The Hawaii Mars waterbomber

Coulson Aviation explains why the Martin Mars is not in Fort McMurray

Port Alberni-based company has sent a Sikorsky S-61 helicopter to Alberta and offered a C-130 tanker as well.

Despite the pleas of people who love to see the aircraft in the air, the iconic Martin Mars aerial firefighting tanker has not been sent to Fort McMurray, AB to fight a fire that has forced evacuation of all 88,000 residents.

Wayne Coulson, owner of Coulson Aviation and the Coulson Flying Tanker, says there are a couple of good reasons for that. Because of the public interest in the aircraft, Coulson took to Facebook on Thursday (May 5, 2016) and posted a message on the Martin MARS – Coulson Flying Tankers page to explain what the company is doing to assist in Fort McMurray.

They’ve already sent a Sikorsky S-61 helicopter, and will offer a second when it returns from Australia. Coulson has also offered one of his C-130s to the Alberta government, and has put his crew on standby just in case the government asks for that plane.

The Mars is undergoing its annual inspection, and Coulson said earlier this year that its firefighting days are likely over. He plans to bring the Mars to a large American airshow in Oshkosh, WI in July to drum up business.

“Secondly, in the firefighting business it is the government that has operational control of the aircraft,” Coulson wrote.

“No aircraft operator in the world can simply go and put out a fire, even if they wanted to and if someone ever did, they would be facing serious criminal charges.”

The fire at this point is too hot to attack by air, according to Alberta emergency officials quoted in a CBC story on the fire. On Tuesday, the heat at the fire’s front was too hot — estimates had the temperature between 800 and 1,000 degrees Celsius — and too smoky for planes to fly, according to officials.

“We understand the frustration of the public, especially in a case like this where a fire is consuming property and threatening lives,” Coulson wrote in his post. “We are committed to supporting government agencies, firefighters and the public when our services are required.”

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/alberninews

 

Just Posted

Thanksgiving Food Drive returns to Port Alberni

Volunteers will go door-to-door to collect non-perishable items

Tyee Club celebrates 80 years in Port Alberni

James Clark wins Fisherman of the Year award

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs rally for the win with five goals in third period

Port Alberni team has won two games in a row at home

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Area 51 events mostly peaceful; thousands in Nevada desert

Three more people were arrested Friday on the remote once-secret military base

B.C. First Nation signs agreement to return its land on Vancouver Island

The land on the east coast of Vancouver Island will be returned to the We Wai Kai Nation

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Most Read