Hawaii Mars to Fly One Last time In August

Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 10th — the day the Hawaii Mars is slated to depart the Alberni Valley for the last time.

[Photo by Nigel Hitchman]
Aircorps Art Dec 2019


On March 30th 2024, after more than two years of negotiations and hard work by both the British Columbia Aviation Museum (BCAM) and Coulson Aviation, the BCAM announced the acquisition of the famous Martin Hawaii Mars flying boat. Operated by Coulson Aviation Group, the Hawaii Mars flew from 1961 to 2015 in North America fighting over 4,000 wildfires with its massive water-dropping ability that could end a huge blaze in a single pass.

martin mars brochure Page 1
[Photo via Coulson Aviation]

On June 14th, Wayne Coulson during a radio interview mentioned that August 10th might be the day the day the Hawaii Mars is slated to depart the Alberni Valley for the last time. However this date might shift slightly, as Coulson explained, because the BCAM is arranging for the Snowbirds to accompany the bomber for part of its final flight.

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A serene giant, the Hawaii Mars floats on Sproat Lake. The proud aerial fire-fighter set for museum display in Canada after more than five decades of faithful service. [Photo by Rob Frolic]

The Hawaii Mars will return to its Sproat Lake anchorage on July 2nd and will be seen and heard conducting readiness flights around town throughout July. Coulson mentioned that the 80-year-old aircraft will fly over many communities it has served over the past 50 years as it heads to its final destination at the BCAM in Victoria, British Columbia.

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Hawaii Mars entering the water to begin preparations its trip to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for EAA AirVenture 2016. [Photo by Rob Frolic]

“We’ve been working with Transport Canada, and they’ve been quite flexible. If we wanted to take it up to Campbell River and do a bit of a fly-around the island, I know the crew would love that. People could see it overhead and bid farewell,” he said. “We’d post the flight plan and times so people could schedule to watch it fly overhead at 500 feet. We’ll likely take it up to Campbell River, Courtenay, Nanaimo, and Duncan, flying up the coast over the communities.”

Coulson Aviation has been inundated with requests from people wanting to cruise the lake on the world’s largest flying boat for $5,000 a seat. They will also offer tours of the plane at a lower cost before it departs.

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A distant view of Hawaii Mars framed by the wing of sistership Philippine Mars (itself destined for the Pima Air and Space Museum in the U.S.) on Sproat Lake. [Photo by Rob Frolic]
The BC Aviation Museum is kindly asking for donations to help fund its Hawaii Mars water bomber rescue project. Costs include getting the aircraft from the donor to the museum, documenting the process for sharing, and finally setting up the Mars as a wonderful permanent display for the public to enjoy exploring up close and personal. The only other surviving Martin JRM of seven produced, Philippine Mars, is destined for future display at the Pima Air and Space museum in Tucson, AZ as previously reported by Vintage Aviation News.

To support the British Columbia Aviation Museum and help save the Mars, click HERE.

Moreno-Aguiari

Born in Milan, Italy, Moreno moved to the U.S. in 1999 to pursue a career as a commercial pilot. His aviation passion began early, inspired by his uncle, an F-104 Starfighter Crew Chief, and his father, a military traffic controller. Childhood adventures included camping outside military bases and watching planes at Aeroporto Linate. In 1999, he relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, to obtain his commercial pilot license, a move that became permanent. With 24 years in the U.S., he now flies full-time for a Part 91 business aviation company in Atlanta. He is actively involved with the Commemorative Air Force, the D-Day Squadron, and other aviation organizations. He enjoys life with his supportive wife and three wonderful children.

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About Moreno Aguiari 3336 Articles
Born in Milan, Italy, Moreno moved to the U.S. in 1999 to pursue a career as a commercial pilot. His aviation passion began early, inspired by his uncle, an F-104 Starfighter Crew Chief, and his father, a military traffic controller. Childhood adventures included camping outside military bases and watching planes at Aeroporto Linate. In 1999, he relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, to obtain his commercial pilot license, a move that became permanent. With 24 years in the U.S., he now flies full-time for a Part 91 business aviation company in Atlanta. He is actively involved with the Commemorative Air Force, the D-Day Squadron, and other aviation organizations. He enjoys life with his supportive wife and three wonderful children.

6 Comments

  1. Kermit Weeks,-did a “Tour”-thru this Aeroplane,–MAN!!-this thing is so complicated-& HUGE!!–good to see it’s still around,-not “RAZOR_BLADES”–(enough BEER cans-to go to MARS & back-were found in the hull !!-(according to Kermit)

  2. Would love to see and hear the Hawaii Mars flying, so any chance of a video for us to watch back here in the U.K ?

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