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Incident Name:  unknown initial attack on a high altitude Forest Service fire near Grand Junction CO
Date:  8/8/76
Personnel:  Ed Jenks, from Vail, CO
Age:  39
Agency/Organization:  Lynch Air Tanker under contract with the BLM and dropping on a Forest Service fire
Position: Pilot

Summary: On August 8, 1976, prior to 1600 hours, Ed Jenks departed Grand Junction, CO tanker base in a Douglas A-26B. He flew into a blind canyon, was unable to climb out, stalled during a steep bank, and crashed into terrain at about 9700 feet. His assignment was fire suppression.

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departed Grand Junction Regional Airport

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Concise Information from the NTSB, FAA, USFS, AAP, and research by the WLF Staff:
    • August 8, 1976, Tanker 59
    • killed: Ed Jenks
    • Operator: Lynch Air Tanker
    • Type: Douglas A-26B
    • impacted mountainous terrain after departing Grand Junction, CO
    • Registration tail number: N3427G
    • NTSB # DEN76AD062
  • National Transportation Safety Board: Probable Cause (html)
    • Probable Cause(s):

      Pilot in Command - Improper in-fight decisions or planning

      Miscellaneous Acts, conditions - Flew into blind canyon

      Pilot in Command - Failed to obtain/maintain flying speed

    • Factor(s)

      Terrain - High obstructions

      Weather - High density altitude

      Fire after impact

      Remarks - Wind gusts to 25 K. Density alt about 9700 ft. Fire suppression. Stalled during steep bank

    • Screensave of NTSB Probable Cause Brief Report

      NTSB Report NTSB Report

    • For more information on this crash, visit the NTSB Database Query: use FAA Registration N3427G
    • from NWCG: Historical Wildland Firefighter Fatalities 1910 - 1996 (page 6) (616 K pdf)
      • Year: 1976
      • Incident/Location: Grand Junction, CO
      • Fatalities: 1
      • Agency: BLM
      • Fire Behavior: Unknown
      • Remarks: B-26 contract pilot killed on retardant run.

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Media Articles and Reports.



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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

  • Airtanker Pilots' Memorial Wall: Ed Jenks
  • Photo of Grand Junction Memorial [Courtesy of Tim]
Grand Junction CO Memorial Grand Junction CO Memorial
Grand Junction CO Memorial Grand Junction CO Memorial

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Contributors to this article: Tim Foley

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