Slow-motion video of Lockheed Electra L-188 retardant drops

A Lockheed Electra L-188 air tanker, #489, dropping in slow motion on a wildfire. The date, location, and videographer (other than the logo at bottom-right) are unknown.

The wake turbulence as the aircraft passes through the smoke at 2:45 is very interesting, as is the precision drop at 1:45, keeping the retardant off the rocks in an area that is highly visible to recreationists on the nearby lake.

In August of 2012 Wildfire Today ran a photo of Tanker 489 dropping on the Taylor Bridge Fire.

Thanks go out to Chris

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3 thoughts on “Slow-motion video of Lockheed Electra L-188 retardant drops”

  1. While this is an older video, it is incredible to see the beauty of these magnificent machines doing their job. Air Spray Aviation is proud of our aircraft and the skill of our exceptional pilots. Thank you for sharing this video of one of our L188 Electra air tankers. We in the industry should always be proud of the valuable work we do – saving forests, homes and even lives year in year out.
    Lynn Hamilton, President and CEO

  2. This video was from last season in Kelowna, British Columbia. T-489 is on contract with the BC Wildfire Management Branch during our fire season, though I think this fall after its release it is working in the states (could be wrong on that last part). I believe at the time of this fire it was stationed in Penticton, BC and had been doing some splash and dashes across the border to help out on some of the larger incidents in Washington (this fire was around the time of Taylor Bridge).

  3. Oh also, I’m not so sure he was concerned with the visual disturbance of the retardant on the rocks versus the fact that those rocks were natural barriers to fire although it is an added benefit. That’s the SOP anyways – use natural barriers when possible in line construction. Plus you can see the hoselay in there already.

    Directly across Okanagan Lake from this fire was the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park fire with burned 25,000+ hectares and over 300 homes… so people in this area are used to fire and seeing its effects on the landscape. I’m pretty sure this fire was August 12, 2012.

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