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It Takes a Team

On August 17th lightning struck on Point Reyes National Seashore in California, igniting a wildfire that quickly grew in gusty winds. Named the Woodward Fire, the blaze spread to nearly 5000 acres in size before being contained.  Aero-Flite’s Super Scooper aircraft responded to the incident to support our partners in suppressing the fire’s progress, filling their tanks from nearby Tomales Bay, a body of saltwater lining the west coast, just north of San Francisco.

Saltwater can prove damaging to the airframe and components and proper maintenance requires daily flushing with freshwater to mitigate corrosion. With this in mind, upon notification of ocean operations, the Aero-Flite Maintenance Management team assembled a group of aircraft mechanics to join crews in Santa Rosa to assist.

Each day our flight crews flew long hours on a rotation, dousing flames to protect firefighters and resources on the ground. And each evening, our team of dedicated mechanics worked overnight to perform the additional maintenance required from saltwater missions, including rinsing the turbine engines to ensure the aircraft stayed in top operating condition.

“For weeks our entire CL415 team worked through scorching heat during the day and long shifts into the night, surrounded by constant heavy smoke.” says Jason Robinson, Aero-Flite’s Chief Pilot CL415 Program. “Our flight crews would not be able to do the job they do without the professional dedication and expertise of our aircraft mechanics on the ground.”

Photo Credit: Carey Lando