Get the Martin Mars flying for firefighting again

Get the Martin Mars flying for firefighting again

It’s a far better option because more water is spread quickly

Once again we are experiencing another scorching dry fire season.

There are some massive forest fires again threatening forests, communities, families and wildlife. As of the last couple of years, the government is not using all the tools in the shed.

I, and many, feel there should be made some awareness of the situation. Such a blatant waste of resources because of politics and false propaganda that the Martin Mars has not been given a contract to assist in fires.

It is not too old, has been certified by NASA and is in far better shape than most airliners now. Less hours than a 10-year-old 737. Drop 7,000 gallons of water/thermogel covering four acres in one drop at six turns per hour. That’s 42,000 gallons per hour. Thirty seconds to fill tanks from 133 lakes in B.C. alone, plus the ocean.

Cost per hour is better than all the little unreliable spitting planes and helicopters put together and the water will not evaporate before hitting fire like the piddly quantities the spitters attempt to drop.

It does no harm to buildings. personnel on the ground or spread fire further when dropping payload like some propaganda out there. It has a proven record of very successful fire suppression. Updated with the most modern avionics, several new engines in crates available as well as parts and they can manufacture their own parts.

Coulson Aviation Martin Mars is just sitting there in Port Alberni underused and undercontracted, what a shame.

It would cost more in the long run not to use. Our government seems to be giving preferential treatment and contracts to Conair. I, and many others, feel we should make some noise before it’s too late. Coulson can only keep up the certifications and worthiness so long. They are already offering up our heritage for sale.

Last year, owner Wayne Coulson stated if he was contacted and contracted he could have the plane ready in days, but no contract was awarded from the head-in-the-sand bunch.

It’s a perfectly viable tool in the shed to add to the firefighting arsenal.

Fire has not changed its characteristics in the last few decades and the Mars has proven effective for many decades.

There are a few Facebook and support groups out there who are appalled at the lack of action from the government and/or fire service.

I have personally seen the effectiveness throughout my 60-plus years on Vancouver Island. Please consider this for our future and lives.

Dave Hilton

Chemainus