Cruise Night
Visit to the airport and the Air Tankers

Organized by: - Jim Carroll
Photos by: - Dave Dickinson

As all the other Cruise Nights the evening was started off with a
picnic supper at Riverside Park by the rose garden.
This Cruise worked out great as we visited the Air Tanker base at the airport. The planes were already in service however the fire season had not started so the pilots had time to talk to us and show us the various planes.

Jim Carroll and his wife Sherry enjoying their
Chubby Chicken before we get started

Members find time to visit whether it is around the picnic tables or in the parking lot.

Members cars at the airport

With the  cars parked
it was time to head into the operations office
     Our guide and host was waiting for us where she expalined the Fire Control Center and how they go about dispatching the different fire crews that are needed for the various fires in the province and also when the planes are to be dispatched and where they are to go.

     Jim had picked the right night for the cruise as the air tankers were in and the fire season had not yet started. The pilots had time to show us their planes and explain them to us.
If he had waited a week we would have been on the outside looking in through the fence.

Conair is the name of the company that owns the planes

This plane is a Commander and it is
used as a "Bird Dog".
This is the plane the Fire Officer travels in and directs the air tankers in regards to their approach to a fire and how to make their drops.
Air Tractors
Small in size but quite quick and practical.
Can carry between 500 and 800 gallons

Depending on the model but can carry between
2800 & 3000 gallons
The Air Tractors take on the fires that are close at hand to an airport. (When equipped with floats they can scoop water from lakes).
The Convairs get the fires farther out as they have the ability to fly further distances and carry a greater load of fire retardant.
BC and Alberta fight their fires with fire retardant whereas the other provinces tend to use more water in their fire fighting.

Only way in is up the ladder.
Jim Carroll and Niki Bone
visit the cock pit and find out  
what it takes to fly an air tanker

As you can tell the shadows were getting to be quite a bit longer meaning the end of the day.

It was a terrific tour for a Cruise Night.