1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2004

    Default Is Soyuz "Certified"?

    It's Red Herring time at Fire Chief again, folks:


    Nobody representing the IL-76 was
    interviewed nor was the Rep supporting
    use of the airplane apparently asked for
    his comments. He's in the legal
    business. He makes the laws.

    Must be great to have your own built-in
    (biased, unprofessional) media outlets.

    Recommended home decoration item.

    Would that we could all be as competent as this.

    Was Soyuz 'certified'?

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    I have watched these various posts blasting the US Forest Service for not bending over backwards to certify the IL-76 and finally feel the need to say something. Do you have any practical experience with these giant beasts? I've seen the Martin Mars in action and while it was quite cool to see a gigantic WW2 flying boat scooping out of a lake and dropping 7000 gallons on a fire, it really wasn't that effective for us, it could not get down into the terrain, the same goes for the CL-415's, nice aircraft but not a heavy tanker, more like CDF's S2's. These aircraft are quite popular in Canada and some parts of the Northern US but out west they really are not up to the current heavy tankers we already have, P2V, DC4,6 & 7 and the P3. This current facination with monster airtankers like the IL-76, 747, DC10 etc is interesting but I'd prefer to see the effort spent on getting us more P3's a proven extremely effective tanker, it has the power and manueverability to deal with the mountainous terrain we have out here, and the speed to keep turn around times short. Not saying there is not a place for these big tankers but the only thing broken in the system is that we are not being given enough of the tried and proven systems, instead we are being bombarded with aircraft that I doubt will out perform the P3. I'm not saying these big tankers are not effective in the right situation, I'm sure they are but firefighting in Canada, Australia, Russia, Italy, Spain, the Western US, Eastern US, Northern US, Southern US are not the same, all have their special tactics and needs, so an aircraft that gets rave reviews in Russia does not mean the it will do so in California.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2004


    Thanks for your opinions.

    Q: Do you have any practical
    experience with these giant beasts?

    A: Yes

    Q: Do you, NonSurfinCaFF, have
    any practical experience wih the IL-76?

    A: No, and you can thank NIFC for that.

    The IL-76 isn't looking for
    certification. It is a public use
    aircraft and Davis is wrong. In a
    written report from the USFS from a test
    conducted in the UK in 1994, USFS said
    the IL-76 would be particularly
    in California, so there
    is a conflict on the face of the
    official vs. the media record over the
    years the media has been questioning
    the talking heads from USFS.

    I say again: the official USFS record is
    clear: It states the IL-76 would be
    paticularly effective in California.

    USFS is in the business of picking
    winners from among aircraft they know
    and understand. There is not a whole lot
    to choose from. USFS has chosen to
    make the IL-76 a loser. Trouble is, they
    have not given the IL-76 a fair chance
    and have dug in.

    After USFS' Tony Kern grounded the
    junk, he opined that he could see up to
    ten (10) very large firefighting
    aircraft, displacing medium and
    small ones.

    Every firefighting aircraft has its pluses and its minuses.

    Here are some pictures of the IL-76
    getting down:


    Somebody at NIFC/USFS may have to be let go.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    mtnfireguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999


    Originally posted by budthespud
    Here are some pictures of the IL-76
    getting down:


    Somebody at NIFC/USFS may have to be let go.
    Yes, but it is "getting down" on a runway, not mountain terrain...
    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
    "Everybody Goes Home"

    IACOJ 2003

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2004


    The aircraft has not been given a
    fighting chance. It has been given
    a summary dismissal based on highly
    questionable grounds, especially having
    regard for a report USFS wrote and
    published 1994-5 post-test.

    Although this is clearly not the
    American way
    , it is the way
    the US Forest Service and NIFC
    decision-makers have chosen.

    A Congressman has put on the
    Congressional record that somebody will
    account for it, sooner or later.

    The name attached to the Congressional
    Record is that of one Jerry T. Williams.

    We all take risks in our lives,
    including in this case, those
    responsible for thumbing their noses,
    almost with contempt, at the world's
    most powerful, proven firefighting

    Perhaps somebody has undertaken to
    indemnify Williams for his risk.

