Five years ago we showed the giant Mars waterbombers, and even got on board of one of them. But back then, we did not have a watercraft to get to the second plane parked on the lake.
But we can do it now!
The future of Mars bombers in cloudy... These relict monsters are too expensive for today's times. Soon after our tour five years ago the Province had cancelled the planes' firefighting contract.
The flights had stopped, the planes were towed to the shore seaplane base, inaccessible to public, and on-board tours were cancelled as well. Negotiations started with various air museums, but those were also well short of money for the unique machines...
But... Sometimes help comes in strange ways. The early and hot summer of 2015 brought the record wildfires all over Canada (see our Saskatchewan album). Ironically, one of the biggest and dangerous fires scorched the shores of Sproat Lake, a home base of Mars bombers!
When the news broadcasts filled with photos of the huge planes sitting idle with the cottages burning in the background, the Province was forced to rush a renewed contract, giving the bombers another lease on life.
It is still unclear whether the contract has any economical sense, or its it only silencing the community indignation... But for us the news meant one thing: the plane is back on the lake!
So, on our drive back from Port Hardy, we've set aside an extra day to turn to Port Alberni - to get on the lake in our kayak and paddle around The Mighty Mars!
Water in the lake turned out to be warm enough to get around without a kayak!
Second plane is still ashore, painted as US Navy - for some movie...
The future of unique "flying ships" is still uncertain. Who knows how long the memory of the "hot summer of 2015" will last... So we are glad we made it - in time!
Page 1: Mars Waterbombers
Стр. 1: Пожарные самолеты "Марс"