Mechanic Ed Welch is dismantling a dream, piece by piece. They are two BAE 146’s, former commuter planes that long time pilot Len Parker purchased with the goal of boosting Nevada’s firefighting arsenal.

That was the dream that Parker says turned into a nightmare of bureaucratic red tape.

“Joe, more than any other thing we became so frustrated with the Forest Service and the way they did things,” Parker told us in an interview at the Minden Airport where the planes are parked.

Parker’s company Minden Air Corporatio even flew test missions which were videotaped and are now posted on You Tube. The planes dropped water and retardant on specific targets to test their accuracy. They were close to getting FAA approval but according to Parker the U.S. Forest Service simply made the business of owning and operating air tankers too difficult at least for him.

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