Aviation News

July 2, 2012

Air Force C-130 Hercules Firefighting Plane Crashes in South Dakota

Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS) being loaded onto an Air Force C-130 Hercules. (Photo by US Air Force)

A C-130 Hercules firefighting aircraft crashed while combating a blaze in southwestern South Dakota on Sunday.

Three crewmembers of the plane were transported to a hospital by helicopter. Their condition was not immediately known. “Our number one priority right now is taking care of the crew,” Pat Cross, incident management spokesman, told the Argus Leader a local newspaper.

The plane, fitted with a Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS), had reportedly just dropped water on the White Draw wildfire near Edgemont, South Dakota, when it went down. The fire had already burned over 3,000 acres of Black Hills National Forest.

Congress established the MAFFS program in 1970 to allow the US Forest Service to contract military aircraft for firefighting duties.

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