In addition to the static display, three air tankers made demonstration drops.
Above: Air Spray’s Air Tanker 481, a Lockheed Electra L188 on static display at McClellan, March 12, 2018.
On March 12, 2018 two large busloads of attendees at the Aerial Firefighting Conference at Sacramento McClellan Airport were transported from the meeting facility to a nearby ramp where more than a dozen aircraft were on static display. At the conference two years ago the lead bus driver got lost on the three-block drive, but thankfully there were no mishaps this year.
In addition to the static display, three air tankers made demonstration drops with water, one RJ85 and two Fire Boss Single Engine Air Tankers.
Click on one of the small images immediately below to see large versions.
When in service hopefully later this year it will replace T-81 that crashed in 2014. Designated T-79, this aircraft will bring the number of CAL FIRE air tankers back up to 23.
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.
Above: Static Display March 23, 2016 at Sacramento McClellan Airport during the aerial firefighting conference.
(Originally published at 12:44 p.m. MST December 26, 2017.)
The former McClellan Air Force Base near Sacramento has changed hands for the second time in the last 17 years and is now known as Sacramento McClellan Airport (KMCC). It was operated by the U.S Air Force from 1939 until 2000 when it was transferred to Sacramento County. In October of this year the 1,100-acre property was purchased by McClellan Business Park.
In addition to serving private plane owners and companies, the airport also functions as a main flight hub and home for many government agencies and emergency services operators, such as the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, CAL FIRE, HeliMax, and the U.S. Forest Service C-130 air tanker program. According to the new owners of the airport, it has the largest aerial fire retardant reload base in the United States.
McClellan Jet Services will continue to provide fixed-base services.
We took these photos last week, March 20, at the Aerial Firefighting conference in Sacramento. There were about 90 minutes set aside for displays of firefighting aircraft at McClellan Air Force base, as well as live demonstrations of water and water pellet drops from a helicopter, and the use of the AirTEP Airborne Tactical Extraction Platform marketed by Aerial Machine Tool. We have photos of Coulson’s C-130Q in another article.