Flight Training and Consulting
Enhance your skills with expert Bambi Bucket flight training
Effective wildland firefighting tactics for helicopters are essential to ensure that loads get on target in a safe manner. Also, these tactics ensure that ground crews are supported by aerial firefighting techniques in the safest and most operationally efficient manner.
Not all pilots are created equal and some regions of the world not only have more experience with fire but existing industries that require helicopter long-line operators.
Aerial firefighting training should include some, if not all of the following:
- Fire behavior training
- Aerial attack operations and tactics
- Performance planning
- Fireline communications
- Optimization of drop techniques
- Safety considerations in air attack
- Planning and execution of a practical, safe and efficient flight profile
- Understanding the relationship between coverage level and flow rates
- Understanding the relationship between speed and flow rates
Training should ensure the practical use of aerial firefighting helicopters, whether they be fixed tanks or buckets with short lines or long lines. Information about tactics and techniques should enable flight crews to make effective suppressant drops safely on target and at the lowest cost per gallon delivery rate possible.
SEI Industries utilizes the specialized training services of JP Johnson of Wingbar Aviation for ground school, flight training and equipment integration into aviation and helicopter firefighting systems.
About JP Johnston
JP Johnston is the former national helicopter program manager for the US Forest Service at the National Interagency Fire Center. Prior to assuming that position, he operated a company that supplied fixed, rotor wing aerial construction and firefighting services to industry and government. His flying career included over 16,000 hours of flying time as an aircraft commander and instructor pilot. He holds airline transport ratings for airplane and helicopter, single and multi-engine seaplane ratings and flight instructor rating for single and multiengine airplane and instrument instructor ratings for airplane and helicopter.
JP also is a certified airframe and powerplant mechanic and holds an FAA inspector authorization. He is a graduate of the University Of Southern California School of Safety Engineering and attended the FAA accident investigation school. JP has served as an accident investigator and a member of accident boards of review. He has also served as a member of the Interagency Air Tanker Board for 13 years and as its chairman for five years.
JP has made numerous contributions to advances in aviation economics, training, safety and platform development. He has also provided a strategic assessment of factors influencing helicopter costs. He has examined the effect of aircraft performance verses price on management decision-making, the impact of altitude on helicopter performance, and the role of performance efficiency as it relates to safety. JP designed a database that measures helicopter performance to cost ratio that has been widely adopted by aviation decision-makers worldwide.
JP has developed several training programs now being used by the helicopter community and he has presented the high altitude mountain flying course and the helicopter tactical fire-fighting course to military aviators worldwide. JP played a leading role in the development of the technical contract specifications found in the national Interagency exclusive use and call when needed contracts. He has also contributed his experience to the development of future firefighting platforms and techniques.
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