Get nervous flying? Then perhaps you should not ask to sit in the cockpit while this precision DC-10 pilot drops fire retardant on a California wildfire.

And perhaps you should not even look at this clip from imgur when you settle in for your next long-haul flight with on-board Wi-Fi.

Over the weekend about 2000 California residents were evacuated from the Stevenson Ranch area of the Santa Clarita Valley north of Los Angeles when runaway brush fires threatened their homes. They were later allowed back home after most of the danger from the fires had been contained.

The perimeter of the fire was contained by the airborne cavalry of 10 Tanker Air Carrier, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with one of the firm's tankers dropping phos-check fire retardant on the blaze that had scorched at least 300 hectares of bush.


About 1200 firefighters - assisted by four helicopters also dropping flame retardant - battled the blaze and worked to create a barrier around the threatened homes.

10 Tanker Air Carrier's DC-10 pilots are capable of making up to four consecutive drops on one tank, painting a line of fire retardant ahead of the flames to bring a wildfire to heel.

The DC-10 Air Tanker is a modified widebody three-engined jet which has been in service as an aerial firefighting unit since 2006.

The turbofan-powered aircraft operated by 10 Tanker Air Carrier are converted McDonnell Douglas DC-10 airliners that carry up to 45,000 litres of water or fire retardant in an exterior, belly-mounted tank, the contents of which can be released in eight seconds.

The firm began researching the development of Next Generation air tankers in 2002.

After two years of research into aerial firefighting requirements and future direction, they selected the DC-10 for development, gaining a Supplemental Type Certificate from the FAA allowing modifications of DC-10 aircraft for the aerial dispersement of liquids in 2006.

The company has now flown hundreds of fire missions in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, South Dakota, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Wyoming as well as Alberta, Canada and Australia.