24-hour briefing on air tanker crash

Air tanker crash
Deseret News, Keith Johnson

The U.S. Forest Service has released a preliminary briefing on Saturday’s crash of Air Tanker 42 in Utah:


Subject: Preliminary (24-Hour) Briefing

To: Ron Hanks


Location: Toole Utah

Date of occurrence: April 25, 2009

Time of occurrence: 10:00 AM

Team leader: NTSB (Kurt Anderson)

Mission: Ferry

Activity: Firefighting airtanker under operational control of New Mexico

Number injured: 0

Number of fatalities: 3

Property damage (such as to vessels, equipment, and structures): Total loss of airframe

Narrative: At approximately 10:00 am Mountain Standard Time, a P2V airtanker with a crew of 3, registered to Neptune aviation impacted terrain near Toole Utah in the Stockton Pass area. All three occupants onboard were killed. The aircraft was traveling from Missoula Montana to respond to the Four Mile fire in Chaves County. This fire and the associated flight was under the operational control of the State of New Mexico The occupants were identified as Tom Risk, Pilot, of Littleton CA, Mike Flynn, co-pilot, of Alamogordo, NM and Brian Buss ,Crew chief of Alberton Montana.

Aircraft debris was scattered over an area approximately 500 feet long and weather conditions at the time of the accident were described as foggy with low ceilings, wind and blowing snow.

The NTSB has assigned Kurt Anderson as Investigator in Charge and the FAA is also participating in the investigation. The investigation team has been on site since Sunday Morning along with representatives from Neptune aviation.

The Forest Service has contacted the NTSB Investigator in Charge to offer any support or assistance as needed. The AFF tracking system has been saved for investigation purposes and the aircraft has the APAREO system on board which may help reconstruct some information from the history of the flight.

Gary Morgan

Air Safety Investigator

USDA Forest Service

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6 thoughts on “24-hour briefing on air tanker crash”

  1. Can you or someone clarify what APAREO. I have looked in a couple of online aviation glossaries that did not include this acronym.

  2. Good question, Tyler. I wonder if "APAREO" is misspelled in the report? Google can’t find any other references to it.

  3. Bill,Yeah I googled "APAREO" as well and found nothing. <g> Do you have sources for the correct acronym? If not, let me know. There is someone I can ask, but I need to wait a fiew days before doing so.Tyler

  4. Tyler, I can’t help you with that acronym. I assume it’s either a geographic tracking system or a "black box" device that records data about the operation of the aircraft.

  5. Thanks Bill! I think I know someone who can help with the acronym. I just need to wait a few days. Tyler

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