Jumbo air tanker wins protest, may fight more US wildfires

By Keith Ridler
Associated Press in the Washington Post
November 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho — A giant passenger jet converted to fight wildfires was grounded this year by U.S. officials during much of what turned out to be an especially destructive U.S. fire season, but it could be flying much more next year. The U.S. Government Accountability Office on Thursday sided with Global SuperTanker Services in its battle with the U.S. Forest Service. The Colorado Springs, Colorado-based company challenged the agency’s 5,000-gallon (19,000-liter) limit on air tankers, which kept the 19,000-gallon (72,000-liter) plane idle until late August. …Ahead of wildfire season, the Forest Service offered firefighting contracts that limited the size of air tankers, saying a plane as big as the 747 isn’t suited for initial attacks on wildfires. … The accountability office rejected that, saying “the majority of the agency’s arguments are based upon anecdotal evidence and not supported by the record.”

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