Saturday, June 28, 2008

Martin Mars expected at Lake Shasta, California

A Martin Mars water-scooping amphibious air tanker lost an engine yesterday 10 minutes before it was due to land at Lake Shasta in northern California to help with the forest fires. It turned around and flew back to it's base at Port Alberni, British Columbia where the engine was going to be repaired or replaced. If the repairs go well, their plan is to land the plane at Lake Shasta at 10 a.m. today, Saturday. But as this is being updated at 7:45 a.m. PT, the aircraft, Canadian number CFLYL, is not showing up on flight tracking.

The aircraft can carry 7,200 gallons of water, Thermogel, or water with a 0.4% solution of foam concentrate. It may be the only air tanker with Thermogel capability. The ship was used for a while last fall in southern California during their fire bust and flew out of Lake Elsinore. This year it will be under contract with the U.S. Forest Service.

File photo courtesy of Coulson Flying Tankers

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