air tanker down...

aero99

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My stomach turned watching the 10 o'clock news just now.

My thoughts are with the families and friends of the crew.
Hope it was no one on this board as I know there are some tanker pilots here.
 

AArider

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Do you have any more info on this? What aircraft, where, survivors? Thanks.
 

LR25

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I read on the internet that it was Hawkins & Powers.

C-130, no survivors.

I was watching on Fox News which had the better footage of it, it appears both wing were seperated at the wing root.

It is very sad indeed, prayers to the families.

Rest in peace fellow aviators, I will pray for your families.

LR25
 

Smoking Man

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"We're from your flock, Jonathan. We are your brothers." The words were stong and calm. "We've come to take you higer, to take you home."

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

It is truly sad to loose fellow gulls. Good tailwinds.........
 
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avbug

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The tanker was Hawkins & Powers T-130, a C-130A. I know that airplane; I did my flight engineer turboprop practical in it. The crew was Steve Waas (Captain), Craig LaBare (Copilot), and Mike Davis (FE). I flew with all of them. Experienced, good crew.

I flew that airplane back from Mexico several years ago with a cracked wing. Cracking in the wings has been an ongoing problem for several years now. I helped replace two wings on that airplane, and assisted in the ultrasonic testing of the structure externally, and inside the tanks. I spent a lot of time in that airplane.

The wing came off over the Cannon fire during a drop.

Three good men who will certainly be missed. Not the first, and not the last; the season is still early. This event can only serve as a powerful reminder that we are all mortal. Enjoy what time you have here; Steve, Craig, and Mike certainly did. Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. In such a small tanker community, these men were friends to all. Often after a death, the words are spoken, waved, mouthed in gest out of deferrence to the dead. In this case they were true. These three were liked for who they were, what they did, and how they made others feel. I can vouch for that, personally.

I wrote a pathetically ameature poem a few years ago while sitting at alert in tanker 130 with Steve Waas and Mike Davis, in Klamath Falls. It sits in my logbook beneath a picture of my 4Y taxiing away, covered in red mud. My heart goes out again to the families of those who have lost, and who will yet lose (but who don't know it yet). Fly safe, everyone.

Silent metal shudders still, ancient twinge of lifeblood past,
Of wings that once knew glory high, and young men's lives now gone behind.
In legend, poem, the names gone black with memories death,
And peeling primer etched with blood and sweat.
She carried blombs, but now red mud,
To give hope back to forests pleading, small new life, enchanted children.
Amid towering cumulus clouds she claws a
Path of noise and smoke.
And shakes the hearts of those who look up
At the silver angel sent from God.
Men and women clothed alike, in dirt and ash
And yellow shirts, are circled-in by
Flames of hell and pray as only needy can
For salvation through the trees, a miracle.
And lo! The Air Tanker has arrived!
 
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Hovernut

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Video Link

For those of you who didn't get a chance to see the chilling video, I posted a link to my website where I'll host it for a few days. Thanks for the info, Avbug, I mourn their loss alongside of you. Video courtesy of Fox News.

John

Crash Video
 

TurboS7

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Thanks avbug, appreciate you sharing your loss. People can talk all they want about the airlines but the real pilot's all live and work out of Greybull, Wy. Thanks.
 
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8sm

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Avbug,

Opening a TWA memorial newsletter about the employees lost on TWA800. I find a pilot that once worked with me at Scenic Airlines. I could hardly believe my eyes. Life can be short, I'm with you, enjoy it while you're here. I know my friend, TWA/ FO Doug Eshelman did. From what I could gather, Doug was flying standy, then working the return flight the following day.

You have honored your friends with the upmost respect.
Thank you for sharing in these difficult times.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and their families.

Sincerely, 8sm
 

mattjenna

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My thoughts went straight to you Mike when I saw the story here on TV in Australia.

I'm so sorry about the accident-it's sobering and saddening when something like this happens-another pointer to the fragility and preciousness of our lives.

My thoughts and feelings to the family and friends of those good men-including you Mike.

Matt
 

inline

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I was privileged to fly with Steve Wass, the capt on the Hawkins and Powers C-130A that crashed at Walker Lake Monday. Flew out of Klamath Falls the fall of '93 with him. Competent, and easy going, he was great to work with.

One helluva tanker pilot.
 

publisher

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Avbug

Avbug

Excellent post.

I really had no appreciation for this flying until I went to work for Evergreen many years ago.

When I started AviationCareer.net, it was to tell the stories of people who do this type of flying, whether it be law enforcement, drug eradication, fight fires, Con Air, etc.

There are jobs out here that are not Delta Airlines and a 767. There are people out here that fly for joy, under paid, under appreciated, but who have forgotten more about what the term aviator means than many who post here.

They are not concerned about scope issues, nice uniforms, sick days, or ALPA. They do not fit in boxes, or read much gouge, do message boards, all they do is fly. They fly what someone points them at. Their destination is not CVG but a piece of mountain somewhere.

One of my critic's on this board said that I always was showing my contempt for airline pilots. That is not true and I have many friends that fly in that position and I respect them for what they do. Perhaps it is more appropriate to say that the pilots of this C130 not only have that respect but I stop to salute them.

May they return as Eagles and fly the forrest forever.
 

