A Conair Turbocat crashed onto a hill this morning while dropping retardant on a forest fire in South-East France.
The crew of two was KIA.
This is the 3rd loss of a Sécurité Civile (Emergency State Agency) aircraft within 6 weeks.
They already lost a Turbocat (the pilot escaped miraculously when the crew lost sight of the ground in heavy smokes and belly landed) and a Bombardier CL-415. The later broke in the air while diving on a forest fire. The crew was KIA and the whole fleet was grounded for 2 weeks for airframe checks.
The bulk of the Sécurité Civile pilots are mostly 40 years old+ former French Navy and Air Force pilots with great flight experience.
A private small single engine fire bomber (a Rockwell S2R Thruch Commander) was also lost last week.
What a sad, very sad news!