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  44 Votes (4.47 Average) and 10,822 Views  

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North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco (N409DF)


This aircraft is an OV10, but when I uploaded it I was unable to type in the "Aircraft Type" box and once it is uploaded it is too late to change. N409DF is used by Cal Fire as a "spotter aircraft" for fighting forest fires.

I had flown in from Chino with a friend and as we were walking around, we started talking to one of the firefighters and we were soon offered a tour of the facility. It was so cool getting to see all of these aircraft up close and take lots of photos of them.


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Mark SeePhoto Uploader
One of the "fun facts" we were told on our tour was that Cal Fire has their bases strategically placed so that they can get anywhere in the state within 20 minutes to start fighting fires. Thank you to all of the Cal Fire folks for the work they do and also a special thanks to those in Ramona, CA for showing my friend and I around their facility.
Gary Schenauer
Premier click, Mark. Five star shot. Congrats and Bravos. And I know exactly what you mean when you describe how awesome and friendly the Cal Fire folks are. I once stopped at their Paso Robles base and I received the same wonderful welcome and tour. Absolutely fantastic people. (Both thumbs up)
Greg Byington
That's a good looking Bronco and a very nice pic, Mark!
Uwe Zinke
perfect snap.
have snaped one 5 years ago in yuba county!
Mark SeePhoto Uploader
Gary, Greg and Uwe thank you all for your comments on this photo. If any of you would be interested I have a few more good shots of this one and the others that were on the ramp that I probably won't share online, but if you like I will send a couple of them via email. You can either comment back on this photo or send me an email at if your are interested :)

Uwe- all of your photos and especially your night photos are absolutely excellent... well done!
Mark SeePhoto Uploader
Completely forgot- Gary I just fired you the reply to your email :)
I never got to fly or ride in a Bronco, but for some strange reason I have always liked it's design. Thanks for the great pick, Mark.
Mark SeePhoto Uploader
Thank you for the compliment Sam. I have always liked the design too, I think it's because it is just so unique.

I also want to extend the same offer to you as I did with Gary, Greg and Uwe. I have other shots of the Cal Fire a/c that were on the ramp too that I won't be sharing online, but if you would like to see them I can send them to you in an email. A few comments up on this photo I left my email or you can just comment back here with your email and I will send them over if you are interested :)
Alan Brown
Great photo. It is interesting to see one that is not in camo colors.
Mark SeePhoto Uploader
Thank you very much for the comment Alan!
Dwight Hartje
Very nice capture! This aircraft looks like a weird P38.
Doug Cook
Why did they go to 2 tails, rather than single fuselage? Seems messy. Love the simple gear.
>>> Doug...

The twin tail booms on North American's OV-10 Bronco provided for a rear door to enable the loading and carry of troops or battlefield casualties on stretchers... or other items when needed in its COIN and FAC role.
billybob Hocutt
I flew in one of those back in 1979 when I was stationed in the Air Force with a close air support squadron using the OV-10.
Bill Turner
The OV10A was designed by North American Aviation in Columbus, Ohio. I believe it was called the "Bronco". I think it was used in Viet Nam as an observation platform. When I was a kid growing up on the east side of Columbus, I was best grade school friends with another kid whose dad was Chief Test Pilot for NA, named Ed Gillespie. I believe he was the test pilot for this plane when it first came out. Would have been mid- to late-1960's.
I didn't know that there were any of them still around. It sure is a nice picture of a pretty plane. Brings back fond childhood memories.
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