Tanker base operations during the High Park fire

Tanker 42 at JEFFCO

Tanker 42 at JEFFCO

Shane Harvey took these photos at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (JEFFCO) showing the two Convair 580 air tankers that are working the High Park Fire. In one photo you can see the smoke column as viewed from the airport, which is 48 miles away. Thanks Shane. We have more information including a map of the High Park fire HERE.

Tanker 45 at Jeffco airport 6-9-2012

High Park Fire as seen from JEFFCO airport 6-9-2012
High Park Fire (48 miles northwest) as seen from JEFFCO airport June 9, 2012

 

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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.

14 thoughts on “Tanker base operations during the High Park fire”

  1. Conair began as Skyway Aviation with Stearmans and TBM Avengers for spraying. Conair Aviation has been fighting fires since 1958 when fires in BC (which is larger than CA, OR and WA combined) burned two million acres of forests. The high value of commercial timber put a high cost on fire losses. It used TBMs in the 1960s, added DC-6s and A-26s in the 1970s, and de Havilland s-2 Trackers, Firecats, and in the 1980s France became a major export market for it’s fire fighting aircraft.
    Conair has made air tankers from the following turboprop aircraft: Fokker F-27, Turbo Firecat, Lockheed L-188 Electra, Convair 580, and Dash 8 Q400.
    The CV 580 air tanker was developed by Conair and Kelowna Flightcraft. In 2001, Kelowna Flightcraft bought the type certificate for the twin engine Convair airliner, marking it the owner of the manufacturing rights.

    0
    0
  2. The “Alaska” Convair was never in AK this season. The feds are using the Alaska State contract as a vehicle to use the Convair in the states.

    Flight crews on the AK contract are required to have a work visa while the other flight crews can be used based upon the NAFTA agreement.

    0
    0
  3. A little piece of Historical information. “Tanker 45” started her life as a 580 right here in Denver with the original Frontier Airlines. She used to be known as N73301 and operated out of Stapleton. How wonderful to see her back home again…still serving the Rocky Mountain Empire, only now in a little different capacity.
    Like the DC-3, the 580 is still a very capable airplane that just refuses to fade away…

    0
    0
  4. A question: Are these tankers on loan from BC or hired from ConAir? I noticed the BCFS Aviation Operation logo on the tail of tanker 45.

    0
    0
  5. All valid points- however a couple of points of clarification- Up here in the great white north, wildfire and forestry operations are managed exclusively through their Provincial government (ie, Brisish Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations… what a mouthful). The only national organization is through CIFFC which pretty much is just in the resource request business. Another big difference is the way we are managing fire- mainly that we fly a lot more metal. BC alone has 15-20 exclusive use airtankers (not including Rotary Wing). Thus , companies such as Con-Air have the stability to invest in the future with their aircraft.

    Not arguing the above points- just a bit of a different organization.

    0
    0
  6. ^^^^^
    I would imagine the CO TAG and Governor are pretty aware and I am sure the Peterson folks have been pinged already by USAF Reserve

    Did the dispatch centers process the proper requests and through proper channels??

    0
    0
    1. Right, Richard, you’re referring to the MAFFS at Cheyenne, WY. There are also two MAFFS C-130s at Colorado Springs, 130 miles away from the fire. And let’s not forget the DC-10s and the 747.

      0
      0
  7. Thanks Ken for the info

    Kinda figured the bouyz had it sewed up …even glass cockpits for somewhat better SA

    Which brings up a well known question and since Conair does C130 remods…

    Down here in the lower 48 there are plenty o contract operators that mod and remod C130 late models for the USAF….funny how some of the folks down here with the LMA’s haven’t discovered MRO’s to assist in their “cost analysis studies” of build /rebuild of airframes

    Kind of a shame that when the “witchunt” of H&P and AUC was going on NO ONE at WO FAM was even aware of these MRO’s that could this work

    But I bet I just opened a can of worms and they will all come out of the proverbial woodwork and say they “were in contact with ALLLLLLLL those US MRO operators to do cost analyses!!!

    0
    0
  8. In 1999, Conair partnered with Kelowna Flightcraft to develop the Convair 580 as an air tanker outfitted with a RADS II constant flow tank. The first Group went on contract with the BC Forest Service in 2000. There are now four aircraft on contract in BC, two in Alberta and two in Alaska. The Saskatchewan government also bought four from Conair with higher power 501- D22 engines and a glass cockpit. Melisma Flightcraft have developed and certified a stretched cargo version of the CV580 called the CV5800. They have extensive engineering capabilities as does Conair/Cascade which supports the high time and well used RCAF C-130H Hercules fleet

    0
    0
  9. From the folks that brought the US the F102, F106, and B58 Hustler series aircraft AND early turboprops such as the Allision 501 series and Rolls Royce Dart engines…..

    The Canadian have enough sense to keep on using non purpose built aicraft in the “toolbox” for aerial wildland firefighting

    Funny thing is……..Why can the Canadian Ministry of Forestry and Aviation identify reliable old source aircraft while our “Ministry of Forestry and Aviation” can not seem to identify problems,,,well yes they can……through “STUDIES” that is how…

    Canadian must have a SMS, safety system, and CRM equivalents to ours BUT have had LOOOOONG standing relationships with their operators that have not been so adversarial to the point of kicking people off contract.

    USFS MUST learn sometime that the Canadians have LOOOONG used non purpose built acft in conjunction with the CL 215/415 series that and they have successfully NOT gotten themselves down to a 9 airtanker scenario. I would imagine Canada has alot to lose as we do………….

    What the US LMA’s have shown and demonstrated that, while using these contractors, they did not PLAN for the future….hence the the problem today.

    Thanks to the operators of Conair…OH and thanks USFS for bringing them on a litlle late in the game ‘ cuz we got enough “stuff” (Harbour 2011) to cover the upcoming fire season

    0
    0

Comments are closed.