Crash of a Canadair CL-215-1A10 near Lindoso: 1 killed

Date & Time: Aug 8, 2020 at 1120 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
EC-HET
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
MSN:
1034
YOM:
1974
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
Operated by the Compañía de Extinción General de Incendios (CEGISA), the aircraft was dispatched over the region of Lindoso (near the border with Spain) to fight a fire on behalf of the Civil Security of Portugal (Autoridade Nacional de Emergência e Proteção Civil). In unknown circumstances, the aircraft struck the slope of a hilly and rocky terrain located in the Gerês Mountain Range, about 14 km southeast of Lindoso, few km south of the Portugal - Spain border. The tail separated on impact and the cockpit was destroyed. The Portuguese captain aged 65 was killed while the Spanish copilot aged 39 was seriously injured and transferred to an hospital in Alto Minho.

Crash of a Lockheed EC-130Q Hercules near Peak View: 3 killed

Date & Time: Jan 23, 2020 at 1400 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N134CG
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Richmond - Richmond
MSN:
4904
YOM:
1981
Flight number:
Tanker 134
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
The airplane departed Richmond Airbase and was conducting fire control operations when contact was lost. Witnesses on the ground reported hearing a loud bang and saw a giant fireball around the time of the crash. ATSB said the fire retardant-laden aircraft, Tanker 134, was assisting with fire suppression efforts when the crash occurred near Peak View, northeast of Cooma. All three crew members were killed.

Crash of a Grumman S-2 Tracker in Générac: 1 killed

Date & Time: Aug 2, 2019 at 1730 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
F-ZBAA
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Nîmes - Nîmes
MSN:
456
YOM:
1958
Flight number:
Pélican 22
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
The pilot, sole on board, departed Nîmes-Garons Airbase on a fire fighting mission near Générac, a village located about 6 km southwest of the airbase. While approaching the fire zone at low height, the twin engine airplane struck trees and crashed in a huge explosion. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and a post crash fire and the pilot was killed. At the time of the accident, the visibility was reduced due to thick smoke.

Crash of a Lockheed P2V-7 Neptune in Modena: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jun 3, 2012 at 1347 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N14447
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Cedar City - Cedar City
MSN:
826-8010
YOM:
1959
Flight number:
Tanker 11
Location:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
6145
Captain / Total hours on type:
1850.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
4288
Copilot / Total hours on type:
38
Aircraft flight hours:
12313
Circumstances:
The airplane collided with mountainous terrain while conducting firefighting operations, 20 miles north of Modena, Utah. The airplane was operated by Neptune Aviation Services under contract with the US Forest Service as an exclusive public-use fixed-wing airtanker service contract conducted under the operational control of the Bureau of Land management (BLM). Both pilots were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and post crash fire. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a company flight plan had been filed. The flight originated in Cedar City, Utah, at 1315. The crew of Tanker 11 consisted of the pilot, copilot, and crew chief. They were based out of Missoula, MT, and had been together as a crew for the previous 3 weeks. Normally, the crews stay together for the entire fire season. Tanker 11 crew had operated out of Reno for the 2 weeks prior to the accident. During fire drop operations the tanker is manned by the pilot and copilot, while the crew chief remains at the fire base as ground personnel. The day before the accident while en route from Reno to Cedar City they performed one retardant drop on the White Rock fire, then landed at Cedar City. The crew departed the Cedar City tanker base and arrived at their hotel in Cedar City around 2230. The following morning, the day of the accident, the crew met at 0815, and rode into the Cedar City tanker base together. Tanker 11 took off at 1214 on its first drop on the White Rock fire, and returned at 1254. The crew shut down the airplane, reloaded the airplane with retardant, and did not take on any fuel. Tanker 11 departed the tanker base at 1307 to conduct its second retardant drop of the day, which was to be in the same location as the first drop. Upon arriving in the Fire Traffic Area (FTA) Tanker 11 followed the lead airplane, a Beech Kingair 90, into the drop zone. The drop zone was located in a shallow valley that was 0.4 miles wide and 350 feet deep. The lead airplane flew a shallow right-hand turn on to final, then dropped to an altitude of 150 feet above the valley floor over the intended drop area. While making the right turn on to final behind the lead plane, Tanker 11's right wing tip collided with terrain that was about 700 feet left of the lead airplane's flight path, which resulted in a rapid right yaw, followed by impact with terrain; a fire ball subsequently erupted. Tanker 11 created a 1,088-foot-long debris field and post impact fire.
Probable cause:
The flight crew's misjudgment of terrain clearance while maneuvering for an aerial application run, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain. Contributing to the accident was the flight crew's failure to follow the lead airplane's track and to effectively compensate for the tailwind condition while maneuvering.
Final Report:

