As a former IHC Superintendent and a current Air Attack, the P3’s were successful, reliable and put down some of the best and most accurate line in support of firing operations as well as buying ground forces time to get their hand line in. 100% support from this guy in bringing back the P3’s!!!
The Palermo Fire in late September 1991 I saw four houses saved through direct action by a P3, either T25 or T00 both were there. On the Fountain Fire in ’92 up out of Whitmore on the right flank we had a slop over really late in the day near cutoff and the P3’s along with the P2V’s were instrumental in containing it before we lost the whole Div. not to mention the numerous IA fires we caught out in the Pondosa & Burney areas during the same time frames because of the excellent work by the ATGS & tanker drivers working out of Redding & Chico. 25 yrs in the biz I can’t remember all the times the P3’s saved me from being crisp bacon with a well placed drop
Cannot tell you the number of times in California during my career where the P3’s saved the day in stopping a fire and helping crews on the edge hold on to a section of line critical to containing the fire. Always had good experiences with them and the pilots flying them.
As a retired fire fighter with 35 years of initial attack experience and having retired as an Aviation Officer with 16 years years experiance as an air attack I always liked knowing a P-3 was in the lineup headed to my incident. I knew these aircraft could make multiple drops in terrain that other aircraft would have trouble dealing with. With the performance of the these aircraft I believe they need to be put back to work.
Worked on the ground with the aircraft (LOAD, ABRO, RAMP, MXMS, ATBM trainee) as well as on the line with them above. Loved the platform and the people. Always would rather have a P3 than a P2 sitting on the ramp, seemed like it was more reliable and the crews were always nicer. Hated to see it go and wished it could have made it through all the bs.
I was involved with the P-3 Tankers from conception to completion. And then helped maintain them. I very much hope that they ,once again, become the platforms of the present and future. Radds Systems were the cutting edge of the Constant Flow concept. ” Lays Line Like No Other” was the motto. Get ‘em flying again please!!
I have worked on P-3s for 33 years. I worked on them in the Navy, U.S. Customs, Aero Union, and now CBP. I have been to the Navy depot and Lockheed Martin Greenville and I can tell you AUC did better maintenance on their A/C than any other place. We did over and above what was needed to ensure the safety of the crew and aircraft. At AUC I was a mechanic, on board mechanic, engine/prop shop mechanic, lead and manager so I can let all know that these A/C were safe and should be flying on fires today.
I have worked under T-00 on more fires than I can remember in the southwest.. Before I got on a type 1 IMT I worked on an engine as an engine boss for many years.. It was a sad day when the P-3 fleet went away and I would like nothing more than for it to come back. T-00 out of phx and I believe it was T-23 out of Prescott that I used the most but when it came down to it when you heard the engines you knew it was a P-3 inbound and you knew it was going to be a good run.. I grew to trust the pilot of T-00 to do magic with that aircraft and one day I got caught in a pickle on the RIO fire in Scottsdale AZ. I was working the left flank of a desert fuel fire that was moving pretty quick when we had a 90 degree wind shift.. I was on the flank and now I had a head fire running straight at me.. I called for emergency air support I believe it was Lead B-3 bringing in T-00 on his tail in smoke that was questionable at best to lay mud on my radio call.. I still took heat but im here today because of T-00.. T-00 was also a no lead plane required carded tanker pilot back then also. Many times we would have T-00 help us pick up fires on the forest that hadn’t gotten a chance to run do to getting there quick and having enough mud to make a real difference.
Years ago I’ve worked with the P3’s when they were still flying a couple of times when we crossed the 49th to help out our brethren in Northern Washington State. Excellent aircraft and a pleasure to work with the pilots flying them. I also work with the L188’s up here in British Columbia, civilian version of the same aircraft. Also an excellent aircraft in the fire fighting role, great agility, lots of power, incredible speed control on long down hill runs. Would be great to see the P3’s back in the air in the U.S..