To operate the DC-10, it requires three trained individuals: two pilots and one flight engineer. Meet Gage Lowery, a flight engineer for @10_tanker. Gage started flying at 22 years old and completed 20 years in the Air Force as a F4 jet engine mechanic, flight engineer, instructor, and flight examiner on a C-141B and KC-10A flying low level and combat missions. After the military, he flew DC-10-10’s and DC-10-30’s commercially for 12 years before working for 10 Tanker. Given all of his experience over the years, he has racked up over 15,000 hours of flying and just completed his 7th year with 10 Tanker.
He credits his parents for giving him a strong work ethic, and is grateful for his wife and daughters for helping him become a more understanding and better individual. He has gained immeasurable experience from those who have trained him and feels he is always learning, especially in aerial firefighting. “This job is rewarding because when I go to work, I get to know I am helping save someone’s home, property, and possibly their lives.”
His advice for those interested in aerial firefighting is to gain as much experience as possible, and particularly different types of flying. “You have to be able to self-evaluate yourself (the good and the bad) and it is like nothing you’ve ever done before. You will absolutely love it- just like me!”