Photos © Ruud Leeuw

USA Southwest 2008

Cal Fire Airtankers at Hemet-Ryan,CA

Tanker 71 (N432DF), a temporary replacement, is leaving KHMT while Tanker 93 is standby.

On 14May08 my wife and I visited Hemet-Ryan Airport (KHMT).
It is always a pleasure to visit these airtanker guys, because they are friendly and hospitable (provided they are not on alert of course).
The CDF people at Hemet-Ryan proved to be no exception and Erik showed me around, while my wife took a book in the shade of a tree: life can be perfect!

CDF Tanker 93 is being pulled to its place in the ramp line up.

N450DF c/n 228C is a Grumman Tracker converted to turbine-power by Marsh Aviation, designated S-2F3AT 'Firecat' (don't know if that is an official name..) and this one was manufactured/converted in 2005 (registered to Marsh Aviation on 10Oct03).
It was formerly flown by the US Navy with serial 152341.


CDF is now Cal Fire


Response ready


Pretty line up

N437DF (c/n 123C) was registered as S-2F3AT on 01Feb2000 to Marsh Aviation with serial 149848. It had been reported undergoing conversion at Mesa-Falcon Field,AZ in 2000.

Grumman S-2 Tracker on WIKIPEDIA

N437DF / T73 CDF
Hot Load!


N435DF / T72 CDF
Tanker 72 N435DF, S-2T (S-2F3AT), registered to Marsh Aviation 01Feb2000
C/n 329C, ex/ USN 153573
Airtanker 72 CDF



North American OV-10A Bronco, N429DF registered 04Feb99 for USDA Forest Service FEPP
OV-10 Bronco
CDF Insignia



Grumman S-2A Tracker (G-89/S-2F-1), rather crudely painted as 'Tanker 70'

4146 / 70 (cn 654), on display in front of the CDF base. This is ex Japanese Navy 4146 (ex US Navy 136745) painted up as a CDF aircraft. This aircraft was however never converted to a firefighter, nor did it receive a US civil registration.... [Source].
Hemet-Ryan airfield on



Thanks to Erik for showing me around!

Airtanker identifcation LIST on this website

The Road Goes On... back to US Southwest 2008

Reactions / comments welcomed.