Aero Tanker arrived in Chile and has joined the fight against forest fires

11 •  feb •  2023

The aircraft will support the work currently being carried out by Conaf, the Armed Forces, brigadiers, firefighters and international emergency teams in the affected communities in the central-southern part of the country. The air tanker has the capacity to carry 11,300 liters of fire retardant and has a crew of four pilots and two mechanics.

Around 21:00 hours this Friday, the Aero Tanker landed at Carriel Sur airport in Talcahuano, Biobío Region. The tanker aircraft, whose arrival in Chile was arranged by the Luksic family, will join the work of extinguishing forest fires affecting the central-south zone of Chile. This Saturday, February 11, at noon, it began its first flight and started operations, contributing by dropping fire retardant.

The aircraft has the capacity to carry 11,300 liters of fire retardant and is considered one of the most versatile of its kind. Among the experience that the company Erickson Aero Tanker, who are behind the operation of the air tanker, has is having participated in fighting the forest fires in California, United States, in 2018, one of the largest recorded in that country.

“As Luksic Foundation we are proud to be able to contribute to the work that many people are already doing at this emergency, and we hope that having brought this aircraft will have a great impact in the fight against the fire. From the Foundation we will continue working to help overcome this emergency, seeking to offer efficient solutions,” said Isabella Luksic, general manager of the Luksic Foundation.

The MD-87 aircraft will be at Conaf’s disposal and will work in coordination with the emergency personnel already operating in the regions of Ñuble, Biobío and La Araucanía, such as brigadiers, firefighters, armed forces and national and international experts.

The aircraft arrived in the national territory along with its crew, an advance team composed of pilots Kevin McLoughlin and Ryan Swakon, and mechanic Zach Gates; and another crew team composed of pilots Jason Carter and Andrew Harrington, and mechanic Dan Strickland. The Aero Tanker will remain in the country for 28 days.

During the arrival of the Aero Tanker, the Minister of Public Works, Juan Carlos García expressed his gratitude to the Foundation for its support and said that “I thank them for joining this work, because it reflects very well the sense of urgency that we should all have in these situations. All contributions are tremendously valuable and with the unity between the private and public world we will be able to move forward”.