Did You Know: Featuring The Air Tractor 802 (AT-802)

Did you know that the primary aircraft that Forest Protection uses for aerial firefighting and aerial treatment is the same?

The Air Tractor 802 (AT-802) is designed to handle both roles and Forest Protection has been employing AT-802s as its primary air tanker and application aircraft since the early 2000s. These were purchased over a three-year period to replace Forest Protection’s ageing fleet of TBM Avengers which were re-purposed US Navy and Marine Corps torpedo bombers. Post WW2, the Avengers were used for aerial forest fire fighting and aerial treatment at Forest Protection.  

AT-802: Aerial Forest Fire Fighting

Forest Protection’s ground crew fills the hopper of our AT-802s with fire retardant before they conduct aerial firefighting. When loaded into the aircraft, the retardant is mixed with water, which can hold up to 800 gallons and is released precisely by the pilot where required. The fire retardant released by AT-802s is designed to control and suppress a forest fire while wildland firefighters continue slowing or stopping it from the ground.  

AT-802: Aerial Treatment

For the Aerial Treatment Role, booms with Micronair atomizers are fitted to the aircraft, the hopper is rinsed of any remaining fire retardant or other product and the product used for treatment is loaded into the hopper. The amount of product loaded depends on the planned aerial mission and treatment area. Again, through the support of mission planning software, our Aerial Management Systems controls, and the expertise of our pilots, the product is dispensed at ultra-low volumes accurately on target and precisely where required.  

AT-802: Maintenance

Given the sensitivity of the customized booms and atomizer technology, only Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs) are capable of fitting them on or removing them from our aircraft. They are stored on special racks when not in use to ensure their structural integrity is maintained. Like any maintenance work done on our aircraft, installing and removing such equipment must be logged in maintenance records and stamped by an AME. 

Both aerial forest fire fighting and aerial treatments are complex operations that the Air Tractor 802 can handle. AT-802s are vital to Forest Protection Limited’s commitment to preserving and protecting the forest that sustain us. To learn more about our Aerial Management Systems, visit our website’s “Our Technology” section.