U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 06-27-2012, 03:27 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,120,672 times
Reputation: 9066

Advertisements

One thing that I have not seen much about in the press is an explanation of why the Forest Service uses the types of planes that it does for slurry bombers. Well, here it is. Right off, I will say that I am not a pilot, but I have several friends and family members who are, including a couple of "bush" type pilots fully familiar with mountain flying. What I post here relies on some of their knowledge and experience.

That the Forest Service has traditionally used World War II and Korea-era piston engine and turboprop planes for slurry service is not because those planes were available and cheap. The reason is that those planes had the tough airframes and powerful engines to be able to fly "low and slow" with a heavy payload, with sufficient maneuverability to drop slurry or water with pinpoint accuracy. Tough as they were, a lot of those airplanes either crashed or were pulled from service because, over time, the severe duty of carrying heavy payloads while executing tight maneuvers in mountainous terrain eventually overstressed their airframes.

I noticed that Conair, in particular, is now using converted Convair 580 passenger turboprops. I spent countless hours as a passenger in the 580's back when they were in regular passenger air service. Dating from the 1940's, the 580's are a superb mountain airplane. Originally built with piston engines, they were refitted with very powerful turboprop engines in the 1960's (they can take off loaded with only one of their two engines running). Combined with a tough-as-nails airframe and excellent maneuverability, they are a very good slurry bomber.

Unfortunately, there are few airplanes left that meet the requirements for mountain slurry service. The big military C-130's that have been pressed into service are almost too big for this kind of duty. They are able to fly "low and slow," but their size makes tight turns pretty difficult, and I would suspect that their airframes are being stressed pretty hard in this kind of service.

As for the more or less "experimental" slurry planes converted from big passenger jets, people I know in the Forest Service say that they are just not practical for mountain fire-fighting. Because of their higher speed and lack of maneuverability, they are generally suited only to make high altitude slurry drops--where most of the slurry either disperses before hitting the ground, rendering it ineffective; or, in the case of water, merely evaporates. In the latter case, it doesn't take much to understand how ineffective high-altitude "bombing" would be. If a thunderstorm, packing millions of gallons of water, sees its moisture evaporate before it hits the ground, it shouldn't be hard to understand why a plane, dropping even up to 20,000 gallons of water from high altitude, would not see any of its payload hit the ground.

One thing I will say, the pilots who fly any type of aircraft in wildfire fighting service have to be fearless, particularly the pilots who fly planes burning the highly volatile 100-octane aviation gasoline into the inferno. I'm reminded of the old saying, "There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots."

 
Old 06-27-2012, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,045 posts, read 18,279,821 times
Reputation: 15573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neditate View Post
In case this hasn't been posted yet... HelpColoradoNow.org
I don't see a link to a donation site to donate online - can you post one?

I do know, having worked for the Red Cross, that more than 90 cents of each dollar goes directly to victims.
 
Old 06-27-2012, 03:44 PM
 
Location: IN
20,177 posts, read 34,528,325 times
Reputation: 12514
I just checked the Doppler Radar and it shows thunderstorms all around Denver and surrounding environs. Are these all "high based" thunderstorms with nearly all rainfall evaporating before it reaches the surface? If so, that really proves what a dangerous situation this is with the possibility of dry lightning.
 
Old 06-27-2012, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,102 posts, read 20,368,837 times
Reputation: 4132
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
I just checked the Doppler Radar and it shows thunderstorms all around Denver and surrounding environs. Are these all "high based" thunderstorms with nearly all rainfall evaporating before it reaches the surface? If so, that really proves what a dangerous situation this is with the possibility of dry lightning.
And erratic winds which they are having.
 
Old 06-27-2012, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Colorado
9,824 posts, read 6,296,841 times
Reputation: 17687
Granite, the problem with these thunderstorms is that there is a much higher chance of hazardous gusting wind than there is of helpful water. And IF enough rain hit the ground to help with the fire, it would probably also cause major flash flood problems, exacerbated by the fact that much of the foliage has burned off and there will be more runoff. It is hard to know what to hope for...other than a lack of wind.

A friend of ours, an older lady, is unaccounted for. Her home is almost certainly burned, it was in Mountain Shadows in an area we watched on the news last night burning...and she is not responding to attempts to reach her nor has she been registered as being safely evacuated. We simply have no idea if she is OK or where she is.

And unfortunately for evacuees, hotels are almost universally booked solid all over town.
 
Old 06-27-2012, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,102 posts, read 20,368,837 times
Reputation: 4132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
Granite, the problem with these thunderstorms is that there is a much higher chance of hazardous gusting wind than there is of helpful water. And IF enough rain hit the ground to help with the fire, it would probably also cause major flash flood problems, exacerbated by the fact that much of the foliage has burned off and there will be more runoff. It is hard to know what to hope for...other than a lack of wind.

This is true.

FLOOD WATCH
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PUEBLO CO
1236 PM MDT WED JUN 27 2012

FLASH FLOODING POSSIBLE ACROSS THE WALDO BURN SCAR REGION FROM THIS AFTERNOON INTO THIS EVENING... .A COLD FRONT IS EXPECTED TO MOVE ACROSS TELLER AND EL PASO COUNTIES LATER THIS AFTERNOON...ALLOWING MOIST UNSTABLE AIR AND SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS TO MOVE INTO THE AREA. IF THUNDERSTORMS FORM OVER THE BURN SCAR REGION...LOCALIZED FLASH FLOODING WOULD BE POSSIBLE. IT WILL NOT TAKE MUCH RAINFALL TO CAUSE SIGNIFICANT FLASH FLOODING. POPULATED AREAS WHICH COULD SEE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT FLASH FLOODING WOULD BE MANITOU SPRINGS AND OLD COLORADO CITY.
 
Old 06-27-2012, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,045 posts, read 18,279,821 times
Reputation: 15573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
Granite, the problem with these thunderstorms is that there is a much higher chance of hazardous gusting wind than there is of helpful water. And IF enough rain hit the ground to help with the fire, it would probably also cause major flash flood problems, exacerbated by the fact that much of the foliage has burned off and there will be more runoff. It is hard to know what to hope for...other than a lack of wind.

A friend of ours, an older lady, is unaccounted for. Her home is almost certainly burned, it was in Mountain Shadows in an area we watched on the news last night burning...and she is not responding to attempts to reach her nor has she been registered as being safely evacuated. We simply have no idea if she is OK or where she is.

And unfortunately for evacuees, hotels are almost universally booked solid all over town.
The American Red Cross will search for missing people, contact your local chapter.
 
Old 06-27-2012, 05:44 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,842,932 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink Rain

A thunderstorm has moved into the Estes Park region, although possibly with no rain in town. As they will, it has dropped a fair amount of rain quickly, with it still raining as of this posting.

Whether any of this is reaching farther north to the High Park Fire is another question. But if so, surely with some helpful impact.
 
Old 06-27-2012, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Vermont, grew up in Colorado and California
5,296 posts, read 6,025,286 times
Reputation: 9198
Morgan county has been getting some hot spots from lightning strikes.

Morgan County Sheriff, Police, Fire and EMS Live Scanner Audio Feed
 
Old 06-27-2012, 06:47 PM
 
16,183 posts, read 20,200,340 times
Reputation: 46742
And just a few minutes ago KKCO, the NBC affiliate in the Grand Junction area, has reported a fire north of De Beque near the Bookcliffs range. De Beque is about 30 miles east of Grand Junction off I-70. No figures to report right now, will post on this later tonight as soon as I hear anything.
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Closed Thread


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top