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Pilots walk way after B.C. plane goes down while fighting Australian wildfires

Coulson Aviation 737 FireLiner involved in accident while responding to a fire

Two pilots have survived a plane crash in Australia involving one of Coulson Aviation’s firefighting planes.

According to Coulson Group CEO Wayne Coulson, one of the company’s 737 FireLiners, Tanker 139, was involved in an accident while tasked to a fire on Monday, Feb. 6.

READ MORE: Coulson Aviation awarded new large aerial tanker contract in Australia

The aircraft had two on board at the time, but both pilots walked away from the accident.

“Our thoughts and our immediate concern is for those team members and their families,” said Coulson. “We are very grateful the two team members on Tanker 139 are safe. We are offering all the support we can to our local and international crews. We’re also grateful for the support being provided by our firefighting and aviation industry colleagues in Western Australia.”

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed that it is investigating an accident involving a 737 large air tanker in the Fitzgerald River National Park, south of Ravensthorpe, Western Australia.

“Initially, investigators will seek to interview the pilots and witnesses to understand the circumstances of the accident, and determine the accessibility of the accident site with the aim of conducting an on-site examination of the aircraft wreckage,” said the ATSB in a statement.

This is the second incident for Coulson Aviation during firefighting operations in Australia, after a C-130 heavy air tanker crashed in 2020, killing all three on board.

READ MORE: Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia, killing three on board

Tanker 139 had just been awarded the contract for Australia’s National Large Air Tanker (LAT) just last month.

Coulson Aviation is based in Port Alberni, B.C. on Vancouver Island.

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Elena Rardon

About the Author: Elena Rardon

I have worked with the Alberni Valley News since 2016.
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