WATER BOMBER COMMAND
A story from the future with a link to the past...the RCAF attacks fires...and saves a school and kids cheer! And you see what could happen if we had squadrons of Canadian waterbombers in the RCAF..
In WW2 440 Squadron RCAF was nicknamed Beaver Squadron and they flew Typhoon fighter bombers during the Normady invasion. In 2017 Beaver Squadron was reactivated in the RCAF and was equipped with Bombardier 415 Super Scoopers the best water bomber in the world and they dropped water on fires saving forests and communities.
First of all you see the smoke. And you smell it and it gets into your eyes and lungs.
The year was 2017. The location was in Northern Canada in a small, isolated town surrounded by forests. A lightning strike started a fire about a hundred miles north of the town and high winds and dry underbrush caused it to race south.
And where there is smoke there is fire...you may have heard that before but it's true!
Schools were open and kids were just finishing their lunch break when the first whiffs of smoke could be detected. The teachers were worried and the Principal was meeting with his senior staff to get the kids back home. Some of the young kids were crying because the smoke was getting stronger and they knew something was wrong and their teachers were looking very nervous and kept on looking out the windows seeing smoke!.
Parents were beginning to phone the school and the switchboard was soon swamped. Five minutes later the RCMP called for the evacuation of the town. A call went in to Water Bomber Command RCAF at 12:54 from the town Mayor who declared an emergency and with a hint of panic in his voice requested immediate help! The Mayor was relieved when he put down the phone because the RCAF Dispatcher on the other end had just informed him that she had "scrambled Beaver Squadron and they were on the way and not to worry!" She spoke with a French accent and sounded very professional. Obviously she had done this before!
The scramble claxon went off at 12:55 and five minutes later all 15 aircraft from the Beaver Squadron flight line lumbered down the runway. Squadron Leader Leslie Fortier was in charge. She was 32 years old and from Quebec City. Four minutes later the entire squadron was airborne and headed out towards the forest fire at 210 mph.
When they reached the area -one by one they dropped down to the lake and took on water. It only took 12 seconds to fill up the tanks on a Super Scooper! At 3:47 pm the first water bomber piloted by Brant Cain from Victoria BC dropped its load followed by the second piloted by Charlie West from Calgary, Alberta and third piloted by Janis Williams from Halifax, Nova Scotia until every bomber had hit the fire. By the time the last water bomber had hit the fire the first one was scooping up another load. Each aircraft was dumping over 6000 litres of water on the fire during each run. It was an example of military precision and many hours of training and it got the job done.
The process continued for nearly an hour. And back in North Bay at the final assembly plant for the 415 water bomber the boss turned on the PA system and the workers listened to the radio communication between the bird dog pilot and the pilots of Beaver Squadron as they made their bombing runs. The workers cheered and a few had the odd tear. They were all very happy and very proud! In fact they were so happy they had plans at celebrating at Cecil's after work!
The kids and teachers were out in the school yard watching the water bombers overhead. They waved and cheered. The teachers were crying. Mostly with happiness but a few were really worried. The pilots wiggled their wings. It was an awesome sight. They all flew low over the school on the way back to their base. The sound of 30 Pratt and Whitney turbo props made the school windows reverberate.( this is what just one 415 sounds like at low altitude) It was an awesome sight for the pilots too. They were from towns and cities all over Canada. Their squadron had hit the fire fast and had knocked it down so that firefighters on the ground could put it out for good. They knew there was a school down there and the students were counting on them. There was a huge sense of pride as the pilots were flying a superb aircraft designed and built by fellow Canadians. They weren't imported from China or the USA they were built right here!
Two weeks later the squadron got a package from the school delivered by Canada Post. There was a letter from the Principal who thanked them for saving their school and art work from the students who had drawn and colored pictures of the squadron 415's. One grade one student named Marcie drew a picture of a Beaver watching a flight of big yellow ducks with water coming out their backs and a big sign that said "Thankyou Beaver Squadron" When the pilots saw that one they framed it and put it up in their mess.
There were four dozen peanut butter cookies from Miss Kowalchuck's grade three class. The pilots and ground crew ate the cookies. It was a busy fire season and the package from the school boosted everyone's energy and morale.
Mrs. Kolwalchuck's peanut butter cookies made by her grade 3 class and delivered by Canada Post.
This is the type of feel good story that might occur if the RCAF had a water bomber command. Lives would be saved but so would timber resources. The value of timber saved would be many multiples of the cost required to save it.
The aircraft would also be available for search and rescue missions and sovereignty patrols and even putting out fires in cities. The world would be watching to see how Canada managed one of the worlds' biggest timber resources. And the orders would flow in allowing more Canadians to be employed building an aircraft that was used to save rather than destroy life. And all over the world when a wildfire occurred that threatened life and limb a Canadian made water bomber would be there to stop it. And kids all over the world would be drawing pictures of ducks putting out fires. Big yellow ducks with maple leafs on them! Big red maple leafs!
You really should watch this video. It gives you a very good idea of what this Canadian aircraft can do! Yikes! (go to full screen and turn up the volume!)
The Super Scooper Rockin the Burn. Fantastic video of a super scooper fighting a blaze. Includes some rock and roll too which seems appropriate given the job! It gives you a good idea of how the best water bomber in the world operates.
Please HELP if you can. We are a small family business and we not associated with the manufacturers or owners of the Super Scooper. In order to have Canadian built water bombers in the RCAF we need to have more people aware of the advantages of the idea and that means we need to market the concept and yes that costs money! Any help would be used only for marketing the idea and hopefully having water bombers in our RCAF. Thanks!
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