Friday, August 29, 2008

Back Among the Living

Okay, I am back among the living. I have been under the weather for nearly a month now and so many things have just been put on hold while I just muddled through the necessities. But after trips to three different doctors, several different tests, and even more medications, I am feeling much, much better. Yay God! I promise to be back to posting the first of the week. Please enjoy the last installment of quotes on education in the meantime.

Have you read any of them so far? It is wild how differently people look at learning. The common theme I have noticed is the emphasis on the importance of creativity over mere knowledge. And the importance of learning by doing instead of learning by memorizing. How does that line up with how we educate our children, and ourselves for that matter?....since we are all still learning something. Hopefully.

In our schools we promote conformity, not creativity. We make sure our children learn the order of the US presidents and about Greek Mythology, but place little emphasis on life skills and common sense. Their stringent adherence to standardized curriculum limits how far children can excel in their learning.

My daughter tried getting me to purchase a science curriculum a month or so ago. I tried to tell her we don't need one. She was in the third grade last year, and her CAT test scores placed her at the seventh grade level for science. If we had followed a curriculum, she would have never been giving the opportunity to learn the material that she mastered at four grade levels above her own. And she did well because she was learning about things she had an interest to learn.

Anyways, the purpose of these quotes is to allow you to think outside the box in the ways you teach your children. This isn't just for homeschoolers. You are capable of teaching your children new things every day, even if they attend public or private school. We learn something from everything we encounter. Take advantage of it. Ignite their curiosity. Promote their creativity. Encourage them to become excellent at something they enjoy!

John Dewey
Education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.

Maria Mitchell
We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing.

Mortimer Adler
The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.

Anatole France
Nine tenths of education is encouragement.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Skill to do comes of doing.

Simone Weil
The joy of learning is as indispensable in study as breathing is in running. Where it is lacking there are no real students, but only poor caricatures of apprentices who, at the end of their apprenticeship, will not even have a trade.

Vernon Cooper
These days people seek knowledge, not wisdom. Knowledge is of the past, wisdom is of the future.

As the twig is bent the tree inclines.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life is a succession of lessons, which must be lived to be understood

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More Quotable Quotes of Note on Learning ...

Edith Hamilton
It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought -- that is to be educated.

Ethel Barrymore

You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens.

Henry B. Adams
A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

Hannah More
It is not so important to know everything as to appreciate what we learn.

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.

James Baldwin
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Is That Really A Good Idea?

We had Alea's 9th birthday party the other day. She had a disco skating party at the local skating rink. Check out the menu board from the skating rink. Look closely. It is really a poor picture.

Butter milk + sardines + hot skating kids = ?????

My guess would be disaster! That just really doesn't sound like a good idea to me. I wonder how much of that they sell?

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Place of Refuge...A Bit on Sharing Stuff

Exodus 12:4(NIV) If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat.

So what happens when we loosen our hold on our possessions and begin sharing? What happens when we not only share what we have available, but receive what others have to share? What does God do in response to that sort of management?

Let me first say that you have to change the way you look at your stuff. I know several generous people. They love to share what they have. They would love to be able to meet your needs through what they have. But they want to be the ones sharing. They do not want to go without and be the ones dependant on someone else to share. They want to know that when they go to bed at night, they possess everything they will need. It makes them feel good to be able to have excess and share. I have to admit that in many ways, I am this way. I would love to have enough money to meet the needs of so many people, and the resources to bless the many wonderful programs with which I come in contact. But that is not the key to sharing. It needs to be give and receive.

2 Corinthians 8:14 (NLT)
Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal

My husband was given money to give away. Seriously! A friend of ours noticed that he seems to have a knack for allowing God to show him people in need. So the friend started giving him money to give away. At first, my husband said he felt a little weird about giving away someone else's money. He felt like he had to really be careful with how he distributed it, because someone else had entrusted him with the responsibility of managing it. Then it occurred to him that the source was the same. Money, whether it came from his bank account or someone else's, all comes from the same origin. God blesses us with it.

