Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

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Drip_Torch
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Re: Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

Post by Drip_Torch »

Catsumi wrote: Sep 27th, 2021, 6:50 pm {snip}
Here, in this video, is a technologically more effective way of firefighting that we need. Yes, it costs, but on the balance sheet is a win in comparison to the devastation that we suffer from today.

{snip}

For all of us who don’t want another horror show as seen this smoke-filled summer, watch this 13 minute video and learn from it.
:smt045

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/california ... 021-09-26/

Nailed it. Unfortunately we're in a weird period of human evolution where everything is political, but our politicians are above it all and leave the professionals to play out the politics - without recourse, checks or balances.

Coulson's QRF is a great program but like I said, I think it will need to be reinvented and put into the "right hands" for it to work in BC. Sad, but I already see it happening with a BC based wildfire simulation company I casually keep an eye on.

This is but one tool, there are many more that need to be brought to bear if we want to moderate our fire seasons in the future. There's no way we're going to burn our way out of this situation, and by attempting to do so, we'll merely be causing ourselves more extreme problems in the not to distant future.
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Re: Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

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This whole Coulson saga is mind-boggling to me. Since when is a consumer obligated to pay more for something? People here go on and on about Coulson tech and their toys. Which means it carries a higher price tag. And if the government spends too much money on something then people whine about their grandkids. Maybe the MOF prefers a guy who is less and is willing to do more. As opposed to the rock star that is in Hollywood fighting fires. People need to stop self-harming this issue and let a scab form. The merry-go-round is getting to infinity realms.
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Re: Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

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nucksRnum1 wrote: Sep 27th, 2021, 10:20 pm This whole Coulson saga is mind-boggling to me. Since when is a consumer obligated to pay more for something? People here go on and on about Coulson tech and their toys. Which means it carries a higher price tag. And if the government spends too much money on something then people whine about their grandkids. Maybe the MOF prefers a guy who is less and is willing to do more. As opposed to the rock star that is in Hollywood fighting fires. People need to stop self-harming this issue and let a scab form. The merry-go-round is getting to infinity realms.
[icon_lol2.gif]

The consumer isn't obligated to pay more for something. If you're still able to access Castanet forums on you're grandpa's Tandy 64 and willing to put up with slow response times and less than optimal performance - good on you. Most of us upgrade when there's a good business case to do so.

Image

Wayne Coulson isn't a rock star in Hollywood. He owned a mill and timber company in Port Alberni, British Columbia and saw the opportunity for investment and innovation in aerial firefighting assets.

Wildfire line costs are one thing. Wildfire damages, lost economic opportunity, rehab and other downstream costs are another.

Either way we're paying.

Incidentally, that Tandy 64 is 30 years newer than the Convair 580's that we currently use. [icon_lol2.gif]
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Re: Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

Post by nucksRnum1 »

Drip_Torch wrote: Sep 27th, 2021, 10:52 pm
nucksRnum1 wrote: Sep 27th, 2021, 10:20 pm This whole Coulson saga is mind-boggling to me. Since when is a consumer obligated to pay more for something? People here go on and on about Coulson tech and their toys. Which means it carries a higher price tag. And if the government spends too much money on something then people whine about their grandkids. Maybe the MOF prefers a guy who is less and is willing to do more. As opposed to the rock star that is in Hollywood fighting fires. People need to stop self-harming this issue and let a scab form. The merry-go-round is getting to infinity realms.
[icon_lol2.gif]

The consumer isn't obligated to pay more for something. If you're still able to access Castanet forums on you're grandpa's Tandy 64 and willing to put up with slow response times and less than optimal performance - good on you. Most of us upgrade when there's a good business case to do so.

Image

Wayne Coulson isn't a rock star in Hollywood. He owned a mill and timber company in Port Alberni, British Columbia and saw the opportunity for investment and innovation in aerial firefighting assets.

Incidentally, that Tandy 64 is 30 years newer than the Convair 580's that we currently use. [icon_lol2.gif]
1 - The entire Coulson fleet (which wasn't all available for BC anyways) wouldn't have had a dent in the type of fire season we had. It would have alleviated the load in specific areas or fires slightly - but it wouldn't have been a silver bullet.

