Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Twin Falls (Idaho) Helitack
While I am supposed to be doing some reading for an upcoming article I did what I sometimes do and went on Youtube in search of interesting videos. I found myself thinking about helos, perhaps because of my friend Matt who recently passed who loved helicopters (go here). I started out with a video that a friend of mine sent me of helos dipping. Youtube displays related videos on the right side of the page, and I eventually ended up watching a great 13 minute video highlighting the Twin Falls Helitack crew's 2013 season. The video was uploaded by Dave Frey with the whole crew contributing footage.
I love this video because it gave me some insight into what life is like on a helitack crew. As I understand it, the Twin Falls Helitack crew's, based in southern Idaho, primary mission is to do initial attack using a type II helicopter. When the helitack crew is dispatched to a fire, they load up their gear in the helo and fly to the fire where work the wildfire on the ground. They have a nice webpage (here) where you can go to learn more about the structure of the crew, and crew duties, and requirements to be on the helitack crew.
You will see some footage of the helitack crew on the ground working fires. From time to time you will see shots that were probably taken by one of the helitack crew members of a tanker dropping retardant or a helo dropping on the fire. I like images such as these because I can see what aerial firefighting is all about, supporting the crews on the ground.