Bill Garrison flew in Tanker 154 from Arizona to the Hutchinson Regional Airport Tuesday evening. Garrison purchased the airplane in Mesa, Arizona last winter at an auction by Marsh Aviation who did some conversions on the plane. Garrison said that he and his crew have been preparing the plane to fly to Kansas since last December. Garrison will use this tanker in conjunction with Tanker 95, which is currently the only air tanker in Kansas. Garrison has partnered with the Kansas Forest Service in helping to put out wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Garrison said he hopes to have Tanker 154 in service by this fall.
"Tanker 95 is currently contracted through the Kansas Forest Service. Garrison's services have been utilized on large wildfires in Reno County since 2017 using smaller planes, then Tanker 95 in 2020," said Adam Weishaar, Reno County Emergency Management Director. "This second air tanker will be a valuable asset to Reno County and the state of Kansas to assist with aerial firefighting. We are very fortunate to have air tankers stationed and available in Reno County."
To see a video of Garrison flight into Hutchinson, go to https://youtu.be/ziqIEmeLis8