GRASS VALLEY, Calif. June 1, 2017 – Practice makes perfect and the ground crew at the Grass Valley Air Attack Base (GVAAB) used today’s presence of Tanker 93 out of Chico to perfect their loading technique.

With fire season upon us, GVAAB is back in operation. The new pumping system and the beginning of the season are all the reasons the crews need to train and then train some more. On a “slow” day, a 4-person ground crew handles the tanker loading. On busy days, with a major wildfire burning in the base’s coverage area, ten ground crews are working simultaneously on three separate stations.

Crews practiced reloading throughout the afternoon, loading both water and retardant into the tanker’s 1,200 gallon tank.

The pilot dropped several loads of water near the runway, offering us a great opportunity to get some closeup photos of drops. Thanks to everyone at the GVAAB for welcoming us and above all, thank you for your work!