2 - A fleet of many Convair 580's (and other reliable workhorse aircraft) is prudent and effective. If you need an analogy of this - look at how mass-produced numbers of Sherman tanks were able to defeat the greatest tanks (panzers and tigers) and their lower numbers of WW2. Another is the few German jets in WW2. Against the many lesser technological fighter aircraft in the air. Supply matters.

Some people just won't let go of the bone of contention in regards to Coulson. And based on how passionate they are I hope they are getting paid. A dollar for every reason and rationale around here for Coulson by some - would be very lucrative for them.

The government can get better wholesale pricing with inferior aircraft volume secured - than they would with the retail pricing for the few planes available from Coulson. Hopefully, we won't have to keep going in Coulson circles here anymore. But I will if I must.
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Re: Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

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Point 1 - I'll go with pictures as a reply. Notice the date - July 9th
Untitled-1.jpg
Now, notice the date on this internal memo which we were never meant to see - July 12th

Image

Image

"Very Limited Air Support Available".

Gee, I'm no genius, but even I know when you release a Type 1 helicopter from service that limits the air support you have available. (Don't pull the trigger when the gun is aimed at your own foot.)

Point 2 - If we had some media that reported news in this Province you might learn that on the day the White Rock Lake fire started there were software glitches (RJ), cracked manifolds (Electra) and blown engines (Convairs) keeping a significant portion of our, "prudent and effective" in your words, aircraft on the ground.

The Office of the Fire Commissioner did an expression of interest years ago looking for wildfire engine contractors. One of the conditions of the pre-tender document was the equipment had to be newer than 8 years old. The rationale being the equipment had to be newer, so that it would be more reliable. So trucks on the road need to be newer than 8 years old, but planes flying overhead can be 70+ years old. Sure, makes sense - kind of, sort of, well no, not at all.

It was really an expression of disinterest, because who in their right mind would invest in equipment newer than 8 years old when there's no contract to be bid on. Thus, we find ourselves in the situation we're in today. Where we pay several hundred thousand dollars municipally to buy a fire engine and the Provincial Gov't pays $550/hour +++ to have it leave the community that paid for it, and go chase a wildfire somewhere else in the province.

Skill testing question:

Who really paid for both the fire engine and the rental of the fire engine?

If you answered the taxpayer give yourself a check mark next to that question. [icon_lol2.gif]

It's all politics. The wildfire engine program was killed on the starting line by a bunch of old men in white shirts that saw a new way to get into the taxpayers pocket and the airtanker program is much the same. Years ago we heard how the Air Tractors and the Fire Bosses were such great and efficient machines. (Really, they were simply cheap to buy, cheaper to maintain and far, far cheaper to crew. Advantage to the supplier with increased margins and less labour costs, but the t-shirts and hats are kind of cool looking.) Then the Air Tractor's went away. Quietly - without a word. (Basically, because they sucked.) We still have the Fire Bosses, which is the exact same plane, tank and release system, but on floats, and apparently they don't suck, or so we're still being led to believe. Just don't ask anyone in Penticton what they saw in late August. The Fire Bosses are like the nano bikinis of the airtanker world. Sexy enough to get noticed, but the coverage is so scant it's questionable.

I've already made many dollars off of Coulson's companies and do this for free. Both because I'm a fan of innovation and I'm not a fan of the status quo. Wildfires are part of nature and I don't have a problem with them, until they start causing heart wrenching stories, go fund me campaigns and smoke filled skies that cause the mail to be delayed.

Cheers.
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Re: Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

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So some of those Convairs were dispatched and then returned to base, dropping retardant near Greyback. No fire there. This was before the houses burned by the lake (White Rock Lake fire). 3 fully loaded tankers dropping retardant on their "abort" zone.
This happened at other times during the fire season.
And yes, I got this first hand from someone in the know. Working that day. Part of the operation. That person was utterly disgusted that the tankers were ordered back and were told to drop the loads up in the back country.
I wish I could find the date but my search is proving difficult.

