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Supertanker will fly in area for training

World's largest firefighting aircraft to practice over Colville Reservation


A screenshot of a company video of the supertanker making a practice drop.

If you see a huge aircraft flying low over the Colville Indian Reservation from now through next Tuesday, you're seeing the world's largest supertanker aircraft and crews practicing in a firefighting training exercise.

Global Supertanker Services will fly over the Keller Butte area Saturday with a Boeing 747 tanker to practice flying in a mountainous area in advance of the coming fire season. A lead plane and possibly a photo plane likely will also be in sight.

On some flights, potable water will be dropped lightly, the company said, but most will be simulated drops.

The supertanker can carry 19,600 gallons of water, retardent or gel, or a mixed load of all three, and drop it from about 200 to 500 feet up. It can drop in multiple areas with the same load, but can also cover almost 2 miles in about 15 seconds. It would take 25 small firefighting planes to carry a similar payload, according to company statistics.

Global alerted authorities to the practice runs this week, and will be flying out of Moses Lake.

EU_GSTS from Global SuperTanker on Vimeo.

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