To truly grasp the meaning of sharing, we need to first really let our hearts absorb the fact that it all belongs to God anyways. We need to grab hold of that fact and let it infect every fiber of our being. It is not MY stuff! I'm only managing it. Then it becomes of question of what I believe God would choose as the best use for HIS stuff. What do I choose to do with it? Do my choices honor God? So, I choose to spend money on big toys....What do I do with those toys? He is not against us buying fun stuff. But how do I use what I have? Am I bringing honor to God? Am I glorifying Him in my use of them? Am I using them as a tool to strengthen my relationship with Him? Am I using them as a tool to strengthen my relationship with others? Or am I hindering my growth and relationships through my use of them? Is it any better to just save the money He gives me to manage, or then am I just hoarding?

Once we accept the fact that it is God's money and God's stuff, it becomes natural to share it. We want to do something with it that honors our God, and what better way than to meet the needs of His children?

Matthew 25:40 (NLT) “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

Hebrews 13:16 (HCSB)Don't neglect to do good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.

We know that sharing what we have makes God happy. But what else is there to it? What can we accomplish through sharing our possessions.

We will have more. Sounds crazy, but the less we own, the more we will possess. If we are dedicated to sharing, we have access to each others stuff. I don't have to buy a pickup truck for an occasional load of lumber if you are committed to sharing your truck. You don't have to purchase a boat to fish every couple of weeks if I will share mine with you. Every family doesn't have to fork out money for a lawnmower (or two) if we will pool our resources and buy one, or pay a lawn service. Suddenly we all have boats for fishing, and trucks for hauling. As a matter of fact, we don't each have to pour money into a complete wood shop for that occasional project. We can pool tools and equipment into a community shop and share in fellowship while we work.

Which leads me to benefit number two. We will be less wasteful. Okay, not everyone stands in the same position on the whole "Green Living" issue. But whether you are a greenie or not, you have to recognize that we have limited space for landfills. One day we will run out of land to bury our waste. When we share, we produce less waste. One truck, one boat, one lawnmower... You see where I'm going with this. They take up a lot less landfill space than six trucks, boats, and lawnmowers. And less storage space, so we don't need to buy all those sheds!

We can plug into helping in our area of giftedness, and allow others to plug into theirs. Some of us have some areas where we are super handy, and others where we appear to be trying to work with nothing but thumbs. And some of us have physical limitations. For example. My husband mows the yard at least once a week. But every time he does, he needs to take a Zyrtec, wear a mask, and still suffer somewhat for a day afterwards. What if you, my neighbor, like nothing better than to ride your mower? Think of the blessing you could be for my family. What if someone in the neighborhood loves beautiful flowers, but has arthritis? But I love to tinker in the garden. Could I pull her weeds while I am pulling mine? What if we have a few stay at home moms who love to can...and a few working moms? Can canning moms share in the bounty while working moms pick up a pack of diapers from the store they are passing on their way home from work? And you have the added bonus of fellowship with your neighbors as you share in chores. Those are just a few examples, but once you start thinking this way, more will just pop into your head as well.

Here is just one last thing to think about before I end this illustration of sharing. So many of us want to truly make a difference in our communities. We are being bombarded by soaring unemployment rates. Homes are being foreclosed on all around us. People are scared and hungry and they are praying for help. We try to buy some canned goods to distribute at the local shelter. We search for a few coats and blankets to distribute to the homeless in the winter. But with our own limited resources, we can only do so much. The answer is not just to work more to earn more. What if we lived in such a way that we could live off of less, and use the excess to help those people? What if we could, instead of making a small difference in the lives of a couple of people, band together with others to make a huge impact on our community? How many lives could be changed forever? Would ours?

Some verses to chew on:

Psalm 112:9 (NLT)
They share freely and give generously to those in need.Their good deeds will be remembered forever.They will have influence and honor.

Luke 3:11 (HCSB)
He replied to them, "The one who has two shirts must share with someone who has none, and the one who has food must do the same."

Acts 4:32 (NLT)
All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.

