CAL FIRE’s Tanker 119 spotted at McClellan

T-119 McClellan 5-5-2020
T-119, an HC-130H, was seen at McClellan May 5, 2020. Photo by John Vogel.

One of CAL FIRE’s seven HC-130H air tankers, T-119, was spotted by John Vogel at Sacramento McClellan Airport on May 5. This is the first report we have seen about the aircraft since it was in storage in Tucson at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, often called The Boneyard, in September, 2018.

The U.S. Forest Service received the seven aircraft from the Coast Guard in 2013, but regifted them to CAL FIRE in 2018 after losing interest. Approximately three were painted in USFS livery, T-116, T-118, and T-119. Before the transfer from the Coast Guard was finalized, they were all going to receive internal retardant tanks and various levels of maintenance, work to be overseen by the U.S. Air Force at a cost of up to $130 million; that work is still going on. Most of them were to be fitted with new center wing boxes. After many delays, in December, 2019 the Air Force awarded a contract to Coulson Aviation to install the tanks.

CAL FIRE has been showing off one of them, T-118, which has been repainted with their livery.

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3 thoughts on “CAL FIRE’s Tanker 119 spotted at McClellan”

    1. The USFS painted the aircraft and applied the logo years ago. A lot of work still needs to be done on all seven of the HC-130Hs. Repainting and replacing logos are on the to-do list. As an example, the aircraft in the photo here is obviously having work done on one or more of the engines.

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