Thursday, August 28, 2008


After being released from the Canyon Complex fire, I flew to Pacific Helispot. I arrived in the afternoon ready to fulfill another CWN contract. The very next morning I was told I've been requested at the Iron Complex in Weaverville and given no more information other than a Lat and Long, a name and a phone number. I called and said I was on my way and gave an ETA.

When I arrived at Weaverville I was approached and asked if I knew why I was there? I had no idea. I was then informed that I was there to provide support for the transport of investigative personnel, and the slinging and recovery of the S-61.

I took several videos and photographs throughout the course of this mission, and ultimately made a memorial tribute out of them.

As you can tell, and for obvious reasons, I've hesitated for a long time before posting this. I did make a couple of copies for select people but for the most part I've kept it to myself. However after very positive comments about my video and the few posted by others on You Tube, I'm willing to give this a go.

This movie was made with the utmost respect, admiration and heartfelt feelings for all those involved in the Iron 44 incident. Many have asked me questions trying to understand just a little better of what occurred that day and of the subsequent recovery afterwards. I hope this video will answer many of those questions.

For me, I was proud to be a part of this and work side by side with such professionalism.

My prayers go out to you all.


jodie said...

Hi i just wanted to say that was a very touching video. My dad is Joe Brennan he told me about it but it was something else to see that.

God bless and be safe.
Jodie Brennan From CA

Anonymous said...

JP - I wanted to thank you for this whole site, blog, whatever it's called....My niece Teresa Miller is in some of your photos here - I am so proud of her my heart could burst with it - your videos and images give me a taste of the world she inhabits and the work she is doing - as a private pilot myself, I love seeing the aerial shots and videos - the impressive work you do in very inhospitable flying terrain - the professionalism and heroism inherant in the efforts of those of you out in remote areas doing this work...well, I have just been riveted over my lunch here; really, thank you so much for sharing all of this - especially the Tribute. Fly Safe, Helen McKinley

Anonymous said...

Uncle P.J. your awesome! I'm so proud of the things you do. I love you.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your good work. It was a part of the puzzle I needed to see. The respect shown to my son and all the fallen is so heartwarming. The care from people like yourself helps us to keep on keeping on. We do need your prayers

Anonymous said...

thanks again for another glimpse into the lives of our fallen hero, our son.
We miss him so much.

Sherrie said...

The shatteringly painful loss suffered by so many will ripple across the paths of our lives forever. Yet the beautiful legacy left by each and every life lost, will live on in the unfolding and precious lives of those who love them now, and always will.
With love and prayers forever....
Sherrie Kvamme

Anonymous said...

Eleven months ago August 5th. the day our son Bryan was killed in the Iron 44 crash, we died a little, each day we remember his beautiful soul and mourn his loss. Your photo journal of the last pieces of our sons life is appreciate in your work. Thanks Jim and Donna Rich

Paula Paxton said...

Thank you so much for the video. My nephew was BRYAN RICH. Although it was a tearful reminder of our families loss,this was the closurer I need and I am so grateful that you decided to release it. I know Bryan died doing what he loved and is in heaven looking down on those brave firefighter who continue to protect the land and people their heart so desires. We miss you Bryan. Love Aunt Paula