Romans 12:13 (NIV)
Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

2 Corinthians 9:8 (NLT)
And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

1 Peter 4:9 (NLT)
Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

Monday, August 11, 2008

More Quotable Quotes of Note about Education

Roger Lewin
Too often we give our children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.

Annie Sullivan
Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction.

Arthur Koestler
Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Beatrix Potter
Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.

Bill Beattie
The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think - rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.

Carl Rogers
If we value independence, if we are disturbed by the growing conformity of knowledge, of values, of attitudes, which our present system induces, then we may wish to set up conditions of learning which make for uniqueness, for self-direction, and for self-initiated learning.

Dean William R. Inge
The aim of education is the knowledge not of fact, but of values.

Quotable Quotes of Note about Education

For many of you, the time is fast approaching for the dawn of the school year. In honor of this momentous occasion, I will be posting some quotes about education and learning over the next several days. Enjoy the following quotes:

Nelson Mandela
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Patricia Neal
A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though awakens your own expectations.

Maria Mitchell
Study as if you were going to live forever; live as if you were going to die tomorrow.

William Butler Yeats
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

Albert Einstein
It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry.

Anatole France
The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Study, Meditate On, Memorize, Learn.....What Next?

I am a new creation. The Word of God is alive. By learning the Word and by following it's instruction I will be changed. Now, what am I going to do with that knowledge?

I have memorized scripture. I can flip back and forth from book to book in the Bible. I have absorbed what it says - love God, love your neighbor, love your enemy, feed the hungry, clothe the poor, take care of the widows and orphans. Live peacefully for the meek will inherit the earth. But what does God want us to do with that knowledge? Is it enough to be merely well-informed Christians?

Through faith in Jesus Christ, and not by my deeds, I have been saved. I have obtained salvation. I will spend eternity with God. But what about the space in between now and eternity? Do I stop at salvation? Should that be my goal line? Does God have any expectations of me?

I have heard people say that God only calls certain people to preach, evangelize, feed the poor, become missionaries, become martyrs, or sell their possessions to meet the needs of others. That is why they don't take action when they read the Word. They are waiting to be 'called'. Why would God share these stories in the Bible and instruct us to study them, meditate on them, memorize them and understand them, if they don't apply to each and every one of us? To inform us? To inspire us? What if they apply too me? What if they apply to you?

What if God doesn't expect us merely to be well-informed, knowledgeable, and righteous Christians, but expects us to be Christians of action?

Am I going to sit back and enjoy my new found, abundant life or am I going to use that knowledge blended with my softened heart to change the world in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?

James 2: 14-26 (CEV)

14My friends, what good is it to say you have faith, when you don't do anything to show that you really do have faith? Can that kind of faith save you? 15If you know someone who doesn't have any clothes or food, 16you shouldn't just say, "I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat." What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help? 17Faith that doesn't lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead!

18Suppose someone disagrees and says, "It is possible to have faith without doing kind deeds."

I would answer, "Prove that you have faith without doing kind deeds, and I will prove that I have faith by doing them." 19You surely believe there is only one God. That's fine. Even demons believe this, and it makes them shake with fear.

20Does some stupid person want proof that faith without deeds is useless? 21Well, our ancestor Abraham pleased God by putting his son Isaac on the altar to sacrifice him. 22Now you see how Abraham's faith and deeds worked together. He proved that his faith was real by what he did. 23This is what the Scriptures mean by saying, "Abraham had faith in God, and God was pleased with him." That's how Abraham became God's friend.

24You can now see that we please God by what we do and not only by what we believe. 25For example, Rahab had been a prostitute. But she pleased God when she welcomed the spies and sent them home by another way.

26Anyone who doesn't breathe is dead, and faith that doesn't do anything is just as dead!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Place of Refuge...a bit on MY stuff

I was writing before about the benefits of sharing. Sharing not only possessions, but our victories and our burdens, does so much to develop peace in our hearts. But I want to look closer at the sharing of possessions. In this first article let's look closely at a picture of personal ownership (what's mine is mine, and what's yours is yours), and what happens to our relationships with God and with others. In the next article to come, we will look at a picture of sharing possessions, and what is gained or lost and how it effects those same relationships.

