Ben Johnston from Evergreen International Airlines told Wildfire Today this afternoon that their 747 Supertanker, Air Tanker 979, is being deployed to help fight the wildfires in Israel. He said they are scrambling to get to Tel Aviv with an expected arrival at midnight Saturday after which they will go into crew rest. They expect to be ready to operate in the country on Sunday.
Earlier today Wildfire Today covered the international response to the fires in Israel which includes approximately 24 firefighting aircraft from 11 countries. But make that 25 aircraft from 12 countries now that the 747 is involved.
UPDATE @ 10:29 p.m. MT, December 3, 2010
The 747 departed KMZJ (Pinal Airpark) at 10:09 PM MST enroute to KJFK (John F Kennedy Intl) for an estimated arrival at 02:01 a.m. MST. They are cruising at 626 mph! Where’s the fire? Oh, right.
UPDATE @ 10:00 a.m. MT, December 4, 2010
The 747 Supertanker departed JFK today at 5:57 a.m. MT. Their ETA at Ben Gurion International (LLBG/TLV) in Israel is 4:11 p.m. MT. As this is written,they are cruising at 503 to 575 mph and are halfway across the Atlantic Ocean.
We have an updated article on the fires in Israel, including information about the U.S. National Guard’s C-130 MAFFS air tankers being deployed to Israel.