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Pioneer In Firefighting Helicopter Gear From Ventura County Dies

Posted on Sunday, August 5, 2012 12:28am

A Ventura County man who helped create special water dropping tanks used by helicopters around the world to fight fires has died.

William Mensing passed away at his Santa Paula home after a brief illness.

In the 1960′s, Mensing operated a sheet metal business in the San Fernando Valley which made new parts for damaged airplanes, in helicopters. In 1970, the Los Angeles County Fire department asked Mensing to make some water dropping tanks for helicopters. Working with the department, he made a number of modifications which made the tanks more effective. His version of the tanks became standard equipment for firefighting helicopters, and are in use around the world.

In 1975, he moved the business to Santa Paula Airport, where he continued to run it until retiring a few years ago.

Mensing was 88 years old.

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