In this day in age, sharing of possessions is something that causes a huge internal struggle when it is first presented to us. We are taught that what we have is who we are. We are identified by our possessions.

What do you think when you see a person driving a Mercedes or Lexus? What do you think they do for a living? Do you assume they are intelligent? What about when you see a person mowing their lawn with a new, fancy lawnmower? Or better yet, when a landscape service is doing their mowing? What do you think when you see someone driving an old rusty lawnmower? See, we make assumptions about who people are, and how educated they are, and how successful they are, based on how they spend their money. We wrongly assume that rich people spend more money, when actually it is just the opposite. The rich often become that way by being frugal. Those that buy expensive things all the time will never be rich, as there will always be something new to buy.

Posessions seperate us. They help to establish the differences between us. Worse, we fall into the trap of judging people by what they possess and not by who they are.

These illusions trap us in our buying. We too want to be perceived as rich, successful, educated, sophisticated. So we accessorize. And we shrink from the whole idea of sharing, or giving up ownership of possessions. "Bbbbbut, what will be mine?" In other words, what will I have to show for all my hard work and success?

God doesn't view us that way. He doesn't identify us by our possessions. In fact, He knows that it all belongs to him anyways. He is only allowing us to care for it for him. He realizes how easily we fall into addiction to ownership of things, in our attempt to keep up with the Joneses. Worse, he knows that we can keep amassing things, but that we will never feel satisfied, and will never discover the joy that we obtain only through the Holy Spirit.

Luke 12:15-21
Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”

Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’

“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

Ecclesiastes 2:4-11
I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well—the delights of the heart of man. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.

I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my work,
and this was the reward for all my labor.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done

and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.

Here is the thing. God knows that as long as we are focused on obtaining and caring for our stuff, we will not be focused on Him. We are incapable of serving. These things are distractions.

Think about someone you may know who has purchased a new car. Do they park that car in tight places? Or throw the keys to everyone they know? "Take 'er for a spin!" Or do they wash that car frequently, park it away from other cars, sometimes taking up two or three spaces in the process? What happens when someone rams a shopping cart into their new car? Or when a neighborhood toddler runs into it with his tricycle? Or someone bounces a ball against the door? Do they say, "Aw, it's okay. It's just a car". Do they come unglued? How do they react to the person who damaged their car? What do they say or do to the toddler with his tricycle? Do they honor God with their actions? Is their focus on Him or on their car?

Matthew 6:21 and Luke 12:34
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13
You cannot be the slave of two masters! You will like one more than the other or be more loyal to one than the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Things aren't bad. Money is not evil. It is the worship of money and possessions that leads to trouble. It is all about what you choose to do with them that determines whether you are worshiping them or using them as tools for God.

The only sure way to loosen the bonds that tie you to worship of your possessions is to give up ownership of them, either through sharing or giving them away outright. Not through selling, but through actually meeting someone's needs through what you already have. I have seen miracles occur when people really grab ahold of this way of thinking and living. The folks written about in the Bible have seen them too, and so can you!

More on that to come...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Uncle Ter ~ Two Year Anniversary of His Death


Terry W. Jacobs was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 08/04/2006 at the age of 58 from Helicopter crash while fighting fires in California.

Thomasville, NC
Flight Class 69-41
Date of Birth 02/18/1948

Served in the U.S. Army Served in Vietnam with 191 AHC in 70-71 This information was provided by Bernard R Harvey

More detail on this person: Terry Wayne Jacobs age: 58 date died: 08/04/2006
address: 676 Old Hwy 29 North city: Thomasville, state: NC zip: 27360 country: USA
place of death: California cause of death: Helicopter Crash
flight class: 69-41 branch of service: Army dates1: Jan 1970 Mid 1971 unit1: 191st AHC location1: Can Tho
survivors: Never married and no children

other: Terry was killed while fighting fires From: Bernard R Harvey (
That crash was on 4 August. Steve Dillman (Gunslinger 39) had been flying that Crane and had just finished his rotation. I talked to him week before last and he said the aircraft was at the dip-site when it picked up a severe vibration. The crew pickled the load and tried to get it to a landing site. It slung a tail rotor blade and, before they had gone much over a hundred slung the t/r gearbox, went into a spin.... and the rest is history. Guess the aircraft wound up in the river. They grounded all the cranes for an inspection and replaced a bunch of blades etc. They are back flying now and when I talked to Steve he was enroute back to relieve one of the other crews. From: "doc daugherty"
This information was last updated 08/14/2006

