Lt Col Bryan Allen is a MAFFS-qualified pilot with the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, Channel Islands Air National Guard Station. MAFFS is the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System, the equipment that can be quickly inserted into a C-130 military cargo transport to turn it into an air tanker to fight wildfires. With a shrinking commercial aerial firefighting fleet, MAFFS provides the additional capacity often needed to protect life and property when a wildfire breaks out.
We talk about how MAFFS works, the C-130 aircraft utilized, and the different units that have MAFFS capability. The selection process for MAFFS qualification is very rigorous and we learn about the extensive training required.
The 146th Airlift Wing is on Twitter at @146AirliftWing and on Facebook. Be sure to also take a look at the MAFFS – Air Expeditionary Group 2013 Facebook page, and the MAFFS 4 Papoose Incident West Fork Complex Colorado video. Awesome flying by these guys!
The week’s aviation news:
- Air Force Drone Crash Closes Florida Highway
- United’s new winglet design for planes expected to save millions
- U.S. Authorities Prepare to Order 787 ELT Inspections
Scott Spangler brings us a pre-view of AirVenture 2013, including Janet the Gannet: World’s Only Flying Fairey Gannet T5 Landing at Oshkosh.
David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week is the The XF-84H Thunderscreech, the loudest aircraft ever built! Hear it on Youtube.
RAAF C-130J, A97-460, over Sydney Harbour last week. Photo courtesy of Nigel Pittaway
In this week’s Australia Desk:
Steve is feeling a tad below par this week after coming off eight years of night shift into early morning starts, and editing of this week’s segment was interrupted when his son, Chris, ended up in the local hospital after a basketball training accident. Despite all this fun, we managed to get a few stories out.
In the news –
Plans for a new large scale private airport in southern Queensland begin to take shape with both major airlines expressing interest in the project. Some of the local residents in the area are less impressed with claims that the local government has fast tracked the project with little scrutiny.
The RAAF’s 37 Squadron last week celebrated their 70th anniversary in style with a two ship C-130J formation flight over Sydney. PCDU’s Kathy Mexted was along for the ride and interviews will be in the next PCDU episode.
An Australian team from the University of Queensland is heading to Norway to test out their latest scramjet design. The test flight, although short, is expected to reach speeds of up to mach 8.
Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.
Neil preparing for his first overnight adventure as PIC
In this week’s Across the Pond segment:
This week on Across The Pond, Pieter welcomes back Neil Bradon, our adopted British pilot flying in the USA. Since we last talked to Neil he has literally ‘lived the dream’, flying to international airports and Air Force air bases. Now through relocating from Arizona to Oregon he tells us about the change in flying style and his forthcoming visit to the worlds largest air venture. Visit Neil’s adventure at his blog Flying Tin.
- MAFFS (Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System)
- Kevin Garrison
- Aviation Careers Podcast
- Former pilot’s animation re-creates Saturday’s SFO crash
Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.