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Incident Name: Majors Fire, Ely District, NV
Date: July 11, 1980
Personnel: 4 lives lost
Age:
Agency/Organization: the three firefighters were seasonal, working for BLM; the pilot was the owner-operator of the Ely Flying Service, under contract with BLM / DOI
Position:

Summary:
Joe Bass, firefighter, (probably 24/25 yr)
Todd Harrison, (20/21), firefighter, studying at University of Utah
Danny Hase, (19/20), firefighter, studying at University of Utah
Farrell Gale, pilot, age 43

On July 11, 1980 a Cessna U206C with three seasonal firefighters and the pilot took off from Ely NV to air drop radio batteries to the folks on the lightning-caused fire. They crashed into the side of a mountain near the fire which was south and east of Ely about 25 air miles. The NTSB found that the paracargo chute was fastened to the aircraft and equipment in reverse. The equipment fell free and the chute was found draped over the empennage (aircraft tail assembly including horizontal and vertical stabilizers, elevators and rudder). No one survived.

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Maps

Very General Accident Location

about 25 air miles south Ely NV from "Major's Place", which is at the junction of HWY 50 and 93; on the east slope of the tallest mountain; just west and abeam of the crook in hwy 93

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Concise Information from NTSB, FAA, WLF Staff research:
    • July 11, 1980 - Cessna
    • 4 killed: Joe Bass, Todd Harrison, Danny Hase, Farrel Gale, pilot
    • Operator: Ely Flying Service, pilot was owner-operator
    • Type: Cessna U206C
    • crashed about 25 air miles south of Ely in the mountains
    • FAA Registrationl # N29089
    • NTSB # LAX80FA120 
  • National Transportation Safety Board: Probable Cause (html)

    Probable Cause: Pilot in Command had inadequate preflight preparation and/or planning. Miscellaneous personel -- ground crewmen -- were passengers.

  • Check the NTSB query. Use NTSB # LAX80FA120.

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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

 

Mill Creek Memorial, Carson City, NV Mill Creek Memorial, Carson City, NV


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Contributors to this article: Dana Peirson, Linda Bellimer Bass, aka Cache Queen, who created the Wildland Firefighter Foundation logo below.

 

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