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Reasons & Remarks: Flying Firefighters

Reprinted from PN August 2002
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As our great nation's wide-open West experiences the worst drought in recent memory, raging fires are scorching pristine forests. Hundred of thousands of acres of forestland, along with hundreds of homes and businesses, have been destroyed by wildfires in Colorado, California, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and Arizona. While thousands of evacuees have fled the threatening flames, hotshot teams and ground crews have battled the monster fires day and night. Joining the assault on the devastation are the U.S. Forest Service's firefighting pilots. These air-tanker, air-crane (heavy-duty choppers), and helicopter drivers are born to fly and are a special breed of highly skilled aviators who routinely swoop into smoke-filled targets, releasing retardants and water on the advancing fire walls.

In the August 2002 PN/Paraplegia News, read editor/publisher Cliff Crase's account of one such pilot whose passion to be in the air as much as possible has him battling blazes in his hand-control-equipped Cessna. To order that issue, click here

 

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Reasons & Remarks: Flying Firefighters

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