DC-10 Supertanker dropping fire retardant as seen from the fire point of view….
KUSI photojournalist Taylor Schuss filmed the DC10 Air Tanker (unofficially dubbed “Supertanker”) fighting the Cocos Fire in San Marcos, California, from the receiving end of a load of fire retardant on May 14.
Note the King Air flying as a pathfinder ahead of the DC-10 to point the drop zone for the tanker.
The DC-10 Air Tanker is a standard McDonnell Douglas DC-10 airliner that was converted to carry up to 12,000 US gallons (45,000 liters) of water or fire retardant in an exterior belly-mounted tank.
Two such kind of air tankers, operated by the 10 Tanker Air Carrier, are currently flying under callsign Tanker 910 and 911.
Does the twin turboprop that takes the same flight path as the DC-10 just before him act as a pathfinder or is it just a coincidence ?
This quick video gives you a sense how the turboprop pathfinder quarterbacks the whole air operation.
Just had the DC-10 here in southwest New Mexico: It’s a huge asset, but we need more of them in the Western US.