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Macedonian AT-802A Fire Boss’s travel to Spain for annual inspections

One year after their delivery to the Republic of Macedonia, two Air Tractor AT-802A “Fire Boss” amphibious fire-fighting planes from Macedonia’s Protection and Rescue Directorate returned to Spain for a scheduled annual maintenance inspection by “Avialsa T-35 S.L.”, a Valencia-based Part 145 maintenance organization that specializes in Air Tractor, Dromader and Cessna aircraft maintenance.
The 2.000-km ferry flight started October 28 from Skopje’s Alexander the Great International Airport and lasted three days due to foul weather. The annual maintenance inspection of the planes started shortly after their arrival at Valencia.
The inspections were successfully finished November 24, after which both planes returned to Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle International Airport in Macedonia December 19, 2010. Macedonia is the latest Avialsa AT-802 customer – Croatia, Cyprus, Montenegro and other operators have been using the company for high-quality services for many years.
The planes were delivered to the Protection and Rescue Directorate of Macedonia November 8, 2009 under a $10.3 million USD purchase contract that Protection and Rescue Directorate signed with the Spanish company, “Air Tractor Europe S.L.” March 5, 2009.
Under that contract, Macedonia purchased three Air Tractor AT-802A “Fire Boss” single-seat planes, related aircraft equipment, spare parts and training for pilots, engineers and mechanics. The third Macedonian AT-802A “Fire Boss” was delivered to Macedonia on March 1, 2010 and is scheduled for its annual inspection by “Avialsa T-35 S.L.” during early 2011.
The Macedonian AT-802A “Fire Boss” fleet serves with the 2009-established aviation unit of the Protection and Rescue Directorate and is using Skopje’s Alexander the Great International Airport as its home base. Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle International Airport located southwest of Macedonia is used as an alternate and forward-operating base during summer seasons.
The summer of 2010 was the first firefighting season for Macedonia’s AT-802A Fire Boss fleet. During August, the three Macedonian firefighting planes performed 142 wildfire-extinguishing flights for a total of 40 flight hours.
While the planes are primarily intended for use in Macedonia, they are also available on request to countries in need of their firefighting capabilities, especially to the Balkan states of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.

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