Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Firefighter Plane Crashes; Pilot Dies Battling Utah Wildfire

  1. #1
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3,030

    Firefighter Plane Crashes; Pilot Dies Battling Utah Wildfire

    Firefighter Plane Crashes; Pilot Dies Battling Utah Wildfire

    RACHEL OLSEN
    Courtesy of The Spectrum Newspaper

    DAMMERON VALLEY -- The pilot of a single-engine air tanker died Thursday night while assisting in efforts to extinguish the Dammeron Fire.

    Officials would not release the name or any specifics on the man flying the plane Thursday night, pending notification of next of kin.

    The pilot apparently worked on the fire in a yellow agriculture plane and had just dumped a load of retardant when his plane either stalled or pitched at about 6:30 p.m., said Dammeron Valley resident Andrew Tomer, who watched the accident happen.

    Tomer said the pilot made his drop on the other side of the ridge and within a few seconds the plane crashed and exploded.

    Within a few minutes, a helicopter and plane made drops on the fire started from the crashed aircraft, Tomer said.

    Multiple agencies arrived on the scene of the accident in vehicles within about an hour, said Adam Oliver, another Dammeron Valley resident who saw the aftermath of the crash.

    Oliver said he could see from his binoculars that the emergency crews were setting up a perimeter and tape around the scene.

    Larry LeForte, fire management officer with Utah State Forest Fire, said it was unknown how the accident happened. The crash will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.

    After the single-engine tanker crashed, other aircraft assisting in the fire were grounded, according to procedure, said Information Officer David Eaker, with the interagency effort.

    Eaker did not know if aircraft would be in use today.


    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...4&sectionId=39

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3,030
    Pilot Crashes, Dies Fighting Wildfire
    Jun. 18, 2004
    Sam Penrod Reporting

    Tbe pilot of a single-engine air tanker battling a wildfire in southern Utah was killed Thursday evening when the plane crashed as it was flying over the fire.

    The pilot is identified as 58-year-old Wayne Turner. U-S Bureau of Land Management officials say he was a contract pilot for New Frontier Aviation, and had flown for more than 40-years and had logged more than 21-thousand hours flying.

    The plane went down just in the Dammeron valley about 20 miles north of St. George at about six o clock. So far it is not known what caused the plane to crash. Tragically the pilot was killed, leaving the firefighting crews there in shock.

    Moments after the single engine air tanker went down in the foothills of Dammeron Valley dark smoke stood out in comparison to the white smoke from the burning brush. The Bickel family was watching the planes fight the fire from their backyard when tragedy struck.

    Jeff Bickel, Witness: "It started coming back west, looks like it was nosed dive, huge explosion."

    Nearby planes and helicopters made drops on the crash scene trying to extinguish the burning wreckage as rescue teams on the ground made it to the scene.

    David Eaker, Fire Information Officer: "The plane went down, there was a fatality, the pilot was killed in the crash."

    Much of the wreckage was scattered over a wide area, which is now marked with tape until federal crash investigators arrive.

    Because of the crash, all other firefighting aircraft assigned on this fire are grounded during the investigation of what caused the plane to go down.

    The pilot who was killed has not been identified. He was a contractor for the federal government.

    Federal investigators were scheduled to arrive Friday to investigate the crash.

    Bureau of Land Management spokesman David Boyd said the major, south portion of the Dammeron Complex fire had burned about 3,300 acres and had not spread much since Thursday morning. It was expected to be contained by Saturday.

    Another fire, burning near the Brookside subdivision by Baker Dam Reservoir, forced the evacuation of several homes last night. No homes were lost and residents have returned.

    The other fire, burning just south of the Shivwits Indian Reservation, is still burning but has been contained and hasn't damaged any property.

    (The Associated Press contributed to this story)


    http://tv.ksl.com/index.php?sid=101333&nid=5

  3. #3
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3,030
    Air Tanker Goes Down Battling Utah Wildfire

    Associated Press

    ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- The pilot of a single-engine air tanker battling a wildfire in southern Utah was killed Thursday evening when the plane crashed as it was flying over the fire.

    The contract plane went down 14 miles north of St. George about 6 p.m., said Bureau of Land Management spokesman Wendell Peacock.

    The pilot's name had not yet been released and the cause of the crash still was being investigated.

    The pilot had just dumped a load of retardant when his plane either stalled or pitched, said Dammeron Valley resident Andrew Tomer, who saw the accident.

    Within a few seconds the plane crashed and burned. Within a few minutes, a helicopter and plane made drops on the fire started from the crashed aircraft, Tomer told The Spectrum.

    The plane was not one of the old, heavy, multiengine air tankers that the government has grounded out of safety concerns.

    The single-engine tankers are basically crop dusters retrofitted to drop water, retardant or seed, Peacock said.

    The other aircraft assisting in the fire were grounded, according to procedure, spokesman David Eaker said. He did not know if they would be back in use Friday.

    Bureau of Land Management spokesman David Boyd said the major, south portion of the Dammeron Complex fire, had burned about 3,600 acres and had not spread much since Thursday morning. It was expected to be contained by Saturday.

    It was fought by firefighters from federal, state, and municipal agencies, aided by two air tankers, including the one that crashed and two helicopters.

    Earlier Thursday, residents from two dozen homes north of St. George at Brookside were allowed back to their homes after being evacuated Wednesday when the northern portion of the Dammeron Complex fires burned close to their homes. That part of the blaze was contained Thursday after burning about 60 acres.

    The fires were started Wednesday by lightning.

    Another fire, about 10 miles west of St. George, the Utah Hill fire, was contained Wednesday after burning approximately 630 acres.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it had approved a fire management grant that will cover 75 percent of the local and state firefighting costs for the fires.


    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...nId=4&id=31795

  4. #4
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3,030
    Turner, Wayne

    Age: 58
    Cause of Death: Struck By/Contact with Object
    Rank: Pilot
    Nature of Death: Internal Trauma
    Status: Career
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 06/17/2004
    Duty Type: Fireground Operations
    Incident Time: 18:30
    Activity Type: Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus
    Death Date: 06/17/2004
    Fixed Prop. Use: Outdoor Property

    Fire Dept. Info:
    BLM Arizona Strip Field Office
    345 E. Riverside Dr.
    St. George , Utah 84790
    Chief: Brian Bracken

    Initial Summary:
    Pilot Wayne Turner, a pilot with New Frontier Aviation out of Ft. Denton, MT, and flying under contract for the BLM, died when his single-engine tanker crashed for a cause still to be determined while working the Dammeron Fire 14 miles north of St. George, Utah.

    Memorial Fund Info:
    In memory of Wayne Turner, Dixie Employees Association, 1789 N. Wedgewood Lane, Cedar, UT 84720; (435) 865-3700



    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/application...eath_year=2004

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •