Air International 2018-02
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Main: Parapublic
One of Ventura County's four Bell Helicopters over the local area. In this case Copter 9 which is a Bell 212 model.
Copter 8 performs a water drop. Of note is the thick smoke, which along with high winds, turbulence, and fire itself, create some of the most challenging flying conditions for firefighting aircraft.
Attachment points on the Simplex fire attack tank. The hose shown, is the snorkel device, while the open attachment point is the camlock discussed in the article. Ground units can attach a hose to the camlock to refill the tank.
The Air Unit has three full time maintainers assigned. Here, two of them clean and inspect the helicopter after an evening of flights supporting the Thomas Fire.
One of Ventura County Air Unit's helicopters forward deployed at Carpentaria, flying from a playground, with the fire ominously above the town in the background.
Another view of the Simplex fire attack tank along with the hoist device found on Copter 6 a Bell HH-1.
Pilot Alex Keller (right) and Sheriff Deputy Darin Rich (left) prepare to launch to support the Thomas Fire.