This is a follow-up to my previous post about this amazing water scooper used for fires. Donnie Mac, WA-DNR pilot of the N10122, gave me a tour of this lovely plane while at rest on standby at the airport in Dallesport, WA. Thanks Donnie!
I wish I could remember all the details of the amazing information he gave me, and I should’ve written it down or tape recorded it. There are very few of these retrofitted scooper airplanes available, and just this summer their numbering system is changing to the 200 series on the tail. This will match up with the same type of plane in Canada who also uses the 200 series. In my original post we saw 802 on the tail, that has been changed to 205.
I got to climb up on the wing and check out the cockpit and water storage area. The pilot can scoop water up from a lake or river through an intake pipe which drops down at the bottom of the floats. He can also fill via hose into these upper containers.
This is where the water is released, the Bomb bay door so to speak. Instruments can control the rate of water drop, how much is dropped in a certain area.
did you know that this plane was originally designed as a crop duster?
I found that very fascinating.
Here is a website link from Air Tractor, and I quote:
“When equipped with amphibious floats installed by Wipaire, the AT-802F becomes the Fire Boss scooper air tanker, able to land on and scoop water from nearby lakes, rivers and reservoirs. From a nearby water source, the 802F Fire Boss can deliver up to 14,000 gallons per hour for extended attack or ground support. An unimproved runway or water-side ramp and fuel are all it needs to be a highly cost-effective forward attack air tanker.”
These are images that are part of my heart, some of my favorites to bring back around. Most of these are available on my Smugmug site, they are often hanging in my gallery shows, and look gorgeous on Metal prints, Thinwraps, Gallery wrapped Canvas, or Prints
Erica is at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland with her mom and dad. This morning she was more spunky, gave her mom a hard time (Believe me that’s a good thing). Erica has found some relief from the pain and other problems, is able to move her legs more easily.
April 1,2019 @ 10:35 pm
Many people, family and close friends, came and went all day on Monday. Folks from many faiths and cultures were praying and singing for Erica. Friends from school and the neighborhood were making her laugh, and vice versa, or crying with her mom. She just now headed out on the ambulance to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, with her mom following. They’re going to try to help her get better control of the pain and other problems, and it’s in Gods hands next. He knows the bigger picture, whether it’s better to take Erica back to heaven so she’s out of pain, or bring her a miracle and heal her. I was totally humbled by how many different people came; different colors , languages, cultures, and ages but all with the same prayers from the heart. This girl not quite 19 yet has touched so many hearts in her short life. She was always looking out for other people, especially those who would forget to take care of themselves. Even today, she spoke very few words and two words were to remind someone else to eat.
Erica will be 19 on April 5.
There were some powerful prayers spoken or sung on Monday and in at least five different languages. Whether it be for a miracle healing or for comfort and ease of passing, the prayers were all from the heart.
There are 3 ways people can help by donating.
1. If you live anywhere near an Umpqua Bank, go in and tell them you want to donate to an account called “Stronger than Cancer” for you are using a check, make it out to Elsa Spence. Or, mail a check to Elsa for “Stronger than Cancer”.
“Stronger than Cancer”
Donations For Erica Kuneki
PO Box 67
White Salmon, WA
Bank Located at 73 NE Estes St in White Salmon
2. Anyone that wanted to send a personal card and/or donation to Elsa Spence and her daughter Erica Kuneki (she is 18 by the way, and turns 19 April 5). Elsa also just had a birthday in late March.
Send it to :
Po Box 778
Bingen, WA 98605
Updated. Erica Kuneki story as of March 30,2019
Erica has kept up her spirits as things progress but the cancer has kept marching on relentlessly. She has been able to stay home, with her mother taking care of her. [Read The original story and previous updates down below this update]
Elsa also continues to work as a caregiver part time with Senior Services, but of course her main priority is her daughter, who is literally fighting for her life. They can still use your help and support to help cover expenses not covered by insurance.
Elsa and Erica say THANK YOU to everyone who has helped in so many different ways. They are so incredibly grateful. This is an independent gal who’s used to doing everything herself for her and her family. Having so much community support is such a blessing right now.
Erica is not fond of having her picture taken at this time. However Elsa and I took this picture last week of us two.
Darlisa Black and Elsa Spence March 2019
Updated January 10,2019
The Story: “Stronger than Cancer”. Erica Kuneki, a young Native American girl currently 18 years old, is fighting Osteosarcoma, bone cancer. A few months ago when it seemed like the cancer was doing better, it jumped to soft tissue and new tumors showed up. More rounds of chemo and radiation nearly killed her, and she took a long rest from treatment. Recently, however, inflammation showed up in her bones again and she became very ill. They opted to do a weeks worth of radiation therapy. Now, As of the fourth day of radiation she started feeling quite a bit better so we are feeling hopeful again. In fact, she sounded remarkably energetic over the phone tonight, laughing at a funny movie.
