Engine failure on Tanker 910

Tanker 910 flight crew
The Crew on Tanker 910 at Rapid City, April 23, 2013. L to R: Flight Engineer Brad Pace, Captain Kevin Hopf, and Captain Jack Maxey

Tanker 910, a DC-10 Very Large Air Tanker, experienced an engine failure coming off of a drop on the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho on Thursday, August 15. The pilots flew the tanker back to their reload base at Pocotello, Idaho, making a non-emergency landing, said Rick Hatton, CEO of 10 Tanker Air Carrier. The engine, the number two engine which is in the tail, is being replaced and the aircraft should be back in service today or Monday.

Losing an engine is not unheard of, especially in the P2Vs air tankers which have 16 18-cylinder radial engines with many moving parts. For example in 2012 there were two engine failures in a two day period. One occurred in a P2V just after takeoff from Rapid City. Tanker 43 had to jettison their retardant onto the runway, which required its’ closure, diverting at least one commercial flight to another airport.

10 Tanker’s two DC-10s have both been very busy on fires for the last couple of months. Tanker 911 received a multi-year exclusive use contract on June 7 during the next generation award process. Mr. Hatton told us that on June 14 their other DC-10, Tanker 910, received a 60-day exclusive use contract. We had been told by a spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service that it was a Call When Needed contract like the one awarded to Evergreen’s 747 on June 14. Mr. Hatton said that at the end of the 60 day period the contract will revert to CWN for Tanker 910. He, of course, is bullish on the capability of the DC-10s, and said:

Any future national fleet composition would be significantly enhanced across all the relevant metrics by having six to nine Next Gen DC-10s on long term exclusive use contracts.


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4 thoughts on “Engine failure on Tanker 910”

  1. Two engine failures in a two day period? I do remember this and I do recall my dad saying the same thing when he was flying as an Aerial Photo Recon Officer.

    Now in the real world…..engine failures and shutdowns….while not happening every day….DO occur in the real jet and turbine world.

    Not alarming…….But that CF6 or whatever MR Hatton has had re-engined on that -10 will certainly not be cheap…….count on that!!!!

    Why not be bullish….it is HIM, the P2V’s and the BAE 146 that are holding up their end of the airtanker debacle……

    It is surely not the dreamers looking at 44 airtankers to sew it up….it is the current operators are doing yeoman’s work.

    Again….engine failures or not….these problems could have been solved yeaaars ago if the proper folks from the everyday and heavy aircraft/ airline world were brought on …ohhh about 40-50 yrs ago or so…..when even some of the airlines were operating…..waaaiit for it……Douglas DC4-7 series.

    Yet those aircraft somehow are still flying for Oregon.

    These aircraft decisions were not hat of pilots, mechanics, support folks….the current day decisions of the last 9 airtankers + Canadian operators,,,…are solely that of the LMA’s

    Granted, aging aircraft issues. BUUT engine shutdowns and failures are not what got us to where we are today in the 44 airtanker dream of tomorrow!!!

  2. yes engines can shut down at the worse time.. main reason to have a back up drop system easily accessible to every crew member in the cockpit.

    Training should emphasize to drop the load (normal and emer drop system) without second thought. Drop the load and fly the plane.

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