Aerial Tanker displays
(Download a display with more pictures by clicking on any picture below.)
The Gap Fire started burning on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 1 near West Camino Cielo on the crest of the Santa Ynez Mountains above Goleta.
I read a report on Inciweb that 13 tankers, including the DC-10 and two SuperScoopers, fought the Corral Fire near Malibu on Saturday, November 24. I went to Fox Field near Lancaster on Sunday morning to photograph the tanker operations. When I arrived there were two Butler Aircraft Douglas DC-7s and four Neptune Aviation Services Lockheed P-2 Neptunes parked at the tanker station.
Aerial tankers have been fighting the Day Fire for many days. On Monday, September 25, the tanker action was concentrated over Santa Paula Canyon, just a few miles from Ojai. Lockheed P-3 Orions from the Santa Barbara Air Attack Station shared the sky with Lockheed P-2 Neptunes from the Fox Field Air Attack Station. Bell 205 and 212 Hueys paraded back and forth above the Santa Paula River.
Tankers fought the Day Fire from the Santa Barbara Air Attack Station for ten days, from Monday, September 18 to Wednesday September 27. Three Lockheed P-2 Neptunes and four Lockheed P-3 Orions were photographed during the period.
A wildfire broke out northwest of Goleta on Saturday, September 9. A variety of tankers and air attack airplanes arrived at the Santa Barbara Air Attack Station to fight the fire Saturday afternoon.
Three aerial tankers and a pair of Air Attack planes came to the Santa Barbara Air Attack Station to fight the Perkins Fire in the Los Padres National Forest on Monday, June 19. The fire was 100% contained by June 26.
Lockheed SP-2H Neptune, N355MA Tanker 55 made a visit to the Santa Barbara Air Attack Station in September 2005.
A variety of airplanes and helicopters helped to extinguish the Cachuma Fire in Santa Barbara County from Tuesday May 4 to Friday May 7.
Turbulent winds forced tankers to drop their loads of retardent alongside the Fox Field runway on October 26, 2003.
The Camino Fire broke out on the crest of the Santa Ynez Mountains above Santa Barbara on August 15, 2002. I shot pictures of three helicopters, a Grumman S-2 Tracker, and a Douglas DC-4 fighting the fire.
Tankers fought the Wolf Fire from the Santa Barbara Airport during the first half of June 2002.
Tankers that were assigned to fight the Bouquet Canyon Fire from the Santa Barbara Airport on Sunday, May 12, 2002.
Tankers that were assigned to fight the Bouquet Canyon Fire from the Santa Barbara Airport on Saturday, May 11, 2002.
Azalea Fire, Vandenberg AFB, September 27, 1997
New Cuyama Fire, July 3 and 4, 1996
Fifteen years ago, a plume of dense smoke erupted over the Santa Ynez Mountains on the afternoon of July 30, 1990. Several large air tankers fought the fire in the Santa Ynez Valley from the Goleta Tanker Station.
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses were once widely used to fight forest fires. In recent years all the surviving B-17 tankers have been restored to stock military configuration. Many of them remain airworthy. This display features photographs of B-17 tankers taken from 1971 to 1984.
Hawkins & Powers of Greybull, Wyoming maintained five Privateer tankers in airworthy condition until recently. Tragically, tanker #123 shed a wing and crashed near Estes Park, Colorado on July 18, 2002, killing its crew of two. Hawkins-Powers has four remaining airworthy Privateers.
Numerous DC-6s and DC-7s have been converted to fight wild fires over the years.
For over two decades, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Lockheed C-130 Hecules have fought wildfires with the Mobile Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS). In the late 1980s, former Air Force C-130As were transferred to civilian owners and modified with tanks to carry 3,000 gallons of fire retardent slurry. On June 17, 2002, Hawkins Powers C-130A N130HP, Tanker 130 suffered a main wing box failure and crashed as it was fighting a fire near Walker, California. The civilian C-130A tanker fleet was immediately grounded. Only military C-130s continue to be used in the role of firefighting tanker.
Coulson Flying Tankers sent Martin JRM C-FLYL Hawaii Mars to California on October 24, 2007 to help fight the numerous wildfires. It was temporarily based at Lake Elsinore.
DC-10 Tanker Air Carrier, N450AX is the first DC-10 modified to fight wildfires. It can carry up to 12,000 gallons of water.
On Wednesday May 31, the Evergreen International 747-273C Supertanker flew from Boise, Idaho to the San Bernardino Airport with a load of 20,000 gallons of water that it dropped in a demonstration of its potential as a firefighter. This was the final demonstration in a tour that took the Supertanker to Sacramento California, the Aberdeen Proving Ground Maryland, Scott Air Force Base Illinois, Tallahassee Florida, and Boise.
You can buy a 2009 calendar featuring my photographs of Day Fire Tankers at Santa Barbara.
Aerial tankers fought the Day Fire from the Santa Barbara Air Attack Station for ten days, from Monday, September 18 to Wednesday September 27. Three Lockheed P-2 Neptunes and four Lockheed P-3 Orions visited the Air Attack Station during the fire. This calendar includes a dozen photos of those tankers:
Neptune Aviation Lockheed SP-2H Neptune, N4235T Tanker 09
Neptune Aviation Lockheed P2V-5F Neptune, N96264 Tanker 12
Neptune Aviation Lockheed P2V-5 Neptune, N1386C Tanker 44
Aero Union Lockheed P-3A-25 Orion, N920AU Tanker 20
Aero Union Lockheed P-3A-45 Orion, N921AU Tanker 21
Aero Union Lockheed P-3A-45 Orion, N922AU Tanker 22
Aero Union Lockheed P-3A-40 Orion, N925AU Tanker 25
Put a copy of the Day Fire Tankers at Santa Barbara: 2009 Calendar in your Lulu.com shopping cart.
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