Incident Name: Cleveland Fire on the Pacific District of the Eldorado National Forest, CA
Personnel: 2 lives lost
Agency/Organization: TBM of Tulare CA (Butler Aircraft of Redmond, OR), under contract with the US Forest Service
Position: aerial firefighters, pilots
Charles Frost Sheridan, 54, pilot, of Porterville CA
Leonard Douglas Martin, 34, co-pilot, of Exeter CA
On October 1, 1992 while preparing for a retardant drop on the Cleveland Fire on the Eldorado National Forest in northern California, Air Tanker 61 crashed, killing Chuck and Leonard. They were dealing with an onboard mechanical malfunction at the time they crashed.
Photos compliments of Don C, Tom Janney, Don C and Tom Bagwell, respectively.
Accident report - about 1 mi west of the upper dam on the Union Valley Reservoir; by a newspaper account delivering retardant to a spot fire 2 miles north of the Union Valley Reservoir
- Concise Information from the NTSB, FAA, AAP, USFS and research by the WLF Staff:
- October 1, 1992, Tanker 61
- 2 killed: Chuck Sheridan, Leonard Martin
- Operator: TBM of Tulare CA (Butler Aircraft of Redmond, OR); under contract with USFS
- Type: Douglas Commercial DC-7B
- Location: Kyburz, CA, the SE edge of a fire on the Eldorado National Forest, 2 miles from the intended drop which was about one mile west of the upper dam on the Ice House reservoir.
- flight into terrain while dealing with onboard mechanical malfunction
- FAA Registration # N848D
- NTSB # LAX93T#A01
- The investigation is not reported completely in the public National Transportation Safety Board lookup: NTSB online lookup Utility to check for yourself # LAX93T#A01. Clicking on Findings returns an error message. Further message: "The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46649." NTSB very brief brief.
- Forest Service Investigations - Fatal Aviation Accident History (1974-2002): Pages 24 & 25 for this incident (384 K pdf) | Entire History (download 4.72 MB pdf)
- Flight Safety Foundation (flightsafety.org): Flight Safety Digest, Vol 18, No. 4, April 1999, US Aerial Firefighting Accidents Involving Fixed Wing Aircraft 1976-1998 (218 K pdf)
- USFS Heroes: Chuck Sheridan | Leonard Martin
- Chuck's and Leonard's names and death date are included in the USFA Firefighter Fatality Retrospective Study, published April 2002 (2,888 K pdf)
- Announcement of Sheridan's and Martin's deaths:
- WLF.com Memorial Sites Page
- Tanker 61 Memorial, CA: Cleveland Corral Memorial 1992.
Photo compliments of Bob K.
Inscription: Tanker 61
Sheridan, Charles Frost, 54 (10/1/92-8/7/38), pilot
Martin, Leonard Douglas, 34 (10/1/92-5/13/1957), co-pilot
Dedicated to these two brave pilots who gave their lives in defense of our forests, our communities, our homes, our lives.
Erected by community service organizations in Camino and Pollock Pines
Dedicated Oct 1, 1993
- Memorial Page on the AAP website
- Photo of Memorial to T-61 at Klamath Falls Interagency Fire Center compliments of Don C.
Memorial at Klamath Falls Interagency Fire Center or KFIFC at the end of Summers Lane; they are open to the public from May - October. For 6 years Tanker 61 had been stationed at Kingsley Fire Center, dispatch for the Klamath Falls-based Winema National Forest.
- USFA Memorial Database: Charles F Sheridan | Leonard D Martin
- TANKER 61 WILDLAND FIRE EDUCATION CENTER
Ab Note: Click on "The Story" and learn how dedicated friends of Chuck and Leonard took their memory to a higher level. We owe a debt of gratitude to all aerial firefighters who have died supporting us from the air. Please support this organization.
Contributors to this article: Bob K, Aircraft Dispatcher, and Marcia Cavin, Project Director in Klamath Falls, Tom Janney, Tom Bagwell, and Don C.
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