|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.
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.
|Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):|
Pilot, co-pilot, FE, loadmaster, and probably either a navigatir ir second loadmaster.... Thats unfortunatly is five
|Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 6):|
A sad day for MAFFS crews for sure as this may be the first record noted of a military MAFFS air tanker crashing.
Family members, however, told CNN affiliate WBTV-TV that two members of the crew died in the crash and identified them as Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal and Master Sgt. Robert Cannon.
A hospital official at South Dakota's Rapid City Regional Hospital on Monday night said two other members of the crew were critically injured in the crash and identified one as Josh Marlowe.
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.
|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
|Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 15):|
The fire season before that they'd lost a C-130A and a PBY the year before that.
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.
|Quoting Spacepope (Reply 19):|
What ever happened to Aerounion and the P-3s?
|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.