Three people have died in a fiery crash involving a C-130 water bombing aeroplane, the Rural Fire Service commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons, has confirmed.
Fitzsimmons has said it took “quite some time” to locate the wreckage of the C-130.
“It’s impacted heavily with the ground and initial reports are that there was a large fireball associated with the impact of the plane as it hit the ground,” he told a press conference. “It is still an active fire ground and it was very difficult to locate the wreckage”.
Coulson Aviation, who have provided water-bombing aircraft to NSW over the past four or five years, have grounded their large air tankers as a precautionary measure.
“Coulsons have grounded their large air tankers this afternoon, and, indeed, as a mark of respect and as welfare for the rest of their crews operating large air tankers here in New South Wales and interstate in Victoria, have grounded the operations pending review to ensure that there’s nothing systemic like a fuel problem or something,” he said. “ We’ve [also] got the military helping us with the evaluation of the fuel to rule that out”.
The owners of Coulson Aviation will fly to Australia from Canada as soon as possible, he said."
So the stakes just keep getting higher and higher.
A moving & most fitting farewell for our 3rd Coulsons fire fighting aviator this morning at Richmond RAAF with the transfer of Rick DeMorgan onto the US C1-17 aircraft for the journey home. Rick’s colleagues, Ian & Paul went home with family on Wednesday. Thank you all #NSWRFS
Hundreds of Air Force special operations members gathered last week at Hurlburt Field in Florida to remember Senior Master Sgt. Rick DeMorgan, one of three Americans killed last month fighting the unprecedented wildfires in Australia.
They gathered inside an aircraft hangar as rain fell outside on an AC-130 gunship of the type he flew on as an engineer for 15 years. DeMorgan was on terminal leave, working for a private aerial firefighting firm, when he was killed.
“It was absolutely fitting that he transitioned from flying left-hand orbits and providing protection for ground forces from enemy fire, to low-level flying to protect and serve our Aussie brothers and sisters,” said Senior Master Sgt. Benjamin Buzga of the 4th Special Operations Squadron, where DeMorgan served. ...
Last Edit: Feb 8, 2020 22:19:20 GMT 12 by ErrolC: Add Stripes