“The plane was identified as a twin-engine, Lockheed P2V air tanker that was fighting the Hope Valley Fire south of Lake Tahoe. The plane was fully loaded with fuel and fire retardant and was owned by Neptune Aviation Services of Missoula, Mont., Reno fire officials were told.
“They had been working earlier in the day and were going back for one more drop,” said Steve Frady, Reno Fire Department spokesman.
Crash debris was scattered over five acres, and the fire from the crash up to two acres. Smoke could be seen from several miles away in Reno following a report of an explosion in the area….”
Update: The names of the three crew members who died in the crash; link
Calvin Gene Wahlstrom, 61 of Hunstville, Utah
Gregory Gonsioroski, 41 of Baker, Montana
Zachary Jake Vander-Griend, 25 of Missoula Montana.
Our sincerest condolences to the families of the fallen.
Here is a video that included a look at Tanker 09 after a day of working fires in Southern California last year.
For a closer look at the aircraft from one year ago click here.