26 Years ago today: On 21 June 1995 a Douglas C-54 air tanker crashed near Hemet-Ryan Field, CA following midair collision with a Beech Baron; killing 3 people.

Date:Wednesday 21 June 1995
Time:11:08
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-54G
Operator:Aero Union
Registration:N4989P
MSN:36082
First flight:1945
Total airframe hrs:23507
Engines:Pratt & Whitney R-2000-3
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Collision casualties:Fatalities: 1
Aircraft damage:Destroyed
Aircraft fate:Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1,6 km (1 mls) E of Ramona, CA (   United States of America)
Phase:Approach (APR)
Nature:Fire fighting
Departure airport:Hemet-Ryan Field, CA (HMT/KHMT), United States of America
Destination airport:Hemet-Ryan Field, CA (HMT/KHMT), United States of America

Narrative:
A Beechcraft 58P Baron (N156Z) operated by the US Forest Service took off from Ontario Airport at 08:00 for aerial fire suppression activities over the Butterfield Ranch about 30 miles northeast of Ramona Airport. Lead 56 flew over the fire area and conducted fire spotting and led several air tankers to specific drop areas. Lead 56 remained over the area until relieved by another Forest Service airplane, Lead 55, at 11:00.
At 10:22 Tanker 19, a Douglas C-54G, took off from Hemet-Ryan Field (HMT) for the third fire retardant drop in the same area. After the drop, it was instructed, along with other tankers to fly to Ramona Airport. Both the C-54 and the Baron arrived near Ramona at the same time.
The C-54 carried out a straight-in approach. The Baron, turning from base leg, struck the tail of the C-54. Both aircraft crashed and caught fire. The pilot of the Beech was killed and two residences and two vehicles were also destroyed.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “Inadequate visual lookout by the Beech 58P pilot, and the operator’s inadequate procedures concerning 360-degree overhead approaches.”