Largest firefighting plane may be sold for COVID-19 response

FILE - In this May 5, 2016, file photo, a Boeing 747-400 Global SuperTanker drops half a load of its 19,400-gallon capacity during a ceremony at Colorado Springs, Colo. The world’s largest firefighting plane has been shut down just as Western states prepare for a wildfire season that fire officials fear could be worse than the average year. Tara Lee, a spokeswoman for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, said via email Friday, April 23, 2021, that the state’s Department of Natural Resources was alerted to the shutdown of the worlds’ largest firefighting plane called the Global SuperTanker.(Christian Murdock/The Gazette via AP, File)

DENVER (AP) — As Western states prepare for this year’s wildfire season, the world’s largest firefighting plane has been grounded.

But the plane could be converted to help fight against another crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alterna Capital Partners LLC has funded the plane’s operations since 2016 and decided to ground the SuperTanker on April 19.

Roger Miller, managing director at the investment firm, says they have received several offers to buy it as a freight carrier aircraft because of the need for delivering personal protective equipment and vaccines.

The firm says it’s open to selling it to potential investors who want to continue the SuperTanker for wildfire response.

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