The 61-year old amphibious air tanker on contract from a Canadian firm had still more mechanical problems on it’s second attempt to make the 4-hour flight to Lake Shasta near Redding, California. On Friday it was 10 minutes from landing on the lake when it lost an engine and returned to their base in British Columbia. After making repairs, it took off again on Saturday, but the engine did not feel right to the pilots, so they returned to their base again. The owners of the plane expect to try again on Sunday, June 29, to fly it to Lake Shasta.
On Saturday there were so many spectators at Shasta Dam watching fires in the area and hoping to see the air tanker land on the lake that authorities had to close the loop road to the dam for safety.
The owner of the aircraft, Coulson Flying Tankers, has a second Martin Mars, but it is out of service at their base in British Columbia.
While we’re waiting for the ship to show up in California, here is a little air tanker porn for you. Or if you prefer, air tanker eye candy. You have to admit, it’s a very nice looking aircraft. I hope they can get the mechanical problems sorted out.