On August 4, 2006, Heavy Lift Helicopter N6156U,
crashed into the Klamath River at Independence Creek, resulting
in the line of duty deaths of Andrei Pantchenko and Terry
“Jake” Jacobs. - Printable ArticleThe Web's Source for Fire, Rescue & EMS

Copter wreckage to be pulled out of Klamath River
Officials investigate crash that killed two in firefighting efforts.
By Christine Vovakes -- Bee Correspondent
Published 12:01 am PDT
Tuesday, August 8, 2006

HAPPY CAMP -- Officials plan to raise a mangled helicopter out of the Klamath River today as they continue to investigate the accident that claimed the life of the pilot and co-pilot Friday near the town of Happy Camp.

The bodies of pilot Terry Wayne Jacobs, 48, of Wofford Heights, Kern County, and co- pilot Andrei Pantchenko, 38, of Burns, Ore., were recovered from the submerged wreckage Saturday, Siskiyou County sheriff's spokeswoman Susan Gravenkamp said. The two men, who crashed around 7:45 p.m. Friday, had been part of firefighting efforts in the Marble Mountain Wilderness.Results of the autopsies are expected today, said Gravenkamp.

The pilots worked for Heavy Lift Helicopters Inc. of Apple Valley, a San Bernardino County company under contract with the U.S. Forest Service.Sheriff Lt. Jim Betts, operations commander during Saturday's recovery, said that either cranes or heavy-lift helicopters will be used to pull the Sikorsky CH-54 helicopter from the steep canyon. The wreckage will be taken to a National Transportation Safety Board site to be reconstructed in an attempt to determine what caused the accident.The river in that area -- about 10 miles southwest of Happy Camp along Highway 96 -- will remain closed to recreational use at least through today as divers continue to search the water.

The aircraft came to rest on its side in a portion of the river that is 6 to 8 feet deep. Witnesses on the river tried to aid the pilots, but to no avail, Betts said.

"There were people who could get up on the rig itself, but the wreckage was torn up and the pilots were pinned inside," he said. "About half the aircraft was submerged. The cockpit had partially torn away and was totally submerged."

Jacobs got his pilot's license as a teenager in Goshen, Ind., his sister Sandra Santrock said in a phone interview Monday.

Santrock, of Lexington, N.C., said her brother, a graduate of Purdue University, served two tours of duty in Vietnam, where he mainly flew medevac missions. "He loved to fly," she said.

Later, when Jacobs wasn't flying helicopters for logging or firefighting, he spent his time outdoors as a general contractor.

Several years ago he temporarily quit flying to care for his mother during her terminal illness, his sister said.

Jacobs was engaged to Lucette Evans of Wofford Heights, Santrock said.

No information was available about Pantchenko, whose family lives in Russia.

Jacobs and Pantchenko's helicopter was one of three that had been scooping water from mountain lakes to dump it on the persistent string of wildfires that have been burning for two weeks.

A series of thunderstorms in the far northern counties sparked numerous fires Sunday and Monday. Officials were worried that storms Monday night would result in more wildfires.

August 6, 2006
Two killed in Klamath River helicopter crashBy Paul FattigMail Tribune

HAPPY CAMP, Calif. — The pilot and co-pilot of a Sikorsky helicopter were killed Friday evening when their aircraft plunged into the Klamath River.

Terry Wayne Jacobs, 48, of Wofford Heights, Calif., was identified Saturday afternoon as the pilot of the Heavy Lift Helicopter Inc. chopper out of Apple Valley, Calif., according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department. The co-pilot's name was not released because his family lives outside the United States and had not been notified of the accident yet, sheriff's department officials reported.

