These videos were shot with a GoPro camera attached to Tanker 131, a C-130Q, while it was dropping on the King Fire between Placerville and Lake Tahoe, California. That was the fire where 12 firefighters deployed their fire shelters in front of advancing flames and were led to safety by a pilot in a helicopter.
Thanks go out to Britt Coulson for making these available.
We wish other air tanker operators would invest a couple of hundred dollars in a camera they could attach to their aircraft.
I’d love to see a split screen video of an air tanker dropping. On one side we would see the ground and the drop itself, and the other side would be shot from the cockpit and would include the audio of the crew — like this video shot from MAFFS 3 in July. It would take a little bit of advanced video editing, but I imagine if the raw footage was available we could find a volunteer who could put it together.
The photo below of Coulson’s Tanker 131 was shot while it was on final for landing at Redding, California, August 7, 2014.