Crash of a Lockheed P2V-7 Neptune in Reno: 3 killed

Date & Time: Sep 1, 2008 at 1810 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N4235T
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Reno - Reno
MSN:
726-7285
YOM:
1958
Flight number:
Tanker 09
Location:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
9520
Copilot / Total flying hours:
2812
Aircraft flight hours:
10217
Circumstances:
Just after the airplane's landing gear was retracted during takeoff for a retardant drop mission, a ball of fire was observed coming out of the left jet engine before the airplane rolled steeply to the left and descended into the terrain. Prior to takeoff, the captain said he would make the takeoff and provided a takeoff briefing concerning the runway to be used and his intentions should an emergency develop. Shortly thereafter, the captain informed the co-pilot that this would actually be his (the co-pilot's) takeoff. On the cockpit voice recorder, the co-pilot stated "Same briefing (sound of laughter)". The co-pilot did not give an additional takeoff briefing beyond the one given by the captain and the captain did not ask the co-pilot to give one. During the initial climb, the captain said he detected a fire on the left side of the airplane and the copilot responded that he was holding full right aileron. At no point did either pilot call for the jettisoning of the retardant load as required by company standard operating procedures, or verbally enunciate the jet engine fire emergency checklist. Recorded data showed that the airplane's airspeed then decayed below the minimum air control speed, which resulted in an increased roll rate to the left and impact with terrain. The 11th stage compressor disc of the left jet engine failed in fatigue, which caused a catastrophic failure of the compressor section and the initiation of the engine fire. Metallurgical examination of the fracture identified several origin points at scratches in the surface finish of the disk. The scratches were too small to have been observed with the approved inspection procedures used by the company. A review of the FAA sanctioned Approved Aircraft Inspection Program, revealed no shortcomings or anomalies in the performance or documentation of the program. A post-accident examination of the airframe and three remaining engines revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operations.
Probable cause:
The failure of the flight crew to maintain airspeed above in-flight minimum control speed (Vmca) after losing power in the left jet engine during initial climb after takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the crew's inadequate cockpit resource management procedures, the failure of the captain to assume command of the airplane during the emergency, the flight crew's failure to carry out the jet engine fire emergency procedure, and the failure of the crew to jettison the retardant load.
Final Report:

Crash of a Canadair CL-215-1A10 near Patras: 2 killed

Date & Time: Aug 22, 1993
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
1064
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Elefsis - Elefsis
MSN:
1064
YOM:
1979
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
The crew was engaged in a fire fighting mission in the region of Patras. Following a scooping mission, it is believed the pilot encountered control problems when the aircraft crashed on hilly terrain, bursting into flames. Both pilots were killed.

Crash of a Grumman TS-2A Tracker in Columbia: 1 killed

Date & Time: Jun 19, 1993
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N427DF
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
MSN:
550
YOM:
1958
Flight number:
Tanker 92
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
The pilot, sole on board, was fighting a forest fire in the region of Columbia, California. The aircraft made a stable and level approach to the drop zone. After the retardant was dropped on fire, the pilot initiated a climb when the aircraft impacted trees, rolled to the left and crashed in an inverted position. The pilot was killed.

