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Super Scoopers designed for combating wildfires in Montana



Missoula, Montana – You might have noticed some large red and yellow aircraft flying through the air or dragging across a lake during fire season.

The CL 415 EAF, also known as the “Super Scooper,” has been actively battling the Colt Fire northwest of Seeley Lake. It has the capacity to drop over 100,000 gallons of water daily into a wildfire.

They scoop the water using simply the momentum of the plane dragging through the water, and the bottom of the plane is purposefully fashioned like a boat for easier handling on the water.

It requires a very good pilot to fight flames with these planes, according to Tim Sheehy, CEO and one of Bridger Aerospace’s pilots.

“Flying floats or flying amphibious aircraft is a whole other segment of aviation where you’ve gotta be both an expert high-speed boat driver and an expert pilot,” he said.

Sheehy also offers some words of wisdom for lakegoers who might be having fun while the Super Scoopers are in action.

“If you’re a boater on the lakes out there and you see big yellow planes coming in, get out of the way. You know, when jet skis and boats out there want to have fun they think it’s fun to race us or be in front of us,” he told MTN News. “The reality is you might shut down that lake for water scooping and then we can’t fight that fire because we can’t risk potentially killing folks so if there’s aircrafts helicopters planes coming in scooping water grabbing water out of that water source get out of the way and give us the space to do our job because we’re trying to protect you and protect the environment.”

Sheely further advises that you leave a requested area as soon as you can because remaining there can hinder firefighting efforts.


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