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  1. #1
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Arrow Something to watch for while riding in forest fire risk areas - water bomber aircraft

    If you ride in areas that are at risk for forest fires, something you may not be watching out for are aircraft water bombers picking up water from the lake you are riding on.

    Some areas see these aircraft many times each fire season. They can appear suddenly, they often don't make much noise as they glide down to the water surface, and they move fast.

    I have watched from shore as boaters have stopped in the middle of the lake, or even turned around to get closer, as a water bomber is skimming across the surface at speed.

    These aircraft can not change direction, while riding on the water surface at speed.

    If you see an aircraft approaching the lake while you are out there, either continue a predictable direction and speed, so the pilot can tell where you are going, or head towards shore, out of the way.

    Same thing applies to pontoon aircraft - landing and take-off are the most critical times, and they cannot change direction or speed easily once they have committed themselves. Give them room.

    For those who may be interested, here is a link to the largest water bombers currently in operation.
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  2. #2
    The ski's have taken a "backseat" to the Corvette DarthAWM's Avatar
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    One of the scariest moments I had back when I was windsurfing was when a Catalina decided to land on the local lake. Instinctively I know what you mentioned above so I made haste for the nearest shore line until he had beached his craft. After I calmed down from my initial freak out it was pretty damn cool to see that WWII vintage observation plane in action.

  3. #3
    rustyrider's Avatar
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    that thing is massive!! Would not want to be in his way. Awesome plane though!

  4. #4
    amharms's Avatar
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    I don't live in an area that's at risk for that, but do those guys announce themselves on any of the marine radio channels before they descend on an unsuspecting lake?

  5. #5
    800AMSOIL4U's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    If you ride in areas that are at risk for forest fires, something you may not be watching out for are aircraft water bombers picking up water from the lake you are riding on.

    Some areas see these aircraft many times each fire season. They can appear suddenly, they often don't make much noise as they glide down to the water surface, and they move fast.

    I have watched from shore as boaters have stopped in the middle of the lake, or even turned around to get closer, as a water bomber is skimming across the surface at speed.

    These aircraft can not change direction, while riding on the water surface at speed.

    If you see an aircraft approaching the lake while you are out there, either continue a predictable direction and speed, so the pilot can tell where you are going, or head towards shore, out of the way.

    Same thing applies to pontoon aircraft - landing and take-off are the most critical times, and they cannot change direction or speed easily once they have committed themselves. Give them room.

    For those who may be interested, here is a link to the largest water bombers currently in operation.

    That thing is way cool. I would love to see it in person.

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 800AMSOIL4U View Post
    That thing is way cool. I would love to see it in person.
    One of them is based in California this summer.

    Ever get to Lake Elsinore?

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