747 Supertanker in the Chilean media

747 supertanker
(Last Updated On: January 26, 2017)

Above: The front page of the El Mercurio newspaper in Chile, January 26, 2017, shows one of the two drops the aircraft made on Wednesday. 

The arrival of the 747 Supertanker in Chile is generating a great deal of media interest, as well as capturing the attention of the Chilean people. A press conference at the airport the morning it arrived in Santiago drew a large number of reporters who shouted their questions at the government officials who were speaking.

747 Supertanker
Some of the camera operators at the press conference the morning the 747 Supertanker arrived in Santiago, Chile.

The largest air tanker in the world combined with the busiest fire season in years and five firefighters killed (one pilot and four on the ground) would be big news anywhere.

The expectations of the aircraft may be a little high. Air tankers do not put out fires. Under ideal weather and vegetation conditions they can slow the spread of a fire, allowing firefighters on the ground to move in and construct a line around the fire and actually put it out.

Chile fires
The morning the 747 arrived, Alfredo Mascareno of CONAF is mobbed at the Santiago Airport during a press conference about the aircraft and the wildfires in Chile.

2 thoughts on “747 Supertanker in the Chilean media”

  1. Wildfire today reporting makes me feel that I’m there. Who are the lead plane pilot, U.S. or in country? The forecasted weather for the Santiago area shows continued warm (hot) and dry. If there are new starts (fire) hopefully there is an attitude of immediate initial attack. Is there a “lead” assigned to T744? As we all know that is the value of any air tanker as per Dr. Gabbert’s Rx. Great newspaper picture.

    1. lead plane is an army Casa C235
      today´s forecast at the fire zone (300km southwest of stgo) shows fog in the coastal areas, that mixed with smoke will make it difficult to attack.
      Plan is to fly and waterbomb inland fires this morning, awaiting for clearer skies on the coast. An additional air force plane will be on a patrol cicle over the zone at 10.000 fee, checking for weather conditions to improve in order to reasign targets as soon as conditions allow it….the previous days it was the same leadplane that searched for the targets, situation that was not very effective…

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