The long process of transitioning two additional C-130 aircraft into fire bombers has begun for the Coulson Aviation team. Two C-130s that previously saw service for the Royal Norwegian Air Force are currently in Tucson, Arizona being readied for transport back to Coulson’s home base of Port Alberni, Canada.
The two newest assets in the ‘Coulson Air Force’ a name jokingly given by crews on the ground as they began removing the external markings of the aircraft from the Royal Norwegian Airforce have been coined with the names Brage and Ty.
Each aircraft requires extensive work to make each airworthy for the trip back to Canada. The first, Brage, expected to head north in the next few days once flight permits are secured. Both aircraft have undergone extensive servicing prior to departure that includes an engine service, hydraulic system check, flight control lubrication, and rigging checks, pitot-static recertification, and new wheels for each aircraft. Brage is in the final stages of checks, having completed high and low power ground runs to burn off the remainder of the 1010 inhibiting oil used during the time the aircraft sat at the AMARG facility in Marana, Arizona.
The second of the new aircraft, Ty, is currently undergoing the same process, and will likely depart approximately a week behind its sister aircraft.
At least one of the two new aircraft will fill the void left in the Coulson fleet after the loss of Tanker 134 during Australia’s bushfire season in January of this year.