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smokeybandit
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Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Wed Nov 17, 2021 2:35 am

https://twitter.com/LarimerSheriff/stat ... 32996?s=20

LCSO & other agencies are investigating reports of a single engine air tanker crash south of Estes Park. Crews are searching the area now. More to follow.
 
smokeybandit
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Wed Nov 17, 2021 2:38 am

Apparently the first plane designed to do night flights over forest fires?

https://twitter.com/MarcSallinger/statu ... 36610?s=20
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Wed Nov 17, 2021 3:02 am

smokeybandit wrote:
Apparently the first plane designed to do night flights over forest fires?

https://twitter.com/MarcSallinger/statu ... 36610?s=20


That fire started this morning and blew up quick due to 45mph winds all day.The state had their PC-12s orbiting all day as WLDLD27. Haven’t seen any air support though as of yet, just a KMax putting around south of there looking like it’s doing logging work.
 
smokeybandit
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Wed Nov 17, 2021 3:15 am

FAA says they're still waiting for confirmation

https://coloradosun.com/2021/11/16/fire ... -colorado/
 
denkcflyer
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:33 am

Just logged on to see if there was any discussion on this. I had been monitoring the fire closely and watching aircraft more than usual on Flightradar as I live nearby and often the tankers grab water from the lake in my town.

Local news even interviewed the pilot prior to takeoff due to being the first air tanker flight in CO with synthetic night vision. Absolutely heartbreaking and prayers to all involved.
 
Newark727
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:34 am

"Single engine air tanker" - an Air Tractor or something else?
 
tcfc424
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:37 am

The aircraft is an AT-802 (Air Tractor). I'm listening to Larimer County Emergency Services and they have located the wreckage. They're cognizant of the number of people listening and have switched their radio traffic to trunked (secured) communications. I fear that's not good news. Looking at the CO Fire Aviation website, there's 6 pilot bios, 3 referencing Night Vision. Truly heartbreaking.
 
tcfc424
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:49 am

Confirmed by the Larimer County Sheriff's Office, the pilot did not survive. Condolences to his family and the aerial firefighting community. https://www.larimer.org/spotlights/2021 ... ire-update
 
tcfc424
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:52 am

aircraft likely N802NZ AT-802F owned by CO Fire Aviation Inc
 
tcfc424
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:56 am

9News was at the Northern Colorado airport, FNL, covering the story when the aircraft departed. They have a writeup here: https://www.9news.com/article/news/loca ... 34ec9f2b73 that has a lot of information. I would anticipate that they will have additional information once the family is officially notified.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Wed Nov 17, 2021 3:01 pm

tcfc424 wrote:
aircraft likely N802NZ AT-802F owned by CO Fire Aviation Inc

Look at the Twitter feed provide at the beginning, it shows N802NZ.
 
AndoAv8R
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:49 pm

Greg Feith/former NTSB investigator has commented on Facebook about this and apparently is raising questions as to why they allowed this flight to even take place. As a local to the area (I live about 15 miles from the crash site/fire and have spent a lot of time that immediate area) I also don't understand why they did. The fire was only 115 acres, the terrain was rugged and we had a weather system move through that was creating 40-60 mph gusts (The wind was strong enough that the smoke plume was maybe getting 500 ft high before it getting blown horizontally), and up there the sun was set about 15 minutes before the crash occurred (gets dark earlier with the shadows from a 14,000 ft peak directly to the west of the area)

This plane also overflew my house many times in the last few years, may the pilot RIP
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Wed Nov 17, 2021 10:33 pm

RIP sad.
I do not know enough details to comment much more. The family had a loss and losing a valuable piece of firefighting equipment is of less importance, but worthy of mention.

Lightsaber
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Wed Nov 17, 2021 10:56 pm

AndoAv8R wrote:
Greg Feith/former NTSB investigator has commented on Facebook about this and apparently is raising questions as to why they allowed this flight to even take place. As a local to the area (I live about 15 miles from the crash site/fire and have spent a lot of time that immediate area) I also don't understand why they did. The fire was only 115 acres, the terrain was rugged and we had a weather system move through that was creating 40-60 mph gusts (The wind was strong enough that the smoke plume was maybe getting 500 ft high before it getting blown horizontally), and up there the sun was set about 15 minutes before the crash occurred (gets dark earlier with the shadows from a 14,000 ft peak directly to the west of the area)

This plane also overflew my house many times in the last few years, may the pilot RIP

This was not an inexperienced pilot, 32 year military vet with 8,000 hrs, much of it military or fire fighting, including 1,000+ hours under NVG.

I think he was trying to prove a theory about NVG and Firefighting, but it cost him his life. NVG is fantastic at spotting small fires that can’t be seen by the eyes alone, but can blind you if something flashes or flares. Some people have been working on doing Ag spraying at night using NVG to increase efficiencies, but with mixed results.
 
AndoAv8R
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Wed Nov 17, 2021 11:27 pm

Update posted courtesy Larimer County Sheriffs office (the county in which this area resides):

https://www.larimer.org/spotlights/2021 ... -rock-fire
 
denkcflyer
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Thu Nov 18, 2021 5:40 am

RIP Marc Thor Olson. Army & Air Force vet with 32 years of service. 42 years of flying, 8000+ hours flown.

It’s being reported that he told ground resources it was too turbulent to make a drop, and was planning to return to Loveland after one more pass. Apparently moments later ground resources heard the plane crash.

He had been interviewed by 9 news before taking flight. Linking the twitter thread below that includes more info and photos of the pilot and aircraft.

https://twitter.com/marcsallinger/statu ... 75524?s=21

May he RIP. Praying for him and those who loved him.

AndoAv8R wrote:
Greg Feith/former NTSB investigator has commented on Facebook about this and apparently is raising questions as to why they allowed this flight to even take place. As a local to the area (I live about 15 miles from the crash site/fire and have spent a lot of time that immediate area) I also don't understand why they did. The fire was only 115 acres, the terrain was rugged and we had a weather system move through that was creating 40-60 mph gusts (The wind was strong enough that the smoke plume was maybe getting 500 ft high before it getting blown horizontally), and up there the sun was set about 15 minutes before the crash occurred (gets dark earlier with the shadows from a 14,000 ft peak directly to the west of the area)

This plane also overflew my house many times in the last few years, may the pilot RIP


I have to agree. I am shocked that this took place. It was/is such a small fire and is quickly being contained… but of course there is the pressure to protect Estes Park/RMNP, especially after the Cameron Peak fire. But clearly fire season is (mostly) over so I am a bit surprised by the response.

On the other hand, because it was a smaller fire, maybe that was some of the appeal of testing the night flight in a “real” situation for the first time? Perhaps it seemed more manageable to do a trial run on a small fire versus a huge one that’s ripping and creating a nasty weather system… maybe less risk involved?

Either way, I agree with you. Its irresponsible and it feels like this flight shouldn’t have been allowed to happen given the circumstances.
 
smokeybandit
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Re: Small forest fire tanker reported down in Colorado

Thu Nov 18, 2021 1:48 pm

Is it even too early to truly know if darkness played a role in the crash?

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