Category Airtankers

A Sad Weekend For The Aerial Firefighting Community

By: Category: Airtankers

  As it is well known by now, Sunday was a very tragic day: Tanker 11 (P2V Neptune, N14447, owned by Neptune Aviation) crashed in Utah, killing both pilots, Todd Tompkins and Ronnie Chambless, both of Boise. Also yesterday, Tanker 55 (P2V Neptune, N355MA), flown by Minden Aviation landed with one landing gear retracted, suffering substantial damage. Bill at Wildfire Today reports that the entire fleet is still grounded as of yesterday afternoon, however, everything points out to be a voluntary grounding on Neptune Aviation's side and not a government-mandated grounding. These two unfortunate events have reduced the already reduced airtanker fleet to NINE airframes, 8 P2Vs and 1 BAe-146, all but one P2V flown by Neptune Aviation, only Tanker 48 is operated by Minden Aviation...Read More

Gladiator Fire – Day 2

By: Category: AirtankersPrescottUncategorized

  Yesterday morning the Gladiator Fire was reported near Crown King. What started as a structure fire in private property has extended to over 1300 acres and is threatening the town of Crown King, as well as other historical sites in the area. For those that didn't hear, Crown King was barely saved during the 2008 Lane II Fire. Crown King is currently under a mandatory evacuation. Two airtankers, T-06 and T-07, both P2V Neptunes operated by Neptune Aviation were already  in Prescott and called to action.   Things did not start well, Tanker 6 had issues on Saturday and didn't fly during the afternoon (I was at the airport watching them), and the local newspaper later reported the plane had a hydraulic leak in one of the engines...Read More