Certification issues have delayed the entry into service of a fire fighting version of the BAe 146. Minden Air is converting a former Air Wisconsin BAe 146-200 to the fire fighting role with the assistance of BAE Systems. They had hoped to have the new air tanker in service in time for this summer’s fire season, a schedule made all the more pressing by the forced retirement of most of the US heavy air tanker fleet over safety concerns. It now appears that the 146 air tanker will not be ready until the 2006 fire season. Part of the delay is due to engineering issues, but most is due to certification issues. An air tanker version of the BAe 146 would have to be certified by both the FAA and the US Forest Service.
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