As for the Type 1 heli, it's old. Not as old as the CVLT's but 42 year old Sikorsky is not "advanced". Retrofitting a Pinto does not make it new and advanced.
https://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/saf-sec-sur/2/ ... hSimp.aspx
In fact the majority of Coulson's fleet is old, or very old, aircraft. They may have retrofitted the avionics but the airframes are old. Typical of Coulson to overstate their company's "modern" fleet.

Conair now has 10 Q400's registered. These are to replace the CVLT's of which they have only 8. This is how you progress. Get rid of the old aircraft with newer types. 25% more capacity than a Convair. More fuel efficient. Shorter takeoff and landing. And the oldest one was built in 2008.
Why use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice.
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Re: Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

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Expensive way to fertilize the trees - for sure. Yes, there must have been a target out there somewhere that the group could have slowed down, but I suspect there were two issues. I believe this year was the systems (software) upgrade year (and we all know how those go) and restoring the IA capacity of the group at the base was probably a huge priority.

Aborts are an issue and as far as I know the only machines that completely avoid it are the C-130's, which can and do land loaded all the time. I was looking into it a little more this year and I haven't been able to find anything on the Q's or the fireliners, but I do know the RJ's have the same issue.

You're completely right about the S-61's - old machines, although many of them have been completely overhauled and turned into "short-korskys", which does renew the airframe.

Did you watch the 60 minutes video? (It's only 13 minutes, very well produced and does spend some time discussing the long standing interagency penis pulling that goes on down there.) What do you think of the QRT program?

I like concept behind the Q upgrades, but I'm waiting to see if and how they qualify on the US contracts - to get a better idea of their coverage and drop efficiency. There's simply no information available on the Canadian standards or testing.

PS: The one thing that really sticks out like a sore thumb in the sim is the RJ's like fuel, way more than any of the other models. I suspect that's really world as well.
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Re: Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

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Anyone reading the papers you posted yesterday DT (thank you for that) would think that it reads like a very bad comedy written for Abbott and Costello.

Heads should roll for the poor planning and execution of fire fighting by the very ones we counted on. As you said


Nailed it. Unfortunately we're in a weird period of human evolution where everything is political, but our politicians are above it all and leave the professionals to play out the politics - without recourse, checks or balances

In this weeks Vernon newspaper the financial accounting was reported to be:

649 million in year 2017
615 million in year 2018
500 million in year 2021 (not all receipts have been tallied yet. Total is

1.8 BILLION for those three years alone.

The following page features the massive cleanup being undertaken (no costs given)for Monte Lake. After reading your papers it should be obvious that the people of Monte Lake who raised holy hell about the lack of help might be taken very seriously.

When Horgan was asked about the Lytton fire that wiped out the town in June, his reply was that some retirees were offering their expertise to the township on how to rebuild. Not a word about possible culpability of fire fighting services and how they failed to protect the town.

In addition, the costs to clean up after the fires that destroyed properties, livestock, homes, and the loss of income to businesses already struggling with covid issues of their much needed tourist dollars is incalculable.

For one, I am ashamed of what has happened here and do think a thorough investigation (not behind closed doors, either) is in order.

I hope that ferri will leave this thread in place for awhile longer.
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Re: Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

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If I could just make one thing perfectly clear for the casual observer of this thread. (We know it won't be John Horgan - https://twitter.com/i/status/1438943918104592385 )

The memo posted above is dated July 12th.

The following day, July 13th, at 3:46 pm the White Rock Lake fire was discovered at approximately 10 hectares in size. The BCWS reports that it responded to the fire 30 minutes later.

What did that response look like?

Three guys and a flag? Some equipment on route? A helicopter overhead? All I know is we can rule out any of Coulson's equipment.

Beyond that...

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

What I wouldn't give to see the ICS 201 form on that incident. $4 million dollars on Emergency Social Services evacuation disbursements alone. We'll never know how much they spent releasing the magic dust and rainbows from the Structure Protection Units.
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Re: Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

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DT wrote

“We'll never know how much they spent releasing the magic dust and rainbows from the Structure Protection Units.”