The accident occurred while the aircraft was battling the Happy Camp complex wildfires in the Klamath National Forest some 10 miles south of Happy Camp, a Klamath River hamlet about 50 air miles southwest of Medford. The accident occurred near milepost 28.63 on Highway 96 near Happy Camp around 7:45 p.m. Friday, according to the Siskiyou County sheriff. A dive team from the department helped retrieve the bodies from the river Saturday. Autopsies were planned for early next week.

Smoke from the complex of fires drifted into the Rogue Valley Saturday and is expected to linger for a day or two.

U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Jean Gilbertson said the helicopter was owned by a private company working under contract to the agency. No additional information about the crash would be given to the media until a National Transportation Board team completed its investigation, she said.

The helicopter crew was among the roughly 500 firefighters deployed to the wildfire complex sparked by a July 23 lightning storm. Because of the crash, no aircraft were used in fighting the fire on Saturday, officials said. However, ground crews continue to dig firelines and burn out areas around the main fire to stop the fire's advance.
The accident was a severe blow to firefighters already hampered by steep, rugged terrain.
"In our small community, this is really devastating," said a weary firefighter who answered the telephone at the Happy Camp complex firefighting headquarters.

All but one of the 11 fires in the complex had been contained by firelines Saturday afternoon. The Titus fire, which had burned 2,843 acres in the Marble Mountain Wilderness, is only 25 percent contained.

In addition, firefighters are battling the Uncles complex in both the Marble Mountain and the Trinity Alps Wilderness section of the forest between the Klamath River and Interstate 5. That complex includes the 2,500-acre Rush fire, the 2,880-acre Hancock fire and the 1,915-acre Uncles fire.

The terrain is steep, rugged and rocky, said forest spokesman John Zapell.
"The fire behavior is one of creeping along, the making short runs uphill," he said. "We are taking indirect suppression action because of the terrain.

"What we're doing is going in on ridges and putting in containment lines," he added, citing safety concerns for firefighters on the ground.

"These fires do have the potential to get quite a bit larger," he noted.
With a chance of more lightning today, there is also the potential for more fires to spring up, he said.

Because of concerns for public safety, forest officials have closed the Marble Mountains Wilderness area and some roads and campgrounds immediately outside the wilderness boundary.

The road closures are in an area potentially threatened by the Titus Fire, and are being used by vehicles and equipment assigned to the Happy Camp Complex. The closures will remain in effect until the fires are suppressed.

Equipment Failure Behind California Fire Chopper Crash
JOHN DRISCOLLEureka Times Standard

Part of the tail rotor on a firefighting helicopter fell off moments before it crashed into the Klamath River outside Happy Camp, killing its two pilots, a preliminary report says.
The fatal crash of the Sikorsky CH-54A Skycrane chopper on Aug. 4 was caused by the failure of a spindle connected to the tail rotor gearbox, the National Transportation Safety Board report reads. The report does not point to any human errors being to blame for the malfunction.
The helicopter was flown to Happy Camp on July 29 to help fight the Happy Camp Complex fires, which now total 3,800 acres. Killed in the wreck were Terry "Jake" Jacobs, 48, of Kern County and 38-year-old Andrei Pantchenko of Oregon, both veteran pilots.

No one from the safety board returned repeated calls.

After flying for two hours on Aug. 4, the helicopter returned to the base to refuel and was examined by mechanics. Then it left to begin a second round of firefighting.

"The helicopter conducted one uneventful dip and water drop during the second cycle and was in the process of conducting its second dip when the accident occurred," the report reads.

The helicopter had filled its tanks with water from the Klamath River at the site near Independence Bridge several times that day. On its final run to get water, a witness heard a loud bang, and ran toward the river. When he reached a road next to the river, the report reads, he saw the helicopter flying toward the bridge. A large piece of equipment -- later identified as the gear box -- fell off the chopper, reads the report.

The helicopter's nose pitched sharply forward, and without the tail rotor to counter the torque of the main rotor, the fuselage spun around until it crashed, the report says.

