Air Tanker 101 drops on the Boxcar Fire

I hope no one was under that drop (the video on the left) by an MD-87 on the Boxcar Fire near Maupin, Oregon.

In case the video on the left does not work, try it a this link. But below is a screen grab:

MD-87 Drop
T-101, and MD-87, make a low drop on the Boxcar Fire near Maupin, Oregon, June, 2018. By Katie Hemphill-Pearcy.

11 thoughts on “Air Tanker 101 drops on the Boxcar Fire”

  1. Happy 4th to all of the Fire Fighters , tanker crews and pilots !. We all think about you, and hope for your safety! Sorry that you can’t be home with your families.

    1. Nice drop. Indeed! As for too low? Not necessarily. I’d guess they knew exactly what they were doing or else they likely would not be certified to be driving such an elaborate piece of equipment.

      1. Wrong. Too low. All one needs to do is look at the plane and what the retardant is doing. 60 feet is too low, sorry.

        1. No problem being wrong but certainty of being right, unless one is an expert in their field and understanding all the variables, might just bite you in the butt some day.

          What is the retardant doing? It is thick-coating a limited area. Obviously not the usual intended purpose of a retardant drop but fire won’t do much if anything in that snot. What if:
          1. Limited FF availability for point protection.
          2. Wind-driven fire is not an issue but the potential to cook through the sage brush is.
          3. There is something there that needs immediate protection from the advancing fire!

          It would be nice to hear what the air crew and AA have to say about this particular drop. Then, perhaps with certainty, we’d know what, why and how. Then again maybe these air folk just have learner’s permits! LR

          1. I guess you’re the expert.
            Not a guy who’s been doing the job for years w an IA card. Jence Bill’s comment of hoping no one was under the drop because they’d have been injured. Or the trench the retardant may have dug.
            My apologies. Who cares anyhow….until they have to.

          2. Contract has a minimum drop height! I believe it is 60 or 80 ft for a SEAT ? An was thinking it was 120 or 140 for heavy’s ?? Part of the reason is aircraft safety and also prevent shadowing (all the retardant on one side) ! especially in heavy vegetation!

  2. I have contacted Erickson Aero Tanker hoping that they can, and are willing to, settle this argument.

    I only tried to convey that, if there is an expert involved in this drop, certainly it is the flight crew of Tanker 101. As for me, I am an expert at nothing but quite good at many things. LR

  3. Lessons learned….

    I am no expert but I am experienced. One of my first fires as a ground pounder on an IR crew in 1968 taught me very quickly (literally) the importance of lying prone on the ground, hand tool secured at my side, hardhat strapped on, head towards the incoming bomber. We were all on the ground for this first drop. The incredible sound of those 4 big radials on the H&P PB4Y-2 kept getting louder but I could not see it. I stood up on our ridge scanning over the mesas into the horizon to view it. No bomber but the engines grew louder and suddenly, VROOM! He came head on but straight up the mountain side. I was on the ground in that instant. Fortunately no one was near as I dived, Pulaski in hand. LR

    1. Hey JG? I can’t quite let this go yet (I am still hoping to hear from Erickson). I hold Bill Gabbert in high esteem for what he has accomplished during his firefighting & website careers. I worked under Bill for a season with the El Cariso Hot Shots. I do have a somewhat intimate understanding of wildfire and suppression tactics/techniques not just from my seasons as a Hot Shot but from my recent decades of personal research. LR

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