My response

“Zero, zip, nada”
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Re: Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

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The whole point is that the BC Liberals gutted the MOF's of educated and qualified staff and ignored our resources. That is the rot at the moment. And it isn't one that can be fixed quickly by the inheritance that the NDP ended up with. You cant spend more money on forestry to right the ship - when you have full hospitals of covid dummies and their victims. So unless money is pumped into the MOF again - and positions are opened again with experienced people - we will have to rely on the incompetence of contractors - and other groups - who think it was a cool idea to light "controlled burns" until the winds change.
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Re: Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

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Catsumi wrote: Sep 28th, 2021, 8:37 pm DT wrote

“We'll never know how much they spent releasing the magic dust and rainbows from the Structure Protection Units.”

My response

“Zero, zip, nada”
Nah, at least the 4 to 6 times the ESS amount of 4 million. (Go big or stay home.)
nucksRnum1 wrote: Sep 28th, 2021, 8:47 pm The whole point is that the BC Liberals gutted the MOF's of educated and qualified staff and ignored our resources. That is the rot at the moment. And it isn't one that can be fixed quickly by the inheritance that the NDP ended up with. You cant spend more money on forestry to right the ship - when you have full hospitals of covid dummies and their victims. So unless money is pumped into the MOF again - and positions are opened again with experienced people - we will have to rely on the incompetence of contractors - and other groups - who think it was a cool idea to light "controlled burns" until the winds change.
Nope, not buying any of it.

BC liberals didn't gut the MOF. Sure, they changed the names a few times and cut some of the fat in the non-core units, but the BCWS is operating much same as it was laid out in the Price Waterhouse review that took place in the early 90's. Like many organizations all the old guys got old and retired at the same time. Succession planning wasn't the biggest concern within the agency until it became a crisis. This situation doesn't require money, it requires investigation, criticism and thoughtful reflection, and above all else - leadership. Leaders don't become leaders by being the best at following the crowd down the well beaten path. They do so by understanding the lay of the land and navigating a course to a better place.

Your thoughts that "incompetent contractors" and "other groups" were out there laying fire to the land is laughable. Look, I'd like to tell you those are tough decisions, and they should be, but under the circumstances this summer there weren't very many other courses of action to take. Do I think all the firing operations were properly planned and executed without incident? Heck no, but I have the benefit of a hindsight bias and know how easy it is to trick myself into thinking I might have done something different in the same circumstances. I respect the decisions made because I wasn't the one sitting in the hot-seat - hamstrung with my hands tied.

Neither were you.

"Contractors" and "other groups" don't make those decisions either. The people that do make those decisions rely on education, experience and group norms, established largely within the BCWS, to make those calls. Do I think we rely too much on a "control objective" and overplay the uncertainty surrounding a "suppression objective"? Sure and yes, but that's the way it is right now and that's why we see firing operations that look sketchy.

Blame the game, not the player.
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Re: Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

Post by Catsumi »

DT and Seewood seem to be the experts qualified here to answer this question:

What would your recommendations be, considering what fires cost us vs cost of upgrading, training of personnel, purchasing new(er) equipment, response time and possibly getting locals with equipment to participate in fire fighting? In layman’s terms.

I am curious as sometimes the answers may be in your replies, but are hidden by jargon used.

TIA.

I know it’s asking a lot of your time spent, but that time invested may help the rest of us understand why fires have not been addressed as we’d hoped.
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Re: Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

Post by Drip_Torch »

Catsumi wrote: Sep 29th, 2021, 6:16 pm DT and Seewood seem to be the experts qualified here to answer this question:

What would your recommendations be, considering what fires cost us vs cost of upgrading, training of personnel, purchasing new(er) equipment, response time and possibly getting locals with equipment to participate in fire fighting? In layman’s terms.

I am curious as sometimes the answers may be in your replies, but are hidden by jargon used.

TIA.

I know it’s asking a lot of your time spent, but that time invested may help the rest of us understand why fires have not been addressed as we’d hoped.
I'm up for it, but I'd like to think it over for a day or two. Hopefully Ferri isn't in a rush to archive this season.

Hope Seewood sees this and can add his thoughts. He's certainly been around and knows what's going on. I wouldn't mind seeing a few of the others add their thoughts as well, but I won't name them because I do understand the omerta that exists within the "quiet trades" and the rationale behind it.
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Re: Coulson Aviation Released by BC MOF

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Thanks. I can wait for replies.

Hope thread longevity can too.
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