AVBuGS Advetures and insights

Avbugs advetures and experiences

  • Who wants avbug to write a book?

    Votes: 111 43.7%
  • Who doesn't want avbug to write a book?

    Votes: 31 12.2%
  • Who doesn't care if he writes a book?

    Votes: 104 40.9%
  • Who wiil support him financially if he writes the book?

    Votes: 18 7.1%

  • Total voters
    254
3

350DRIVER

I think avbug and Surplus1 could be a "dream team" if they worked together on a book. The experiences that those two have are pretty much "untouchable" by most on the board... I enjoy to the utmost whenever they post and touch on what they have done, seen, or have been involved with over their many years in this business.

a saying that I think holds true than someone once told me..

" Loved by only a few, hated by most, BUT respected by all"

3 5 0

keep posting away avbug.
 

low-n-slow

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avbug said:
I don't think any carded aircraft will be sitting idle this year, though.

With half of the western U.S. burning up last season I didn't think there would be nearly enough SEATs, but there sure was quite a number of them sitting standby without making many drops.
I have a friend that flew an 802 and stayed busy (around 42 drops)while we sat idle on standby, and some others that I know also sat around on standby.
We spray ag year round in our part of the country so I am thinking I will stay here and out of that political mess this year.

I have heard about the upcoming changes for the SEAT's, could be lucrative if it all works out. I hope it does.

About those AT's falling apart, were there more than just the two? I know about the 502A breaking the wing in NM a couple of years ago and have heard about one other but nothing beyond that.
 
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Skyrunner

Dark side of Pikes Peak
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Avbug, try this website

Avbug,

Try this website. It's great for first-time authors.

www.1stbooks.com

They will print your book for nothing and give you around $3-$4 per book sold. The catch is that you have to edit it yourself and market it on your own dollar.

Also, think about using voice recognition software. I can crank out 20 pages an hour with it. ViaVoice for Windows Standard v10 only costs around $50. Gateway.com has the best deals for the software.

Anyway, PM me if you have any questions.

Just tryin' to help,

SR
 

browntail

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Yes write a book. That way he can stop waisting our precious time with his insanely long posts!!!!!!!!!!
 

JediNein

No One Special at all
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You can tell a great man by the long list of his critics.

If you ever put your life in a book, I want an autographed copy.
Just tell me where to send the $$ and how much.

Fly SAFE!
Jedi Nein
 

avbug

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I haven't decided on a price yet. I'm not sure I can pay very many people very much money to read it...
 

flyingwildfires

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Enough
Fire stuff......

I don't know Avbug but do know that fire people know who is for real... you find out real fast who is okay at treetop level and who shouldn't be doing it. It's the finest bunch of people you could hope to work with, unfortunately the job has taken a very high toll of flight crews over the years, especially in the airtanker industry. There is just no margin for error or engine failure/whatever, when you are low and slow in a canyon bottom. They are a great bunch.... I know I've always felt lucky to work with people like that.....
 

Timebuilder

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Firefighting work

The other day, a friend of mine who has flown all sorts of airplanes and has around 11,000 hours of flying time asked me a surprising question. He wanted to know where he could contact firefighting companies.

Since Avbug and others have done this, could you post the names and contact info for the companies that do this every year? I'll pass it on to him.

Thanks.
 

Fr8DoggyStyle

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I have always enjoyed your posts avbug. I think you have brought a lot to this board.
 

flyingwildfires

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Enough
Fire contracting companies information

There are a lot of different companies doing aerial fire work. It might be fastest to contact the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, ID, and request a list of all companies that contract to the gov't. The main phone number is (208)387-5512; I would ask for the direct numbers to Forest Service Contracting (most helicopters and heavy airtankers are used by the USFS - Dept. of Agriculture), and also get the direct number for the Office of Aircraft Services (OAS), they do the contracting for the Dept. of Interior agencies, such as BLM (Bureau of Land Management) or NPS (National Park Service), etc. I would think they would be able to provide a list of all contractors. Maybe it's available on their website? I don't know, but hope this helps your friend. :cool:
 

DC4boy

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Hey flyingwildfires, who are you?

maybe we shared the same smoke.

Leave me a private message if you want.
 

avbug

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Visit www.airtanker.com for the Associated Air Tanker Pilots. This will have links and general information. I wouldn't recommend posting questions asking about getting into fire work because you'll only catch grief (you'll get one or two serious emails in response, but otherwise, not much info).

If your friend is REALLY serious about flying fire, he may have a chance. He needs to be willing to do maintenance, work extended hours in less than favorable conditions, and face risks that he likely won't ever face anywhere else. He will put in typical 14 hour days, work without running water, indoor toilets, or any idea when he's leaving or coming home. He'll live with five to fifteen minutes notice to go anywhere, any time. He will live out of a suitcase in the back of the airplane, and will check out of hte motel each morning because he may or may not be coming back.

Fire seasons may last two months, or ten months, or more. There's no telling. In most cases, when you get called out or start the season, you bid your family good by, and may not see them again for a very long time. No coming home on the day off, unless your family happens to live right next to the base and you happen to be there at the time.

