Is the C-130 really cut out to be a water bomber?

Is the C-130 really cut out to be a water bomber?

Joined: February 28th, 2005, 2:27 pm

July 3rd, 2012, 5:37 am #1

http://www.richard-seaman.com/Aircraft/ ... index.html
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/ ... ZO20120702
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bDNCac2N1o

It's an incredible aircraft and largely beyond reproach in it's legacy. But is it time to rethink this mission for the aircraft?
And the larger question. Are we rolling the dice stressing those older WW2 era air frames as water bombers?
Last edited by IanOshawa on July 3rd, 2012, 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 17th, 2006, 1:18 pm

July 3rd, 2012, 7:10 am #2

first ANG 130 teaming w/ forest fire fighting units crash in it's 30-40 yr history? If true, not a bad record. Zero would of course be much better but where is anything 100%?

Whenever I see a nat/international emergency, I always think of all the highly trained (at a huge cost to taxpayers) aircrews and $$$ choppers/a/c across the nation, just sitting there, that could be of great help and life saving.

Sure, a cargo 130 pilot doesn't then fire bomb the next day w/ a quick lesson and an attaboy. Extensive cross training in order but I think it's a great use of a valuable resource, the aircrew and a/c.

And let's at least wait for the prelim report. Might have been pilot error, something 'minor' broke, hit a goose, whatever.

Know nothing about the 130. High stall speed? Bitch to control low/slow? Water drop ops (big heavy water bladder dumping out the rear ramp) not a good fit for the 130's performance/airframe/balance?
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Joined: September 14th, 2005, 1:41 am

July 3rd, 2012, 11:45 am #3

http://www.richard-seaman.com/Aircraft/ ... index.html
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/ ... ZO20120702
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bDNCac2N1o

It's an incredible aircraft and largely beyond reproach in it's legacy. But is it time to rethink this mission for the aircraft?
And the larger question. Are we rolling the dice stressing those older WW2 era air frames as water bombers?
Downdrafts in mountainous flying is dangerous for any aircraft.



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Joined: February 26th, 2005, 11:27 pm

July 3rd, 2012, 11:56 am #4

a serious downdraft that MAY have had a effect on the Herc.
At last report I can find, 2 with critcal injuries and 2 confirmed dead, no info re: the other 2 crew members.

Wheels UP-Water
Wheels DOWN-Land
DO NOT confuse the two !
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Joined: March 19th, 2007, 9:06 am

July 3rd, 2012, 1:19 pm #5

http://www.richard-seaman.com/Aircraft/ ... index.html
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/ ... ZO20120702
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bDNCac2N1o

It's an incredible aircraft and largely beyond reproach in it's legacy. But is it time to rethink this mission for the aircraft?
And the larger question. Are we rolling the dice stressing those older WW2 era air frames as water bombers?
21 fatal crashes? This is a typical overreaction, if they are falling out of the skies regularly then maybe there's a problem but this is a very dangerous type of operation, bad things are bound to happen occasionally. The Herc may not be the best tanker but when you need more than you have it does the job.
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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 12:37 am

July 3rd, 2012, 2:18 pm #6

http://www.richard-seaman.com/Aircraft/ ... index.html
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/ ... ZO20120702
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bDNCac2N1o

It's an incredible aircraft and largely beyond reproach in it's legacy. But is it time to rethink this mission for the aircraft?
And the larger question. Are we rolling the dice stressing those older WW2 era air frames as water bombers?
there is a 747 tanker sitting in Arizona, ready to go that the USFS flat refuses to use. How stupid is that? the 747 packs 24,000 gal. and has excellent low speed handling. Granted, it wouldn't be well suited for steep terrain but will all the fires going, it could be used somewhere.
The C-130 is an excellent tanker. Too bad Lockheed doesn't build a dedicated tanker variant.


Cheers, Terry
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Joined: November 17th, 2006, 1:18 pm

July 3rd, 2012, 2:21 pm #7

a serious downdraft that MAY have had a effect on the Herc.
At last report I can find, 2 with critcal injuries and 2 confirmed dead, no info re: the other 2 crew members.

Wheels UP-Water
Wheels DOWN-Land
DO NOT confuse the two !
I hadn't heard of fires in SD.

If on a fire op, water bombing w/ a 130 reqs a crew of six?
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Joined: March 19th, 2007, 9:06 am

July 3rd, 2012, 3:49 pm #8

there is a 747 tanker sitting in Arizona, ready to go that the USFS flat refuses to use. How stupid is that? the 747 packs 24,000 gal. and has excellent low speed handling. Granted, it wouldn't be well suited for steep terrain but will all the fires going, it could be used somewhere.
The C-130 is an excellent tanker. Too bad Lockheed doesn't build a dedicated tanker variant.


Cheers, Terry
I'm sure they know more than you do about why it may not be suitable for their needs. Like the Mars it probably has some limitations that are working against using it. Bigger isn't always better.
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Joined: April 21st, 2005, 4:12 pm

July 3rd, 2012, 3:55 pm #9

http://www.richard-seaman.com/Aircraft/ ... index.html
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/ ... ZO20120702
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bDNCac2N1o

It's an incredible aircraft and largely beyond reproach in it's legacy. But is it time to rethink this mission for the aircraft?
And the larger question. Are we rolling the dice stressing those older WW2 era air frames as water bombers?
Almost none of the fire bombers were designed for the job. Most of the civilian companies are "shoestring" operations at best. The best fire bomber pilots are survivors who learned the hard way and lived to tell about it. Waldo Pepper would have been a great fire bomber pilot. Murphy's Law prevails and the possibility of mistakes is huge. It isn't a skill taught to military pilots, so it isn't surprising when crashes happen.
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Joined: February 26th, 2005, 11:27 pm

July 3rd, 2012, 4:20 pm #10

I hadn't heard of fires in SD.

If on a fire op, water bombing w/ a 130 reqs a crew of six?
Wheels UP-Water
Wheels DOWN-Land
DO NOT confuse the two !
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