Philippine Mars back on the water

Coulson Flying Tankers’ famous twin waterbombers are back on Sproat Lake together for the first time in years.

The Philippine Mars—painted in her original US Navy colours

The Philippine Mars—painted in her original US Navy colours

Coulson Flying Tankers’ famous twin waterbombers are back on Sproat Lake together for the first time in years.

But they won’t be there for long, according to CEO Wayne Coulson.

“They’ll be there just about a week,” Coulson said on Tuesday.

“We’re just overhauling [the Philippine Mars’] landing gear and once that’s overhauled the Hawaii will come out first and then the Philippine will go in the front. Both airplanes will be back on shore.”

The Philippine Mars will then sit at the Bomber Base on Lakeshore Road until it’s sent off to a Florida naval museum in 2016.

“We’re still looking at a second quarter delivery for 2016,” said Coulson.

“I’ve got a letter of approval from the Canadian government to export the Philippine.”

The Philippine won’t leave the Alberni Valley without some pomp and celebration.

“Once we get it airworthy we will do a celebration at the hangar at the base for it.”

The fate of the Philippine’s more colourful twin is still undecided.

“It’s still been smoky [in Washington State]… at this point they still don’t have any requirement,” said Coulson.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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