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3 American firefighters killed in Australia plane crash




23.01.2020/ 13:16 EDT
near Cooma, NSW, Australia


Final report: Collision with terrain involving Lockheed EC130Q, N134CG

Interim report: Collision with terrain involving Lockheed EC130Q, N134CG


A Coulson Aviation Lockheed C-130 Hercules (N134CG) firefighting aircraft impacted terrain and burst into flames near Cooma, north-east of the Snowy Mountains in Australia. All three crew members died in the accident.
The aircraft, contracted to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, departed Richmond RAAF Base, Australia at 12:05 local time. The crew had been tasked with a fire retardant drop over the ‘Adaminaby Complex’ bush fire.
After approaching the Adaminaby complex fire, the drop was unable to be completed and the aircraft was diverted to a secondary tasking, to drop retardant on the ‘Good Good’ fire. Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft complete a number of circuits, prior to completing the retardant drop. The drop was conducted on a heading of about 190°, at about 200 ft above ground level, with a drop time of approximately 2 seconds. The crew released about 1,200 US gallons (4,500 L) of fire retardant during the drop.
Witness videos taken of the aircraft leading up to the accident showed a number of passes conducted at varying heights prior to the retardant drop. Following the retardant drop, the aircraft was observed to bank left, before becoming obscured by smoke after about 5 seconds. A further 15 seconds after this, the aircraft was seen flying at a very low height above the ground, in a left wing down attitude. Shortly after, at about 13:16, the aircraft collided with terrain and a post-impact fuel-fed fire ensued. The three crew were fatally injured and the aircraft was destroyed.

Observations of the weather in the area
Other fire control aircraft
On the day of the accident, several fire-control aircraft, primarily consisting of fixed-wing Air Tractors and Bell 206 helicopters, were operating from the Polo Flat airstrip, located 33 km south-west of the accident site. The Cooma FCC received reports of strong winds in the area from the fire-control pilots in the early morning. This included winds of 30-40 kt at 0839, 40-50 kt at 0902, and 52 kt at 0937. All fire-control aircraft had departed the area or landed by 1030.
Additionally, the flight crew of B137 reported that the wind conditions at Adaminaby at about 1200 were 50 kt at 800 ft AGL, and about 37 kt at 200 ft AGL.
Witness reports
Following the accident, the ATSB received multiple witness reports of the weather conditions at Peak View. They all consistently reported very strong winds from the north-west, with gusts up to 43 kt recorded at ground level. One resident noted that, although the prevailing wind was from the north-west, the direction and strength at ground level were also being influenced by the local terrain.

Weather station recorded conditions
About 12 minutes prior to the accident, the Cooma-Snowy Mountains Airport weather station indicated a wind speed of 25 kt, gusting to 39 kt, from a direction of 320°. The visibility was 6,000 m, with a QNH27 of 1002 hPa and temperature of 26 °C.
A personal weather station at Peak View, located about 1.3 km from both the drop and accident sites recorded the conditions twice per hour. At about 1309 (7 minutes prior to the accident), the station recorded a mean wind of 15 kt from the west and a peak gust of 32 kt from the north.28 At about 1330 (14 minutes after the accident), the station recorded a mean wind of 16 kt from the west and a peak gust of 42 kt from the north-west.

Bureau of Meteorology analysis
The Bureau of Meteorology analysed the conditions on the day and indicated that a cold front was approaching the accident location, with hot and strong north to north-westerly winds ahead of the front. High resolution weather model data indicated the winds at 5,000 ft AMSL were about 45 kt from the north-west, increasing in strength with height up to 80 kt from the north-west at 10,000 ft AMSL. They reported that their analysis of the weather conditions in the accident area was consistent with what was forecast on the day.
The Bureau of Meteorology considered the conditions on the day were favourable for mountain wave development, and satellite imagery of cloud formations confirmed their presence in the general area of the accident. However, they were unable to determine the severity of the mountain wave activity from the data available.

