CAL FIRE’s OV-10s grounded after prop failure

OV-10 at Redding, CA
OV-10D at Redding, CA August 7, 2014. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

The Press Democrat is reporting that CAL FIRE grounded their 15 OV-10A Broncos Monday morning after a propeller on one of the aircraft failed while the plane was still on the ground.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Scott McLean said mechanics had been dispatched to check on the fleet and by the afternoon five had been cleared for flying.

The OV-10s are usually used as air attack ships, serving as a platform for the Air Tactical Group Supervisor who coordinates the aviation assets working on a fire.

Some of CAL FIRE’s OV-10s are OV-10Ds that have have upgraded, more powerful engines with about 1,000 more horsepower than the OV-10A, a ramp worker at the Redding Air Attack Base told me last summer. The OV-10D has four props instead of three.

About 360 Broncos were produced between 1965 and 1986 and were retired from the U.S. military in 1995.

One of the OV-10s can be seen in the blurry webcam image at Ramona Air Attack Base.

OV-10 Redding Aug 7, 2014
OV-10A at Redding Aug 7, 2014. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Barbara and Kirk.