arguing with a fire pilot is a lot like wrestling with a pig in the mud: after a while you begin to think the pig likes it.
Picture of Joe McCoy in his F7F TigerCat taken in Grass Valley, California in the early 1960s. Joe flew for California National Airways (CAL NAT). These photos were taken before he left for overseas flying for CASI in Laos. My brother and I went to school in Vientiane. A lot of the pilots' names on this site sound familiar ...
~ from Tom McCoy & Family, Selawik, Alaska
(Click photos for larger versions.) Tom can be reached at tk_mccoy at hotmail dot com.
A HORSE TALE:
In late September of 2009, Lead Bravo 5 was dispatched to the Guiberson Fire -- and all was normal as could be for a fire in Ventura County, California.
The fire was fast-paced and heading toward homes. We were given the assignment to secure the left heel and start heading up the left flank across some powerlines and into some fields of brush. While scouting the area for other powerlines and hazards, though, I happened to see four horses on top of a hill -- with fire below them. I started to circle the horses to see if they were going to start to head out.
After several orbits, though, I realized that they were disoriented and were going to be trapped if they didnít start to move sidehill real soon ... [READ THE STORY]
COMMENT: I remember watching the live feed from one of the L.A. TV stations ... As the flames closely approached the horses, the camera zoomed back out and they disappeared into the smoke. I had assumed that they didn't make it, and I'm sure someone at the news desk didn't want that scene going out over the air. Both my wife and I watched as this story played out. Our thoughts were only prayers that they either jumped into the black or found a way down and around that cliff they were on the edge of. Prayers, thanks, gratitude, and a hoist of rum for ending this saga on a good note!
aka Cap'n Cloud Dancer
FOX TANKER BASE T·SHIRTS:
If your old tanker base t·shirts are looking elderly, now's your chance to get yourself a new one. Thanks to Dave Kelly Jr. and the webwench and the Pilot of the Ghost Ship, there's now a hot-off-the-press FOX FIELD tanker base shirt available ... two different designs, AND a golf shirt.
I just stumbled across your site and it almost brought tears to my eyes, no, not from the smoke, but just a few of the photos here. I spent a lot of time flying with Al Adolph, Al Schwartz, and Joe McCoy when I was with IVS and USAID in Laos, 1966-1970; then I moved down to Vientiane ... not so much pax flying any more. Sure great guys!!! Time for me to have another home brew in remembrance.
Mac, IVS and USAID/Laos, '66-'75; retired in Thailand
"Give a man a beer and he wastes an hour; teach a man to brew and he wastes a lifetime."
MAC HAS A NEW PAGE OF PHOTOS HERE. Check it out!
Cap'n Kraus sent us this link: WATCH THIS.
TRUST THE WEBWENCH: Do not have any sort of food or beverage in your mouth when you watch this. And (warning), you will mandatorily have to watch this more than once. This is about the coolest aviation video we've seen for months. THANKS LARRY!
Phill Dupree, the San Bernardino County ECS Weather Support Coordinator and Skywarn Coordinator, says he figured out what started the recent Butler Fire. It was UFOs cleverly disguised as lenticular clouds.
FROM the FIRE PIRATE ARTIST, Tom Stein, Jr.
AYE, MATEYS, here be me and me smelly crew in me studio ....
You will TOO put red ochre on that brush! Do as you're told!
It's talk like a pirate day, I mean paint like a pirate day!
|and ... some time later ....||
First in a series ...
FROM CAP'N MIKEY:
"Been busy lately ... AAARRRGGHHH!
We can find the fire cuz it's written on the left side
YIKES!!! I'm so SCARED
FINALLY!! PHOTOS FROM GORDO!
After an interminable unforgivable and inexcusable delay, the webwench has finally got Gordo's collection of photos online.
FROM A FIREPIRATE DOWN UNDER:
GDay from West Oz Down Under! Stumbled across this site whilst trying to get some updated information on the current wildfire situation there in the USof A. Great to see a site for aerial suppression operations. We have six fixed-wing aircraft (both radial and turbo) and five rotary that we utilise during the fire season for suppression, a fleet of Champion Scouts for detection and air attack platforms, and a small dedicated team of multi-skilled Aircrew. Given the nature of our business we use multiple small aircraft to do the job, in comparison with some of the fleet that you guys have over there. AWESOME! Great site, great content and I look forward to checking it out more often. Perhaps Firepirates could have an Aussie chapter? Anyway, keep up the good work and you never know, but there could even be some of our crew coming over to your part of the world this season! Take care, soft landings!
District Fire Operations Officer & Air Attack Supervisor
Dept. of Environment and Conservation
Albany, West Australia
Damion's photos are on page 46 of the photo gallery. THANKS, DAMION!
FROM LARRY KRAUS: While trying to locate something else, I ran across a copy of the Wenatchee World newspaper for 08/14/2000, which had a front-page picture of me dropping near some houses not too far from Leavenworth on 08/12.
This is one of my favorite pictures of T-62. What it doesn't show is that I'm headed directly into the hillside and was just about to stand on the left wingtip to turn enough to miss hitting the hillside. It was the only way to make an effective drop, as it was too steep downhill and blind going the other direction -- and there were trucks and people everywhere. It was Initial Attack, naturally. Some fun!
Also, a couple of new photo pages have been added; check the links for the page numbers at the bottom of any page in the photo gallery ...
Here's another link from my favorite warbird site. This one has to do with touring around the country. Maybe the guys in the fed tankers will appreciate it.
NOTE FROM THE WEBWENCH: Kraus is good for photos and background info, but he's gotta get some kinda award for this one!!!!
Cap'n Darran sent us a pile o'photos, and we liked 'em enough to put 'em up on page 41.
The one at right doesn't get any bigger, so we parked it here on this page; it's a shot of ex-SISQ T-26, FPL, June 1975.
Kenny, you got me going! "Phil" is Phil Wallick, producer of FIREBOMBER video, several books, etc.
Great to see you got your site back up, SLACKER! Looking at those pics brings back memories. Remember this? MAFFS 8: "Hey Mikey." Lead: "What Wade?" MAFFS 8: "I think my tank just exploded." Lead: "Well, will it still fly?" MAFFS 8: "I don't know, I'll tell you in a minute or two."
Took this photo on the Delatite base in Victoria early last week; the fire behind is the Whitfield complex. It was so big it had standing lenticulars clouds on top of the cumulus on top of the smoke.
I was gonna ask if there was any photos of Don, until I found the GOOD one. I could give you a few stories about our time together, but would have to tell you in person. It would take way too long here ... Great site. How about having some patches made up?