The twin engines of the helicopter transfer power down a series of shafts connected by universal joints to the gear box at the tail. Each tail rotor blade is connected to the gear box by a spindle. In this case, the blade associated with the failed spindle has not been found, according to the report.

On the morning of the accident, the helicopter went through a series of maintenance tests after having an engine replaced the day before. It was cleared by mechanics with chopper owner Heavy Lift Helicopters of Apple Valley and a U.S. Forest Service helicopter manager.

The tail rotor hub was overhauled on Dec. 22, 2005. That included using an X-ray like technique to inspect the spindle, a part that can be reused. The fractured spindle was sent to the safety board's materials laboratory in Washington, D.C.

A military helicopter pilot and maintenance expert consulted by the Times-Standard said that the material failure probably happened without warning -- until the loud bang. The crack in the spindle likely happened after the inspection, the expert said.

A helicopter can safely land after losing its tail rotor section, under certain conditions. The helicopter must be moving forward, possibly as fast as 100 mph. Or, if a tail rotor is lost at a hover, the engine can be idled and the craft settled vertically. But that can be exceptionally difficult in tight conditions like a river canyon, even for experienced pilots.

The Sikorsky CH-65A is considered a workhorse helicopter that first saw military duty in the 1960s. The wrecked chopper was built in 1966, and had been rebuilt and redesigned for firefighting by Heavy Lift Helicopters.

They can carry up to 750 gallons of water, making them valued by firefighting efforts around the world.

Marty Pociask, communications director and editor for Helicopter Association International, said both the CH-54A and Heavy Lift Helicopters have a solid reputation. Flying wildfire duty is unpredictable, and pilots and equipment are constantly operating in less than ideal conditions, Pociask said.

"These guys go out there and risk their lives and do a yeoman's job," Pociask said.
Pociask and others said a final determination by the transportation safety board could take a year or more.

In Memorium: Terry Wayne Jacobs and Andrei Pantchenko
August 13th, 2006

On Friday, August 4th, the pilot and co-pilot of a heavy-lift helicopter were killed battling the Titus Fire, one of eleven fires in the Happy Camp Complex in Northern California.

Terry Wayne Jacobs, 58, of Wofford, California and Andrei Pantchenko, 38, of Burns, Oregon died when their Sikorsky helicopter crashed into the Klamath River approximately 10 miles southwest of Happy Camp along Highway 96. They had been working for Heavy Lift Helicopter Inc. of Apple Valley, Calif.

The National Transportation Safety Board is conducting the investigation, since it was an aircraft accident. More detailed descriptions of the accident may be found here and here.

For descriptions of the Happy Camp Complex Fire see here.

The Northern Arizona Incident Management Team (Type 2) was managing the fire. Command was transferred to the Southern California Type 2 Incident Management Team on August 9th. The NAZ IMT was the team that suppressed the Warm Fire after the Kaibab N.F. punted their Wildland Use Fire designation.

Forest firefighting is a dangerous thing. Everyone who has ever fought a forest fire can tell harrowing tales. But fatalities are rare. Not as rare as everyone would like, however.
Terry Wayne Jacobs and Andrei Pantchenko died in an attempt to save a forest, and to protect the forest firefighters on the ground. We honor their commitment, efforts, and intentions. We mourn their passing. We extend our deepest sympathies to their families and friends. Our prayers are with you.

And maybe, just maybe, if we took better care of our forests, then they would not burst into holocausts so frequently, and maybe we could save some human lives, too.

Investigation by the transportation safety board could take a year or more.

Pilots Killed in Copter Crash at Cal. Wildfire
Posted: 08-07-2006
Updated: 06-14-2007 12:09:44 PM

Two pilots died after a long day battling wildfires when their helicopter suddenly plunged into the Klamath River near the town of Happy Camp on Friday night.

The men, whose bodies were recovered Saturday by the Siskiyou County sheriff's dive team,
worked for a private company under contract with the U.S. Forest Service.

