Dash 8-400AT airtanker finally gets FAA approval

Aero-Flite, one of USA’s major aerial firefighting services announced on 3 May 2023 that the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) on the Dash 8-400AT airtanker. The company, with its homebase in Spokane(WA), has showed an ongoing interest in the US certification of the airtanker version of the Dash-8 airliner.

Aero-Flite, currently equipped with AVRO RJ-85 and Canadair CL-415 airtankers, wants the type to expand their fleet. With the new STC, Aero-Flite is likely to take up two Dash 8-400ATs in its fleet before the end of the year. This approval allows US registered Dash 8-400ATs to fly aerial firefighting missions across all states.

But the Aero-Flite Dashes will be operating under a long-term, multiyear contract with the state of Washington. In addition, the airtankers will be available for operation through all US agencies, including the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and individual state authorities.

For a number of years now, Canadian firefighting company Conair and the French Securité Civile have already been using firefighting versions of the Dash-8. One can only wonder why it took the FAA so long to decide….

Photo: Aero-Flite

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