In the file photo above, Air Tanker 944, a 747-400, drops near structures on the Palmer Fire south of Yucaipa, California at 4:25 p.m. PDT September 2, 2017. Photo by Leroy Leggitt, used with permission.
CAL FIRE activated the 747 SuperTanker today, July 7, on a Call When Needed (CWN) contract after it was carded by the agency. The aircraft has been hung up in the annual recertification process this year due to a required software addition. The approval, or carding, is temporary, pending resolution of the data software issue which helps track systems on the air tanker. The issue is not related to the actual retardant delivery system.
In addition to the CWN contract with CAL FIRE, GlobalSupertanker also has contracts with the states of Colorado and Oregon.
As this is written at 6:50 p.m. PDT July 7, Tanker 944 had just received a launch order and is en route to the Klamathon Fire on the Oregon/California state line.