Following the partial retardant drop and left turn, the aircraft was very likely subjected to hazardous environmental conditions including low-level windshear and an increased tailwind component, which degraded the aircraft’s climb performance.
While at a low height and airspeed, it was likely the aircraft aerodynamically stalled, leading to a collision with terrain.


3 American firefighters killed in Australia crash – all US military veterans -- are identified

The three American firefighters who were killed Thursday in the crash of a C-130 Hercules water tanker plane while helping to battle the raging wildfires in Australia have been identified.
Their employer, Portland, Ore.-based Coulson Aviation USA, identified the victims as Capt. Ian McBeth, 44, of Great Falls, Mont.; First Officer Paul Hudson, 42, of Buckeye, Ariz.; and Flight Engineer Rick DeMorgan Jr., 43, of Navarre, Fla.
All three were U.S. military veterans, according to a Coulson statement. McBeth served in both the Montana Air National Guard and the Wyoming Air National Guard; Hudson served in the Marine Corps after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy; and DeMorgan served 18 years in the U.S. Air Force.
They had served on a California-based Coulson crew, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.



Херкулес разбился Херкулес разбился во время тушения пожара в Австралии

во время тушения пожара в Австралии


23.01.2020/ 13:16 EDT
Австралия/ Новый Южный Уэльс/ Кума


Самолет Lockheed C-130 Hercules (N134CG) компании Coulson Aviation (Австралия) по контракту с Сельской пожарной службой Нового Южного Уэльса потерпел крушение во время тушения лесных пожаров в штате НЮУ на юго-востоке Австралии. Три человека погибли.

Ранее в четверг местная пожарная служба сообщила, что большой авиатанкер Lockheed C-130 Hercules, работавший в районе Сноуи Монаро, исчез с радаров спустя несколько минут после того, как достиг точки сброса воды. Обломки самолета были обнаружены в зоне активного пожара. На место происшествия были направлены пожарные расчеты, пять машин скорой помощи и два спасательных вертолета


Самолет С-130 Херкулес се разби в Австралия при гасене на пожари


Самолет С-130 Херкулес се разби в Австралия при гасене на пожари23.01.2020/ 13:16 EDT
Австралия/ Нов Южен Уелс/ Кума

Самолет Lockheed C-130 Hercules (N134CG) на авиокомпанията Coulson Aviation (Австралия) нает от Селската пожарна служба на Нов Южен Уелс се разбива при гасене на горски пожари в щата НЮУ в югоизточната част на Австралии. Тричленният екипаж на самолета е загинал.

Самолетът излита от базата в Ричмънд в 12:05 м. вр. и първоначално е насочен към пожара в Adaminaby Complex, но поради силните ветрове и турбуленция в района е пренасочен към пожара в местността "Good Good", североизточната част на Снежните планини в Австралия. След няколоко кръга над местността обхваната от огъня, екипажът извършва освобождаване за 2 сек. на гасителната смес от 4500 л. от височина на полета около 60-70 м. Заснет е непосредствено след това от очевидци да прелита ниско над земята с ляв крен, при което вероятно закача дървета на билото на хълма под себе си, което води до откъсване последователно на крилата и сблъсък с терена.

По данни на екипажите на работилите в района въздухоплавателни средства, МТО станциите и очевидци метеорологичните условия за полета били крайно неблагоприятни, поради силните ветрове в района от запад и север с променяща се скорост от 15-16 възела до пориви от 39-42 възела. Метеоролозите допускат, че планинско-хълмистият терен допълнително би усложнил картината на въздушните течения.

Минути преди катастрофата екипажът на борд 137 отказва да лети повече в района и предупреждава за опасната метеорологична обстановка.

Самолетът е оборудван с гласов бордови самописец, но същият не е бил запуснат по време на фаталния полет. Няма такъв за полетните данни.

В докладите от разследването се посочва, че сложните метеорологични условия (ветрове, въздушни течения и силна турбуленция) са допринесли за произшествието, така че при полета на малка височина и недостатъчна скорост самолетът аеродинамично е пропаднал и се е сблъскал с терена.


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23.01.2020 - AircrashConsult