MISSOULA — Wildfire season officially begins April 28, and the U.S. Forest Service is heading into it with only three modern firefighting air tankers.
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A federal auditing agency on Wednesday upheld a challenge to a U.S. Forest Service contract for two next-generation air tankers to fight wildfires.
MISSOULA — U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell told a congressional subcommittee Wednesday that he’s considering overriding Neptune Aviation’s protest of next-generation air tanker contracts in order to have firefighting planes available for this summer.
MISSOULA — The U.S. Forest Service won’t cut any funds from its retardant-bombing fleet this fire season, but it will enter the fray with a lot of planes that aren’t certified to fight wildfires.
MISSOULA — Neptune Aviation’s three new BAe-146 fire-bomber jets were left sitting on the runway when the U.S. Forest Service announced contracts for seven “next-generation” firefighting aircraft Monday.
A Neptune Aviation BAe-146-200 air tanker.
MISSOULA -- The U.S. Forest Service is reopening bids for the next-generation of firefighting planes after two companies protested the initial award.
MISSOULA - Neptune Aviation won permission to put its second jet-powered retardant bomber into service Friday while it waits for a larger contract dispute to get settled.
MISSOULA — A protest of the U.S. Forest Service’s next-generation air tanker contract may leave three new jet-powered firefighting planes on the ground for the rest of the 2012 firefighting season.
MISSOULA — Red lightning will hit the blue skies over Montana next week as Neptune Aviation puts its latest firefighting air tanker into service.
Corey Hayes, with Signs Now in Missoula, applies striping to the newest addition to Neptune Aviation’s retardant bomber fleet last week. Tanker 41 is the second BAe-146 jet to join the fleet.
A Neptune Aviation air tanker, the BAe-146-200, makes a water drop while flushing fire retardant out of its tanks at Missoula International Airport in June 2012.
Missoula’s Neptune Aviation will add two more jet-powered retardant bombers to its fleet this summer under the U.S. Forest Service’s next-generation aircraft contracts announced Wednesday.
MISSOULA — More than half a billion dollars worth of new firefighting airplane contracts should come through later this month, as the U.S. Forest Service heads into one of the hottest summers on record.
A P2V Neptune air tanker drops retardant on a wildfire southwest of Elko, Nevada, in 2006. An air tanker dropping retardant on a remote wildfire along the Utah-Nevada line crashed Sunday. The pilots were flying a P2V air tanker that is owned by Neptune Aviation Services of Missoula.
Neptune Aviation’s fleet of P2V retardant bombers returned to the air Tuesday, after one of its planes crashed in Utah on Sunday, killing two pilots.
The crash scene of a heavy air tanker is seen from the air June 4 near Hamblin Valley, Utah. The P2V air tanker crashed June 3 as it dropped retardant on a 5,000-acre wildfire, killing pilots Todd Neal Tompkins and Ronnie Edwin Chambless, both of Boise, Idaho.
SALT LAKE CITY — Federal investigators said Tuesday mechanical failure forced an air tanker fighting a Nevada wildfire to make a crash landing, but they were still trying to determine what brought down another tanker of the same vintage in southern Utah, killing two pilots.
A P2V air tanker owned by Neptune Aviation Services of Missoula drops a load of retardant near the top of Emerald Hills Drive in 2006. A similar Neptune P2V air crashed in Utah on Sunday, killing both pilots.
A Neptune Aviation P2V tanker crashed Sunday afternoon while fighting a forest fire in Utah, killing both crew members.