One lucky firefighting pilot!

Cherokee_Cruiser

Well-Known Member
Wow that was close, he nearly died:



Moment a fire-fighting plane nearly crashes into a mountain ridge after its distracted pilot became fixated on putting out the flames
  • The BAe 146 airtanker was on a mission in North Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Video shows it releasing the fire retardant before heading towards the ridge
  • The pilot pulls up at the last second, kicking up a cloud of dust from the ground

This is the heart-stopping moment a fire fighting plane nearly crashes into a mountain ridge after its pilot became fixated on its target.
The plane, a BAe 146 fire fighting airtanker, was sent to put out a fire believed to be in North Vancouver.
The video shows the plane flying overhead before releasing the red retardant on to the ground below.


The airtanker then approaches a ridge but doesn't pull up as the plane's shadow on the ground shows the seemingly impending crash.

Fortunately the pilot notices the ridge and pulls away at the last second and narrowly avoids a serious crash.

Dust from the wingtip vortices is kicked up by the plane, showing how close a crash was to taking place.
It is believed the near miss happened after the pilot became so fixated on the fire target.



The video has been posted across various social media sites and one Reddit commenter posted a statement believed to be from a source close to the pilot.
It said: 'Sadly, this is the risks of our profession.
'The pilot has admitted to being target fixated and made a bad lapse of judgment (often times only a millisecond in this business) and dip below the pre-briefed minimum crossing height of the ridge on the exit.
'I almost lost a great colleague on that drop; a husband, father, friend and firefighter. Respect is appreciated.'



According to dedicated website Fire Aviation, a report filed on August 1 about an incident which took place on July 1 appears to match the video.
It says: 'While conducting retardant operations I descended below a ridge crossing altitude.
'This was NOT on purpose. I tunnel visioned the drop, and continued down.
'This was a little fill in spot and I was really focused on finishing the line. As I stated, this was NOT on purpose.
'We [crew] debriefed and talked about what happened, and of course, how to prevent this type of screw up. Thanks.'




Article link:


 

necoflyer

Well-Known Member
There was also a problem mixing the retardant at the base. As in they weren’t. Plane was WAY heavier than is should have been.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
There was also a problem mixing the retardant at the base. As in they weren’t. Plane was WAY heavier than is should have been.
Dipping into that bowl like that, as opposed to remaining above the bowl edge height, which resulted in a climbing, uphill pullout, wasn’t the wisest course of action. And probably related to the target fixation. Had that load malfunctioned and not released for any reason, he wouldn’t have been able to exit that bowl and would’ve definitely impacted the far side. The batch may have been bad, but regardless, the tactics utilized didn’t allow for any error at all.
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
Dipping into that bowl like that, as opposed to remaining above the bowl edge height, which resulted in a climbing, uphill pullout, wasn’t the wisest course of action. And probably related to the target fixation. Had that load malfunctioned and not released for any reason, he wouldn’t have been able to exit that bowl and would’ve definitely impacted the far side. The batch may have been bad, but regardless, the tactics utilized didn’t allow for any error at all.
I wonder about their avionics and taws. If I'm working low in mountainous environments I might have a gps or MFD set to show me the terrain that would be a concern and I'd never get so low I had to maneuver much to get out or around. Is firefighting always this ballsy?
 

denverpilot

Well-Known Member
I wonder about their avionics and taws. If I'm working low in mountainous environments I might have a gps or MFD set to show me the terrain that would be a concern and I'd never get so low I had to maneuver much to get out or around. Is firefighting always this ballsy?
No. That was a mistake. Even the guys in the SEATs don’t do that crap.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
I wonder about their avionics and taws. If I'm working low in mountainous environments I might have a gps or MFD set to show me the terrain that would be a concern and I'd never get so low I had to maneuver much to get out or around. Is firefighting always this ballsy?
The mission is risky indeed, but pilots mitigate that, just like anywhere else. And the pilot here even discusses the tunnel vision he had in this incident and the mistakes made, in his debrief. One thing to avoiid, if at all possible, are drops towards rising terrain such as hills, etc. any number of things can happen where you might not be able to make it over that rising terrain. In this case, a level release at or slightly above the elevation of the bowl edge, would've alleviated this whole issue.
 
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