DC-10 air tanker wing tip strikes hangar at Pueblo

(Published at 1:50 p.m. MDT July 12, 2016)

DC-10 wing into hangar
DC-10 wing impacts hangar at Pueblo Airport, July 10, 2016. Photo from the SAFECOM.

One of the three DC-10 Very Large Air Tankers, Tanker 912, was involved in an incident while taxiing back to the loading pits at the Pueblo, Colorado airport on Saturday, June 9. A  wing tip struck a hangar causing damage to the aircraft and the hangar. There were no injuries to anyone on the ground or the five personnel on board the air tanker.

After the accident occurred, with the wing tip still partially embedded in the structure, the DC-10 was left in place until Monday morning while the stability of the hangar was assessed and decisions were being made about how to proceed in order to minimize further damage.

“Yesterday [Monday] we had some structural engineers out to assess the hangar’s structural stability”, said John Vigil, Interim Director of the Pueblo Airport. “We were able to just cut off a couple of pieces of steel and then were able to push [the DC-10] back with a tug.

“From what I could see”, Mr. Vigil continued, “the damage was minimal to the aircraft. It was really just the wing tip. The damage to the hangar was a little bit more substantial. We’ll meet with the insurance company tomorrow [July 13] and get an assessment. The good news is the hangar didn’t collapse. There was a small [general aviation] plane in there, we were able to take it out and get it out of harm’s way, and then start to work getting the DC-10 free.”

A tug pushed the aircraft back on Monday, extricating the wing tip from the hangar. Later in the day mechanics from 10 Tanker Air Carrier, the operator of the three DC-10’s, began repairing the damage to the wing.

A SAFECOM was submitted at 12:07 p.m. on July 12, 2016. The FAA also a brief report.

T-912
File photo of Air Tanker 912 departing McClellan Air Field June 11, 2016 while working a fire on the Klamath National Forest. Photo by Matthew Rhodes.

On July 19, 2014 another DC-10 Very Large Air Tanker, T-910, incurred some damage to a wing while it was taxiing at the air tanker base at Moses Lake, Washington. While relocating in the loading pit area the aircraft struck a portable “air stair”, a structure that can be pushed up to the aircraft door. Two people on the ground were marshaling the DC-10 as it slowly moved, directing it where to go and supposedly watching for obstructions.

DC-10 air tanker conducts spring training then is activated a month early

Above: Tanker 912, a DC-10, follows a U.S. Forest Service lead plane and makes a water drop during training Wednesday, April 6, 2016. 10 Tanker photo.

10 Tanker Air Carrier has been conducting annual training and for their DC-10 crews this week near Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Wednesday evening, April 6, they started their first contract a month earlier than planned and moved Tanker 912 to the air tanker base in Roswell, New Mexico to standby for the fires in Oklahoma.

We read a news report yesterday saying a very large air tanker was available for the Oklahoma blazes, but thought it must have been an error. Apparently not.

Aircraft over the North Fire

Citation lead plane
One of the two Cessna Citation jet-powered lead planes under contract with the BLM. North Fire.

I took these photos of the television screen as Los Angeles Channel 7 was covering the North Fire — the carmeddon fire that trapped scores of vehicles on Interstate 15 in southern California, burning 22 of them.

The temperature on the screen says 76 degrees, but that must have been at downtown Los Angeles, because about that time it was 88 degrees in San Bernardino, not too far from the fire.

air tanker 105 North Fire
Tanker 105, an MD-87, on the North Fire.
Tanker 912, a DC-10
Tanker 912, a DC-10, just beginning a drop on the North Fire.

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

Tanker 912 arriving in Medford, Oregon

air tanker 912 DC-10
Tanker 912, a DC-10, arriving in Medford, OR June 17, 2015. Photo by Tim Crippin.

Tim Crippin sent us this photo, along with a description:

Tanker 912 arriving in Medford just before noon today (June 17th) for the Buckskin fire. It worked along with Tanker 161 to drop retardant on the east and south containment lines in preparation for a planned burnout tomorrow.

The following morning, June 18, it was dispatched to the Lake Fire in southern California east of San Bernardino and had an ETA of noon. Air Attack on the Lake Fire requested for it arrive with a load of retardant. Air Attack said that fire has the potential to grow to 50,000 acres in two days.

Thanks Tim.

Very small people pose with very large air tanker

Tanker 912
This is the Kindergarten class from the Monzano School in Albuquerque. On February 20, 2015 they took a tour of Air Tanker 912, a DC-10, and got their picture taken with Amy and Anselm from the 10 Tanker Air Carrier maintenance crew. Photo by 10 Tanker Air Carrier.

I love this photo that was posted today on the 10 Tanker Air Carrier Facebook page.

Below is a photo we took of the rest of a DC-10, Tanker 910, in 2013.

Tanker 910, DC-10, photo by Bill Gabbert