Wednesday, September 07, 2016

About the CAL FIRE Pilots Association

I have been very remiss in nor writing about the CAL FIRE Pilots Association before now. I became aware of the CAL FIRE Pilots Association a few years ago now, either from Jerome Laval (editor of their newsletter) or from some of my other tanker pilot friends. Or perhaps from both sources.

As stated in the CAL FIRE Pilots Association (CFPA) Mission Page, the goal of the the CFPA (a California Mutual Benefit Nonprofit is to "... promote a safe and fair work place for those pilots working under the Calfire contract."

I have learned a lot from the CFPA webpage. For example, I just now saw a great power point on aerial fire fighting (link to download, requires Power Point or Keystone (part of the Apple iWork suite). If you can, I hope that you take some time to take a look at this presentation on aerial fire fighting. You'll learn about the anatomy of a wildfire along with some photos of S2-T tankers working a wildfire.

If you want to learn more about the airplanes on the CAL FIRE contract, the Grumman S2-T Tanker and the OV-10A Bronco, you are in luck. The CFPA has a page focusing on the S2-T and the OV-10A Bronco -- the CFPA Gallery (with links to photos and videos). Once you get to the CFPA Gallery you can get information about the Grumman S2-T and the OV-10A Bronco. Briefly, the OV-10A Bronco is an Aerial Supervision Module (ASM)/Lead Plane Platform (when the pilot is Lead Plane qualified), and the S2-T is an Air Tanker Platform.

If you want to learn more about the CAL FIRE tanker bases, there is a page for that with an interactive map -- CFPA Tanker Bases. Also on CFPA Tanker Bases is a link to information about temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) in California from the FAA.

The CFPA in the News page has some links to relevant articles.

Last but by no means least are the CFPA Newsletters, published three or four times a year from June through October. I love this newsletter and have downloaded all the issues that I can. Not only do I learn about wildfires in California and the S2-T and OV-10A pilots and where they are assigned, I have enjoyed reading about some of the pilots. For example, the June 2016 and the July 2016 issues has a two part article on a now retired CAL FIRE pilot, Deen Oehl who was based at Hemet Ryan. Also in the June 2016 and the July 2016 is an article by fire photographer Kit Robinson, with some history. I also enjoyed reading about another recently retired CAL FIRE pilot, Bob Forbes in the July 2016 issue. And then there are the awesome photos along with other great articles relevant to the aerial firefighting business. The CFPA newsletter does focus on California, but also includes articles focusing on safety, and national and international concerns. I find each issue of the CFPA newsletter, a must download and a must read.

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