Hail damage, lack of FAA certification keep SuperTanker grounded during Colorado fires

Our community knows all too well the devastation a wildfire can create. But this massive plane now stationed at the Colorado Springs Airport is capable of saving homes and most importantly lives./ Taylor Bishop -- FOX21 News
FOX21 News file photo

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — When it made its debut over the skies of Colorado Springs in May, the Global SuperTanker was billed as the world’s largest and fastest firefighting tanker. But now, as three major wildfires burn across Colorado, the plane is grounded due to hail damage and a lack of FAA certification.

Global SuperTanker LLC program director Bob Soelberg said it could take two or three more weeks for the plane to be certified by the FAA. Once it’s certified, it will be able to fly over federal, state, and private lands.

Soelberg also said the plane, which is stationed at the Colorado Springs Airport, was damaged in a hailstorm last week. After the storm, it was taken to an air base near Tucson for repairs. There’s no word on when it will return to Colorado Springs.

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