Who flies those helos for CalFire?

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Who flies those helos for CalFire?

Postby hemingray » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:16 pm

Awesome story about one of CalFire's pilots

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 2Kv4TrKuko

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Re: Who flies those helos for CalFire?

Postby blm510 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:55 pm

25 years ago it was ex vietnam pilots is the only ones who had enough flight hours to quilify for the Dept pilots. Now I"m sure millitary still are the ones with the skills to fly a copter I"ve had them do a trail drop on us where we couldn't keep up with the fire. Now they do short haul rescue, medi vac and anything else to do with a copter.

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Re: Who flies those helos for CalFire?

Postby hemingray » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:01 am

40 years ago I learned to fly - all my instructors were Vietnam vets, and they were all waiting to try and get into commercial flying. My flying stayed a hobby.

Watching Cal Fire Hueys in action is amazing.
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Re: Who flies those helos for CalFire?

Postby Ken » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:31 am

Ditto...learned to fly in the 80's. I went to work at DHL, just to be around airplanes. Helicopters were never my thing....but that was a great story.
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Re: Who flies those helos for CalFire?

Postby hemingray » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:37 pm

I was flying out of San Carlos and wet, a C-150 was about $20-something an hour I think. The outfit across the field was training in those little Hughes bubble helicopters for $98 an hour.

I was looking at a C-152 the other day at McClellan and wondered how the hell I even fit in one of those.
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Re: Who flies those helos for CalFire?

Postby Ken » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:19 am

ha. That's where me and my buddy's flew out of....

it was $50 per hour wet...this is...around 1985. My favorite flying story...beside my friend Dave puking at 11k leaving Palm Springs.....was flying to Nut Tree one evening......25Hotel...please be aware of C5A turbulence up ahead....C5A visually sighted by us...Well ahead...25Hotel, C5A turbulence acknowledged. 10 minutes later...conversation forgotten....suddenly, we seemingly dropped from the sky......then back up...then shaken like a Shake and Bake....

C5A turbulence warnings...forever heeded from that point on.

The newscaster on KPIX...Dave MacEllhatten? His ex-wife was instructor.
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Re: Who flies those helos for CalFire?

Postby hemingray » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:37 pm

Wow - cool about the instructor. He was a great newscaster - I still put KCBS on the radio when I drive down there.

Yeah - I never got into turbulence like that, I guess if you're going to get in some, go big like that!

I remember doing my first solo round-robin, to King City and Merced and return. I landed at King City, no problem - full crosswind just like SQL. Finally found someone to sign my logbook. Taxied out and held, doing the runup etc. This P-51 taxis out and asks if I'd mind if went out first, sure, no problem. I watch him take off - in awe - in a full-power climb for the sun. On the way up, he reminds me - watch out for turbulence... How small I felt taking off in the Cessna with the little Continental 4-banger......

Got to Merced and did 2 go-arounds - because the wind was calm and as you know, if you learn at SQL you're in a permanent crab for the final.... I kept misaligning on the short final. Weird.

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Re: Who flies those helos for CalFire?

Postby Ken » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:23 pm

Cool story....P51 is...well..the king of props.

Jeanie McElhatten I think was her name.

I really wanted to fly for a living....I was an idiot. I went to the Air Force recruiter place in San Mateo....2 or 3 times....I just couldn't wrap my head around a 6 year commitment. My big mistake....I didn't look at flying in the Military as a job or career...I looked at it, like I place I had to go to get hours to get a REAL job, never seeing it as a REAL job. #-o My grandfather flew in the Air Force for 23 years...Japan, Africa during the war...Berlin Airlift afterward.....I wish he had taken the time to explain it to me like that....I don't know whether I would have gotten "it"....but I wish someone had tried. I kept thinking.....28 years old!!! when I got out....that's ANCIENT!! Stupid. #-o :roll:
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Re: Who flies those helos for CalFire?

Postby hemingray » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:44 pm

The "if I knew then what I know now" moments get bigger and more frequent as I get older... :-)

I was a hair away from going into the Navy, but got a better "job". I occasionally wonder how different things would have been if I had continued down that road - I had the pilot's license.... sheesh. #-o
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Re: Who flies those helos for CalFire?

Postby Ken » Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:37 pm

hemingray wrote:The "if I knew then what I know now" moments get bigger and more frequent as I get older... :-)

I was a hair away from going into the Navy, but got a better "job". I occasionally wonder how different things would have been if I had continued down that road - I had the pilot's license.... sheesh. #-o
No kidding.

Yeah..I passed my written test first semester of College. So same deal..I would have graduated from College with a degree in Aeronautical something (I don't remember what it was anymore) with my license. Not saying I would have flown fighters or anything....but surely would have had a good shot at cargo or similar. I do have REALLY good long vision.....so I would have had a shot!!!

When it REALLY hit home....I had a neighbor that moved in....Richard. Richard put in his 20 years...he was 43 years old...Retired Lt. Col in the Army...I think he did something with supplies/logistics...any who....he was 43...and retired. His pension was $4800/mo. He got a job at a little winery just so he could buy wine cheaper. That...was my real DOH! moment.
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Re: Who flies those helos for CalFire?

Postby GrizzlyGuy » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:33 am

My high school owned two Cessna 150's and we could take flight instruction for $2/hour and that included the plane, instructor, gas and the works. The instructor was one of our teachers and we could taxi from our hangar across Airport Road and onto the runway. Didn't even have to leave school, you signed up for "flight" like any other class. Plenty of kids came out of my high school with pilots licenses including instrument and commercial ratings.

I was just about ready to solo and actually got BORED with it all and stopped flying. Boy was I a dumb kid or what? #-o

P.S. - One of the kids went on to fly for CDF and died in a crash. He was a really-really good pilot, but did get into trouble one day in high school when him and another kid (in the school's other Cessna) were doing aerobatics out over the baseball field.
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Re: Who flies those helos for CalFire?

Postby hemingray » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:00 pm

That's about as convenient as you can get! I took a class too - Air Transportation. I arranged for my various student activities at the FBO to count for part of the class (such as the round-robin solo) and when the rest of the guys were taking turns flying in a group down at Palo Alto, I got credit for my solo and the flight planning. It was kinda neat.

That's a bummer about your classmate - many of those pilots think the tanker flying is more dangerous than combat flying.

I can see the bored part - in a way. Once I soloed, I lost the drive to finish the license - I could fly solo, what else did I need? My dad pushed me into finishing and sent me to one of those weekend ground schools with the FAA test at the end. Don't know if they still do those, but I passed (it was in Sac'to) and trying to fly back (commercial) early, I flew back to SFO on one of those Hughes Air West Fokker F-27s, IFR all the way. That was actually scary, with the turbulence and all.

I don't know if I posted this before - this was license day I think.

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Re: Who flies those helos for CalFire?

Postby Ken » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:51 am

Neat Eric....that is way cool.


Who....is that skinny dude getting out of the plane? :mrgreen:
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