CL-415 clips a mast while scooping water in France

A video shot northwest of Marseille, France shows a CL-415 water-scooping air tanker clipping a mast on a barge in the Rhône River near the port of Vallabregues August 27, 2017.

Be sure and turn on the sound when watching the video.

Apparently no one was injured and the aircraft landed safely at Nîmes.

Below is a statement from Sécurité Civile that appears to be roughly translated from French:

The wing of the Fire-fighting plane is damaged, it will be unavailable for several weeks, there were projections on two barges, fortunately without making of wounded person. They are experimented and confirmed pilots who knew well the stretch of water. They managed to fly up to the base of Nîmes. The pilot and the co-pilot are shocked, they were suspended as a protective measure and are going to be examined by a specialized doctor who has to make sure that they are in capacity to re-fly.

The image below is a screenshot from the video at the 10-second mark just after the mast was sheared off. We added the yellow circle.

CL-415 broken mast
A screenshot from the video at the 10-second mark just after the mast was sheared off. We added the yellow circle.

More information.

Here is a photo of a very close call in 2016 with another Sécurité Civile air tanker:

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Kevin.
Typos or errors, report them HERE.

7 thoughts on “CL-415 clips a mast while scooping water in France”

  1. Crews rotate. No assigned Tankers but could be the same pilot..who knows.
    This scooping area is well known(Rhone River) and CL415 practice there a lot.
    The real question is why T33 changed heading during scooping(check on video) and why they didn’t abort after the impact and land on the river. They kept flying and returned to Nimes (the new main Base).
    Investigation report to follow.

  2. seems the second plane dropped off the wake of the leading craft turning it to port, had he throttled off or tried to turn back to starboard I believe things would have been much worse. I imagine he just tried to make it which is quite possibly his best decision.

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