July 14, 2023 at 6:34 PM #18544Dan DeWeeseGeneral MemberCSS Instructor
Yes its fire season again. Reminder that if the White X is laid out on the landing area, club’s protocol states land immediately. The White X is meant to notify pilots in the air that vital aircraft are or will be soon traversing the site either to evacuate or rescue an unfortunate pilot or USFS and SBD county FIREFIGHTING helis and fixed wing craft are operating in our area.
If the X is out, Do not launch. If you are in the air, LAND as soon as it safe to do so. If there is a wildfire within 5 miles that will likely be getting aircraft suppression activity, land and put the X out. Structure fires and grass fires to the south are usually handled with ground units. Not always, however. If firefighting aircraft are traversing the site, get out of the airspace, irrespective of whether the X is out or not.
July 1st there was a fire on the Pine Flats ridge. 3 Helis picked up water from Lake Gregory fixed wings hit it hard from SBD airport. The X was laid out and pilots continued to launch and fly as normal, rationalizing it somehow by these and more reasons:
They were flying way behind the ridge. My tandem passenger is here and I cant disappoint. We didnt know. There wasnt a TFR issued. Our ride left already. There havent been any planes for 3 minutes. We’re going to fly real fast to the landing area. I need to get back to launch to claim an out and return. Firefighting aircraft arent as important as me and my flying and they can see and avoid.
Its a difficult thing to scrap a flight or an entire flying day. Sometimes it must be done. Dont be that guy keeping air units from doing their jobs by the best and most efficient means possible.July 14, 2023 at 8:01 PM #18545Alan CoffieldGeneral Member
Alert… multiple fires. I believe there are no less than 5 active fires burning between San Bernardino, Redlands and just North of San Jacinto with active aerial firefighting traffic all around. I will try to post a copy of any TFRs later, but I suspect Soboba flight park will be impacted as well as anyone hoping to head East from Crestline/AJX for at least the next few days. See you in the air (not this weekend!), Alan C
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