For many the CL-415 and lead plane that flew around Seeley Lake Friday, June 4 brought up memories of the air show from the Rice Ridge Fire. With no smoke in the air or active wildfires in the area, the CL-415 returned to Seeley Lake for pilot training and qualification.
The plane seen Friday is owned by Aero-Flite based in Spokane, Washington. According to CL-415 Chief Pilot Jason Robinson, the CL-415 was crewed by two pilots and one inspector pilot. A USFS Pilot Inspector was conducting an annual observation for Aero-Flite's Initial Attack Instructor Pilots.
The flight scenario was a simulated fire dispatch northwest of Seeley Lake. The aircraft filled two loads out of the lake. The pilots demonstrated proper air-to-air and air-to-ground communications as well as tactics on a simulated drop in a remote area and dropped both loads back into the lake.