Aircraft working fires in central Oregon

Tanker 911 on the Corner Creek Fire i
Tanker 911 on the Corner Creek Fire in Central Oregon, June 30, 2015. Photo by Todd McKinley.

Todd McKinley sent us these photos he took June 30 of fires in central Oregon, the Corner Creek and Sugar Loaf Fires.

Tanker 911 on the Corner Creek Fire i
Tanker 911 preparing to drop on the Corner Creek Fire in Central Oregon, June 30, 2015. Photo by Todd McKinley.
K-MAX on Sugarloaf Fire
K-MAX (N43HX) on the Sugarloaf Fire in central Oregon, June 30, 2015. Photo by Todd McKinley.

 

DC-10 air tankers on the Washington Fire

Tanker 911 DC-10

Ryan Coulter took these photos of two of the DC-10 air tankers making drops on the Washington Fire, June 22, 2015, near Markleeville, California. The photo above is Tanker 911, and Tanker 912 is below. The DC-10s carry 11,600 gallons of retardant, compared to the 2,000 to 4,000 gallons other large air tankers can hold.

Click the photos to see larger versions.

Thanks Ryan!

Tanker 912 DC-10

Air tankers at Medford

Medford Tankers by Kristin Biechler (1)
DC-10s, Tankers 910 and 911, at Medford. Photo by Kristin Biechler.

Kristin Biechler sent us these photos that she and Dave Clemens shot at the Medford, Oregon Airport (map) over the last few days. She said her house is directly under the tankers’ flight path to the Happy Camp and Beaver Fires in northwest California. The planes depart MFR, she explained, bank west, and mostly follow Highway 238 toward Jacksonville and out to Applegate Reservoir and into California.

Medford Tankers by Kristin Biechler (2)
A P2V (Tanker 07) and a DC-10 at Medford. Photo by Kristin Biechler.
Neptune 01-10 by Kristin Biechler
Neptune’s BAe-146s, Tankers 01 and 10, at Medford. Photo by Kristin Biechler.
Medford tankers by Dave Clemens (1)
Tanker 910, a DC-10, at Medford. Photo by Dave Clemens.
Medford tankers by Dave Clemens (5)
Tanker 101, an MD-87, at Medford. Photo by Dave Clemens.
Medford tankers by Dave Clemens (4)
Tanker 101, an MD-87, at Medford. Photo by Dave Clemens.

Three DC-10 air tankers at Castle

Tankers 919, 911, 912 at Merced 8-30-2014
Tankers 910, 911, and 912 at Castle Airport, 8-30-2014. Photo by 10 Tanker.

On August 30 the latest DC-10 air tanker to be retrofitted, Tanker 912, joined its’ sisters, T-910 and T-911 at Castle Airport near Merced, California. It has been carded by the U.S. Forest Service and is ready to go, according to 10 Tanker Air Carrier.

A DC-10 reloads at Castle Airport

Tanker 910 at Castle Airport
Tanker 910 at Castle Airport.

Yesterday we wrote about the DC-10 air tankers and how they frequently work out of Castle Airport, a former U.S. Air Force bomber base near Merced, California. Today we have some photos from the base contributed by Stanley Bercovitz who is serving as a ramp manager and public information officer at the base.

Tanker 910, a DC-10
Tanker 910, a DC-10, reloads with retardant at Castle Airport.
Tanker 911, a DC-10, at Castle Airport
Once the tanker is stopped and the chocks are set the parking tender waves in the retardant loaders. The side of the tank has three ports and at least two are always used to fill the tank at Castle. After loading has started a mechanic will climb a ladder and monitor the level of retardant, eventually giving a signal to stop loading.
Tanker 911, a DC-10, at Castle Airport
A mechanic talks to the flight crew through a wired headset, watching each engine as it starts. Once all three are running, he puts the headset into a compartment inside the nose gear and gives a thumbs-up to the pilot and the parking tender.
Retardant mixing operation at Castle Airport.
Retardant mixing operation at Castle Airport.
Tanker 911, a DC-10, at Castle Airport
The flight crews prepares to receive a meal via a bucket on a rope.

10 Tanker Air Carrier moves to Albuquerque, begins converting a third DC-10

Tanker 910 Rapid City
Tanker 910 landing at Rapid City, April 23, 2013. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

10 Tanker Air Carrier, the company that operates the two DC-10 air tankers, has moved their corporate headquarters from Victorville, California to the airport at Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Rick Hatton, the CEO of the company, said yesterday about the relocation that occurred in September:

We surveyed a number of sites in the Rocky Mountain West, wanting to have more of a national presence versus being perceived as a “California Only” or Region 5 resource. Albuquerque topped the list due to a combination of off-season weather, business environment, and airport facilities.

The company moved into on-airport space with additional nearby offices and a warehouse. One of the facilities is a 7,600-square-foot building previously owned by Eclipse Aviation Corp, who’s business plan was to produce and sell small jets for $1 million each, a concept that failed.

In May Mr. Hatton announced that they were moving to Casper, Wyoming but by July cancelled those plans.

10 Tanker has evaluated airports that could serve as air tanker bases for their DC-10s and identified 30 that could handle the jumbo jets either with the existing infrastructure or with the addition of a temporary mobile retardant base.

DC-10 potential reload bases
DC-10 actual and potential retardant reload bases, as determined by 10 Tanker Air Carrier. The red circles represent permanent air tanker bases at which they could reload. The blue circles are airports at which they could reload from a mobile retardant base. (click to enlarge)

Mr. Hatton said their two DC-10s, Tankers 910 and 911, so far in 2013 have delivered 4.4 million gallons of retardant on 386 flights.

They have started converting a third DC-10, speculating that it will be used in 2014.

 

Thanks go out to Jared.

Video of DC-10 drop on the Jojo Fire in Washington

A video of a DC-10 air tanker dropping on a fire in Washington, August, 2013.

Tony Duprey uploaded this video to YouTube August 11, 2013. His description

T-911, Jojo fire, Yakima Agency, Wa. Coverage level 3, start stop. This is the 2nd split .. 8000 gallons. With Lead 41 – (great job). Dozers were able to walk through the black and build dozer line in the retardant..Nice job fella’s!! Total team effort.

Be sure you watch the last few seconds, showing where the retardant landed.