Retardant on Windshield when Planes Collided at Nevada Fire

Witness said plane was closely trailing another

 

Retardant drop on Bishop Fire (InciWeb photo)

 

LAS VEGAS (AP) — One of two firefighting planes that collided above Nevada last month, killing both pilots, may have been hit by retardant dropped by the other one shortly before they crashed, according to a preliminary accident report.

The National Transportation Safety Board report says witnesses in a nearby firefighting aircraft stated they heard the pilot of one plane announce over the radio he “had retardant on the windshield and was initiating a go-around” on July 30 about 150 miles (240 km) northeast of Las Vegas .

See also  Wind Pushes Colorado’s Grizzly Creek Fire in Multiple Directions

Video recorded by a witness on the ground showed that plane had been closely trailing the other one at the time they were flying to deploy their third load of retardant on a big wildfire in Lincoln County near Elgin just west of the Utah line, the NTSB report said.

Witnesses on the ground said the plane that apparently had retardant on the windshield started to climb and suddenly began a left turn before colliding with the other plane. Both “then descended rapidly to the ground,” the report said.

The pilots who were killed were flying Air Tractor AT-902A airplanes, small airtankers that can maneuver in canyons and other tight spots inaccessible to bigger tankers.

See also  Helicopter Water Drop Hits Hotshot Crew at Hermit Peak (NM) Fire, Three Injured

All contents © copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Topics

Witness said plane was closely trailing another     LAS VEGAS (AP) — One of two firefighting planes that collided above Nevada last month, killing both pilots, may have been hit by retardant dropped by the other one shortly before they crashed, according to a preliminary accident report. The National Transportation Safety Board report says […]

Get The Wildland Firefighter Newsletter

Related Articles

Drone Halts Helicopter Response to OR Fire

Drone Halts Helicopter Response to OR Fire

David Smigelski - Mail Tribune, Medford, Ore. Sep. 13—A helicopter was forced from the air in the middle of a firefight Monday when a drone appeared over a fire burning on Pioneer Road. Jackson County Fire District No. 5 and the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest...

OR Adopts CA Fire Tactic, Shutting Power Amid High Winds

OR Adopts CA Fire Tactic, Shutting Power Amid High Winds

By GILLIAN FLACCUS Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon utilities shut down power to tens of thousands of customers on Friday as dry easterly winds swept into the region in the hopes that it would lessen the risk of wildfires in extremely dry and hot...