C-130 declares emergency, crashes at Santa Barbara Airport

There are reports that the aircraft was a former air tanker

C-130 crash landing Santa Barbara Airport
C-130 after a crash landing at Santa Barbara Airport at 10:13 p.m. August 25, 2019. Photo provided by @EliasonMike.

A privately owned C-130 made a crash landing in Southern California at Santa Barbara Airport Sunday night after declaring an emergency. It had earlier taken off from Santa Maria 47 miles northwest of Santa Barbara airport. All seven people on board escaped without serious injury. There was a fire after it came to a stop which was quickly extinguished by an airport crash rescue truck spraying foam.

CBS News reported that the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane experienced hydraulic problems shortly after departing from Santa Maria, bound for Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

C-130 crash landing Santa Barbara Airport
C-130 after a crash landing at Santa Barbara Airport at 10:13 p.m. August 25, 2019. Photo provided by @EliasonMike.

FlightAware shows that the aircraft landed at Santa Barbara 16 minutes after taking off from Santa Maria.

C-130 flight Santa Barbara crash
Flight of N119TG from Santa Maria to Santa Barbara August 25, 2019. FlightAware.

There are reports that the aircraft was N119TG, serial number 57-520, which is registered to International Air Response out of Mesa, Arizona. In an earlier life 57-520 appears to have been Air Tanker 88, N138FF, operated by Hemet Valley Flying Service in Santa Rosa, California. A Google search for “Air Tanker 88, N138FF” produced many photos.

Tanker 88 C-130
Air Tanker 88 at Hemet, California October 28, 1993. JD Davis Photo.


air tanker 88 C-130
Jerome sent us this picture he took of a print that has been hanging on the wall at Santa Rosa Air Attack Base for a while.

International Air Response’s website says the company “… is a global provider of specialized aerial services. Founded in 1976, the company owns, maintains, and operates a large fleet of Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft.” The site has a page dedicated to Aerial Firefighting : “C-130 Hercules equipped with RADS aerial firefighting system – The most versatile and effective large air tanker with proven results.” The page has what must be a very old photo of Tanker 81 dropping retardant. Today CAL FIRE has S2 air tankers known as Tanker 81 and Tanker 88.

air tanker 81
Photo from the International Air Response website.

7 thoughts on “C-130 declares emergency, crashes at Santa Barbara Airport”

  1. I believe T&G’s Herc N116TG (Tanker 30) was renumbered Tanker 81 when it was flying for the Sécurité Civile when it was under contract in France in ’92, ’93 & 1994. N116TG was lost in a crash near Burzet, France crashed killing two of the four crewmen on board when it struck a ridge while preparing for a second drop on the fire.
    Somebody who is more familiar with the C-130 fleet should be able to add more info, but N119TG (the plane that crashed in Santa Barbara )may have been one of the three A model airframes T&G bought from Hemet Valley.

    1. N117TG was tanker 81 while working for Security Civile in France.
      N116TG was tanker 82 while working in France. Crashed Sept 6 2000 on her 2nd load for the morning. She was a good ole girl and I was lucky to have survived her last flight.

  2. IAR is Woody Grantham’s old T&G Aviation, now run by his sons. They have their own C-130’s, and H&P’s old C130’s.

  3. C-130, Hemet Flying Services Tanker 88, was based at Santa Rosa for the fire season 1993. Was acquired by T&G Aviation/IAR in the 1990’s. I don’t think IAR owns any former H&P Hercs(to be confirmed).

    As Tom said, N116TG, Tanker 82 was lost Sept 6th 2000 in Burzet, southern France Killing FE Joe Williams and FO Paul Trinque.

  4. Jerome,

    IAR owns T131 and T133, bought for parts. I worked on IAR aircraft several years ago and can confirm that those aircraft are on property.

  5. More infos on the T88 Drop picture.
    It was taken in 1993 by Larry Groff’s wife Christine on a fire near Windsor north of Santa Rosa.
    T88 crew was Larry Groff (Captain), J.D Donahue(FO) and Roger….. (FE).

    Larry was killed on Aug 27th on the Bus Fire.

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