SYDNEY (AP) — A tanker plane that crashed and killed its three American crew members as they fought wildfires in Australia had just dropped liquid to suppress the flames, investigators said Friday.
The crash Thursday killed Capt. Ian H. McBeth, 44, of Great Falls, Montana; First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson, 42, of Buckeye, Arizona; and Flight Engineer Rick A. DeMorgan Jr., 43, of Navarre, Florida, their employer, Canada-based Coulson Aviation, said in a statement.
The deaths came during an unprecedented wildfire season that has left a large swath of destruction in Australia’s southeast. More than 30 people have died, including three Australian volunteer firefighters.