News

Dino Saga 081005 _ AT 802 Shoot Skunked

Discussion in 'Corbani's Corner' started by John Corbani, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. John Corbani

    John Corbani Formula 3
    Honorary Owner

    May 5, 2005
    1,153
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Full Name:
    John Corbani
    #1 John Corbani, Oct 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Dino Saga 081005 _ AT 802 Shoot Skunked

    I’m writing this Saturday morning. Had all kinds of plans to show the guys dumping mulch on the burned area behind Goleta and Santa Barbara. Plan was to shoot the aircraft Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. Mountains have been clear every afternoon for a week. Except Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. Low clouds and fog on Friday. Saturday morning it was raining. Had a party last night so today is sunny but I have to swamp up. Oh well, got the story but some file pictures will have to do.

    Turns out that the Forest Service is happy with the seeds that are on the ground. Some need fire to germinate so some unusual plants are likely to show up. Others just need a gentle first rain and something to hold the moisture and the soil around the baby roots. Turns out that there is an organic mulch that can be mixed with water and dropped from aircraft. Handle it just like the red fire retardant they were dumping to kill the fire. Also turns out that an outfit is all geared up to do just that. GPS guided and gear that can pinpoint the drop area. They have been using 6 fixed wing planes out of Santa Barbara Airport and a huge helicopter working from the other side of the mountain. They have been going for 3 weeks and figure 6 to finish the job. Fun to watch the guys working out of SBA. Old air tanker base so mixing tank is there. Even have bleachers for watchers.

    They are flying Air Tractor AT 802 turboprops. 1350 hp going into a 5 bladed prop. Look a little like a P-51 Mustang in profile. Except for the cockpit area. Unbelievable low speed performance when unloaded. They have calmed down lately but some of the early landing patterns have been unique. Approach runway from the side (90 deg) at the ¾ mark, approach end of the runway is to the left, altitude 250 ft. Cross runway, roll 180 right and pull back hard. Roll 90 left and pull back hard, roll right 90. Nicely lined up at 20 ft so chop power and land. Loading area is to the side of the ¾ mark so everyone can see. Sane guys fly the standard pattern but cross the threshold at 100 ft and stay there until the runway ¾ mark. Then they chop power and are on the ground right now.

    Takes less than 10 minutes to reload their hoppers with the mulch and they are on their way again. Take offs start at the runway half way mark. They keep the planes in ground effect until they have a good head of steam. Then it is a short climb to their drop area. The mulch has a short lived green dye mixed in so you can see where they have worked. Dye turns brown after a couple of days in the sun.

    Ground gear is a semi tanker with fuel, flat bed semis loaded with bagged mulch on pallets. A forklift to move the pallets over to the huge mixing tank. Mulch comes out of a big hose similar to the fuel hoses at large airports. Quick connect to the aircraft. A crewmember with a high pressure spray to clean up any messes on or around the aircraft. mulch hose needs 2 guys. Usually 5 on the plane while the pilot relaxes. Company is Aerotech Inc. out of New Mexico. More info on plane from Air Tractor. Great stuff.
    http://www.airtractor.com/. Back to Dinos next week.

    John
    .
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. Kram

    Kram Formula Junior

    Jul 3, 2004
    867
    Park bench, Canada
    Full Name:
    Mark
    #2 Kram, Oct 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  4. yank05

    yank05 Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2003
    260
    New England
    Full Name:
    Anthony
    That helicopter is one of our old products developed in the early sixties - Sikorsky Sky Crane (licensed to Erickson in the '90s). They are still in demand and it is nice to see them helping out in times like these - a great aircraft!

    Anthony
     
  5. John Corbani

    John Corbani Formula 3
    Honorary Owner

    May 5, 2005
    1,153
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Full Name:
    John Corbani
    #4 John Corbani, Oct 12, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  6. yank05

    yank05 Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2003
    260
    New England
    Full Name:
    Anthony
    Even better! Thank you!

    Anthony
     
  7. To remove this ad click here.

Share This Page