Fire Retardant Holding Tanks, Chester Air Attack Base, Plumas County, CaliforniaFire Retardant Holding Tanks, Chester Air Attack Base, CaliforniaN442DF, Grumman S-2T, Tanker-94, Firefighting AirtankerN442DF, Grumman S-2T, Tanker-94, Firefighting AirtankerN442DF, Grumman S-2T, Tanker-94 head-on, Firefighting AirtankerRadial Piston Engine, N442DF, Grumman S-2TA, Tanker-94, Firefighting AirtankerRadial Piston Engine, N442DF, Grumman S-2T, Tanker-94, Firefighting AirtankerCDF Patch, emblem, graphic, CDF, California Department of ForestryN4150F, North American OV-10A, Spotter Plane, AirtacNorth American OV-10A, N4150F, Spotter Plane, AirtacNorth American OV-10A, N4150F, Spotter Plane, AirtacN4150F, Airtac, North-American OV-10A, CDF, California Department of Forestry, Spotter PlaneN9995Z, Grumman AF-2SN4235N, SP-2H, Neptune Inc., 10, Former Navy ASW Aircraft, Firefighting Airtanker, Tanker-10, Neptune Aviation ServicesN202EV, Lockheed P2V-5F Neptune, Former Navy ASW Aircraft, Evergreen, Tanker-141, Firefighting AirtankerN51701, Douglas DC-7B, Firefighting Airtanker, Tanker-31
Radial Piston Engine, N442DF, Grumman S-2TA, Tanker-94, Firefighting Airtanker
Code Number:
TAEV01P05_19
Title:
Radial Piston Engine, N442DF, Grumman S-2TA, Tanker-94, Firefighting Airtanker
CDF - California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection
CN: 295C

Date: 27-AUG-2001
Owner/operator: California Department of Forestry (CDF)
Registration: N442DF
Fatalities: Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities: 1
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: Hopland, California - USA
Phase: En route
Nature: Fire fighting
Departure airport: Ukiah, California (UKI)
Destination airport: Ukiah, California (UKI)
Narrative:
During an aerial fire suppression mission for the California Department of Forestry (CDF), two Grumman TS-2A airplanes, operating as Tanker 92 (N442DF) and Tanker 87 (N450DF), collided in flight while in a holding pattern awaiting a retardant drop assignment on the wildfire. The Air Tactical Group Supervisor (AirTac) was orbiting clockwise 1,000 feet above the tankers, who were in a counterclockwise orbit at 3,000 feet mean sea level (msl). The collision appeared to have occurred about 2,500 feet, which was below orbit altitude. CDF had no standard operating manual, no established reporting or entry point for the holding orbits, and a fire bomber could enter any point of the orbit from any direction. While no standardized procedures were encoded in an operating manual, a CDF training syllabus noted that a fire bomber was not to enter an orbit until establishing positive radio contact with AirTac. The entering fire bomber would approach 1,000 feet below AirTac's altitude and stay in a left orbit that was similar to a salad bowl, high and wide enough to see and clear all other tankers until locating the fire bomber that it was to follow, then adjust speed and altitude to fall in behind the preceding aircraft.

The NTSB determined the probable causes of this accident as follows:
the failure of both pilots to maintain an adequate visual lookout. The failure of the pilot in Tanker 87 to comply with suggested procedures regarding positive radio contact and orbit entry was a factor.

Sources:
http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20010914X01949&key=1

Keywords:
Aviation Power Plants, Engines, Propulsion, Thrust, Fire Departments, First Responder, Natural-Disaster, Grumman S-2, Prop, Propeller, Airplane, aircraft, Plane, Fixed wing multi engine, high-wing, Aviation, Stoof, Fire Bomber, Aerial Firefighting, Fire Suppression, Civil, Aviation, Civilian, fire fighting, Emergency, hull, equipment, Apparatus, Airtanker, Airtak
Image by:
Wernher Krutein

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