Author Bill Gabbert

One of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s S-2T air tankers, Tanker 96 (N440DF), had a mishap July 28, 2020 at the Rohnerville Airport in northern California.

“Yesterday at about 6 p.m. we had an incident involving one of our aircraft assigned to Rohnerville Air Attack Base,” said Paul Savona, Battalion Chief with CAL FIRE’s Humbolt Del Norte unit Wednesday morning. “As a result of the incident there were no injuries and no fire. Everything else is under investigation.”

A recording of radio traffic from the incident posted on the Redheaded Blackbelt website included this:

Tanker 96 hit the ground. Left tire is popped. Like to request Fortuna Fire Department. Additionally, Tanker 96 is off the end of the runway. Currently out of service.

Six minutes later when Rohnerville Fire Department was called out, the dispatcher said it was “non injury”.

The website quotes Chief Savona as saying the aircraft is repairable.

Rohnerville is 15 miles south of Eureka, California.

The last flight of T-96 recorded on FlightAware shows that the incident most likely occurred while landing.

On October 7, 2014 Pilot Geoffrey “Craig” Hunt was killed in the crash of a CAL FIRE S-2T, Tanker 81, while attempting to drop on the Dog Rock Fire near Yosemite National Park.