Unfortunately, while at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at OHSU in Portland this week, someone broke into Elsa Spence’s car in the parking garage. The girls had just gotten there and were already stressed and accidentally left Erica’s wallet in the car. She had all her Christmas gift money in the wallet, so it was a mighty big blow emotionally.
Erica had saved up her money for a trip to New Jersey that will be provided by the Make a Wish Foundation. She wanted to be able to buy souvenirs or special treats. All of her money was taken and the wallet was left laying somewhere on hospital grounds. Someone turned it in to the security.
I keep dreaming that someone with a little extra money would help sponsor this local Native American girl, whose family lived in the valley for many generations fishing on the river. While theoretically the tribe helps people in situations like this, the truth is people this far away from the reservation often slip through the cracks.
DONATIONS: There are now several options for helping financially. See above under the new update for links and addresses
Or if you see them around town feel free to say hello and tell them you have been following their story on here! Maybe slip Elsa a few $$ for gas.
It takes a whole Village to raise a Child. We are asking for your help with a particular child/ young woman and her family’s needs. Be the Village 😉 😀 A huge thank you to various people who have helped in the past with donations
Click on the image below to go to the original post about Erica for full updates and new photos.
A few recent shots to share with you from last weekend. This first one of the helicopter dipping in the turtle pond is during the recent Memaloose #2 Fire on the Oregon hills along the Columbia River between Mosier and Rowena. The fire was in mop up the last few days which has been a slow process because of the steep terrain and cliffs. Evacuations have all been dropped and the fire was knocked down.
By the way there’s no smoke in the picture because I’m looking south away from the fire.
I started out the morning on top of the world. At least that was the name of the aid station along the route of marathon set up by the Columbia Gorge running club. I had the pleasure of running radio communications at aid station two. My view included a glimpse to the north of Underwood Mountain in Washington state.
The Marathon started here:
On my way up the hill to my station it was misting/raining lately which was so refreshing after a long dry spell. Did not amount to much but it sure felt good. It also provided me with a rainbow. A great start to a beautiful day.
Here comes one of the runners through the aid station.
The end of the 50k
it really was the top of the world, and this is even on the way back down
This next image was taken After the race, Clear across the valley. Looking across the Hood River Valley towards the west and Binn Hill from Fir hill area on the east side of Hood River Valley.
Driving up over the hills and down the valleys to Mosier and upstate road I stopped and took the first photo of the helicopter picking up water. Along the way I stopped to take the photo of the tree because it grabbed my attention.
Here was the view of the backside of Memaloose #2 fire, although this iPhone shot doesn’t capture much. To the far right of the red circle there is smoke and a burned area that has come up over the hill from the north. Fortunately it did not spread much more than this.
After I watch the helicopter I drove back down to the freeway and up to the Dalles and back down to the Lyle rest area where I took a few more photos.
I visited the Klickitat River which is very murky from the glacial run off.
I even found a place to park out of the way somewhere and slept in my car because I knew I was too tired to drive home.
The next morning I stopped and grabbed a couple more shots from the Lyle rest area, happy to see that the fire across the river had calmed down considerably
I chatted with some tourists at the rest area and gave them plenty of information on my way to work at the Mt. Adams Chamber visitor center in White Salmon, Washington. Just doing my job!
To the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, esp. Earl Thomas the third:
“I Am Erica Kuneki:
I am Stronger than Cancer! I Will Survive!
Will you go to Prom with me on June 2, 2018 at 8:00 PM?
Columbia High School, White Salmon, Washington. Please?”
Erica just turned 18. She also just had a total knee replacement as a result of bone cancer. She is a fighter, and her motto has become “Stronger than Cancer”.
She also has a dream, for a gift of time from the Seahawks. Senior prom is June 2 and she has no date. Can you help us reach out to Earl Thomas and the other Seahawks to see if any of them could help by escorting Erica to her prom?
Also Erica and her mom Elsa Spence could really use some financial assistance. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to
“Stronger than Cancer”
Donations For Erica Kuneki
PO Box 67
White Salmon, WA
The full story of Erica Kuneki and her battle with Cancer is posted on my blog along with a lot more pictures.
I’m sure you figured out by now that I’m fascinated by clouds, and how they change so quickly sometimes. These clouds in Glenwood yesterday had their own unique metamorphosis during the evening hours. I will be posting another series as well in a separate post.
While not entirely spring in Trout Lake, down the hill in Husum to White Salmon area flowers are popping. Here the upper valley we still have little spots of snow. However yesterday I woke up to the sound of birds singing loudly, birds I had not been hearing yet this year. That’s a good sign! How is spring progressing in your area?
Here are a few images from yesterday in the lower White Salmon River Valley.