Three single engine air tankers and ground equipment will be sold at auction
The Texas company that operated the two Single Engine Air Tankers that crashed in southeast Nevada July 30, 2020 plans a “complete liquidation” of their assets on January 9. A live and online auction will sell, among other items, three Air Tractor AT-802As, a fuel truck, and several other trucks and trailers.
A mid-air collision of the two Air Tractor AT-801A SEATs occurred as they were assisting firefighters on the Bishop Fire. Investigators found that the tankers were working in tandem with one close behind the other. The following aircraft made a rapid climb then suddenly turned left and collided with the other.
Killed in the crash were pilots David Blake Haynes and Scott Thomas. May they rest in peace.
The Sheriff’s Office of Lincoln County, Nevada has officially released the names of the two pilots that were killed in the mid-air collision of two Single Engine Air Tankers that occurred July 30, 2020 that were working on the Bishop Fire in southeast Nevada. The aircraft were on contract with the BLM.
They were identified by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office as David Blake Haynes and Scott Thomas. When we asked Sheriff Kerry Lee why it took almost three weeks to release the names, he said that they have four ways to identify deceased individuals — dental, fingerprint, identification by the family either on scene or by photo, or DNA. Because of the condition of the victims they had to use DNA which required obtaining samples from family members then sending those to a lab with samples from the pilots.
The investigators found that the tankers were working in tandem with one close behind the other. After the following aircraft got retardant on the windshield it made a rapid climb then suddenly turned left and collided with the other.
Both of the SEATs were operated by M&M Air Services out of Beaumont, Texas. The aircraft were made by Air Tractor, model AT-802A; N8510M (Tanker 866) and N1558W (Tanker 824).
Our sincere condolences go out to the family, friends, and co-workers of Mr. Haynes and Mr. Thomas.
The article was updated August 20, 2020 after receiving information from the Sheriff’s office.
Two air tankers collided July 30 while working on the Bishop Fire in southeast Nevada.
The Air Tractor Single Engine Air Tankers, SEATs, were involved in a mid-air collision Thursday afternoon according to Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Claire Morville. There was one person on board each aircraft.
At 10 p.m. MDT July 30 a spokesperson for the Bureau of Land Management, Chris Hanefeld, confirmed that the collision occurred earlier in the day at about 12:55 p.m. He said both pilots were killed in the crash. Recovery operations are currently underway and initial notifications are still being made.
“We offer our sincere condolences to the families of the two pilots and to all those working with the BLM Nevada Ely District,” said BLM Nevada State Director Jon Raby.
The Bishop fire, reported July 29, has burned 500 acres 14 miles south-southwest of Caliente, Nevada.
The accident occurred near the intersection of Kane Springs Road and Riggs Road, Ms. Morville said.
The fire is on land managed by the BLM. The two privately owned aircraft were under contract to the agency.
SEATs are small airplanes used to support wildland firefighters on the ground. They can deliver up to 800 gallons of fire retardant and operate in areas where larger airtankers cannot.
The names of the pilots have not been released.
Our sincere condolences go out to the pilots’ family, friends, and coworkers.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Tom. Typos or errors, report them HERE.