Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Coulson Flying Tankers brings Martin Mars to Long Beach

Back in June 1997, Coulson Flying Tankers brought Martin JRM-3 Mars (c/n 9267) C-FLYL "Hawaii" down to Long Beach and landed in the channel next to the Queen Mary.

At the time the company I believe was trying to win a fire fighting contract with either Los Angeles County or CAL Fire for the upcoming fire season and Long Beach Harbor was the best location for the aircraft to demonstrate her capabilities.

In the second photo, you can see Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina (c/n CV-560) N322FA "Scarlet" in the distance behind the Martin Mars operated by Airborne Fire Attack who was also performing demonstration flights for both fire agencies. The company was local with the PBY being based at John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA/KSNA).

Sadly the aircraft was written-off a short time later on August 1, 1997 on San Vicente Reservoir in San Diego County. The crew was performing a water scoop and while doing so the nose gear doors opened causing the aircraft to flip. Both pilots were injured but survived the accident.

(Photos by Michael Carter / Aero Pacific Images)

(Kodachrome K64 Slides)

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