Tanker 101’s first day on the job

Tanker 101
Tanker 101, operated by Erickson Aero Tanker, at Redmond, Oregon, June 4, 2014.

Erickson Aero Tanker’s T-101 photographed June 4 at Redmond, Oregon, its first day on the job. Its sister, T-105, is scheduled to begin work Sunday, June 8.

Congratulations to all the folks at Erickson Aero Tanker. It is a long, complicated, expensive, arduous, bureaucracy-laden process to bring an air tanker from a concept, to sitting on the ramp at an air tanker base waiting for its first fire.

Shouldn’t there be a ceremony on an air tanker’s first day on the job? Like, taxiing under fire hose streams, breaking a bottle of champagne over some hard point on the aircraft, or cutting off the shirt tails of the crew?

13 thoughts on “Tanker 101’s first day on the job”

  1. Wonder why this aircraft is sitting in Redmond and not prepositioned in the southwest or California?

    1. Other federal airtankers are already prepositioned in the SW and CA.

      Parts of OR are in a drought too and getting fire activity.

      1. Oregon doesn’t have enough fire danger at the moment to warrant more than SEATs and helicopters. With days off factored into availability, the Arizona/New Mexico have about 4 large airtankers available per day…not much initial attack effectiveness there.

        1. You should have waited another day: T101 made it’s first drop in Bend, Oregon on June 7th.

  2. Yes there ought to be a ceremony

    But there would need to be a LMA ramp safety plan, a LMA spill plan, no water within 300 feet of a metal source, individual ramp operating plan for each airport ramp that would encompass at least 10 pages….etc etc etc

    I could be and should done and the USFS because of delays in the program ought to be buying lunch for the entire aviation community at every ATB….

  3. Do Fed contracts require the tanker to sit loaded? If not there is another fifteen minutes wasted on the I.A. clock. Or in jet language, the tanker should be on scene if the fire is within seventy (70) air miles.

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