More photos of the C-119s

In-flight shots of Tankers 81, 82, and 87

Tanker 82 N13745
Tanker 82 (N13745) at Ontario, CA November, 1975. By JD Davis.

When JD Davis saw Steve Whitby’s photos of the three C-119 air tankers taken in 1981 as they were lined up at the Hemet-Ryan retardant pits, he was kind enough to send us individual photos of each of the tankers, all shot when they were airborne — tankers 81, 82, and 87. JD’s pictures were taken between 1975 and 1982 in southern California.

Thanks JD!

Tanker 87 N13746
Tanker 87 (N13746) at Hemet-Ryan July 21, 1982. By JD Davis.
Tanker 81 N13743
Tanker 81 (N13743) at Hemet-Ryan, CA July 20, 1980. By JD Davis.

Three flying boxcars at Hemet-Ryan tanker base

Looking back at 1981

Three C-119s Ryan 1981
Three C-119s at Hemet-Ryan Air Tanker Base in 1981. Front to back, Tanker 81 (N13743), T-87 (N13746), and T-82 (N13745). Photo by Steve Whitby.

Steve Whitby took this photo in 1981 at Hemet-Ryan Air Tanker Base in southern California. Three of Hemet Valley Flying Service’s Fairchild C-119s are lined up in the pits where they are loaded with fire retardant for assisting firefighters on wildfires.

Steve said he’s been scanning negatives he took 39 years ago. Keep up the good work, Steve!

The last C-119 in line is T-82 (N13745) which was advertised by GSA as scrap for sale. It apparently sold for $10,400 February 1, 2016.

Tanker 82 C-119
C-119. Tanker 82 (N13745). GSA photo, possibly in 2016.

Bidding for Tanker 82 starts at $100

If you have ever wanted to own an air tanker this could be your chance.

Tanker 82 C-119
C-119. Tanker 82 (N13745). GSA photo, possibly in 2016.

The bidding for Tanker 82, a C-119, started at $100. But don’t expect to fly it off to your private air field right away. It can’t even be towed due to a problem with the landing gear.

GSA, describing it as “scrap”, is accepting bids for the air tanker formerly operated by Hemet Flying Service. It’s number, N13745, was de-registered with the FAA in 1995. The aircraft is sitting at Fox Airfield in Lancaster, California. Here is a satellite photo that shows a C-119 at Fox.

These first four photos were provided by GSA, and were presumably taken recently.

Tanker 82 C-119
C-119. Tanker 82 (N13745). GSA photo, possibly in 2016.
Tanker 82 C-119
C-119. Tanker 82 (N13745). GSA photo.
Tanker 82 C-119
Interior of T-82, a C-119 (N13743). GSA photo.

Over 1,100 C-119s were produced between 1949 and 1955. A few were converted to air tankers after they were discarded by the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marines. Some of them had the “Jet-Pack” modification to supplement the power produced by the dual radial engines.

Two C-119 air tankers crashed while they were dropping on fires in California, in 1981 and 1987. In the first accident, on the Los Padres National Forest, the outboard half of the left wing flexed downward, snapped off, and began cartwheeling along behind the air tanker. The two-person crew was fatally injured when the aircraft struck the ground.

The 1987 crash occurred on a fire about 10 miles southwest of Mt. Shasta, California. At about the time the pilot dropped the retardant the right wing separated from the airframe along with the tip of the left wing and the tail booms. The crew of three was killed.

C-119 at Hemet
Tanker 82, a C-119, making an infield practice drop at Hemet, California. Photo by Steve Whitby.

Articles on Fire Aviation tagged “C-119”.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Walt.

Photos of classic air tankers

S2, Tanker 70, at Hemet
Tanker 70 an S-2, at Hemet. Photo by Steve Whitby.

Steve Whitby was kind enough to send us another batch of photos that he took of air tankers. (These first five photos are his; the other five were taken by Bill Gabbert.) This time Steve’s are from 1979 and 1980 at Hemet in southern California. Earlier we posted some photos he took last summer at the Mountain Fire in southern California. Thanks again Steve!

S-2s at Hemet
S-2s at Hemet. Photo by Steve Whitby.
T-86, a C-119, makes a drop in 1979
T-86, a C-119, makes a drop in 1979. Photo by Steve Whitby.
C-119 at Hemet. Photo by Steve Whitby.
C-119 at Hemet. Photo by Steve Whitby.
C-119 at Hemet
Tanker 82, a C-119, at Hemet. Photo by Steve Whitby.

Speaking of C-119s, the five photos below were taken by Bill Gabbert between 1970 and 1972. The gentleman in the first photo is Ron Campbell, Superintendent of the El Cariso Hot Shots.
Continue reading “Photos of classic air tankers”