Author Topic: Pilot, passenger killed in firefighting plane crash near Kruger Rock Fire in CO.  (Read 1724 times)

Offline KB4TEZ

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thoughts with the families and RIP to the brave souls

'FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A pilot and passenger were killed after a single-engine air tanker crashed near the quickly spreading Kruger Rock Fire on Tuesday night, according to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office.  The plane's flight was supposed to be historic: It was the first time a fixed-wing aircraft had ever fought a fire at night using night vision in Colorado, according to the Coloradoan's television news partners at 9News.

The fire, which is burning an estimated 133 acres with 15% containment as of . Tuesday evening, is near Rocky Mountain National Park, 90 minutes away from Denver.

The plane, called the Air Tractor Fire Boss, is a one-seat firefighting airplane that can drop up to 800 gallons of water or retardant on a fire per flight and up to 14,000 gallons per hour, according to the manufacturer's website.

9News previously reported that the flight was planned to deploy a pilot wearing night-vision goggles in a plane equipped with specialized infrared lighting and other lighting designed for flying at night. The technology was demonstrated during a May demonstration in Loveland, Colorado.  The sheriff's office said the pilot and only occupant of the plane did not survive. Their identities were not immidieately available

According to emergency radio broadcasts from Estes Valley Fire District, the plane is believed to have gone down about 6:45 p.m. It left an airport at 6:13 p.m. and was last tracked at 6:36 p.m., according to the aircraft tracking website FlightAware.

Around 9:49 p.m., crews found the plane crash site, the sheriff's office said.