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Incident Name:  600-acre lightning-caused brush fire in the Diamond Mountain Range
Date: 7/12/1973, 1915 hrs
Personnel: two lives lost
Age: 
Agency/Organization: Aviation Specialties of Mesa AZ under contract with the Bureau of Land Management
Position: Aerial firefighters

Summary:

Wayne Waller, 55, pilot, of Mesa AZ (but in the process of moving to Elko, NV)
David Poindexter, 29, copilot, of Mesa AZ (but in the process of moving to Elko, NV)

On July 12, 1973 a B17 fire bomber crashed near the lightning fire on which it had been dropping retardant. The crash may have occurred during one of the plane's fire retardant delivery pattern turns. Both Pilot Waller and Copilot Poindexter died.

 

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Maps

25 mi NE of Eureka, NV in the Diamond Mountains; somewhere in this general area

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Concise Information from the NTSB, FAA and research by the WLF Staff:
    • July 12, 1973, 1915 hrs
    • 2 killed: Wayne Waller, David Poindexter
    • Operator: Aviation Specialties of Mesa, AZ; under contract with BLM
    • Type: BOEING B-17G
    • Location: about 25 miles northeast of Eureka, NV (east of Fallon on Hwy 50).
    • FAA Registration # N620L
    • NTSB # OAK74FXQ07
  • National Transportation Safety Board: Probable Cause (html)

    Low altitude steep turn downwind over downslope side of the mountain, a dry run over the fireline with a full load of retardant. The winds were gusty, the plane stalled and collided with terrain. The pilot in command failed to obtain/maintain flying speed. Factors in the accident were: downdraft, updraft; unfavorable wind conditions, no record of a weather briefing, smoke.

  • For more information consult the NTSB online lookup Utility. Use NTSB Identification: OAK74FXQ07
  • US Social Security Death Index: Wayne Waller | David Poindexter

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Wildlandfire.com Links:

 

 

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Media Articles and Reports

B-17 bomber crash B-17 bomber crash
Waller & Poindexter named Waller & Poindexter named
Waller & Poindexter named Waller & Poindexter named
Waller & Poindexter named Waller & Poindexter named

 

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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

 

 

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