Update 5:45 p.m. MDT, July 7, 2014; originally published July 3, 2014): An air attack fixed wing aircraft, an Aero Commander 500, overshot the runway while landing at Wilcox, AZ (map) on July 2.
The two people on board were not injured when their plane had a “hard landing” at the airport around 7:35 p.m., according to the Wilcox Range News. They were transported to a local hospital and were later released.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident. The plane was operating under a federal contract with Houston Air, and was flying back from the Whetstone Mountains Fire, also called the Radio Fire.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the Coronado National Forest had operational control of the 600 acre fire. The Forest considered the fire a possible threat, they said, but the fire was not burning on forest land. The Arizona State Forestry Division ordered the plane at the Forest’s request.
Carrie Dennett, a spokesperson for Arizona State Forestry Division, told us her agency had operational control of the aircraft.
1956 Grand Canyon TWA-United Airlines Aviation Accident Site, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.
On June 30, 1956, a Trans World Airlines Super Constellation L-1049 and a United Airlines DC-7 collided in uncongested airspace 21,000 feet over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, killing all 128 people onboard the two flights. The tragedy spurred an unprecedented effort to modernize and increase safety in America’s postwar airways, culminating in the establishment of the modern Federal Aviation Administration. Other improvements that resulted from the crash included nationwide radar coverage, a common military/civilian navigation system, and the development of technologies such as collision avoidance systems and flight data recorders.
You may not have heard of Vine. It’s a new social media/networking site that allows you to upload six-second videos, which then keep repeating, forever I guess. That’s about all I know about it. But check out this video of one of the DC-10 air tankers taking off at Mesa Gateway en route to the Doce Fire, which grew from zero to 5,000 acres Tuesday afternoon. When you go to the site you may have to click on the image to start the video.
The news footage above indicates some of the people in the Phoenix area are pleased to have one of the DC-10 air tankers temporarily working out of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport. Some Snake River Hotshots crewmembers detailed there out of Idaho are also interviewed in the piece.
After flying 10 missions on the Powerhouse Fire in southern California over two days, the air tanker flew two missions Tuesday on the Thompson Ridge fire which is spreading rapidly west of Los Alamos, New Mexico. Today they are back on the Thompson Ridge Fire again, reloading out of Roswell, New Mexico.
One of our readers has spotted what he says are three helicopters and one air tanker that show up in satellite imagery visible on Google Earth. Brian found them on satellite photos taken June 12, 2011 which show the Wallow Fire in eastern Arizona actively burning.
Last month on Wildfire Today we had information about three aircraft that showed up on Google Earth satellite photos taken October 26, 2006 during the Esperanza fire in southern California. This link is a Google Earth KLM file that has place marks for all three aircraft. On that imagery, the air tankers were clearly visible. The four reported on the Wallow fire are not as clear, partly because three of them are helicopters, which of course are smaller than air tankers.
But check it out yourself. Here is the information provided by Brian. You can copy the lat/long and paste it into the search box on Google Earth.
AE350B helicopter: 33 32 40.27 -109 24 10.21
B212 helicopter: 33 32 46.02 -109 24 01.06
S64 helicopter: 33 32 55.26 -109 23 13.25
P2V air tanker: 33 32 44.35 -109 26 33.99
Even if the aircraft are not super clear, it is interesting seeing the photos of the active Wallow fire which started May 29, eventually becoming the largest fire in Arizona history, burning 538,040 acres, which includes 15,407 acres after it crossed the border into New Mexico.