AT-802F Fire Response Flight Groups

Flight groups increase the safety and efficiency of firefighting missions.

More and more fire agencies are combining Air Tractor AT-802F aircraft into coordinated flight groups. It’s an effective, cost-efficient strategy that improves teamwork, communication and results on the ground. A flight of four land-based Air Tractor AT-802F air tankers can deliver 3,200 gallons, with the ability to contain small shrub-fueled fires (2.5 to 3.5 acres) with one round of retardant. Larger fires can be contained with four AT-802F aircraft if roads or natural breaks can be incorporated as containment lines.

Applying this fire response model, incident commanders can adapt their tactics to address rapidly changing conditions and dynamic fire behavior. A flight of two, three, or four AT-802F aircraft can be dispatched based upon initial information and fire potential. And if an aircraft or pilot becomes unavailable, then a 3/4 flight of AT-802F aircraft can still deliver 2,400 gallons to the fire on initial response.

When multiple Air Tractor AT-802F aircraft are stationed at a base, fire agencies can realize economies of scale, maximized engineering manpower and support, and improved uptime with common parts inventory efficiencies. This is in addition to the already economical operating costs of the AT-802F.

AT-802F flight groups have the ability to work from mobile retardant loading bases at any suitable landing area in close proximity to a fire or fire complex. This forward-leaning, dynamic response strategy not only reduces dispatch distance and increases the volume per flight hour, but also reduces the delivery time and cost of retardant to the fire.

In many operational situations, the AT-802F can be more effective than larger air tankers, and far more economical.