Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

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Cod Father
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Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by Cod Father »

Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

By Bryan Passifiume, QMI Agency

Friday, May 22, 2015 11:12:12 MDT PM

CALGARY -- A 37-year-old pilot is dead after a plane fighting wildfires crashed about 100 km from Cold Lake, Alberta.

An official at Conair Aerial Firefighting confirmed late Friday night the crash happened at about 4:40 p.m. MT Friday.

The pilot was flying a small water bomber, Conair said.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada was sending an investigation team, expected to arrive Saturday morning, TSB spokesman Julie Leroux confirmed.

As of Friday afternoon, there were 24 wildfires burning in Alberta. All were classified as being held or under control. Since April 1, Alberta has recorded 587 wildfires, which have burned more than 2,200 hectares of land.
source: http://www.fortmcmurraytoday.com/2015/0 ... ke-crashes

Any confirmation on whether it was an AT802 Fireboss?
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rkwik
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by rkwik »

Did you read the story in your link. It answers your question.
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DanWEC
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by DanWEC »

Yes, it was.
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gongshowking
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by gongshowking »

Loss of a pretty great guy, told ya how things were and knew how to laugh. I was once a little over my head flying drums in the bush and he randomly left me a care package including proper gloves, some Oreos and some steaks. What sad news, thoughts for the family.
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Probes Down
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by Probes Down »

Very sad news. My condolences go out to the family. RIP
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by Driving Rain »

RIP, my deepest condolences to family friends co-workers.
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Meatservo
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by Meatservo »

gongshowking wrote:Loss of a pretty great guy, told ya how things were and knew how to laugh. I was once a little over my head flying drums in the bush and he randomly left me a care package including proper gloves, some Oreos and some steaks. What sad news, thoughts for the family.
You run into guys like that every now and then, they make working in this industry worth while. Sounds like a real good guy. I felt a sense of loss reading your little story, even though I didn't know him.
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MUSICMAAN
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by MUSICMAAN »

Good friend, and all around awesome guy. My heart goes out to everyone who had the chance to know him. Never forget the good times! He'll be missed dearly.
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Old fella
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by Old fella »

Tragic news indeed. Sincere condolences to his family/friends/co-workers.
:cry:
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swordfish
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by swordfish »

rkwik wrote:Did you read the story in your link. It answers your question.
The link is dead - 404 error
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by co-joe »

I read the story in the sun today. My condolences. Dry fall, dry winter, dry spring, we could be needing you guys more than ever. Gotta be tough on the rest of the crews just starting their seasons. Band together boys, we appreciate the work you do, and the risks you take.

Question, is there no room for FPW or AAO's on the AT802? Was surprised to hear only one occupant.
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CLguy
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by CLguy »

Since the 802 is a single seat aircraft not sure why you would be surprised it had only one occupant.

My sincere condolences to Will's family, friends and coworkers.

There's a long season ahead yet so let's all stay safe!
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by iflyforpie »

My sincerest condolences. Fly safely, everyone.
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by threepoint »

co-joe wrote:
Question, is there no room for FPW or AAO's on the AT802? Was surprised to hear only one occupant.
The AT-802 does offer a two-seat model, and Conair does have at least one example (on wheels) for training/checkriding purposes. But unless I'm mistaken, the amphib aircraft are all single-seat. All AAOs fly in the birddog plane and I'm not sure what an FPW is.
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by Johnny#5 »

Have they officially released the pilot's name yet?
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by jspitfire »

Someone's already got a page up for him.

http://www.forevermissed.com/william-hilts/#about

Condolences to all his family friends and coworkers.
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by Lotro »

I did not know him, but it always saddens me to hear of a loss in the Canadian aviation community. My condolences as well.

Tasteful story about the pilot.

http://www.guelphmercury.com/news-story ... -he-loved/
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by jetboy »

COLD LAKE -- Cold Lake firefighters in full gear took part in Sunday's 4 Wing (CFB Cold Lake) 5K walk/run to honour William Hilts, the pilot who died battling an area wildfire.



Hilts was fighting fires in an Air Tractor AT-802 "Fire Boss" amphibious water bomber for Conair Aerial Firefighting, under contract to Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD), when his plane crashed on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range May 22 around 5:20 p.m.

Volunteer firefighter Joe Siu helped pull together the honour walk for Hilts.

"We thought (Sunday) would be a good opportunity for us to walk as a team to honour him, and to show support to his family, and to show support to all the wildland firefighters, for fighting all the Alberta wildfires right now," Siu said.

"We thought this would be a great opportunity for us to walk beside each other, and to remind ourselves how important our families are to us, and we have to look after each other when we're out in a big fire call like that."

Cold Lake Fire Rescue Chief Jeff Fallow was fully supportive of Siu's idea.

"The fire service is about family. it's an extended family, with firefighters around the world," said Fallow.

About 10 firefighters from the Cold Lake force attended the walk.

Fallow said that though the death of a fellow firefighter affects the team, they are still focussed on the job at hand.

"Any time there's a death, it always weighs on your mind," he said. "We're there to do a job, and we're trained to do that job. It gives you a little more vigour to make sure you do it properly and you get it out as soon as possible to honour that fallen member."

"We train, we train hard, and we fight many grassfires here in the local area," Siu added. "We trust our training, we trust our leaders, and we trust our command. We're familiar with our trucks, with our equipment, so we're pretty confident out there when we fight those big fires."

Cold Lake Fire Rescue has supported Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) when required, but the area wildfire falls out of the local department's jurisdiction.

There are over 260 firefighters and staff, including firefighters from other provinces, as well as air tankers, 18 helicopters, six cat units, water trucks, and various other pieces of heavy equipment are fighting the weapons range fire.

The Transportation Safety Board is still investigating what caused Hilts' plane to crash.

Investigators were able to access the site early Saturday, May 23, with the help of Alberta forestry helicopters, a spokesperson said. Investigators spent May 24 and 25 interviewing eyewitnesses.

The fire on the weapons range has grown to over 31,000 hectares since May 22.



http://www.edmontonsun.com/2015/06/01/c ... hting-fire
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xsbank
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by xsbank »

That's two unexplained FireCow crashes in a year. Both were well-maintained a/c flown by experienced pilots. What's happening with these things? Shouldn't there be some report by now?

The first guy was lucky, walked/swam away and now has a new job. This gentleman was not so lucky, condolences to his family.

Remember you guys, they're just trees, they will grow back. Stay safe out there!
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Jean-Pierre
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Re: Plane fighting fires near Cold Lake crashes

Post by Jean-Pierre »

Maybe is not the airplane.
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