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Air tankers collide mid-air while fighting southern Nevada wildfire

Two pilots were killed Thursday when their air tankers collided in midair as they were helping to fight a large wildfire in southern Nevada, federal officials said. The cause of the 12:55 p.m. incident wasn’t immediately clear, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. There was one pilot aboard each single-engine Air Tractor AT8T, the department said. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management suggested in a statement that the deceased were "contract pilots." "Recovery… ( More...

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ADXbear 7
John Shearer 5
I worked with the SEAT tankers for several seasons flying an Air Attack platform. Those guys really get it done and have no one but themselves to keep an eye pealed for anything that might be a problem. RIP
sharon wakulich 5
So very sorry to hear this news; these folks work hard in a difficult environment. Prayers to their friends & families.
bbabis 8
A thank you to the pilots and condolences to their families and friends. R.I.P.
John Shearer 4
James Willich has it although the "Air Command" in most areas I've worked is called an "Air Attack" identifying the Air Attack Tactical Officer usually sitting in the right seat. We flew C337T's and a Kodiak and usually had two government radios going with one tuned to the Incident Commander (always on the ground with ability to take helo rides if needed and otherwise relying on the Air Attack to be his/her eyes in the sky. The other UHF was tuned to Dispatch where we could call for more/less assets, etc. Then there were two VHF radios going with one tined to the SEATS, helos and tankers plus lead ships and another tuned to any close by airport Unicom frequency. Busy business!
James Willich 1
You're right and I stand corrected. Air Attack is the proper term. It's been a few years since I've had one foot in the black.
darjr26 4
I’m sure they use a common frequency to talk with each other, but does anyone know if there is any type of ground controller that determines where to drop their retardant and advise where other aircraft are located?
James Willich 5
Firefighters on the ground communicate with air command, who is flying quite a bit higher than the tankers and lead planes. Air command orchestrates the lead planes, tankers, helicopters, and the rest of the airborne assets.
Richard Orgill 4
RainbowRiver 2
Hate to hear that. These guys work extremely hard in difficult conditions. Condolences to their families.
Brett Gurney 2
I feel sad for the pilots and their family, friends & associates. There is no reason this should happen. With hundreds of billions of dollars going ANNUALLY to the DoD for aircraft, warships, submarines, rail guns, missiles, radar, sonar, lidar, navigation, targeting systems - money is available. This relatively small and old fleet should be equipped with obstacle avoidance, tracking, air traffic control personnel and equipment. What if this happened over a populated area, such as fires have approached and destroyed in recent years?
Etienne Daniels 2


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