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 Grumman S2F-1 Tracker in Valgorge: 2 killed

Date & Time: Aug 20, 2005 at 1000 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
F-ZBFE
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Marseille - Marseille
MSN:
32
YOM:
1957
Flight number:
Pélican 17
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
3400
Copilot / Total flying hours:
5300
Circumstances:
The aircraft departed Marseille-Marignane and was dispatched in an area west of Aubenas to fight a forest fire with one other Tracker, one De Havilland DHC-8 and two Canadair CL-415. After a first Tracker successfully dropped its retardant, the second Tracker approached the area when it collided with hilly terrain and crashed, bursting into flames. Both pilots were killed.
Crew:
Régis Huillier, pilot,
Albert Pouzoulet, pilot.

Crash of a Canadair CL-415 in Calvi: 2 killed

Date & Time: Aug 1, 2005 at 1005 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
F-ZBEO
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Ajaccio - Ajaccio
MSN:
2011
YOM:
1995
Flight number:
Pélican 36
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
After take-off from Ajaccio Airport and a first scooping, the fleet composed of three planes with respective callsigns Pelican 44, Pelican 36 and Pelican 37 intervened on a fire at Piétramaggiore, near Calvi, Corsica, France. A first sector of the fire zone was treated by six passes. During the two following passages, the fleet dropped on another sector of the fire. Pelican 36 began its last scooping in the Gulf of Revellata at heading 250°, three minutes and fourteen seconds before the accident. At the end, it gained height and continued the circuit to arrive on the drop axis. The "doubling" action consists of releasing the water load at the precise location of the previous aircraft's release. During the last turn, it reached an altitude of 2,160 feet. Pelican 36 was observed on a trajectory estimated to be consistent by the crew of the following aircraft (Pelican 37) a few seconds before it passed over the drop site. However, video evidence shows that the track of Pelican 36 is further west than that of Pelican 44, which preceded it, and over higher terrain. One and a half seconds before the flight recorder stopped, the aircraft was in a right turn at an altitude of 1,360 feet. The angle of roll to the right and increasing was then 17°. While the elevators were nearly stable, the altitude stored by the flight recorder increased to 1,500 feet in one and a half seconds. After that the tail section of the aircraft separated from the fuselage. The aircraft then impacted the side of a mountain and broke up.
Crew:
Ludovic Piasentin, pilot,
Jean-Louis de Bénédict, copilot.
Probable cause:
Environmental area:
The load case studied during the investigations did not explain the observed fuselage failure. However, the characteristics of the upward aerological disturbance caused by the fire are likely to have generated airframe stresses of an order of magnitude close to that of the loads capable of causing the fuselage to fail. Given the uncertainties encountered during the evaluation of the parameters of the rising air column that affected the accuracy of the research results concerning the effects of the stresses on the airframe, the aerological phenomenon encountered represents a possible cause of the event.
Technical Area:
The research undertaken to find in-flight loads capable, in the context of the event, of breaking the intact fuselage without damaging the empennage was unsuccessful. Detailed observation of the airframe did not reveal any damage prior to the occurrence. However, the results of these investigations do not rule out the existence of such damage, so the hypothesis of prior damage to the airframe cannot be totally rejected.

Crash of a Rockwell Grand Commander 680FL in North Las Vegas

Date & Time: Jul 21, 2005 at 1707 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N7UP
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
North Las Vegas - North Las Vegas
MSN:
680-1349-29
YOM:
1963
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
5285
Captain / Total hours on type:
75.00
Aircraft flight hours:
8942
Circumstances:
The airplane descended into the ground during takeoff-initial climb on a local fire reconnaissance flight. Witnesses reported that airplane became airborne, but was not climbing, and it continued down the runway in a nose-up attitude in ground effect until impacting terrain about 600 feet southeast from the departure end of the runway. The ambient temperature was about 107 degrees Fahrenheit, and the density altitude was calculated at 5,878 feet mean sea level. On scene examination found the flaps in the 30-degree position, which also corresponded to the flap actuator position. The cockpit indicator for the flaps also showed a 30-degree extension. A subsequent bench test of the combined flap/gear selector valve was conducted. During the initial inspection, both the gear selector and the flap selector valves were bent, but otherwise operational. The "stop-pin" on the flap selector lever was missing. There was no leakage of fluid during this test. Examination of both engines revealed no abnormalities, which would prevent normal operations. The aircraft flight manual specifies that the flaps should be set at 1/4 down (10 degrees) for normal takeoff.
Probable cause:
The pilot's excessive selection of flaps prior to takeoff, which resulted in a failure to obtain/maintain an appropriate climb airspeed, and an inadvertent stall/mush during takeoff-initial climb. A factor contributing to the accident was a high density altitude.
Final Report:

Crash of a Grumman US-2B Tracker in Taradeau

Date & Time: Jul 19, 2005 at 1745 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
F-ZBBL
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Marseille - Marseille
MSN:
626
YOM:
1958
Flight number:
Pélican 19
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The aircraft departed Marseille-Marignane Airport in the afternoon and was dispatched in the area of Taradeau where a forest was on fire. Two helicopters, two others Tracker and five Canadair CL-415 were also dispatched to the same zone. The pilot was approaching the area on fire when he momentarily lost visual contact with the ground. The aircraft impacted trees and crashed, bursting into flames. The pilot escaped with minor injuries while the aircraft was destroyed by fire.

Crash of a Canadair CL-415 in Forte dei Marmi: 2 killed

Date & Time: Mar 18, 2005 at 1805 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
I-DPCK
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Rome - Rome
MSN:
2051
YOM:
2001
Flight number:
Tanker 22
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
2000
Captain / Total hours on type:
1500.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
2000
Copilot / Total hours on type:
1232
Aircraft flight hours:
1733
Circumstances:
The crew departed Rome-Ciampino Airport in the afternoon on a fire fighting mission in Forte dei Marmi, north of Pisa. Following two successful missions, the crew was attacking the fire in hilly terrain and low altitude when the aircraft collided with power cables. A fire erupted on the right side of the aircraft and the crew lost control of the airplane that crashed in a residential area. Both pilots were killed while there were no injuries on the ground.
Probable cause:
The accident was the consequence of an in-flight collision with a power line because the crew adopted a wrong approach configuration to the fire area. The following contributing factors were identified:
- Poor decision making in attacking the fire, causing the crew to focus their attention on obstacles (pylons) of power line n°500, without considering the presence of the cable guard line n°550,
- The reduced visibility of obstacles resulting from the smoke of the forest,
- The inadequate reporting of electricity pylons and associated overhead lines,
- Non-activation of the required radio links, so the crew could not receive reports on the presence of obstacles,
- Short and discontinuous experience of the captain in that role, coming from the institution of the "PIC Frozen",
- The combination of to similar qualified pilots ("PIC Frozen") in the cockpit for the operation of a flight, one just rehabilitated to a high command function, the other still employed in the role of co-pilot: This condition could have a negative impact in terms of crew integration, obscuring decision making,
- The existence of criticality in corporate manuals used at the date of the accident,
- Reduced operational capacity of the crew in the last phase of flight, resulting from the strong heat of the fire under the left wing which penetrated the airplane through an opening created by the separation of a porthole.
Final Report: