Photos of northern California firefighting aircraft, part 2

Smokejumper aircraft, N145Z
Smokejumper aircraft, Short Bros SD3-60 Sherpa, N145Z

Dylan Phelps sent us these photos that he captured at various Northern California airports in the first part of September as our firefighters were going up against one of the most vicious wildfire seasons on record.

Thanks Dylan!

AIR TANKER 103, N293EA
T-103, MD-87, N293EA, Photo by Dylan Phelps
Smokejumper aircraft, N109BH
Smokejumper aircraft, Construcciones Aeronauticas C-212-CC, N109BH, photo by Dylan Phelps
SEAT, N349AS
SEAT, Air Tractor AT-802A, N349AS, Photo by Dylan Phelps
MAFFS 1
MAFFS 1, C-130, photo by Dylan Phelps
MAFFS 6
MAFFS 6, C-130, photo by Dylan Phelps
Retardant mixing plant
Fire retardant mixing plant, photo by Dylan Phelps
air tanker 52 C-FKFA
T-52, Convair CV-580, C-FKFA, photo by Dylan Phelps

View from the cockpit as air tanker assists firefighters on the Comet Fire near Ely, Nevada

September 19, 2020 | 7:55 p.m. MDT

air tanker cockpit view drop wildfire
The view of the Comet Fire from Tanker 871 in Nevada, August 6, 2020. From video by Jim Watson.

Ride with Jim Watson, the pilot of Single Engine Air Tanker 871, as he sizes up and then drops retardant on the Comet Fire near Ely, Nevada, August 6, 2020. You won’t actually see the retardant because it comes out of the bottom of the aircraft. The SEAT is owned by GB Aerial Applications.

Excellent video of DC-10 dropping through smoke

DC-10 dropping on the Almeda Fire
DC-10 dropping on the Almeda Fire, September 8, 2020. Screenshot from the Loren Julien video.

Update September 18, 2020:  The video was shot during the Almeda Fire in Southern Oregon September 8, 2020 by Loren Julien. It was just after he put sprinklers on his sister Annette Julien’s house and left the area —  the house seen with the wet roof. Ms. Julien told me her house did not survive.

A Q400 air tanker will be based in Australia this summer

Air Tanker 141, C-FFQEQ, Q400
T-141 (C-FFQEQ) Q400AT. At Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia. Photo Credit Brendon Sutton

A De Havilland Canada Dash 8 Q400AT is on contract in Queensland, Australia during the 2020/2021 summer bushfire season. This is the first time the state has had regular access to a large air tanker, rather than borrowing from New South Wales or Victoria. Provided by Conair, Tanker 141 (C-FFQE) arrived in Bundaberg in August after departing from Abbotsford British Columbia and making fuel stops at Oakland, Honolulu, Majuro (Marshall Islands), Honiara (Solomon Islands), and Brisbane where it cleared customs. There is a possibility the contract which started September 1 could be extended for an additional four years during the bushfire seasons.

Air Tanker 141, C-FFQEQ, Q400 refuel Marshall Islands
Air Tanker 141, (C-FFQEQ) Q400AT – Landing in Marshall Islands en route to Queensland – Photo Credit Brendon Sutton.

Conair, working with the Australian company Field Air, will have two other large air tankers on contract in Australia, both RJ 85s, beginning October 1 in New South Wales and early December in Victoria.

In 2017 the Conair Group secured a deal to sell six Q400 Multi-Role aircraft converted to air tankers to France’s Securite Civile (Department of Civil Defence and Emergency Preparedness), two of which have been delivered. These are new aircraft that Conair purchased from Bombardier which can be converted in a few hours to carry passengers.

Besides the six that will be going to France, Conair has two Q400s, including the one in Australia. The company is working with North American agencies to hopefully see at least two of the  Q400AT’s begin contracts next year. The aircraft were previously owned and are not the Multi-Role models.

