Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Meet a Firefighting Helicopter

CDF Helitack UH-1H (Bear Valley)
While motoring near Hollister, California last weekend, I happened across a Huey UH-1H helicopter operated by the California Department of Forestry, just seconds after it touched down at its base in the foothills. Lovely!
CDF Helitack UH-1H (Bear Valley)
I'm always fascinated by specialized vehicles -- machines that are optimized to do one thing, and do it very, very well. This helicopter fit the bill: It was equipped to operate as a front-line water bomber during wildfires, and the pilot was kind enough to give me a tour of his aircraft while I took lots of photos. If you've ever wanted to meet a hard-working CDF "helitack" chopper -- the kind that goes to work when fires like this flare up -- here's your chance.

I've posted technical details here, and lots more photos here.