The spectacular low flight of a firefighting plane as it carried out a series of refilling manoeuvres over the sea has surprised many Torreviejaans who were enjoying their stroll along the beach on Wednesday morning.
The Canadair CL-215 (Scooper) made several approaches to the sea, just a few metres from the shore to refill the water in its tanks. After making several passes across the south of Torrevieja it flew across Los Náufragos beach, from the Poniente dam to San Roque.
The Provincial Fire Fighting Consortium said that there was no active alert for forest fires and that the crew was just carrying out a series of training exercises which they do on a regular basis. Earlier in the morning the aircraft was seen carrying out similar manoeuvres just off La Mata.
The drills by an aircraft from 43 Group of the Spanish Air Force (Ejercito del Aire), usually located at Madrid-Torrejón Air Base, certainly excited many onlookers who could be seen using their mobile phones to record the sequence.
The Canadair CL-215 (Scooper) was the first model in a series of firefighting flying boat amphibious aircraft built by Canadair and later Bombardier. The CL-215 is a twin-engine, high-wing aircraft designed to operate well at low speeds and in high gust-loading environments, as are found over forest fires. Spain currently operates 14 of the Canadair CL-215 from Madrid.