Posted: Jul 3, 2012 12:32 PM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News
Updated: Jul 3, 2012 12:32 PM
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, CO- The Department of Defense is giving the okay for the fleet of C-130 heavy air tankers to resume the fight against dozens of forest fires today.
The planes were grounded for a day following Sunday's crash of a C-130 fighting the White Draw fire in South Dakota. The Forest Service has said that crash killed four crew members and seriously injured two others. All of the crew members were with the North Carolina Air National Guard.
(USAF photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen)
The planes were kept out of the air Monday as fire managers reviewed the initial information on the accident and talked with crews of the remaining seven planes that are part of the Modular Airborne Fire-Fighting System fleet or MAFFS aircraft. Such a stand down is normal procedure following an air tanker accident.
Tuesday the Commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the United States Northern Command announced the MAFFS planes had resumed operations.
Investigation on the White Draw crash is underway. The fatalities come just weeks after two men were killed in the crash of a Neptune Aviation P-2 tanker in the Utah desert. A second P-2 crashed the same weekend near Reno but its crew wasn't hurt.