Amazing piloting skills in action

A tip o’ the hat to The Aviationist for bringing us this video of a Croatian Canadair CL-415 “water bomber” tackling a wildfire near Draga, Croatia, last year.  Note the astonishingly low altitude as the aircraft flies down the steep slope to drop its water cargo accurately.  It can’t be more than ten to twenty feet up at some points, given the unevenness of the ground.

I’ve started this video at 1m. 42sec. to concentrate on the down-slope flying.  Go to its YouTube page to view the first part, which I found less interesting.  Also, be sure to watch this in full-screen mode.

That’s amazingly precise flying – and very, very dangerous.  A single air pocket, or a gust of wind from the wrong direction at the wrong time, and that plane would touch the ground, with disastrous results.

The pilot(s) sure earned his/their flying pay that day!



  1. These guys are good, but I wish I had some films from '67 watching cropdusters fly flax, wheat, and corn fields bounded by high tension wires

  2. One of these water bombers recently crashed in Spain or Portugal. Fully loaded, it hit the ground just shy of the crest, killing the pilot and injuring the co-pilot. So, the approach to the top, on the other side of the hill, would seem to be just as hazardous as the fire side can be.

    Aircraft was destroyed, but didn't burn.

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