Folge 121: Löschen aus der Luft I BundeswehrJul 09, 2022
funk circle podcast from the federal armed forces about 40 kilometers from potsdam, emergency services battled the flames of the forest fire near treuenbrietzen in brandenburg, according to the fire brigade on saturday, the areas affected by the fire and the suspected area of ammunition already covers about 60 hectares, so it is difficult to place fire trucks there the high temperatures also made the extinction work difficult more than 1,400 people from thw firefighters and police used helicopters these are excerpts from the news about the devastating forest fire on the weekend of June 20 in beelitz in brandenburg about 50 kilometers from berlin about 70 After a request for administrative assistance for firefighting, soldiers were sent to the arena armored engineers firefighting vehicles and helicopters were in action and that is what it is about today we want to dedicate ourselves to the issue of the extinction of From the air I am Lieutenant Patrick Menzel from the editorial office of the Bundeswehr and I am speaking today with Captain Jonas.
He is a pilot in the 30th Transport Helicopter Regiment and was involved with the NH 90 in firefighting work. Regards Captain hello good day I am happy the basic requirement for the deployment of the federal armed forces in the interior, I have just mentioned it briefly as an example after a catastrophe like the flood in the aar valley or now the forest fire is always a request for assistance official, that is, the request for help from the states or municipalities of the federal armed forces yes, how was it? go in your case exactly what exactly as you say ultimately the order of the federal armed forces if the country has to be defended from the outside this means on the contrary that we cannot simply deploy our forces and resources in the country unless, for example, there is a request for administrative assistance the basic law states that all federal and state authorities provide each other with legal and administrative assistance The Bundeswehr is one of these authorities and accordingly we are obliged to do so.
It is a legal basis to deploy our forces and means at the national level as well. It proves that ultimately we were alarmed from here. That means we have a creek in the barracks and he's ultimately responsible for making sure we're ready for action, which means in our if it was a Sunday, Sunday afternoon, grab your cell phone, there weren't any sheep ready for no crew, it really came out of the blue and tried to reach the crews and services that are necessary for flight operations, meaning of course the person who is called first must answer their mobile phone must to be contactable, that these particular pilots and mechanics must also be fit to fly, that is, not having taken any medication and not yet having drunk alcohol on Sunday afternoon. they can This has happened from time to time exactly to provide the crew with the next mission.
Where were you on Sunday? You were easy to locate. They did not contact me immediately. I didn't answer my cell phone right away. because you were alone at home with our one-year-old son, then they asked me if I would be willing, I briefly discussed this with the family, then I could take my son to the grandmother and from there directly if the barracks drove, yes, like against the Danes , the operation for you then continued Did you immediately activate the helicopters yes and no so for me personally it started around 3 p.m. of everything to calculate the route as necessary to plan the route to get there we were parked in front of holzdorf which had an hour from the air force where also the hu bschrauber ch-53 is parked where we can finally turn to the infrastructure we have tanks there we can parking helicopters with accommodation so we need flight advice before every flight we have to send a flight plan and weather advice and of course we need this in our regiment in Niederstetten we are not on duty on sunday but you have to call us first for work or in front.
Now there are other positions and I personally have taken care of all these things. Of course, they are completely different positions in which, for example, the technology was also put into service and first. Basically the helicopter is available now. We have to explain to the listeners. Niederstetten is in Baden Wuerttemberg. Holzdorf is in Brandenburg. That's quite a bit for you to get there first. Yes, that's important. Pure flight time is almost two hours. It must of course also be said that we from the transporter called 30 with 290 were in action for this but we also had the support of the Fassberg regiment 10 also the association 190 which also supported with 290 and another 91 from the international helicopter training center in Bückeburg as well the fact that we were in holzdorf at the end of the day on sunday night with 591 used to be forest fires are rarer nowadays due to climate change unfortunately this can be expected every year their transport helicopter regiment is actually prepared for possible missions in the summer months so I want to say yes and no on the one hand we all face it to the extent that we basically practice putting out fires with the crews to be prepared for it of course to be honest we have than to honestly say that this is not a priority, we are on duty with our regiment in mali at the moment, we came from afghanistan last year we are currently part of the etf as nato lock spi tze is known to be part of the NATO response force and all these tasks naturally require insane personnel and materiel so one cannot afford luxury of saying now we are waiting for a wildfire and we are ready for it you just don't have the capacity for it so you just have to do it even now running is spontaneous running and looking at who is available how much material is there but what can we do at the time it happens yes that sounds like a lot of work now is this firefighting routine for you is of a routine you can do in such If you don't speak of course you fly away of course you don't know what to expect in a local town actually didn't have much time to think about that now i imagine gin g yes also very high for you yes how does a firefighting plane work for you exactly so that the end of the carbon flight is about 20 minutes from the event venue, but is it so that in the end we only arrive? back to holzdorf to refuel that means we take our bambi bucket, which is definitely a container that hangs under the helicopter and with which we can carry water, we have already seen where we can carry water and we can imagine a kind of shuttle mounted on the site with the five helicopters that we can almost imagine it as a center, the effects from water absorption to water drainage in a rotating system fly one after another to say the greatest possible effect then the distance between the sources of the fire and the lake where the water has recorded that it is about three or four kilometers long, that means it has m is achieved quite quickly in terms of flight technology and therefore can work very