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Britton and I have been down on location in Lake Elsinore with the Martin Mars fire-fighting program, giving Jim Messer a well-deserved break.
While it took us some time to get on contract with the USFS, we are now firmly in place and ready for our first mission. The crews we have for the Mars are an excellent group and are being challenged daily as we are consistently in 100 degree weather – day in and day out. The Mars is a USFS National Asset which means we can operate across the lower 48 states and have had interest by Texas and Nevada, so the operation needs to be mobile at a moment’s notice.
Throughout the winter, there has been significant changes made to the program from 2008 and good planning by Maintenance and Pilot teams and Management has been highly successful as we are seeing first-hand how much smoother and safer the operation is. The Sikorsky S76B, FireWatch, has been an excellent addition to the Fire-fighting program. Britton is working extensively with technicians at Axsys, AeroComputers and USFS to get the technology up and operational which has been no easy feat.
Our pilots on the S76 are very creative and have incorporated some very unique Standard Operation Procedures into the flight mission supporting the Mars which can only happen because of the technology package that is installed in the S76.
The Santa Ynez S61 Fire Team is also up and operational in Southern California and we are looking forward to working C-FCLM and the Mars, with the S76, on the same fire collecting data for the USFS utilizing our Real Time Technology Program. C-FXEC is flying daily out of Melbourne supporting an off-shore oil rig in Australia.
The Harvesting Operation has now delivered the third barge of wood – on time and on budget – to CML, and I would like to thank this Team for a job well done. CML continues to do well with its Sales Program, finding new customers to keep our Lumber Manufacturing facilities running. We monitor this program daily, as the strengthening of the Canadian dollar is not in our favour.
As we are into extreme heat, ensure that we are watching out for fellow employees. Work safely, and drink lots of water.