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Martin Mars to sit out 2014 fire season

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Wildfire season has started in BC, but a familiar player in the firefighting game is going to sit this season out.

Port Alberni-based Coulson Aviation, which flies the famous Martin Mars water bomber, didn’t get a provincial contract this year.

Wayne Coulson says that means the “Hawaii Mars” will stay grounded while company decides whether to keep it in the fleet.  He says there have been offers, but they want to be pretty selective about where it goes if they do decide to sell.

For the next few months Coulson will focus on getting their other Martin Mars ready for its trip to a museum in Florida as part of a deal that’s been in the works for the past few years.

Coulson says they’re hoping to have both planes in the air together for some kind of celebration and fly-past before then, perhaps as part of filming for a TV segment.

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He also says the company isn’t expecting a financial hit from not getting a contract this fire season, pointing out that operating the Mars as a water bomber was “revenue neutral”.

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