Remarks: While driving towards Santa Barbara we saw approach lights. We stopped at the curb of the road and enjoyed this Orion coming in way to low to land. The next picture was all dust! Picture scanned from paper-print.
Remarks: "Tanker 27" departing runway 26 at Stead with a slow climb due to being full of retardant to go fight the "Peterson" fire just as the sun is just about done with it's job for the day. Pylon #3 can also be seen in the background which is used for the Reno Air Races each September. 1280px
Remarks: "Tanker 17" just getting airborne off of runway 08 at Stead to go help fight a rare large fire in late October. The "Peterson" fire was just to the west of the airport making for quick runs back and forth.
First shot of this former Spanish Air Force bird in the database. 1600px wide.
Remarks: Impressive line up of three of Aero Union's firefighting Orions, in the operator's smart livery. Sadly, the aircraft closest to the camera, N926AU, crashed a year after I took this photo, killing the three crew.
Remarks: "Ready To Roll!" A thumbs up from the pilot shows that this grand old lady is ready to for another mission. Together with a Hawkins and Powers P-2 and a C-130, they were fighting a fire in the hills about twenty miles out of Carson City. The aircraft was delivered to the USAAF in April 1945 as 44-9102 and was immediately transferred to the USN, taking up the serial 90404 for the remainder of her military career, which lasted for twenty five years until she flew into Davis Monthan in April 1970 to be WFU and stored. After four years sitting in the hot Arizona sun, she was purchased by Aero Union and converted to her new role as a tanker, a job which she performed admirably for thirty years until the demise of the piston engined tanker fleet in North American saw her being placed in storage. Thankfully a new lease of life for this old campaigner began at the end of 2005 when she was purchased by Buffalo Airways, based at Yellowknife . Now over sixty years old, and re-registered C-GBAJ, lets hope that she will continue to fight fires in the far flung outposts of Canada for many years to come......good luck old girl!
(N.B. This image was scanned from a slide so perhaps is not as sharp as I would have liked - hope you like it anyway).