Petition To Save The Mars.

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Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by CamAero » Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:37 pm

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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by Big Pistons Forever » Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:45 pm

The people behind this petition know absolutely nothing about the capabilities and more importantly the significant limitations, of this aircraft. They also have no idea just how expensive it is.
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by beechnut » Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:44 pm

BFP

i HAVE CONSIDERABLE EXPERIENCE IN THE MARS . I believe that there is many ways that this plane can be used effectively and efficiently and financially . If you really look closely at how the smaller SEATS are being used they are not delivering proper sized loads and that is expensive.

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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by frozen solid » Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:04 pm

OK, so the thing with the petition. I kind of think it's a mistake to include the "votes" from the USA and Italy and Spain and Japan or whatever. Not because those people don't have feelings, but because the B.C. Premier isn't going to give a crap about them. It makes it seem as though you are petitioning out of sentiment, rather than logic.

Also the little poem would be more stirring if the author could have been bothered to spell "you" properly. I felt like I was receiving a poem via text-message. Again, including a poem makes it seem like you are petitioning for the return of the Mars out of sentiment, rather than logic.

I think it's a cool plane, and it would be nice to see it continue to put out fires, but the petition needs a little editing, I think.
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by Big Pistons Forever » Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:07 pm

Beech

One morning in 2003 I watched two aircraft work a fire near Bonapart lake, North of Kamloops. The Mars and one Cl 415. The Mars made a big loop to scoop into the wind on the lake which was about 500 feet lower than the fire. The 415 scooped crosswind and did a dumb bell back to the fire. After 4 hours the two airplanes dropped exactly the same amount of water on the fire. The MARS had to go back to Sproat lake to refuel with an estimated return time of over 4 hours. The 415 went back to Kamloops and was back in 1.5 hours which included a sit down lunch for the crew. Forestry told the MAR's not to bother coming back....

The limitations of the MAR's was further confirmed when it tried to work in support of the Kelowna fires. Even downloaded to 2500 Gals it still took 20 minutes to get back to the top of the hill ......

The MAR's is a great machine in its niche, working at sea level on fires near the Ocean or lakes on Vancouver Island. Unfortunately those fires are a tiny fraction of the actual fires that occur on any given year in BC.

Time and technology had moved on, it is time to retire a neat airplane, not flog it in conditions it was never intended for.....
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by beechnut » Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:44 pm

BPF

The Mars intended use as far as I know is direct attack on fire nothing else. It has a great record of doing just that.

It has been doing so for many years It does have some operational limitations as do the Ducks ,580's, And especially the wonderful Fireboss with its limited very limited capacity to deliver product to the fire. IE VFR RESERVES

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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by Big Pistons Forever » Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:52 pm

beechnut wrote:BPF

And especially the wonderful Fireboss with its limited very limited capacity to deliver product to the fire. IE VFR RESERVES

Beech
I don't know where you are getting your information but it is simply not true for the now up -engined Fireboss's.

The bottom line is you get 4 Fireboss's for the same money as one MAR's with dramatically better flexibility. As a tax payer I like that.
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by AirFrame » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:29 am

The Mars doesn't need a petition to save it.

It needs *money*. The province has none.
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by CLguy » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:22 am

Beechnut I have to agree with Big Pistons, it's day has come and gone. It's unfortunate and sad but it has out lived it's usefulness. On the big Kelowna fire years ago a good friend was the captain of the Mars working with the CL-415's and he kept track of the daily gallons delivered to the fire. The CL-415 always came out on top.

I lived thru the same thing when the PBY's were replaced with the CL-215. I was one of the guys championing for keeping the PBY's cause the 215's were too expensive and too high maintenance etc. etc. Well I ate a lot of crow over the years once I realized the 215's were the future and deserved to be. The PBY just couldn't compete.