Siskiyou County sheriff's officials, who found the men's bodies about 10 miles from Happy Camp, identified the pilot as Terry Wayne Jacobs, 48, of Wofford. The co-pilot's name will be released after relatives living outside the United States have been notified, spokeswoman Susan Gravenkamp said.

Both men worked for Heavy Lift Helicopters Inc., of Apple Valley in Southern California.
Members of the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.

The huge Sikorsky helicopter, called a Type-1 by forest officials, was assigned to the Titus fire, one of two fires in the Happy Camp Complex wildfire still burning since lightning sparked nearly a dozen blazes in Siskiyou County two weeks ago.

The aircraft that crashed was one of three helicopters that had been scooping buckets of water from Marble Mountain Wilderness lakes to dump onto the persistent string of wildfires.
The pilots also dropped supplies to fire crews who spent the night in the rugged, barely accessible terrain rather than return to the Happy Camp home base, Gravenkamp said.

Happy Camp Complex fire information officer Niko King said the helicopters are key to fighting the fire. "The contour here is just straight up and down," King said.

The fires are threatening two campgrounds, the Happy Camp watershed, and numerous American Indian cultural and spiritual sites. They have forced complete closure of the Marble Mountain Wilderness, a part of the Klamath National Forest that is popular for hiking, fishing, camping and mule-packing trips.

The section of the Pacific Crest Trail that wends through the area also is closed, but transportation to a detour drop-off is being provided, King said.

About 500 personnel are involved in fighting the Happy Camp Complex wildfire. The Goff fire is nearly suppressed, but the 2,500-acre Titus fire is only 25 percent contained, officials said.
Steep banks line both sides of the Klamath River where the orange and white helicopter went down near Independence Bridge on Highway 96.

The aircraft broke into several pieces, King said, with parts of the rotor strewn in all directions and a large portion of the fuselage in the water that is about 5 feet deep in midsummer.
"Debris is scattered on the east bank and in the water," King said.

A long segment of the river, which is popular with rafters, will remain closed to watercraft and recreational users until the recovery and investigation are complete.

No fixed wing aircraft have worked the fires. Smoke from the Titus and Goff fires grounded the helicopters for part of Thursday but they were back in the air on Friday, King said.

Terry Wayne Jacobs Andrei Pantchenko
U.S. Forest ServiceAugust 4, 2006
On the evening of August 4, 2006, Terry Wayne Jacobs and Andrei Pantchenko were piloting a Sikorsky CH-54 helicopter under contract to the U.S. Forest Service. The pilots were was in the process of conducting its second dip, refilling the aircraft’s water tanks while fighting the Titus Fire, when the crash occurred. Witnesses claimed they saw a large piece fall off the helicopter which was later identified as the tail rotor gearbox with three of the four tail rotor blades attached to the hub. The morning of the crash, the helicopter went through a series of maintenance and flight tests and the evening before the number one engine was replaced. Jacobs is survived by his finance Lucette Evans and his sister Sandra Santrock. He was 48-years old, from Wofford Heights in Kern County California and served two tours in Vietnam. Andrei Pantchenko was 38-years old and from Burns, Oregon. He was originally from Russia.

God is My Copilot. So...who's driving?

I saw this bumper sticker today God is My Copilot. Have you seen it? I never really paid attention before, but today it just hit me. So...who's driving? Is the driver really suggesting that he is in control of his destination and God is in the passenger seat...along for the ride...just in case he should require some rest?

Sadly, don't we all do that? We want control of our lives. We want to choose where we go, with who, and our method of transportation. Then we get lost, and we say, "Hey God, can you bail me out here? I'm in a jam. I think I would like you to drive for awhile. Maybe just 'til we hit a familiar area. Then I'll take over the controls again. Then you can rest while I drive. I can handle it. I'm cool."

We need to learn to surrender control to God. We don't just need a savior, we need a Lord. Trust me, he makes better decisions than we do. We will never find ourselves lost when he is driving. And when we allow God to direct our path, he will take us places we never dreamed possible.

A new sticker should read God is my pilot. I'm just along for the ride of my life.