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Firefighting DC-10 Grounded in Austin

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A firefighting DC-10 is grounded at Austin Bergstrom airport because no pilot can be found to fly it. The plane is being used to fight the devastating fire in Bastrop, Texas that has destroyed 1386 homes. Federal law requires pilots to take a couple of days rest, and no other qualified pilots can be found. (www.statesman.com) Altro...

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bdenman
Give it to me! I'll fly it!
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 0
*Hand in the air*
linbb
linbb 0
Not grounded just waiting for a pilot to get his required rest before flying in and because of the government they cant afford to have a pilot on standby, you have to pay someone they dont work for free and just because you can fly a cessna doesnt mean you can fly this one slick.
ExCalbr
Sure it's grounded. This fits a standard definition of the word. And I don't think it's a finacial issue. It's an issue with unavailability of qualified pilots. At least that's they way it was reported on the radio this morning.
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 0
@ Boyd..see Sarcasm
GlobalG
GlobalG 0
I live 10 minutes form Austin and we are buring up down here. We are not prepared for this big of a fire, because we dont have very many planes here just helicopters.
linbb
linbb 0
Yup Toby and company sit at home and be a pile it.
lboyette
" Sue me.... " The real pilots say.... What exactly is more important?? More homes burning to the ground or putting feet and hands to action? Who exactly is going to make an issue of this since 1386 homes have already been destroyed?

Just one more instance of the Federal Government becoming more and more the Nanny State?? Do we ask our Military Pilots during times of war to observe these rules? That fire represents a Hell of a War in Texas on our home grounds of the United States. FFS Federal Government..... Butt out and let the right people do their damn jobs as they see fit. It's not like we're hauling passengers.... just Thousands of gallons of property and life saving water.
Moviela
There are a lot of pilots that can fly the plane as an airliner, but few are qualfied to operate those systems in a fire fighting role. Can you imagine flying close to the ground and losing 75,000 lhs. in seconds? I guess some of the B52 guys know.
genethemarine
I wish I still had my old bunker gear to come down and help out.
Prayers to those who have lost their lives and homes as well.
Gene the Marine
PD/FF Lt.Ret
ad8916
I think it surprising that they only have one crew for it.
dbrooks84
I am not surprised on the limited crew for this specially converted DC-10. I assume it has to fly only in the day as it likely classified experimental. Limited use and training required for water bombing - well, there just isn't a high demand for DC-10 pilots with those qualifications. By the way, I wonder where the modified B747 water bomber is?
ExCalbr
@Justin, looking up ground in an online dictionary, the very first definition is "Prohibit or prevent (a pilot or an aircraft) from flying". This plane was prohibited/prevented from flying until such time as there was a pilot having the requisite rest period. There is nothing inaccurate about using the word.

BTW, they're saying that they have plenty of firefighting aircraft without the DC-10 and they knew it would be a few days before it could be put into service. One question I have is how the fire retardant gets to the airport where it's loaded on the plane. Is it trucked in from somewhere? Where is it manufactured?
TTail
TTail 0
read the story, soon as the crew gets the rest they need to be flying legally, and the system to mix the slurry, gets assembled, they will fly. too much drama for a story that needs NO drama.
ExCalbr
It has been dispatched to the fire near Houston.
http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/blotter/entries/2011/09/09/firefighting_efforts_see_good.html
ExCalbr
Would there be a flight track for this plane? If so, how would one find it without having the tail number?
ExCalbr
Never mind. I think I found it: [http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N450AX N450AX flight track]
greenmachine
What about the eleven Orion airtankers sitting on the ground in California ready to go. The foresty Service cancelled the contract because a long range report was used to certify the planes. as a result over one thousand homes burned and one family burned at this time.
dbrooks84
Just saw video on local news channel (Houston) showing the DC-10 flying making drops on the fires around Bastrop. So, it is operational now.

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