Now I am not say the FireBoss is the answer cause they just don't have the punch. They are modern, more dependable, more mobile but they are still lacking punch. The only scoopers that can truly deliver it all is the CL-215T's and the CL-415's.
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by beechnut » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:28 am

CLGuy

I'm not not saying the Mars is the be all end all . All I believe is the Fireboss is being touted as something it is not

Fly safe all

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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by CLguy » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:45 am

Well I have to agree with you on that and unfortunately you will never be able to find out the true cost of it all.
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by Just another canuck » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:01 am

The Fireboss can deliver more than half the payload of a CL. It costs only 10 % of a 415 and operates at 20 % of the cost. Forgive me for sounding ignorant but would it not be more effective for a fire operation to have 10 Fireboss' for the same price as one 415. They need less runway and less lake. You could base them in a variety of different places as opposed to having one 415 at one spot. I'm failing to understand what exactly makes the 40 million dollar CL so great. Is it range? Endurance? Speed? Or is it the actual delivery of the payload? I find it hard to believe that hitting the fire twice with a Fireboss is so much less effective than hitting it once withe the 415. And is the Fireboss not more agile and more manoeuvrable? I suppose they each play their own part very well otherwise companies like Conair would not have both machines in their fleet. But as someone with an outside perspective, when looking at the cost of the aircraft and operating it and what the machine can actually deliver to the fire, the choice of the Fireboss seems obvious.
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by godsrcrazy » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:25 pm

I don't know much about this type of flying. One would think a couple aircraft carrying heavier pay loads flying in tight circuits in smoke would be better then a bunch of smaller aircraft carrying smaller payloads. It must get a little busy in the sky around fires.
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by CLguy » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:06 pm

Well Canuck I will try and answer your questions without starting a FireBoss vs 415 debate on this Save the Mars thread. First the 415 is not $40 million but no doubt is more expensive because it is a superior aircraft. Why it cost what it does, Bombardier will have to explain it. The FireBoss is not even in the same category but then it shouldn't be as it is smaller and cheaper. It does not scoop or land in a shorter distance than the 415. The 415 is better cause it is bigger, faster, more manoeuvrable, has better range and endurance but then it should because it is more expensive and a better bomber. A lot of time the first or second load is the only chance you have of catching a fire before it takes off and becomes a very large and expensive one. At these times as well as trying to stop out of control ones is when you need the punch to break thru the thick canopy and soak the underbrush. The smaller loads such as the FireBoss or Twin Otters can't do it and a lot of the load evaporates before it gets to the ground. They certainly have there place but you get what you pay for. If a fire gets away that was stoppable and it costs 20 to 30 million dollars to extinguish, have you really saved any money.

I guess one could argue that small towns really only need a tractor with some water tanks on a trailer with a pump to protect the taxpayers and not $300k pumper trucks. I know as a taxpayer what I want coming to save my property if it is threatened. I want the biggest and the best. We have often left Dryden headed north to Big Trout Lk. fought fires that were threatening the community and then headed to Pickle Lk. for fuel. A FireBoss can't do that. I guess we could base one right up there but then you are into another whole logistic nightmare.

As a side note, Conair does not own any CL-215T's or 415's. The aircraft are owned by the Alberta Government and Conair is contracted to operate them.

Not sure this answers your questions or not.
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by CLguy » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:17 pm

Godscrazy you are correct. There are time when 2 tankers in a circuit can deliver more water to a fire than with 3 or 4. When more aircraft arrive the circuit ends up getting bigger and a 2 minute circuits ends up being 4 or 5 minutes. In a lot of cases you end up having to move to a different lake further away cause you can not manoeuvre as tight with all the aircraft. More aircraft is not always better.
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by Big Pistons Forever » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:20 pm

