43 minutes ago • Aaron Orlowski Journal staff
A C-130 plane fighting the White Draw fire "went down" Sunday night, according to the Fall River Sheriff's Office.
A helicopter was able to land near the plane and took three people to Custer to be transported by ambulance to Rapid City Regional Hospital for further medical treatment.
I was out in western SD in MARCH and they were already having grass fires. It is now very hot and dry and I can only imagine what they are fighting now. Fall River County is the southwestern corner of the state of South Dakota.
135mech From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 356 posts, RR: 2 Reply 4, posted (10 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5329 times:
Quoting acidradio (Thread starter): I was out in western SD in MARCH and they were already having grass fires. It is now very hot and dry and I can only imagine what they are fighting now. Fall River County is the southwestern corner of the state of South Dakota.
I live in Rapid City, it's really sad this year with all of the fires, even west of Bismarck, ND they were having the fires in the fields etc... We did NOT have an actual winter this season, (nothing close to normal amounts of snow/rain) and it's been horrible with fire risks... Colorado was hurting as well, I went over Raton Pass (Colorado/NM border) in January and it was dry and that scared me for this summer... God be with thier families!
rfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 6140 posts, RR: 25 Reply 5, posted (10 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5291 times:
I get dozens of DOD press release e-mails daily - from one that I received today
Quote: Firefighting C-130s Placed on Operational Hold After Crash
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., July 2, 2012 - In what officials describe as "a prudent measure," all military C-130 aircraft equipped with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System have been placed on operational hold after one of the aircraft crashed yesterday.
A MAFFS-equipped C-130 from the North Carolina Air National Guard's 145th Airlift Wing crashed while battling a fire in southwestern South Dakota at about 6:30 p.m. Mountain time yesterday, officials said.
"There were casualties, and our thoughts and prayers go out to those who were injured and those who lost their lives," U.S. Northern Command officials said in a written statement today. "The family members of these airmen are especially on our minds. We will provide further details on the status of the casualties soon."
The cause of the crash has not been determined, and the incident is under investigation, officials said. At the time of the crash, the crew was fighting the White Draw Fire near Edgemont, S.D.
Yesterday's crash was the first in the 40-year history of the MAFFS program, a joint Defense Department and U.S. Forest Service program that provides additional aerial firefighting resources when commercial and private air tankers are no longer able to meet the Forest Service's needs. MAFFS is a self-contained aerial firefighting system owned by the Forest Service that can discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than five seconds, covering an area a quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide.
The MAFFS-equipped fleet is spending today getting the crews together to "reflect, reset and review," said Air Force Col. Jerry Champlin, 153rd Air Expeditionary Group commander. "We all need to make sure our crews and planes will be ready to re-engage in the mission safely."
U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said the agency is deeply saddened by this tragic incident. "The agency fully supports the decision by the military to stand down its MAFFS operation to address the needs of personnel and families and ensure the safety of the mission when it resumes," he said. "The agency will continue to allocate available firefighting assets according to the prioritization of incidents."
It is not known when the MAFFS aircraft will resume operations, officials said.
"The USFS said there were two survivors and four fatalities. Yesterday Black Hills FOX News reported that the two survivors were picked up by helicopter from the crash site and flown to the Custer airport."
These crews are working hard as private air crews are tasked well beyond what we'd see during a normal fire year. A sad day for MAFFS crews for sure as this may be the first record noted of a military MAFFS air tanker crashing.
rfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 6140 posts, RR: 25 Reply 13, posted (10 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4680 times:
C-130s will return to fire fighting later today
Quote: C-130 Crews Resume Firefighting Operations
From a U.S. Northern Command News Release
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., July 3, 2012 – The military’s C-130 Modular Airborne Fire-Fighting System fleet will resume operations today to support the National Interagency Fire Center and its firefighters battling wildfires in several states, U.S. Northern Command officials said.
Operational flying was suspended yesterday to review flying and safety procedures after the July 1 crash of a MAFFS C-130 while fighting South Dakota's White Draw Fire. An official investigation into the crash is ongoing.
canoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2657 posts, RR: 12 Reply 15, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4530 times:
Quoting L-188 (Reply 14): Still i need to throw a few stones at USFS. Prior to the great 2003 tanker culling they had 33 heavy air tankers under contract. Bow there are nine.
And iMHO they are getting overworked
There was a reason they culled the tanker fleet down in 2004. A significant portion of the heavy air tankers were over 50 years old. The fire season before that they'd lost a C-130A and a PBY the year before that. Both due to fatigue cracks. The C-130 crash was even caught on camera when the wing folded back.
