Tankers Fight the Azalea Fire, Vandenberg AFB, September 27, 1997


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A fire broke out on Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday, September 26, 1997. The Forest Service named it the Azalea Fire. These pictures were shot on Saturday, September 27 as tankers fought the Azalea Fire.

The view from Lompoc of the Azalea Fire Azalea Fire at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Tanker 162 is dropping DC-4 #162 makes a retardant drop fire retardant between the fire and Vandenberg Village, just east of the Air Force base.

Tanker 162 is a Douglas C-54, DC-4 #162 makes a retardant drop seen here finishing an air drop on the fireline.

Tanker 162 is powered by DC-4 #162 over the Azalea Fire four 1,290 horsepower R-2000-7 radial engines.

The operations of the DC-6 makes a retardant drop on the Azalea Fire tankers and the fire fighters on the ground were coordinated by "White Net" on 154.28 mc.

This view of the underside of DC-4 #162 over the Azalea Fire Tanker 162 reveals the doors of the retardant tanks.

Tanker 162 heads back DC-4 #162 over the Azalea Fire to the Goleta Forest Service Tanker Station for another load.

Tanker 01 is a converted Lockheed P-2 Neptune P-2 #01, N901AU over the Azalea Fire anti-submarine patrol bomber.

Aero Union Neptunes on P2VNeptune.org Visit the Aero Union Page on the P2VNeptune.org web site.

P-3A #22, N922AU over the Azalea Fire Tanker 22 is a converted Lockheed P-3 Orion anti-submarine patrol bomber. Its four 5,000 horsepower T56 turboprops give it a significant margin of power over the C-54 and P-2

Tanker 194 is a Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane CH-54 Skycrane #194, N44094 cruising to Lompoc equipped with a snorkle to draw water from creeks or lakes near the fire.

Tankers spotted over the Azalea Fire on September 27, 1997 included:

Number Type Registration Operator c/n military serial
01 SP-2H N701AU Aero Union 726-7190 BuNo 145920
22 P-3A-45 N922AU Aero Union 185-5100 BuNo 151387
119 C-54G-1/DC-4 N406WA ARDCO 35944 45-491
152 C-54D-15/DC-4 N9015Q EMI Services 22178 43-17228
194 CH-54A N44094 Heavy Lift Helicopters   67-18421

More Tanker Photos

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Aerial Tankers

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Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: Aerial Tankers

A dozen photos of aerial tankers:

Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress N17W Tanker 04, Santa Barbara, September 12, 1979
Douglas DC-7C N5903 Tanker 35, Santa Barbara, November 28, 1980
Douglas C-54E Cargomaster N460WA Tanker 151, Santa Ynez Valley, July 30, 1990
California Air National Guard C-130E Tanker 6, NAWS Pt. Mugu, April 25, 1998
Douglas C-54E Cargomaster N8502G Tanker 65, Santa Barbara Airport, May 5, 2004
Evergreen S-64E Skycrane N6979R Tanker 707, Santa Ynez Valley, May 7, 2004
Evergreen International Boeing 747 Supertanker, San Bernardino, May 31, 2006
Grumman S-2T Tracker N439DF Tanker 74, Santa Barbara Airport, June 19, 2006
Lockheed P2V-5 N1386C Tanker 44, Santa Barbara, June 19, 2006
Coulson Flying Tankers Martin JRM Hawaii Mars, Lake Elsinore, October 27, 2007
McDonnell-Douglas DC-10-30 10 Tanker Air Carrier Tanker 911, Mesa, Arizona 2011
BAE-146-200A N146FF Tanker 40, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, June 15, 2012

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Firefighting Aircraft of CAL FIRE

2018 Calendar

You can buy a 2018 calendar featuring my photographs of California Department of Forestry fire fighting aircraft.

Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: CAL FIRE

Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: CAL FIRE

This calendar is dedicated to the men and women of CAL FIRE and honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the citizens of California.

A dozen photos of California Department of Forestry fire fighting aircraft:

Grumman US-2A Tracker N416DF Tanker 96, Santa Barbara, September 13, 1979
Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat NX7195C Tanker E40, Beale Air Force Base, May 31, 1980
Grumman TS-2A Tracker N405DF Tanker 72, Santa Barbara, October 16, 1985
Grumman TS-2A Tracker N406DF Tanker 73, Santa Barbara, July 19, 1990
Grumman TS-2A Tracker N420DF Tanker 75, Santa Ynez Mountains. August 15, 2002
Bell UH-1H Huey N805EH, Santa Ynez Mountains. August 15, 2002
McDonnell-Douglas DC-10-10 Tanker 910, Victorville, June 17, 2005
Grumman S-2T Tracker N439DF Tanker 74, Santa Barbara, June 19, 2006
Grumman S-2T Tracker N436DF Tanker 76, Santa Barbara, June 19, 2006
North American OV-10A Bronco N403DF, Santa Barbara, June 19, 2006
Grumman S-2T Tracker N439DF Tanker 74, Santa Barbara, June 25, 2006
McDonnell-Douglas DC-10-10 Tanker 911, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway, June 11, 2011

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Day Fire Tankers at Santa Barbara

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Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: Day Fire Tankers at Santa Barbara

Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: Day Fire Tankers at Santa Barbara

Aerial tankers fought the Day Fire from the Santa Barbara Air Attack Station for ten days, from Monday, September 18 to Wednesday September 27. Three Lockheed P-2 Neptunes and four Lockheed P-3 Orions visited the Air Attack Station during the fire. This calendar includes a dozen photos of those tankers:

Neptune Aviation Lockheed SP-2H Neptune, N4235T Tanker 09
Neptune Aviation Lockheed P2V-5F Neptune, N96264 Tanker 12
Neptune Aviation Lockheed P2V-5 Neptune, N1386C Tanker 44
Aero Union Lockheed P-3A-25 Orion, N920AU Tanker 20
Aero Union Lockheed P-3A-45 Orion, N921AU Tanker 21
Aero Union Lockheed P-3A-45 Orion, N922AU Tanker 22
Aero Union Lockheed P-3A-40 Orion, N925AU Tanker 25

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Firefighting Helicopters

2018 calendar

You can buy a 2018 calendar featuring my photographs of Firefighting Helicopters.

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Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: Firefighting Helicopters

A dozen photos of firefighting helicopters.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department Bell UH-1H Huey N205FD Tanker 309
Santa Barbara County Fire Department Bell UH-1H Huey N205KS Tanker 308
Era Aviation Bell 212 N508EH
Marine Corps Boeing-Vertol CH-46F Sea Knight BuNo 155315 Tanker 906
Marine Corps Boeing-Vertol CH-46F Sea Knight BuNo 156426 Tanker 904
Columbia Helicopters Kawasaki-Vertol KV107-11 N184CH
Siller Brothers Sikorsky S-61N N15456
Evergreen Sikorsky S-64E Skycrane N6979R Tanker 707
Helicopter Transport Services Sikorsky CH-54B Skycrane N720HT Tanker 720
Erickson Air Crane Sikorsky S64E Skycrane N247AC 744

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