Photos of Tanker 40 at Prince Edward Island

Tanker 40 taking off at PEI
Tanker 40 at PEI
Tanker 40 taking off at Summerside Airport on Prince Edward Island in Canada. Photo by Rob Sowald, and used with his permission.

These photos of air tanker 40 were taken by Rob Sowald as it was taking off from runway 24 at Summerside airport on Prince Edward Island on February 26. The aircraft had been at the Tronos facility in Canada since December undergoing a C-check, which for a BAe-146 is required every 5,000 cycles or every 2.5 years. It was beginning its trip back to Missoula, Montana where it is leased by Neptune Aviation for the upcoming wildfire season. The company has interim approval from the Interagency Air Tanker Board for the aircraft to be used on wildfires through December, 2012, after which it will be considered for full approval.

Tanker 40 taking off at PEI
Tanker 40, N146FF, taking off at Summerside Airport on PEI, fighting 22 knot crosswinds with gusts to 36 knots. Photo by Rob Sowald, and used with his permission.

If air tankers had feelings, Tanker 40 would be experiencing a culture shock as it leaves snow-covered Prince Edward Island en route to begin its fire season adventures in the United States.

More of Mr. Sowald’s photos can be found on Flickr. Thanks Rob!

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

8 thoughts on “Photos of Tanker 40 at Prince Edward Island”

  1. I remember those days Johnny, it worked quite well. During slow seasons we actually got to know the local IC’s and fire crews. There was a team atmosphere.

    Kieth, I have used snowbanks as anchor points while laying line in March in the Cleveland. It works, but only if the fire behavior is not extreme which it usually isnt with low temps, and humidity, but throw in those winter winds and its off to the races. Dropping in extreme high winds is a memorable experience.

  2. Regardless if it is 3000 gallons delivered to a fire by the BAe 146 or a DC-7 it is still just 3,000 gallons.
    The Western U.S. is a huge fire prone area. What will occur this fire season on the Fed side is the same as past recent fire seasons. A flying circus. A few fixed wing tankers moving from large fire to large fire (after the fact) to humor the press and public. Reopen to full service the air bases that were closed or being used as a reload only? Eliminate the “airplane needs to rest” day off. Return to the air tanker base facilities of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Air bases with an air tanker (s) assigned that during the early stages of a threatening fire an I.C. can count on a large air tanker (s) arriving in a timely manner. (not two days later).

  3. Snow during wildfire season(s) during the months of Feb through Nov depending on which part of CONUS or AK?

    That would be a helluva weather system thatI know someone would be blaming on “global warming!”

  4. Great pictures!.

    But let this be a reminder IF a ship comes near its 5000 cycles in or near fire season……which I KNOW there are contingencies for…. just for you fire managers thinking Cand D checks are a 2 week proposition…NOT!

    Progressive inspections may allow for variance to the above.

    But for those folks out there….be careful of the SJS!!

    That is “Shiny Jet Syndrome” known by most of us pilots and mechanics when it come to young folks tired of driving and flying pistons for a whopping 250 hours before they occupy the right seat of an airline.

    Shiny Jet Syndrome is all the OOOOHS and AHHHSS of aviation. But the newness WILL wear off when the first engine shuts down or the airplane starts getting “dirty” or when the first IA can’t get off the ground due to some communications or dispatch problem, a cannon plug comes disconnected, inlet fan gets bent up or a inlet shroud gets a dent in it that does not meet spec and can not be field reworked unless it is hangared or extreeee parts are on hand… can get the idea!!

    This MAY be the fire season where the”‘newness” WILL wear off!!


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