Tanker 118 in the air over McClellan

Tanker 118
Tanker 118, an HC-130H, at McClellan Airport. Photo by Jon Wright, July 25, 2015.

Air Tanker 118 saw activity Saturday on the Lowell Fire near Gold Run, California 46 miles northeast of Sacramento. This aircraft is one of seven that are in the process of being refurbished and converted into air tankers after being transferred from the Coast Guard to the U.S. Forest Service. Yesterday’s mission may have been the first time the HC-130H has dropped on a fire.

The conversion process is not quite complete on T-118. It still needs a permanent internal gravity-based retardant tank and a paint job. Until the tank is installed, it will continue to use a Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS) slip-in unit that used compressed air to force the retardant out of the 3,000-gallon tank, turning the thickened retardant into a mist.

The photos were taken Saturday at McClellan Airport by Jon Wright. Thanks Jon!

The Union has a photo of T-118 dropping retardant over the Reynolds Fire on Saturday, July 25.

Tanker 118, an HC-130H
Tanker 118, an HC-130H, at McClellan Airport. Photo by Jon Wright, July 25, 2015.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Dave and Jon.

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3 thoughts on “Tanker 118 in the air over McClellan”

  1. hey everyone,
    ive been listening to the air attack all day today,i think it was the lead or maybe the coordinator was a little testy with 118 this morning,he was told to hood at the IP,seems the pilots either didnt understand the instructions (as the lead seemed to think) or as the pilots of 118 had said he didnt hear what he was told….he had said he was on final for the drop….the lead said…”what drop? i instructed you too stay at the IP! ”
    they are now (118) working the fire again for certin…13:38 or so is when he was back to the IP

  2. they were just talking about a pot grow near the fire,,sai to stop his drop before the grow site,then start again on the other side.after a few minutes he added…i dont want to knock down his little shanties..lol..

    as a ex fire fighter,im keenly interrested to all this…but..i know the lead plane,the air attack,and helco…but there seems to be some kind of other plane coordinating things…am i confused by some of the voices?

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