CLguy wrote:Godscrazy you are correct. There are time when 2 tankers in a circuit can deliver more water to a fire than with 3 or 4. When more aircraft arrive the circuit ends up getting bigger and a 2 minute circuits ends up being 4 or 5 minutes. In a lot of cases you end up having to move to a different lake further away cause you can not manoeuvre as tight with all the aircraft. More aircraft is not always better.
Or instead of one 1600 gal load every say 8 minutes from one 415 you get a 700 gal load every 2 minutes from 4 Fireboss's. The more tools in your toolbox the better but when you can buy 9 brand new Fireboss's for the price of one Cl 415, not to mention the ridiculously prices for Cl 415 parts; mean the Forestry guys have a tough case to make to the Finance Ministry if they want 415's.....
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by beechnut » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:40 pm

Or instead of one 1600 gal load every say 8 minutes from one 415 you get a 700 gal load every 2 minutes from 4 Fireboss's. The more tools in your toolbox the better

I am thinking that you must be using US gallons,

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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by Big Pistons Forever » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:41 pm

beechnut wrote:
I am thinking that you must be using US gallons,

Beech
Are there any other kind :wink:
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by Just another canuck » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:20 pm

CLguy wrote:The 415 is better cause it is bigger, faster, more manoeuvrable, has better range and endurance but then it should because it is more expensive and a better bomber
Why is bigger better? Or faster for that matter, unless the fire is really far away. And without going and looking this up, I find it pretty hard to believe that the 415 is a more manoeuvrable aircraft. I know time is often a large factor when it comes to fires, but not always. And again, range and endurance are important but may not be all of the time. If I had 8 Fireboss' and used 4 of them to hit the fire while the other 4 were on hot standby, I would drop more water on the fire. And I could do it for cheaper. And I thought that's the whole point. Cost vs. performance.
CLguy wrote:A lot of time the first or second load is the only chance you have of catching a fire before it takes off and becomes a very large and expensive one. At these times as well as trying to stop out of control ones is when you need the punch to break thru the thick canopy and soak the underbrush.
Okay, so I thought I read the 415 drops somewhere around 1200 gallons and the Fireboss can drop 800 gallons. You can buy 9 FB's for the price of a 415. You're telling me if I hit that fire with all 9... that's 7200 gallons... it won't do the job because it doesn't have that extra punch. Sure, the CL is dropping 50 % more water, but I'm simply looking at the numbers and it's hard to believe it's a more effective system than using a handful of FB's. Even if I used 6 or 4 or 2 FB's, I'm still ahead and at much less of a cost. Much, much less.
CLguy wrote:We have often left Dryden headed north to Big Trout Lk. fought fires that were threatening the community and then headed to Pickle Lk. for fuel. A FireBoss can't do that. I guess we could base one right up there but then you are into another whole logistic nightmare.
If you had a Fireboss, you could do that. You could have one in Sandy. You could have 2 in YRL. You could have 2 in YPL. One in Fort. One in Kenora. And maybe 2 in YQT. All for the same price as one 415.
Big Pistons Forever wrote:Or instead of one 1600 gal load every say 8 minutes from one 415 you get a 700 gal load every 2 minutes from 4 Fireboss's. The more tools in your toolbox the better but when you can buy 9 brand new Fireboss's for the price of one Cl 415, not to mention the ridiculously prices for Cl 415 parts; mean the Forestry guys have a tough case to make to the Finance Ministry if they want 415's.....
Exactly.

I just have a hard time looking at the 415's and the price of them and their parts and what they can do and believing they are worth it. But again, I am not in the fire industry and I do not claim to be any kind of expert on it.

This thread has now been hijacked.

