The bidding for Tanker 82, a C-119, started at $100. But don’t expect to fly it off to your private air field right away. It can’t even be towed due to a problem with the landing gear.
GSA, describing it as “scrap”, is accepting bids for the air tanker formerly operated by Hemet Flying Service. It’s number, N13745, was de-registered with the FAA in 1995. The aircraft is sitting at Fox Airfield in Lancaster, California. Here is a satellite photo that shows a C-119 at Fox.
These first four photos were provided by GSA, and were presumably taken recently.
Over 1,100 C-119s were produced between 1949 and 1955. A few were converted to air tankers after they were discarded by the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marines. Some of them had the “Jet-Pack” modification to supplement the power produced by the dual radial engines.
Two C-119 air tankers crashed while they were dropping on fires in California, in 1981 and 1987. In the first accident, on the Los Padres National Forest, the outboard half of the left wing flexed downward, snapped off, and began cartwheeling along behind the air tanker. The two-person crew was fatally injured when the aircraft struck the ground.
The 1987 crash occurred on a fire about 10 miles southwest of Mt. Shasta, California. At about the time the pilot dropped the retardant the right wing separated from the airframe along with the tip of the left wing and the tail booms. The crew of three was killed.
Articles on Fire Aviation tagged “C-119”.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Walt.