Above: One of the first flight tests of the S-2 that is being converted to an air tanker, becoming Tanker 79. Photo by Sergio Maraschin January 29, 2018.
(Originally published at 4:19 p.m. MT January 31, 2018)
Sergio Maraschin sent us these photos of one of the first flight tests of the S-2 that is being converted at Sacramento McClellan Airport to replace Tanker 81 that crashed near Yosemite National Park in 2014, killing pilot Geoffrey “Craig” Hunt. The work is nearly complete on what will become Tanker 79 and will bring the number of S-2T’s in the CAL FIRE fleet back up to their traditional number, 23. For the last couple of years T-12, a Neptune Aviation BAe-146, has temporarily replaced T-81. CAL FIRE expects T-79 to be in service later this year.
And as a bonus, here’s a remarkable photo that Sergio took of T-80 in 2014.