CL, I know you've been in the industry a long time. I know you know a lot about it. But apart from the "extra punch" point, a point which could be argued, you never made a very good argument on why that near 40 million dollar plane is worth the price tag which it holds.
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by angry inch » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:42 pm

It is a bit sad to see the Mars sitting, however the BC forest service decided to do what they did with those contracts for a reason. Maybe it is time to preserve the mighty beast.. All the above aircraft mentioned are "Tools" in the "Airtanker" toolbox, and when used as intended can all do a great job at buying ground crews (the ones who actually put the fires out) time.
I would have to venture a guess that most involved with that petition know very little about Airtankers (outside of what Mr Coulson tells them on radio & TV...) So, I can't sign a petition that goes against decisions made by folks who know a hell of a lot more about Aerial Firefighting in BC than I do... No matter how F@cking cool it is to see the Mars out scoopin' & droppin'...
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by CLguy » Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:15 am

Canuck you are correct you could have a couple in every community. I won't dispute that, in fact I have suggested that in the past but no one in our fire organization seems to be interested in that concept. Imagine the logistics with trying to get pilots and engineers based in the northern communities for a 6 month contract. They could paint "Empress of Sandy Lake" or Empress of Wunnimum" on the side of them. Of course I would gladly take Fort Frances!

Just to clarify a couple of things, the CL-415 drops 1350 imp gallons and the FireBoss drops a max of 600 imp gal. When a FireBoss arrives at a fire they are only dropping in the neighbourhood of 300 gal and only get to dropping full loads in the last 45 min or so on the fire once their fuel load gets burned down. The 415 sometimes runs into the same problem and has to download a couple hundred gallons. What I meant with bigger was bigger load and yes the 415 is more manoeuvrable. A fully loaded FireBoss is a bit of a handful. This comes from people who have time on both the CL's and the FireBosses. When you are dealing with fire, time is everything. The faster you are there putting water on the fire decides how many aircraft and for how long they are committed.

Other than the initial cost how can one believe the cost of operating 6, 8 or 9 FireBosses would be cheaper. With 9 aircraft you now have 9 pilots, ? Engineers, parts and equipment for 9 airplanes.

I'm certainly not defending the price but I guess one could talk with Newfoundland who after evaluating the FireBoss elected to buy 415's. All I know is when my property is being threatened by fire, I want the best coming to save me and not the cheaper one who has afforded the operator the best profit margin.
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Last edited by CLguy on Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by Liquid Charlie » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:27 am

Seems this is not about a classic aircraft but loss of a fire contract -- a classic aircraft that belongs on the air show circuit -- simple as that -- lets bring back DC-6/7 -- piston otters and maybe even the aircruiser as well -- oh ya add the 215 to that -- now we can get right back to popping jugs and catching on fire -- :smt040 -- lmfaoooooooooo
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by Cat Driver » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:57 am

This subject is quite complex, however if you have skilled fire suppression pilots flying the machines who can accurately deliver the load then CLguy is closest to the optimum aircraft.
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by Meatservo » Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:21 pm

Let's say you are cooking on the stove, and the doorbell rings. Once you are done trying to get the latter-day-saints to go away, you get back upstairs to discover that you have a classic "pot-on-the-stove" fire. On the counter you see a large juice tumbler and also nine shot-glasses. Would it be better to fill up the tumbler with water from the sink and dump it on the flaming soufflé, or would it be better to call your wife over, and get her to fill the shot glasses while you pour them one-at-a-time onto the fire?

Depends on the size of the casserole, and how long it's been burning, I guess.
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Re: Petition To Save The Mars.

Post by iflyforpie » Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:42 pm

Meatservo wrote:Let's say you are cooking on the stove, and the doorbell rings. Once you are done trying to get the latter-day-saints to go away, you get back upstairs to discover that you have a classic "pot-on-the-stove" fire. On the counter you see a large juice tumbler and also nine shot-glasses. Would it be better to fill up the tumbler with water from the sink and dump it on the flaming soufflé, or would it be better to call your wife over, and get her to fill the shot glasses while you pour them one-at-a-time onto the fire?

Depends on the size of the casserole, and how long it's been burning, I guess.
Wrong on both counts. You get the baking soda.... or the ABC fire extinguisher you should have in your kitchen. Water is the last thing you throw on a kitchen fire. :wink:

As others said, tankers and bombers buy you time.... that's it... they don't put out fires. None can hold a candle to a good ground crew making a fire guard, back burning, and mopping up.
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