Jeff Berry, Manager of Business Development at Conair, said the aircraft, “[A]re pure air tanker STC [supplemental type certificate], so we don’t have any of the residual plumbing, wiring, attachment points inside, or heavy duty flooring that you need for an MR, so it’s stripped down to be a pure tanker. And it gives us the maximum fuel load and the maximum retardant tank capacity. You get the full 10,000 liters [2,642 gallons]. The Q400AT is truly a ‘Green’ airtanker — it is incredibly fuel efficient burning only 58 percent of the fuel per hour while carrying 85 percent of the load of a typical type 1 airtanker.”

“It can operate off a 5,000-foot runway,” Mr. Berry said. “It gives them a lot of flexibility to utilize more of the existing tanker base infrastructure that is in place that may or may not be available for some of the large or very large air tankers.”

Air Tanker 141, C-FFQEQ, Q400
T-141 (C-FFQEQ) Q400AT – Refueling at Majuro, Marshall Islands. Photo Credit Brendon Sutton.

Queensland had an extraordinarily busy 2018/2019 bushfire season. Wildfire Today covered some of the fires that year.

map wildfires in Queensland, Australia
Satellite photo showing smoke from wildfires in Queensland, Australia November 29, 2018. NASA
Map Bundaberg, Queensland
Map showing location of Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia
Air Tanker 141, C-FFQEQ, Q400
T-141 (C-FFQEQ) Q400AT – Photo Credit Jeff Bough.

Photos of northern California firefighting aircraft, part 1

air tanker 23, N923AU
T-23, P-3, N923AU, Photo by Dylan Phelps

Dylan Phelps sent us these photos that he captured at various Northern California airports in the first part of September as our firefighters were going up against one of the most vicious wildfire seasons on record.

Thanks Dylan!

air tanker 944 747 supertanker
T-944, Boeing 747-466, N744ST, Photo by Dylan Phelps
air tanker 911, N17085
T-911, N17085, Photo by Dylan Phelps
air tanker 481, C-FLXT,
T-481, Lockheed L-188C Electra, C-FLXT, Photo by Dylan Phelps
CAL FIRE Helicopter 903
CAL FIRE H-903, Sikorsky S-70i FireHawk, N483DF, Photo by Dylan Phelps
air tanker 60
T-60, Douglas DC-7, N838D, Photo by Dylan Phelps
N316LH helicopter
Bell 212, N316LH, photo by Dylan Phelps

Russian plane transports three fire engines from New Jersey to California

September 13, 2020 | 9:05 a.m. PDT

Antonov-124-100 transports New Jersey engine to California
An Antonov-124-100 transported three New Jersey fire engines to California. Photo: San Francisco Fire Department, September 12, 2020.

An Antonov-124-100 transported three New Jersey Forest Fire Service engines and 10 firefighters to San Francisco on Saturday.

Volga Dnepr operates 12 of the aircraft.

Antonov-124-100 transports New Jersey engine to California
An Antonov-124-100 transports New Jersey fire engines to California. NFFS photo by Michael Achey.
Antonov-124-100 transports New Jersey engine to California
An Antonov-124-100 transported New Jersey fire engines to California. Photo: San Francisco Fire Department, September 12, 2020.

And, speaking of very large airplanes, the image below is a screenshot from a great video on Helga Desclouox’s Facebook page of a DC-10 dropping on the Almeda Fire in Southern Oregon, September 8, 2020.

DC-10 dropping Almeda Fire Oregon September 8 2020
DC-10 dropping on the Almeda Fire in southern Oregon. Screenshot from video by Helga Descloux.

The image above of a DC-10 dropping on the Almeda Fire in southern Oregon is a screenshot from a video on Helga Desclouox’s Facebook page.

 

Teen firefighting pilot flies Blackhawks and Chinooks

Ashli Blain is 19 years old

Ashli Blain, firefighting helicopter pilot
Ashli Blain, screenshot from KECI video.

Ashli Blain, a 19-year old college student, recently went back to school after spending her summer fighting fires from helicopters as a command pilot in Blackhawks and copilot in Chinooks. She works for Billings Flying Service out of Montana.

747 inbound