Aero Air (Hillsboro, OR) as we previously reported, acquired the Butler Aircraft (Redmond, OR) air tanker operation, including its three aging Douglas DC-7s, located at the Madras Airport, according to the Madras Pioneer. This air tanker operation is now known as Erickson Aero Tanker. Seven former SAS McDonnell Douglas DC-9-87s (MD-87s) are being acquired and at least four will be converted to air tankers. This is a new use for the versatile DC-9.
The new name comes from co-owner Jack Erickson, who was the founder and former owner of Erickson Air-Crane.
The new company has been awarded the next generation air tanker contract by the U.S. Forest Service. Erickson Aero Tanker has now received a FAA Supplemental Type Certificate for the DC-9-87 and in May placed the first aircraft into its fire fighting contracts which is a new role for this former airliner.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured DC-9-87 (MD-87) N293EA (msn 53209) was originally delivered to Iberia as EC-635 (later EC-FFA) on June 20, 1991. It would also serve with SAS as SE-DMN.
Video: Air Tanker 101, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-87 (MD-87), is seen dropping retardant on the Shirley Fire near Lake Isabella, California on June 15, 2014. The video was filmed by Tim Walton of Photo One Productions.