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    Well I have had actual experience with the Martin Mars, an aircraft the Canadians say is quite effective, it was pretty much just a neat flyby in SoCal where I saw it working, little water reached the ground out of the 7000 gallons carried in the tank, it just couldn't get low enough for our needs, it wasn't even close to the P3's that I've watched make down slope drops into the bottom of the Kern Canyon, a very nasty steep narrow canyon you wouldn't expect to see a 4 engine aircraft diving into, I know I won't see a 747 trying this. As for the IL-76 I understand it is not FAA certified to fly in the US, do you hang out in overnight express website slamming FedEx and UPS for not flying IL-76's. Evergreen, Minden Air and other have put there own money into demonstrating the 747, Bae146, DC10 all in the same catagory as the IL-76, jet powered super tankers. It is not the job of the USFS to hold the hand of potential tanker operators. If the IL-76 is so great than I suggest the Canadians, or BLM pick it up, the fact they are not says something to me, either the USFS knows what it is doing (minus Tony Kern) or they are followers unable to make a decision on their own. Why not put your efforts into an aircraft that has a bit more potential like the A-10, http://www.firehogs.com/ looks like the CDF is doing what you say the USFS is doing how about sharing some of your venom with them. I have been working wildland in Califonia for 10+ years and in all that time I've yet to meet a wildland firefighter who thinks the IL-76 is going to put us out of work, probably half of them don't think we need anything bigger than the S2. Some WO person watching a drop on a runway and saying its going to be extremely effective is far from an indictment against the USFS, what qualifications did this individual even have, all of these aircraft look impressive but all the tests I've seen have been over open flat ground, show me some clips of one of these behemoths coming in at 200 feet through a narrow canyon and maybe I'll get excited. Has anybody but the Russians used these and if they are so great why do the Russians have so many other (smaller) tankers.

    I'm open minded enough to give these fair consideration but all I ever see posted is accusations and conspiracy theories against the USFS, and cool looking shots of big planes making drops over the desert. Is the fact we are not using the 747 mean the USFS has it in for Evergreen, a company they have contracted with for many years?

    I say again, we have the aircraft we need the P3, what we need is for the government to kick about 30 more out of the Navy's inventory or better yet get congress to loosen up the purse strings and buy 30-40 factory fresh P3's.

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2004


    Thank you for your opinions.

    Some very small fraction of wildfires;
    the big ones - say 5%, - causes 95% of
    all wildfire damages.

    In '03, California lost 23 lives and 2800
    homes +/- in 750K acres of wildfire. Some
    very small portion of those wildfires, if any,
    would have been inaccessible to IL-76

    The 1994-5 USFS IL-76 waterbomber report and
    the Australasian Fire Authorities Council IL-76
    waterbomber report, independently produced
    after 10X the testing time of USFS, say much
    the same thing:

    The IL-76 waterbomber would be an
    effective firefighting tool in most
    critical firefighting situations where,
    for example, the flank of a subdivision
    needed protection.

    All large firefighting aircraft should be controlled
    and operated by the US military. The Forest Service
    has already blackened its name in aviation and
    failed timely to come up with new aircraft::

    The USFS is trying to protect Americans
    with 1/3 the former large firefighting
    aircraft fleet this year. So far, so
    good but if we are agreed on one point
    it is that the USFS is short of large
    firefighting aircraft.

    The US military knows full well the
    IL-76 waterbomber will do far better
    than you say/imply it will - far better.

    Were it not so, FEMA would never have
    ordered up two (2) IL-76 waterbombers
    in 2000, where wildfire threatened not
    only Los Alamos homes, 250+ of which
    were lost, but also threatened to get into
    nuclear materiel.

    The Forest Service there performed to the
    Gold Standard in stonewalling. Russia's
    emergency minister was said to have called
    the countermanding USFS order loopy.

    The US went on that summer to set yet
    another record in wildfire losses. In ensuing
    years, your airplanes began literally to disintegrate
    in the air as more record wildfire losses were

    As well, the IL-76 waterbomber was demonstrated
    for NATO - twice - and in non-firefighting missions,
    is flying for most western nations in military and
    relief operations, including Canada.

    Canada took the waterbomber controversy to
    national news, making liars out of both the USFS
    and the BC Forest Service. The IL-76 could have
    flown out of Kelowna for the '03 fires which destroyed
    a couple of hundred homes, but still, the BC 'official'
    on national TV made it sound as if it could not

    The long and short of it is that the US and Canada
    are withholding potentially lifesaving technology.
    Last edited by budthespud; 08-02-2005 at 06:12 AM.

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2004


    Weekly, we encounter fires like this
    one accompanied by photos that clearly
    show IL-76 waterbomber accessability:

    Hey: the IL-76 waterbomber is not out
    there to displace all fine tactical
    weapons such as the P3.

    The IL-76 waterbomber is a strategic
    weapon against wildfire, and North America
    hasn't got a single one.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register