Crash of a Douglas DC-7B near Kyburz: 2 killed

Date & Time: Oct 1, 1992 at 1225 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N848D
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Stockton - Stockton
MSN:
45454
YOM:
1958
Flight number:
Tanker 61
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
Douglas DC-7B airtanker N848D had been operating from Stockton, CA (SCK) and had made several drops of retardant on the southeast edge of a fire on the El Dorado National Forest. Their first mission on October 1, 1992, had begun at 08:33. Their fourth mission had them departing the base at 11:56. Their departure was immediately followed by a Lockheed SP2H enroute to the same fire. The DC-7B arrived in the fire vicinity at an elevation of about 6,500 feet MSL at 12:20. Air attack briefed the DC-7B’s two-person flight crew for their retardant drop. Air attack was flying at approximately 7,500 feet MSL. The planned drop was to be made from north to south about one mile west of the upper dam on the reservoir. It was to be the air tanker’s first drop in this particular location. The visibility was good, in excess of ten miles, and turbulence was reported as mild, but bumpy. The area over the lake to the east of the drop pattern was experiencing reduced visibility due to smoke. According to occupants of the second airtanker, the DC-7B made a turn around the fire and was descending northbound for a drop out of a right hand pattern when the DC-7B captain indicated that he wanted to depart the pattern as he had a problem with an engine. He suggested the second airtanker perform the intended drop while he worked with his engine problem. The second airtanker then received attention from air attack and began a circle to fly a pattern similar to the pattern the DC-7B had flown. Shortly thereafter, air attack asked the DC-7B if he needed to abort (drop) his load of retardant. That captain replied that he might have to if he couldn’t solve his engine problem. All communications were normal. Air attack was operating without lead plane assistance as the lead plane had departed the scene for fuel a few minutes before, instructing air attack to perform drops on the west side of the reservoir. Another lead plane was about six minutes out. The mishap air tanker was reported to be descending at about 6,000 feet MSL heading in a north-northwesterly direction after departing the drop pattern, with no visible signs of engine problems and no indication of concern present in his radio transmissions. The DC-7B continued northbound toward gently rising terrain about two miles from the intended drop site and was next observed heading in an easterly direction and low to the ground. The airtanker was reported to be in a sharply pitched up attitude prior to dropping its retardant. Air attack reported that he observed the retardant start and stop, but did not know if a full load had been dropped. He said the load was continuous. The DC-7B was then reported to fall off on the right wing as it descended steeply toward the ground. During this sequence, the captain transmitted on the radio, "We’re going in, we’re going in." It was at this point that tree strikes occurred which removed the horizontal stabilizers and elevators from the tail of the airtanker. This entire sequence took place within the span of about 60 seconds. The airtanker then went behind a ridge and white smoke was observed rising from the site. The airtanker had impacted the ground in steep terrain at an elevation of approximately 5,100 feet MSL. Some of the wreckage was deposited in a creek bottom and the remainder was located on an adjacent south-facing slope. Both the captain and copilot were fatally injured. The aircraft was totally destroyed.
Probable cause:
The accident was the probably the consequence of the pilot’s preoccupation, inattention, or possible distraction while operating the airtanker in close proximity to terrain. The following contributing factors were reported:
- Crew Management,
- The pilots failed to recognize the severity of the situation and were reluctant to abort their retardant load.

Crash of a Canadair CL-215-1A10 off Isthmia

Date & Time: Jul 15, 1992
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
1075
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
1075
YOM:
1983
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The crew was completing a scooping mission when the aircraft crashed in unknown circumstances off Isthmia, in the Saronic Gulf, near the Corinth Canal. Both pilots were rescued.

Crash of a Beriev BE-12P near Veshenskaya

Date & Time: Jul 14, 1992
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
40 yellow
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
9 6 014 04
YOM:
1969
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The aircraft was engaged in a fire fighting mission and its crew just landed on the Don River to perform a scooping mission when it collided with a flock of birds that struck the right engine. The aircraft veered to the right and came to rest on the shore. All four crew members escaped uninjured while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
Birdstrike.