Mixing Airtanker Types within Your Ramp Area

Aviation: Airtanker
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Nov 2020


Throughout the year, airtanker bases will provide service for multiple types of airtankers with different capabilities and procedures for loading and fueling. Coordination between the Airtanker Base Manager (ATBM), ramp personnel, flight crews, loading personnel, and fuel providers is critical to ensure safe and efficient operations.

Discuss the following items as they pertain to your base:

  • How is the Ramp Manager (RAMP) made aware of arriving aircraft and what loading operations they are approved for? For some bases this can mean:
    • A group of SEATs or S-2s looking to hot load.
    • MAFFS operations or LATs and/or VLATs looking to load and fuel simultaneously.
  • What aircraft is your base authorized for?
  • What are the differences of loading a MAFFs versus LATs, VLATs, SEATs and S2s?
  • A briefing should be held with all ramp personnel before the loading operation begins, when it is practical to do so. Discuss topics of a pre-operational briefing with the ramp and loading personnel.
  • It is the ATBM’s decision when to hot load or simultaneous loading and fueling (SL+F) any airtanker in conjunction with the pilot for that aircraft. Discuss what these operations look like at your base and if there are restrictions at your loading pits for either operation.
  • Fixed Wing Parking Tenders (FWPTs) need to keep the RAMP updated on the activity within their area and maintain awareness on the rest of the ramp.
    • When is a wing walker needed at your base?
    • What are the trigger points for adding personnel on the ramp?
  • Discuss the procedures of fueling in your designated fueling areas and what hazards are created by having the fuel truck operating on the ramp.
    • Is fueling allowed in every pit or do you have a different fueling area?


Additional Resources

Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR)
Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461
NWCG Standards for Helicopter Operations, PMS 510
RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)
Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book)
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

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