Minnesota’s conversion to the Air Tractor 802F Fireboss appears to be complete. The state’s Department of Natural Resources listed their two CL-215 amphibious water scooping air tankers for sale on their auction site a few months ago, saying they had become too costly and complex to maintain.
Their new fleet consists of four leased Air Tractor 802F Fire Boss amphibious air tankers operated by Aero Spray of Appleton, Minnesota and two other Single Engine Air Tankers. The Texas-made AT 802Fs equipped with Wipaire floats made in Minnesota can scoop about 800 gallons of water in 12-15 seconds and be off the water and on its way again to a fire in as few as 20-30 seconds.
On April 2 the Minnesota Fire Bosses and the two other SEATs took action on 9 fires in the state.