Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Eight water-scooping air tankers spotted at Santa Fe Airport

Eight water-scooping air tankers at Santa Fe airport, May 6, 2022, operated by Bridger Aerospace and Aero-Flite. The Calf Canyon and Hermit Peak Fires were nearby. Photo by Jerry Messinger.

Jerry Messinger got this photo showing eight water-scooping air tankers at the Santa Fe Airport in New Mexico on May 6, 2022. It is very rare in the United States to see eight scoopers in one place. Mr. Messinger said the tanker numbers represented are: 281, 282, 283, 284, 260, 261, 262, and 263.

On April 25 Wildfire Today reported that four water-scooping air tankers were obtaining water from Lake Isabel and dropping it on the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak Fires east of Santa Fe. The lake is 8 miles east of the fire, which would be less than a 5 minute one-way trip carrying up to 1,600 gallons of water. A CL-415 can cruise at 233 mph. Apparently four more scoopers were ordered.

The aircraft are operated by Bridger Aerospace and Aero-Flite.

The photo reminded me of one taken in Europe in 2017.

The static display at Aerial Firefighting Europe 2017 looks very impressive with CL-415s from France, Italy, Spain and Croatia. #AFFEUR17 pic.twitter.com/UdqOJ9Wp2n

— Tangent Link Ltd (@tangentlink) October 15, 2017

And this one from 2015:

Air Tankers at DrydenFirefighting aircraft at Dryden Regional Airport in Ontario, Canada, in June, 2015 before they were dispersed to deal with the rising number of wildfires.

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