Three Fire Boss aircraft were en route to the Horns Mountain fire burning in the Colville National Forest. On the morning of August 14th the airplanes left from the Deer Park Airport; each one seemed to be in perfect working order. “The aircraft experienced an unknown problem…” The engine had lost all power, forcing the pilot to quickly find somewhere to land in the densely forested area. “The pilot executed a forced landing on a logging road and was able to exit the aircraft, “ Air Spray USA, Inc. said in an official statement..
The pilot suffered some broken ribs and a bruised lung, but was able to walk away from the incident. He was transported to a nearby hospital and has since been released.
The Fire Boss aircraft appears to be badly damaged from the hard landing and might be beyond repair. An investigation is in the works by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Incident Commander Brian Goff said, “We are very relieved to learn that the pilot was able to walk away from this incident. Firefighting aircraft work closely with ground firefighters to contain the fire. They are all part of the team. I admire the skill and bravery they exhibit on every fire.”
Whenever an incident like this takes place, the fuel provider is required to suspend fuel sales in case the problem was a fuel related issue. As of 9pm on the 14th, fuel sales had resumed after completing fuel quality assurance testing. DNR resumed Fire Boss flights with the remaining aircraft on the morning of the 15th.For more info on the Fire Boss aircraft please see our previous article here: DPGazette.com/fireboss