Tanker 911 on the Lolo Peak Fire

John L. Ames of the Florence Fire Department took this photo of Air Tanker 911, a DC-10, dropping on the Lolo Peak Fire south of Missoula near Florence, Montana August 19, 2017.

Mr. Ames said it made several drops along with numerous other air tankers and helicopters.

Since the fire started on July 15 it has spread across 27,000 acres. About 9,000 of those acres burned Friday, August 18.

Wildfire Today has more information about the fire.

Photos of five air tankers at McClellan, August 5, 2017

Above: Tanker 105 at McClellan Air Field, August 5, 2017. It is a good view of the external tank, or pod, that was fabricated and installed below the retardant tank doors, which lowered the release point by 46 inches. The intent was to keep the flow of the retardant away from the engines. Photo by John Vogel.

(Originally published at 6:04 p.m. MDT August 5, 2017)

John Vogel shot these excellent photos on August 5 of air tankers at McClellan Air Field near Sacramento.

Thanks John!

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Tanker 911 at McClellan Air Field, August 5, 2017. Photo by John Vogel.
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Tanker 62 at McClellan Air Field, August 5, 2017. Photo by John Vogel.
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Tanker 133, Coulson’s most recent air tanker conversion, at McClellan Air Field, August 5, 2017. Photo by John Vogel.
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Tanker 944 at McClellan Air Field, August 5, 2017. On August 4 the company moved the aircraft out of Colorado Springs to avoid a hailstorm. They hope to get it carded by CAL FIRE and the U.S. Forest Service. Photo by John Vogel.

Two DC-10’s at Medford

Above: Air Tankers 910 departs from Medford, July 28, 2017, en route to the Lake Fire in northeast California. Photo by Tim Crippin.

(Originally published at 6:43 p.m. MDT July 30, 2017.)

Tim Crippin shot these photos of two DC-10 air tankers, T-910 and T-911, at Medford July 28. He said they were working the Lake Fire, part of the Modoc July Complex of fires in northeast California.

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Air Tankers 910 and 911 at Medford, July 28, 2017. Photo by Tim Crippin.

Thanks Tim!

DC-10 sets company record for hauling retardant

The operator of the three DC-10 Very Large Air Carriers, 10 Tanker Air Carrier, announced today that they set a company record yesterday, July 18, when Tanker 911 flew 10 missions in less than six hours of flight time to deliver 108,000 gallons of retardant to the Detwiler fire. That’s 10,800 gallons per sortie.

It is our understanding that they were reloading at Castle Air Force Base 25 miles west of the fire. Another one of the company’s DC-10’s, T-912, was also working the fire.

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DC-10 dropping on the Detwiler Fire on the afternoon of July 18. Screenshot from KCRA video.

Rare photo of the three DC-10 air tankers together

All three of the DC-10 air tankers were in the same place at the same time Saturday, October 1, which is a rare occurrence. Tankers 910, 911, and 912 were all parked at McClellan Air Field. This happened at least one other time that we are aware of, August 30, 2014 at Castle Airport near Merced, California.

The trio will be split up again in the near future when Tanker 910 begins preparing for its contract in Australia where it will begin in less than four weeks. Tankers 911 and 912 will continue their work for CAL FIRE and the U.S. Forest Service for the remainder of the season.

One of Coulson’s C-130’s, Tanker 132, started its contract in Australia on September 6.

10 Tanker Air Carrier photo, used with permission.

Thrust reverser falls off DC-10 air tanker while taxiing

Above: part of a thrust reverser that fell off Tanker 911 after landing at Santa Maria. Screenshot from KCOY video.

Part of a thrust reverser fell off a DC-10 air tanker August 25 while it was taxiing after landing at Santa Maria airport (map) in southern California. The aircraft was repaired and is back in service.

Below are excerpts from the SAFECOM:

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“After touchdown and the grounding of nose gear, the #2 engine thrust reverser was deployed with normal indications. All indications were normal during landing rollout. Chief pilot then stowed the #2 reverser and received indication that the #2 reverser was unlocked. Appropriate checklist was performed and engine was shut down. Airtanker Base was notified that the aircraft had a maintenance issue and needed an appropriate place to park. Pilot was then notified by Air Traffic Control that they had “lost a piece of the aircraft on the runway“. The part was immediately removed by airport employees and the aircraft taxied to the Airtanker Base Ramp without further incident.

Corrective Action:

“Regional Aviation Maintenance Inspector {RAMI} was contacted, as well as the Regional Office of the incident. RAMI: arrived SMX at 1930 hours and inspected parts and the aircraft. The company brought in a team and replaced the #2 fan reverser. Findings: company experts concluded that upon the #2 reverser cowl stowing, it somehow bound up at one of the guides and the three brackets that attach the cowl to the deploying jack screws sheared and the cowl departed the reverser. The company did a one time inspection of their fleet to ensure no other problems on their reversers.

RASM Comments: Good coordination with RAMI and company maintenance personnel to understand the cause of the issue. Impact to other airport traffic was minimal with only a brief interruption to retrieve parts of the aircraft that were on the runway. Also good call on the part of the company to inspect other aircraft in the fleet for similar issues. Repairs were made to the incident aircraft and it was RTCA by the RAMI.”

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to John.