efficiently, which means that a single firefighting mission or a firefighting plane can only be done in a few minutes or you also have to look at it in any case, so you say that from rec ogering water until it was released was an average of five to seven minutes, yes, ok, how many liters do you have in your bambi bucket? let me imagine you have five 2000 liter choppers and then a local pond isn't empty at some point yes that's a legitimate question in that case we were at the big seddiner lake and it's really a big body of water consequently you could I don't see that the water was emptied because it was really big enough and from the point of view here really no constraint with you made that the water was not r the limiting factor we are talking about external factors a fire is not entirely harmless what types of hazards exist for you as a pilot there are numerous factors that now come into play that you now have with the normal Liège standard on the one hand of course water absorption then you just push yourself for a short time above the water if something happens you just have water under you and you don't have any notes landing field no no field where you could make an unobstructed emergency landing the first pel igro the second danger is of course when draining the water of course you need to analyze the situation about the source of the fire how strong the fire is how much smoke is being generated the heat emits all i have to analyze and assess accordingly how do i structure my approaches and finally drain the water drain the water in this case if a forest fire as the name suggests of course you only have one forest something must happen to you there is the possibility of an emergency landing that doesn't look good either, but now you are not completely alone the one who drove let me tell you how high the trees take care of the electricity poles but you will also support you exactly that is the mechanic on board in the back who is working with him is really very important in such missions when I as a pilot don't know anything about what I attach to the bottom of the helicopter that means I get height information tells me how high the container is above it or highest obstacle on our flight both when the water is up he tells me when the container was in the water it shouldn't stop sinking because I have to slow down and then he also tells me about the fire brigade I want to fight since a white person sees and then he can better estimate the height accordingly as a pilot, I totally depend on what the on-board mechanics do to me in these phases he says and consequently the cooperation with him is of course enormously important now that sometimes we don't they are big forest fires as one imagines a wall of fire, but as now in the case of brandenburg also small embers ahadi now it is not so easy to fight from the air with you sometimes something is wrong you can chat about all that yes it certainly went wrong He believes that he needs the difficulty and our main task was also to fight these embers and these fires that of course are in the middle of the forest where the fire brigade is You can't get there with vehicles and sometimes it's hard to really identify them, sometimes you'd just see them driving lightly and you could guess and then you try to drain the water where you suspect whether you hit something in there one day or not Of course you you don't always test but i'm sure not all water drains hit the mark so honestly you gotta be honest i think you'll get that now too but i just mentioned help from the ground what it means that you are in very close contact with the rescue services on the ground, I guess the fire brigade I will tell them then, I will tell them about the objectives from above, or just like that, we had a coordinator on the ground who was also a soldier who he was eventually in contact with the civil rescue and auxiliary services and he finally worked through the situation for us so that we could be in the air he still has a contact person who doesn't s gives the coordinates of where we should drain the water so we're so busy with the helicopter that we can't communicate with the various units ourselves there's no capacity for that we get coordinates from them of course sometimes a bit vague at the end it's supposed to they are brand ministers who do not have their turn and then they have to do it at the end of t ages we decide for ourselves where we drain the water and I think that in these situations we can judge it better from above, then we can see that there is a fire, even if it's a bit to the right of the coordinates, for example, and of course we don't.
Don't let the water hit the bluntly given coordinates, but try to get it to the finish line where it makes sense, but at the end of the day, some dramatic scenes played out on the ground. Entire rooms were evacuated. What can you see from above from the air? of course, from such measures we get nothing with the evacuation of the district. We're very focused on just working on our procedures, flying safely, and really paying attention to where we can spot the biggest fire hotspots to push the water all the way. that was right after the rain of course difficult because he only saw light smoke but the next day he realized what was up. much warmer because you recognized the smoke columns much quicker which was awesome it rained really hard and the rain didn't really put it all out and then you try to use the smoke coming out to shut out the last few embersfight I already said at the beginning of a podcast that it was your first mission there was something you didn't expect at all i was surprised when i got to holzdorf and holz that's not exactly around the corner from beelitz and you really had a very strong smell in the air because it almost felt like everyone at your around were winning and you really have that coming from the farmers in the woods and that actually wasn't nearly shocking because you could tell right away wow,it was really on fire and nothing is small but really big and the second thing that really struck me was when you think about your job and flying that we are so focused and you think that the poor people around you always take the day off, especially at night.
No night I don't want to be deceived and in a way you feel sorry for us and we always have in the lake where we drink the water. I saw a lot of civilians again on a small section of the beach who actually wrote a big thank you on the beach and always greeted us and I personally didn't expect that at all. I always thought they had other concerns and didn't have time to thank us, but that was of course an amazing way of saying thank you which surprised me and of course also made me very happy, nice story, yes sir I'm incredibly grateful to you took the time for us.
I wish you and your team continued mission success. thank you very much and also thank you very much to our listeners who diligently listen to our radio rice if he has topic suggestions himself he can send them to a bw podcast editor at
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