Air tankers at La Grande August 14, 2013

Tanker 5 at Grande, August 14, 2013
Tanker 5 at Grande, August 14, 2013. Photo by Tim McCoy

Tim McCoy was kind enough to send us some photos he took yesterday at the La Grande, Oregon air tanker base. He said there were two fires in the area.

Tanker 60 and a SEAT at La Grande
Tanker 60 and a SEAT at La Grande, August 14, 2013. Both aircraft are under contract to the state of Oregon. Photo by Tim McCoy.
Tanker 41 at Grande, August 14, 2013
Tanker 41 at Grande, August 14, 2013. Photo by Tim McCoy

8 thoughts on “Air tankers at La Grande August 14, 2013”

  1. Where the photo is captioned “Tanker 60 and a SEAT at La Grande, August 14, 2013,” One might be forgiven for seeing “Tanker 60 and some other aircraft.” That SEAT has a tanker number, but it seems whenever a heavy tanker is mentioned, it’s identified with it’s number, but when a SEAT is mentioned, it’s just a SEAT. It’s somewhat dismissive. The SEAT is a Type III air tanker, with a dedicated tanker number, just like a VLAT, or Type 1 or II tanker.

    1. Doug, I zoomed into the photo to try to read the number on the SEAT, but was unable to decipher it. If you can read it, let me know and I’ll add it to the caption.

      1. I didn’t mean to slight the SEATS at all -just the angle
        I will be out there today I get that #
        Sorry…
        Gate was locked…

        1. Ok.852 & 841 according to apt personnel. Had to call didn’t
          make it out. BTW. I’D fly an AT 805.
          Good aircraft…

  2. The La Grande Observer has an article on the SEAT’s contracted by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

    http://www.lagrandeobserver.com/News/Local-News/Quick-Strike

    In the article it shows a photo of N9002K, Tanker #883, (AT-802) owned and operated by Queen Bee Air Specialties based in Idaho. This might be the one in TC McCoy’s photograph. (Queen Bee operate 8 AT-802 single engine air tankers.)

    “Fast, agile single-engine retardant planes attack N.E. Oregon wildfires

    In a matter of minutes, air tankers at the La Grande Air Tanker Base are pumped with retardant and ready to hit the runway. Two single-engine air tankers (SEATs) arrived this week to aid the Department of Forestry with fire suppression—and they’ve already had two missions. “They’re designed specifically for fires and fire suppression,” said ODF Unit Forester Joe Hessel.

    The tankers are on 75-day contract from Queen Bee Air out of Idaho and are already proving themselves as assets during fire season.

    They flew a mission Wednesday for a small fire near Enterprise and were dispatched again Thursday afternoon for a fire near Sumpter.

    “These planes are available for initial attack,” Hessel said. “They’re fast, they’re agile and they can get into areas the big tankers can’t get into.”

    Two heavy tankers, which hold about 1,600-3,000 gallons of retardant as opposed to about 750 gallons in the SEATs, are on contract statewide but are not kept at the La Grande Air Tanker Base.

    Hessel said the goal with the tankers is to suppress the fires when they’re small because it’s cheaper — and safer — to pay for fires on the front end rather than on the back end. “

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