Neptune trained with their air tankers in New Mexico

Some of the aircraft that were at Missoula were relocated to Alamogordo-White Sands Regional Airport.

Bae-146 landing Redding
(Last Updated On: March 24, 2016)

Above: A Neptune Aviation BAe-146 landing at Redding August 7, 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

Neptune Aviation used seven air tankers in New Mexico for the company’s annual training according to a story in the Alamogordo Daily News. Crews used the opportunity to practice dropping on simulated fires and to perform maintenance on the piston engine planes. The company had seven BAe-146 jets and seven radial-engine P2Vs in the warmer climate for about two weeks.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

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“…Neptune’s Chief Operating Officer Dan Snyder said the company brings their operations down to Alamogordo for about two weeks in February because of the warm weather is more amenably for their aircraft.

“We do all of our aircraft and ground training for the P2V aircraft down here,” Snyder said. “We also bring all of our flight crew for all of our company flight and ground schools here. Missoula is a lot colder. The weather is not as inclusive.”

He said with the P2V aircraft it needs a lot more preheating or warming up before a flight.

“Here it allows us not to have to do a lot of preheating,” Snyder said. “We can fly more. The airspace here is not as congested like up in Missoula. Down here we do have military air traffic but Holloman has been very accommodating for us. They’ve helped us out a lot.”

He said Neptune trains between Alamogordo and Roswell airport.

“It works out well for us because we have mountainous and flat terrain so we can do all of our drop training here,” Snyder said. “Our training includes using water with our drop training. We use retardant on fires but when we’re training, its water. We fill with water because it’s cheaper. We’re not fighting a fire during training so we use water.”

In Alamogordo Neptune houses the P2V Neptune’s while the BAe-146’s are housed in Missoula. Neptune does all of their heavy duty maintenance at Alamogordo-White Sands Regional Airport on the P2V aircraft.

“We have about 15 full time personnel that live here in Alamogordo,” Snyder said….”

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UPDATE March 24, 2016: The newspaper article said Neptune moved seven BAe-146 air tankers from Missoula to New Mexico for the training. We checked with Dan Snyder of Neptune this week at the Aerial Firefighting conference, and he confirmed that the BAe’s remained in Montana, and did not go to New Mexico.

BAe-146 flyover UM
This is a screen shot from a very low resolution video of a Neptune BAe-146 flyover at the 2015 University of Montana homecoming game in Missoula.

2 thoughts on “Neptune trained with their air tankers in New Mexico”

  1. I guess I have to agree with Neptune’s reasons, but I’ll bet the residents of the Bitterroot Valley miss them this time of year. When I lived down by Hamilton, I could hear them coming, and they sometimes made a turn not far from my cabin. Of course I ran outside and waved. 🙂

    1. Only 7 total aircraft in NM (ALM) for training, Neptune’s entire P2V fleet. All BAe-146 maintenance, training and pilot checking still happens in MSO and has been ongoing in MSO for the last several weeks.

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