The industry sees a high fatality rate. Some scenes are never safe, and the fireground is such a scene. He needs to be prepared to deal with that eventuality.

He needs to be prepared to scrub his airplane by hand every time he flies. If you've never handscrubbed a DC-4 or P-3, know that it's a lot of work, and it doesn't end. Neither does the requirment to fix what you break and to take an active part in keeping that airplane flying.

A lot of folks can't take the waiting around. Sitting under the wing in a walmart chair for fourteen hours a day for three weeks without a hint of a dispatch can drive the best of people nuts. Then it's go, go, go...you may fly eight hours and never get out of the airplane...just stop long enough to fuel, reload, and toss out a piss bottle on the ramp (as certain unnamed uncouth operators are known to do).

Cockpits aren't air conditioned for the most part, and sitting at Lancaster in the summer means that airplane hits one hundred eighty degrees in the cockpit in the heat of the day. If you haven't had to make a takeoff like that, rest assured it's **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** hot, and it's hard to see with sweat literally pouring into your eyes.

It's said that tanker work is a great part time job...you need to block off a good portion of the year as you don't know when the season will start (it seems to be starting call-when needed--CWN--more and more, and going late, though the entire industry changed this last year). It's hard to find outside work or part year work, which means that you're limited in what you can do, and what work you can accept or apply for.

Having done tanker work makes an impact on the ability to get life insurance, especially if you're still doing it. Though it's in legislation right now, there are still no public safety officer death benifits for tanker pilots...you die, nobody pays...you're recognized as a contractor, despite being on the same fire as every other firefighter, doing the same work.

If he plans on doing it for very long, tell him to kiss his hearing goodby right now. It won't be coming back.

There are few positions avaialble right now...a large portion of the fleet was grounded last year. It won't be reactivated. Most of the crews who lost their jobs in those groundings are very experienced, and seeking jobs that might otherwise be filled by your friend.

It takes five to ten years to upgrade. Typically about five to get an initial attack card.

It's hard for folks coming from other backgrounds to accept that they're coming in as tanker trash, and will be viewed as neophytes. Airline pilots tend to come aboard not wanting to work, and expecting to be treated with some degree of respect or to have some clout. They're often quickly disappointed, and usually don't last long. Military pilots are often the same way.

The only real background that provides a good introduction to flying fire is an ag background. Some of the most successful tanker pilots are former crop dusters, though there are differences in the types of flying. That's not to say others from other backgrounds don't make good tanker trash, too. It's a small community, with a diverse background. I know captains that flew for air america, flew drug spray missions, flew airliners, flew military (including one distinguished individual who was once stopped by the SP's for attempting to depart in a F-4 with a rocking chair duct taped to a hardpoint).

Also try www.afia.com for references to different companies.
 

avbug

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I'm not sure how this thread got brought to the top, because the last powe was mine, and it was a hear and a half ago.

A lot has changed. For those looking to get into the industry presently, unless you have a lot of ag experience, conventional gear experience, preferably solid fire experience, and ideally a mechanic certificate with both airframe and powerplant certificates, forget it.

The heavy industry has been dismantled by some career curtain climbing mongrels who have since left the USFS, and that leaves helicopters and single engine tankers.

Sad scene, but that's life.

On a different note, I'm not certain which is more surprising: that there have been nearly 2,900 visits to this thread, that it's been brought back after a year and a half, or that twelve people actually said they'd donate financially to the book.

There is no book, but thanks, anyway.
 
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FN FAL

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avbug said:
A lot has changed. For those looking to get into the industry presently, unless you have a lot of ag experience, conventional gear experience, preferably solid fire experience, and ideally a mechanic certificate with both airframe and powerplant certificates, forget it.
It has changed. About five years ago I was making my way over to MSN in an Aztec to pick up pax 135. The tower was closed yet, so it was CTAF self advisories.

I got to chit chatting with someone in one of those yellow turboprop single engine ag planes that was servicing a state contract for spraying gypsy moths. The guy on the radio made an offer to me to come on down for an interview.

Before you go all balistic about, "you gotta have this and you gotta have that" to fly ag...that's what the guy said on radio, I have no idea what they had in mind as far as getting the right applicant indoctrinated.
 

Cat Driver

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quote:

" Some of the most successful tanker pilots are former crop dusters "

My first job as a pilot was crop dusting in the southern ontario tobacco fields forty five years ago, crop dusting was the one job that I truly loved, did it for seven seasons.I still get excited every time I see a Stearman or a picture of one.

There is nothing like the sound and sight of a Stearman in the early dawn working a farm field............

Flying air tankers was my second favourite flying job, did that for fifteen seasons but strangly I do not miss it like I do crop dusting.

For those of you who read Duke Elegants stories here the Duke and I worked in the air attack business during the same time frame, he flew B26's and I was on the Cats.

Cat Driver
 

Jmmccutc

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i forgot about this thread...how's the book coming avbug?
 
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