Timebuilder

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"...and He will raise you up on eagles' wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His hand..."

-Craig Courtney
 
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avbug

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Steve had a pretty good sense of humor. You can bet that if he returns as an eagle, he'll be dropping bird wax on every car that enters the forest.
 

Hovernut

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Video Link Updated

I just updated the crash video link on my page. It now includes another angle of the crash from an amateur video source, post crash fire and debris field, and the last interview the (hero) pilot gave prior to losing his life in the line of duty. It also mentions that the same a/c had cracks repaired a couple years earlier.

John, Longwood, FL

Avbug, thanks for the PM, I responded, but your mailbox is full. I mourn your loss.

Crash Video
 

Av8trxx

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Wing cracks?!

Here's a prelim, with some eerily similar accidents profiled below:

17 JUN 2002 Hawkins & Powers Aviation
Lockheed C-130A N130HP near
Walker, CA, USA

Please note this information is preliminary; new information will be added on the Aviation Safety Network at
http://aviation-safety.net/index.shtml.

Date: 17 JUN 2002
Time: ca 14.45
Type: Lockheed C-130A Hercules
Operator: Hawkins & Powers Aviation
Registration: N130HP
C/n: 3146
Year built: 1956
Engines: 4 Allison T56-A
Crew: 3 fatalities / 3 on board
Passengers: 0 fatalities / 0 on board
Total: 3 fatalities / 3 on board
Location: Walker, CA (USA)
Phase: Cruise
Nature: Fire fighting
Departure airport: Minden-Tahoe Airport, NV (MEV)
Destination airport: Minden-Tahoe Airport, NV (MEV)
Remarks:

Hercules N130HP was hired to fight a 10,000-acre wildland blaze near Walker, CA. After dumping a red cloud of fire retardant, the right wing separated from the aircraft at low altitude. The plane then lost control and rolled left. During this manoeuvre separated as well and the aircraft nosedived into the ground. The whole event just took about 4 seconds and was captured on video a passer-by.

In April 1998 two one-inch cracks were found on the bottom of a wing (the service difficulty report does not state which wing), at Outer Wing Station 33, which is 33 inch (83cm) from the wing joint. These cracks were repaired.

--------------------------------------------
Sources
--------------------------------------------
AP; FAA; video at BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/newsid_2051000/2051058.stm

--------------------------------------------
AIRCRAFT PROFILE LOCKHEED L-100/C-130 HERCULES
--------------------------------------------
* Last (civilian) hull-loss accident: 06 SEP 2000 T & G Aviation N116TG, at
Aubenas, France - 2 fatalities
* Last fatal accident: ibid.
* Total number of hull-losses: 39 civilian Hercules losses
* 3rd civilian Hercules loss during a fire fighting operation
Several Hercules planes have crashed following wing failures of some sort:

02 OCT 1980 - USAF C-130A - Crashed after losing part of the left wing leading edge during a low-level flight.
(http://aviation-safety.net/cgi-bin/dbsearch.cgi?mil+search+display+174&)

13 APR 1982 - USAF C-130H - The engine nr. 4 mounting failed, which caused the wing to break off.

(http://aviation-safety.net/cgi-bin/dbsearch.cgi?mil+search+display+184&)

12 MAY 1982 - USAF C-130E - Crashed after wing broke off while in formation flight.

(http://aviation-safety.net/cgi-bin/dbsearch.cgi?mil+search+display+186&)

02 APR 1986 - USAF HC-130P - Wing failure in turbulence at low altitude

(http://aviation-safety.net/cgi-bin/dbsearch.cgi?mil+search+display+203&)

23 MAY 1974 - Saturn L-100 - the left wing separated from the aircraft at about outer wing station 162

(http://aviation-safety.net/database/1974/740523-1.htm)

27 OCT 1974- Alaska Int. L-100 - In-flight failure of right wing near Station 183 (near the no.3 engine) in moderate turbulence.

(http://aviation-safety.net/database/1974/741027-0.htm)

13 AUG 1994 - Hemet C-130A - Right wing (including no.3 and no.4 engine) failed in-flight following a fuel tank explosion.

(http://aviation-safety.net/database/1994/940813-1.htm)



--------------------------------------------
OPERATOR PROFILE HAWKINS & POWERS AVIATION
--------------------------------------------
Company specializing a.o. in aerial firefighting from Greybull, WY
* website: http://www.hawkinsandpowers.com/
* Founded: 1969
* 3rd fatal Hawkins & Powers hull-loss accident
 

avbug

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The problem that occured affected primarily the C-130A model, type II, of which only a handfull still exist.

As for the SDR about the cracked wings...I was in that airplane when they cracked, and did the repairs for which the SDR was written. The SDR doesn't do it justice, either. The crack was completely through the wing, and the wing has no internal structure, no spar...only a shear web. It's held together primarily by the thickness of the wingskin, which also forms each tank. If that skin cracks, the wing goes, period.

The similiar incident not described was Tanker 82, which crashed in 1994, with Captain Bob Buc at the controls. The circumstances are very similiar, and any of us that flew these airplanes knows exactly what happened. Beyond that, I'll make no comments on the events themselves until the "official" investigation does it's dance.

The airplanes will get another NDI inspection, and be sent back to the fire in a few days or weeks...just like always.
 
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