USFS North American Rockwell 500-B Aero Commander
North American Rockwell
First Albuquerque Visit: 1968
The Aero Commander 500 is a light-twin piston-engine turboprop aircraft originally built by the Aero Design and Engineering Company in the late 1940s, renamed the Aero Commander Company in 1950, and a division of Rockwell International from 1965.
The US Forest Service (USFS), Southwestern Region 3, was assigned this North American Rockwell 500-B Aero Commander aircraft in January, 1968. It was used primarily as a lead-plane to guide borate-bomber aircraft when dropping chemical slurry on New Mexico and Western state forest fires. It was also used for para fire-fighter and cargo parachute drops. At other times it was a general utility aircraft for the USFS. The Aero Commander assigned to the USFS in New Mexico was number N142Z.
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