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Canadian fire-fighting plane stuns capital with aerobatics

Canadian fire-fighting plane stuns capital with aerobatics

F IRST Prime Minister Norodom Ranariddh, Princess Marie, a host of dignitaries and

several hundred air force personnel were treated to a high-tech aviation extravaganza

on Mar 19 when a Canadian-made, amphibious fire fighting plane demonstrated its capabilities

at the military side of Pochentong airport.

The 13,000 kg, $20 million, state-of-the-art plane undertook a mock fire fighting

sortee, scooping water from the Mekong and dumping a foam-laden snow storm on some

burning hay.

The exhibition closed with the pilots showing off some of the crafts capabilities

by roaring over the runway and engaging in semi-barrel rolls, almost-vertical 1500

foot ascents and pinweel turns, all of which left the attendant crowd with jaws agape.

A joint venture of Bombardier Inc and Canadair of Canada, the CL-415 marvel of modern

technology stopped in Cambodia as part of a 25 nation globetrotting promotional tour.

While the plane is primarily designed for fire-fighting, it can also be used for

mass transport, cargo and other general aviation purposes.

The RGC's Economic Advisor for Canadian Relations Tep Rithivit, who coordinated the

visit, envisions a time when the plane might be flying tourists from Phnom Penh to

Siem Reap with landings made on the Tonle Sap.

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