Interesting aircraft at Burns Air Tanker Base

A Blackhawk and a Homeland Security surveillance aircraft are staged at Burns.

N50056

Above: file photo of Department of Homeland Security’s Beechcraft Super King Air 350 (N50056). FlightAware photo.

As we reported on January 10, the FBI has been staging equipment at the Single Engine Air Tanker Base at Burns Municipal Airport four miles east of Burns, Oregon. Initially a large truck with numerous antennas showed up that is probably used as an incident command post.

The airport is 21 air miles north of the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge where armed domestic terrorists broke into and seized the facilities at the site.

In the last few days additional equipment arriving at the tanker base included about half a dozen armored vehicles, a Blackhawk helicopter, and a Beechcraft Super King Air 350 surveillance aircraft (N50056) with very obvious external accoutrements, sensors, and communications gear.

The King Air, registered to the Department of Homeland Security, has a logo that appears to be “U.S. Customs and Border Protection”. According to FlightAware records it flew in from Boise on January 27 after having been at St. Augustine, Florida on January 25. 

The Bureau of Land Management operates the SEAT base independently of the city-owned airport which remains open. The base, which cannot handle air tankers larger than a SEAT, has one pit for loading aircraft and parking for three.

The FBI’s Blackhawks are rarely seen. Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia about aircraft operated by the agency’s Hostage Rescue Team:

The HRT’s Tactical Aviation Unit is staffed by FBI special agents. The Tactical Helicopter Unit, a sub-unit of the Tactical Aviation Unit, contains a variety of specially modified helicopters. These helicopters include military converted Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk tactical transport helicopters and tactically enhanced Bell 412 and Bell 407 helicopters. The HRT’s tactical aviators are required to fly daily.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Matt.

2 thoughts on “Interesting aircraft at Burns Air Tanker Base”

  1. So what happens if this is still going on when fire season starts again? I don’t think it would be in BLM’s best interest to keep all this FBI crap on their ramp. They had a bad enough name with all the cattle allotment issues, sage grouse problems, this current problem, and the issue in Texas. Adding a few big fires and the fact that there might not be any IA aircraft at this base would just make everything worse

    1. Things are slowly unwinding for these Klowns cut water and power , don’t let them out. let “General winter and Colonel famine” take care of the rest..

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