Tanker 910 dropping downhill on the Goff Fire

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Those who say the DC-10 can’t be used in the mountains should take a look at this.

It was uploaded to YouTube by Kevin Osborne. From the description there:

In this video, tanker 910 is dropping on the west flank of the Goff Fire (part of the Fort Complex) in late summer of 2012. The video was taken from Tim’s Peak, north of Hwy 96 on the Happy Camp/Oak Knoll District of the Klamath National Forest.

Also, check out these very impressive photos taken by Michael Meadows of the DC-10 dropping on the Powerhouse fire north of Los Angeles June 2, 2013.

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5 thoughts on “Tanker 910 dropping downhill on the Goff Fire”

  1. But Bill, all the reasearch by nationally know organizations showed that this type of aircraft can only be used in flat rolling terrain, how can this be?

    1. (This was written by Walt, but posted for him at his request, since he had a technical issue)

      As I recall, “all nationally known organizations” (except for USFS), at least the ones familiar with wild aerial firefighting, at the very least supported a rigorous evaluation of both the DC10 and B747.

      Both VLAT companies started from scratch with highly professional crews but with little or no aerial firefighting experience; their effectiveness was initially questioned. After 7 seasons of OJT (at taxpayer’s expense), at least one of the DC10 crews now gets good reviews. VLATs are now a great tool when used appropriately in support of sufficient (40-50 nation-wide) Initial Attack (1500-3000 gallons) aircraft.

      Of course VLATs can function as Initial Attack in some situations, but effective IA requires a toolbox with a well-thought-out mix of SEATs, scoopers, LATs, VLATS.

      Remember Jerome Laval’s Airtanker Square Toolbox: Aircraft, Crew, Retardant Delivery System, and Fire Chemical. If one side of the box is deficient, it acts as a weak link for the system. Think outside the box, and don’t stop thinking.


    Was that maneuver taught by the aviation staff at the FS? Bet not ….that is DC10 piloting at its best!!

    Bet ya some of those same descent profiles were fostered somewhere else in the free and not so free world!

    I agree with Walt. But I would also venture to say a lot of their mission was at their own expense. But, Yes, at taxpayers also. But what does a DC10 do with a tank that is primarily fire? Sure, take the tank out and become a regional FedEx!!!

    NASA studies, Australian studies, 10 TankerLLC flight studies and Evergreen flight studies put these aircraft squarely into a new improved, albeit, spendier proposition at times.

    Guess what you get when one has nothing but approximately 9 aircraft in the US inventory to work with. At this point, beggars cannot be choosers.

    I, for one, was skeptical BITD. Less skeptical than the A10, tho……..cuz I KNEW the AF position on that aircraft in 1993 when I was doing a technical report for my Forestry degree.

    Know where the AF stands on it today!

    While there those skeptics in the forestry world and more than likely, even the USFS FAM staff and the safety gurus are probably at the wash machine tonight, I have to hand it to 10TankerLLC and their professional pilots, mechanics and ground support staff.

    Like Walt said…….these folks started from scratch and nary Agency support, these folks PROVED that training pilot from the Military,GA, corporate, regional, and airline world……………………that if one wants to aspire to be a wildland aerial airplane driver…….It can be done.

    This sets the stage……..aerial firefighting is tough work………the pilots who can and want to do it…..even tougher. Also proves that pilots do not have to come from a “lineage” of Agency or other beliefs that “only wildland pilots need apply.”

    This mission proved a lot of beliefs otherwise……mine included!!!!!

  3. Wow! Especially when you compare it to the path the lead took…wow!

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