Rick Poedtke responds to last week’s letter submitted by Doug Kriese.
Poedtke fires back
Dear Mr. Kriese:
Had you recollected anything from your attendance to ARFF Annual Certification Training at SBRETC (which in fact you are NOT current in for your last Certification actually expired 12/11 and NOT 12/12 as you inaccurately stated in your letter), you would have remembered the Senior Training Officer/Facilitator state in his class room brief that in many cases in the civilian ARFF community throughout the U.S., local Airport ARFF Department manning protocols dictate that a “Duty ARFF Truck” be established, fully manned, running and strategically located on the field, ready for an immediate initial response to any incident on the active runway/s that could occur.
This protocol is a standard for large airports where a continuous flow of in and outbound Commercial flight traffic exists. This is also the standard response manning protocol throughout the (DOD) U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Crash/Fire Fighting community world wide. It is termed “The Hot Truck” and posted when any flight operations are in affect. This is the Standard Operational Procedure that I have been taught and directed to practice for the entire 24 years of my Naval Career as an Aviation Boatswains Mate Aircraft Handler on both Shore and At-Sea Aviation Naval Commands.
Anyone that has observed how I have operated here at MYA (Mammoth Yosemite Airport), know that I will have R1, the MYA ARFF, running and at the ready when Horizon (Alaska Air) or Sky West calls in on local Unicom frequency 122.8, announces their current position and intent to land. In many cases I will actually “lock and load” and be in and standing by with the Turret, PR Mode & AFFF System activated & preset @ 3% ready and I will position myself/R1 at the throat corner of A3 just at the southwestern A3 exit/entrance point of the ramp.
On the afternoon in question, I had R1 running and ready at its normally parked position at the northwestern point of the Restricted Red Zone of the Ramp adjacent the west side of the Terminal and standing by for Horizon Flight 196 to arrive, as it had called in 22 miles out and inbound. The Twin Cessna in question was number one on final in front of the Horizon Dash 8.
On touch down, I was standing directly next to R1 on its port (left) side and conversing with an awaiting outbound Horizon PAX through the fence adjacent to the running/parked MYA ARFF R1.As you know, Mr. Kriese, the distance from my parked location to the Center Line on Runway 27 and A3 is exactly 825 feet. You are also aware that the Colet K/15S Jaguar (the MYA ARFF) is capable of a top speed of 138 mph(speed limiter is set at 70 for local operations) and will go 0-70 in 9.3 seconds. Do the math. I was on scene, positioned at the aircraft’s 1030 as the wind was coming from the southwest (240 or so degrees) and standing by in seconds.
After a thorough and quick drive around and repositioned myself as the wind had shifted 100 or so degrees to the southeast, I ascertained that there was no evidence of any fuel leaking nor any visible flames. Thus I did not disperse any AFFF and stood by for LVFD to arrive and assume the IC with apparatus as the primary rescue and agent back up units per the MYA EP.
Your “froze and panic” accusation is totally absurd and unfounded. I will only refer you to the current factual at the scene witness accounts and replies that have been posted to your letter here online, https://thesheetnews.com/archives/14116, Pat Foster and Don Arrowood of Hot Creek Aviation (“persons in the FBO”) who assisted and were actually on scene prior to Long Valley Fire arriving. All MYA and Hot Creek personnel responded to this incident as they have been trained to.
As far as the very frustrating radio flalex with Mono One during this incident, we quickly learned after contacting and having Mr. Neilson come out and do a thorough evaluation on both the Unicom VHF and the local AM Radios, that two very inhibiting discrepancies were present in our communications system.
The antennas were located too close together, thus creating intolerable feedback when the AM radio connecting R1 to Mono One, was utilized and the VHF radio was on. Also, the channeling of the AM radio which connects R1 to Mono One Dispatch, was not set to the local Mono County Ops radio repeater located just west of the airport. Instead, it went directly to Bridgeport. In doing so, it drastically limited the proper and clear transmissions from R1 to Mono One Dispatch at any given time.
It appears that the former Maintenance Coordinator (you) was totally unaware of this discrepancy. This critical situation has since been rectified and we now have clear and proper AM comms with all necessary assisting entities per the current MYA EP Protocols.
Now, if you wish to continue this discussion in this public forum, by all means go for it. Unlike you, I will only rebut with clear and concise facts, official recorded evidence and on scene witness statements. Not suppositions, personal conjectures, inaccurate and totally untrue “fabricated” accusations. I highly suggest that you cease and desist, put this entire termination issue behind you, learn from it and move on with your life.
Rick R. Poedtke
ABHC (NAC/NPJ) USN (RET)
PS: Bill Manning and I ARE NOT friends. We are professional (US Navy) acquaintances from 32 years ago and I have been avoiding getting employed at MYA for years. Reason: The constant negative drama surrounding MYA evidenced by your latest, bogus Letter to the Editor [in last week’s Sheet].