New record set for retardant at McClellan

With seven large fires burning within 40 to 80 miles of McClellan Air Field near Sacramento, the air tanker base there has been extremely busy this week with 12 air tankers working out of the facility at times. Along with the 1,200 to 4,000-gallon air tankers, the very large DC-10 and 747 air tankers using the base need about 12,000 to 19,000 gallons each time they park in a retardant pit.

On Wednesday October 11 a new record was set for the number of gallons loaded into air tankers in one day at the base — 311,000 gallons.

Between October 9 and 11, Tanker 944, a 747, flew 13 sorties and dropped 215,489 gallons of retardant in the 3 day period. The DC-10’s undoubtedly also played a large role in achieving the new record.

7 thoughts on “New record set for retardant at McClellan”

  1. so its 311,000 for the 12th alone ans 215489 for the period from the 9th to the 11th..i know thats what it says,but so the overall total from the 9th to the 12th is 26,489?…just wanting to be clear.

    1. On October 11 the air tanker base pumped 311,000 gallons of retardant into all of the air tankers using the base that day; perhaps as many as 12 aircraft.

      During a three day period the 747 dropped 215,489 gallons.

  2. Friday 13th: As of about 1 p.m. today T 744 has made three sorties, more to come probably. Cal Fire must be pleased with not only the aircraft but the flight crew. Off to fire back at MCC in 33 to 50 minutes for another load. SEAT on steroids.

  3. Any idea how long does it takes to reload T744 with retardant? How about a 1200 gallon S2 or a 3000 gallon MAFFS or similar?

      1. The 747 can be loaded through two hoses that are at least 4″ in diameter at the same time, which would increase the total flow rate. Other air tankers are filled from one. In the video above, it looks like they are using two hoses to fill the aircraft. HERE is a photo of it being reloaded in Chile January 27, 2017. When the crew pushes a button, the hoses descend from a hatch in the aircraft.

  4. Fox40 in Sac had a story on their news this AM, reporting over 2 million gallons or retardant pumped out of MCC this week. I believe both Wednsday and Thursday were in the mid 500k gallon range.

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