John & Anne Wiley

2016/06/23

Sherpa Fire Aircraft

Filed under: Aviation,Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,Random,SB Region — John @ 12:52

Even snapping the fire from high above the fray, some of our pix included aircraft. For those who are curious how aerial fire attack looks from above, or my fellow aviation buffs, here are a few pix. First the biggest and baddest: the DC-10.

7900 Tanker 910 DC-10 N612AX

7900 Tanker 910 DC-10 N612AX

Going by the catchy name “Tanker 910” this flying fire extinguisher can lay a track like this 300′ wide and a mile long. At the other end of the spectrum is this trusty all-purpose helicopter (possibly a Sheriff UH-1N “Huey”) dropping water while a ground crew takes a break to enjoy the show.

7774 Instant Rain

7774 Instant Rain

This bigger helicopter I think is a Sky Crane, and it can deliver a larger load of water.

7890 Flying Fire Hose

7890 Flying Fire Hose

Managing all this were two “spotter” lead planes, mostly taking turns over the fire but while we were there they both made appearances. This King Air N463DF was higher, so we got a better look at it.

7886 "Sky" King Air N463DF

7886 “Sky” King Air N463DF

Down closer to the action during our time over the fire was this Cessna 525 N10R looking really cool.

7844 Cessna 525 N10R

7844 Cessna 525 N10R

This sleek jet we normally see whisking the well to do into SBA greeted by a waiting limo, was instead directing both the DC-10 and this smaller 4-engine jet that I think is one of Neptune Aviation’s BAe 146 tankers very precisely painting a red line of PhosChek fire retardant.

7876 BAe 146 PhosChek Drop

7876 BAe 146 PhosChek Drop

Last, another look at the tanker we saw far in the smoky distance, that I think is a Grumman S-2 Tracker.

7706 Grumman S-2 Tracker?

7706 Grumman S-2 Tracker?

There were more aircraft working the fire, but few were close enough to positively identify. Several times we could see nine or more inside the fire restricted area (red box) at once, using the Avare and HIZ apps on an S4 phone in our living room. Each of the blue dots in this cropped screen capture is an aircraft, the direction of the line shows their heading and the length of the line approximates their speed (so the short lines tend to be helicopters, and the long one approaching the box was the Cessna).

Avare ADSB Capture

Avare ADSB Capture

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