Hotshot crew raising funds for Tanker 11 memorial

The Lone Peak Hotshots are conducting a fundraising effort to build a memorial to honor the two pilots that were killed when a P2V, Tanker 11, crashed while working on the White Rock Fire near the Utah/Nevada border in 2012. The NTSB investigation concluded that Pilots Todd Tompkins and Ron Chambless died when the aircraft crashed while maneuvering to make their second drop on the fire that day.

Kris Bruington, the Superintendent of the Lone Peak Hotshot crew, sent us a message asking that we encourage our readers to help establish the memorial. Here is an excerpt from his email:

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“On June 03, 2012, tragedy struck the fire and aviation community. The Missoula-based Tanker 11 piloted by Captain Todd Neal Tompkins, 48, of Boise, Idaho and Co-Pilot Ronnie Edwin Chambless, 40, of Boise, Idaho had been working on the east flank of the White Rock Fire on the Utah-Nevada border west of Cedar City, Utah. Tanker 11 was on approach for the second retardant drop of the day on our Division, when it crashed. Neither pilot survived.

“The crew is leading the effort to raise funds for a memorial to honor both Todd and Ronnie. We will facilitate the tribute and will provide the bulk of the hard labor necessary to install the memorial and improve the site. Two 5′ tall granite Obelisks engraved with the names of the two fallen comrades, and featuring a color image of Tanker 11 will be placed at the crash site.

“I know each year we all are asked to donate in some way to memorials and those in time of need. If you are in a position to be able to help with a monetary donation for this memorial, it would be greatly appreciated. If at the least you could pass this message on to others, that would be of tremendous help as well.

“The fundraising page can be found at www.youcaring.com/tanker11