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The original T-910 has flown off into the sunset to be replaced by a newer DC-10-30 aircraft. It will also carry the T-910 designation and joins 10 Tanker Air Carrier’s certified fleet in April. (Contributed Photo)
By Michael P. Neufeld
Oscoda, MI – Tanker 910 — a frequent visitor to the U.S. Forest Service Tanker Base at San Bernardino International Airport (SBX) — has been decommissioned and is being replaced with another DC-10 that has been converted and will also carry the T-910 designation this season.
The original Tanker 10 on the tarmac at the U.S. Forest Service Tanker Base at San Bernardino International Airport (SBX). (Photo by ROTWNEWS.com)
Air Tanker 10 converted the original 910 — the first DC-10 the carrier converted — and during its tenure of service made over 750 missions across the United States and Canada. Tanker 910 recorded drops on over 500 missions in California, including several in and around the San Bernardino Mountains.
The plane was dismantled at Kalitta Air in Oscoda, Michigan. where the replacement aircraft was converted into an 11,600-gallon air tanker. That conversion began in September 2014 and the new 910 is to join the fleet in April.
10 Air Tanker Carrier converted the DC-10 aircraft in 2004 and two years later brought the aircraft to California under a CalFire contract. It has since flown under contract both with CalFire and the U.S. Forest Service.
Tanker 910 Version 2.0 is expected to be in full service in April.
The “new” tanker, according to Rick Hatton, President and CEO of 10 Tanker Air Carrier, is 15 years newer that its predecessor and all three planes in the fleet are the newer DC-10-30s — T-911, T-912 and the “new” T-910.
Ground crews at SBX begin the process of reloading T-910. (Photo by ROTWNEWS.com)
Hatton told Fire Aviationthat the DC-10-30 is certified to fly at gross weights up to 590,000 pounds.
“On a typical firefighting mission with three hours of fuel the aircraft would lift off weighing approximately 390,000 pounds,” Hatton told the magazine.
Hatton went on to explain to the magazine’s reporter that this allows a margin of nearly 200,000 pounds below the previously certified weight, which greatly enhances performance, maneuverability, and safety.
****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment. View blog top tags ---------------------