Two men work to secure one of two Super Scooper CL-415 aircraft at the Van Nuys Tanker Base in Los Angeles on Aug. 13, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

Contracted firefighting ‘Super Scoopers’ arrive in Los Angeles

The low rumble of two bright yellow and red aircraft could be felt as the contracted “Super Scoopers” landed in Los Angeles after flying briefly over Santa Clarita. The two Bombardier CL-415 airplanes are tasked with assisting Los Angeles County Fire Department resources with fighting wildfires throughout their jurisdiction.
Two men work to secure one of two Super Scooper CL-415 aircraft at the Van Nuys Tanker Base in Los Angeles on Aug. 13, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal
With the capability to draw 1,620 gallons of water from lakes or oceans in about 12 seconds, the large aircraft on contract from the Government of Québec are often seen water bombing ferocious flames at the scene of a summertime brush fire. Flying a trip total of 2,851 miles, the pair departed Québec City, Canada at 6:02 a.m. Saturday, making stops in Saginaw, Michigan and Wichita, Kansas before taking an overnight break. Sunday, the two birds departed Kansas at 7:19 a.m. for Albuquerque, New Mexico before landing at Van Nuys Tanker Base in Los Angeles shortly after 2:30 p.m.
The Erickson S-64 Air Crane taxis the runway at Van Nuys Airport as it heads to the tanker base on Aug. 13, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal
Referred to as “Québec 244” and “Québec 247,” the pair join the bright orange-colored Erickson S-64 Air-Crane to fulfill Los Angeles County’s contracted air fleet. The Air-Crane fills its 2,650-gallon tank in about 60 seconds with a snorkel and boasts the capability to fill from the ocean or lakes in a fraction of the same time.
The Erickson S-64 Air Crane taxis the runway at Van Nuys Airport as it heads to the tanker base on Aug. 13, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal
The trio will augment the county’s eight multi-mission helicopters which fly year-round.
A super scooper drops water on a fire that broke out off of northbound Highway 14 on Dec. 2, 2016. Katharine Lotze/Signal
 

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