks to a $4 million grant from Southern California Edison the OCFA has awarded a 150-day contract to Coulson Aviation for two helicopters that will be based at the Fullerton Municipal Airport northwest of Anaheim, California



Orange County begins trial of night-flying, hover-filling helicopter - Fire Aviation


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scottyhetzel

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I have to,ask a few questions... why train at night? Are they patrolling for fires or training to fight fires at night? SCE is helping since they been the cause of wires down in windy weather... I thought most aircraft fights fires during the day... but I’m sure you can give us clarity... thx
 

Markb

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This is the only helitanker (which is largest category of firefighting helicopter) that is capable of fighting fires at night in California.
Most firefighting helicopters/flight crews are not qualified to conduct nighttime water drops. Smaller ships, such as OCFA's type 2 copters (B412) are night-capable, but as the article says, they drop 300 gallons of water vs. 1000gals that the new helicopter can drop, so it has the potential to be much more effective dropping that much water at night, when the fire behavior has *usually* somewhat moderated.

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Fowler

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I gather the laser target designator wouldn't work in daylight.....
 

Markb

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Nope. That's the whole point of the laser. NVGs don't work in daylight.

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Markb

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So this brings up a question:

Has anyone logged a Victor frequency for OCFA? I know that there is one for the SOLAR response area, but I wonder what these 2 copters will be using for coordination. They communicate on a VHF frequency on the video, but they could use something else on an incident.


Also, they have been using OC ACCESS for flight following in-county, as there is no point in installing an 800 radio to do it on 5A.

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Markb

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Thanks Moke. I will put that one in and see what I hear.

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JeffDS3

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Nope. That's the whole point of the laser. NVGs don't work in daylight.

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you would think they would use some sort technology that would allow someone to mark a location on a digital map, then send that to the appropriate aircraft and they would know exactly where to go.
 
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