Aero Air (Hillsboro, OR) has 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. The new 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 according to the article.
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Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Formerly operated by Iberia as EC-FFA and SAS as SE-DMN, this McDonnell Douglas DC-9-87 (MD-87) is getting a new life as an air tanker. The airframe as been re-registered as N293EA and adopted the air tanker fleet number of 103 as seen at Goodyear, AZ.