I'm as for the USFS having a decent number of contract air tankers as the next guy that has worked fires or lives in fire country, but the issue is more complex and partially involves the economics of having a fleet of privately operated, modern air tankers that only fly when there are forest fires burning.
I don't disagree that they are being overworked. They are.
canoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2657 posts, RR: 12 Reply 16, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4421 times:
Another thing about USFS firefighting efforts. State and Federal fire services pay for land based crews all fire season long. Sure there are some private crews off reservations paid for by the government, but I think it's ridiculous that the air effort is nearly entirely reliant on WW2 era aircraft run by private air crews/companies. If the USFS would make it easier to certify more modern aircraft for this kind of work at a reasonable price, this wouldn't be a problem. Instead we have planes that are piston driven, paid for, and old doing this work...for the most part.
L-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29349 posts, RR: 62 Reply 17, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4409 times:
Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 15): The fire season before that they'd lost a C-130A and a PBY the year before that.
Actually it was a PB4Y. And the C-130 If I recall correctly used a different stiffer wing then later models. But those aircraft where no younger then the P2V's and S-2's that are currently used, or the CV-580 that the State of Alaska charters in from Conair in Canada. To tell you the truth the P-3 conversion was my first choice for a replacement tanker but because of some congressional hanky-panky in transfering those frames to civilian ownership that program got killed.
Too bad, plenty of frames in the desert and a nice short thick wing.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
rfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 6140 posts, RR: 25 Reply 18, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4234 times:
Identies of the crewmen
Quote: NC Guard Identifies Airmen Killed in C-130 Crash
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 3, 2012 - North Carolina Air National Guard officials today released the names of four crew members killed when their C-130 cargo plane equipped with the Modular Airborne Fire-Fighting System crashed July 1 as they fought South Dakota's White Draw Fire.
Two other crew members were seriously injured and remain hospitalized, and their names will not be released, officials said.
"Words can't express how much we feel the loss of these airmen," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Tony McMillan, commander of the 145th Airlift Wing. "Our prayers are with their families, as well as our injured brothers as they recover."
Air Force Lt. Col. Paul Mikael, Air Force Maj. Joseph McCormick, Air Force Maj. Ryan David, and Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Robert Cannon died in the crash.
An investigation is under way to determine the cause of the crash.
The crew and its aircraft, along with two other 145th Airlift Wing C-130s and three dozen airmen had flown from Charlotte, N.C., to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., June 30 to assist wildfire fighting efforts in the Rocky Mountain region.
At a news conference at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, today, where the 145th Airlift Wing is based, the North Carolina Air National Guard's state public affairs officer said the wing's two remaining MAFFS-equipped C-130 aircraft are scheduled to return home.
"The MAFFS operations are ongoing," Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Carver said. "Our aircraft are scheduled to come back home. It's a small community that does the MAFFS mission, a community within the Air Guard community, so these people all knew each other very well, and they're going through a tough time."
Carver praised the service of the fallen airmen and noted their names would be added to a memorial at the unit's headquarters.
"Our people come here out of a sense of patriotism and out of a sense of wanting to be public servants," Carver said. "They enjoy the excitement of doing this kind of work. They were [ready] to go on Saturday ... when they left."
"You can't say enough about people who are willing to go in harm's way when we need it as Americans," he said.
Spacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2735 posts, RR: 1 Reply 19, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4209 times:
What ever happened to Aerounion and the P-3s?
Before the MAFFS were called in here, the private tankers were all Canadian CV-580s and some AirTractor SEATs, with a K-max and Erickson CH-54 working the fire lines. I counted at least 5 CV-580s from Conair and Saskatchewan.
Next year more BAE-146s should be coming online, and we'll see the introduction of the RJ-85 and MD-87 into the fleets. I think the Neptunes have done a good job, but their time has come.
Still think a Dash-8 would do a hell of a job too.
Quoting L-188 (Reply 17): To tell you the truth the P-3 conversion was my first choice for a replacement tanker but because of some congressional hanky-panky in transfering those frames to civilian ownership that program got killed.
Galaxy5007 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 586 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (10 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4159 times:
Possible aircraft serial correction; I posted earlier that the aircraft involved was 93-1563, however, the jet was picked up by SBS as RCH561 on the 3rd. The other 93 model that was there was 93-1458, which was last shown in Kansas going westbound as EPIC20. Trying to confirm the tail number for you all; hopefully I'll know by tonight.
The C-5 may be a FRED, but once you learn the ins and outs of it, the C-5 Galaxy is a awesome plane!