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Incident Name:  Grama Fire on the Apache-Sitgreaves Nnational Forest
Date: June 12, 1974, 1357 hrs
Personnel: 2 lives lost
Age: 
Agency/Organization:  Ralco out of Whiteriver under contract with the US Forest Service
Position: aerial firefighters

Summary:
Larry Mortensen, 31, pilot, of Mesa AZ
Timothy Chittendon, 29, copilot, of Indian Pine AZ

On June 12, 1974, Pilot Larry Mortensen and Co-pilot Tim Chittenden died when the PV-2 Neptune they were piloting stalled on steep aproach and crashed while dropping fire retardant chemicals on the Grama Fire on the Apache-Sitgreaves NF in Arizona.

 

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Maps

southwest of Winslow AZ; 24 mi northwest of Heber AZ; rough approximation

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Concise Information from the NTSB, FAA, AAP and research by the WLF Staff:
    • June 12, 1974, 1357 hrs
    • 2 killed: Larry Mortensen and Timothy Chittenden
    • Operator: Ralco out of Whiteriver under contract with the US Forest Service
    • Type: LOCKHEED PV2 Neptune
    • Location: near Winslow AZ
    • FAA Registration # N7263C
    • NTSB # LAX74FUJ68
  • National Transportation Safety Board: example Probable Cause (html)

    The pilot in command failed to obtain/maintain flying speed, causing a stall.
    Remarks: Lost control in a steep bank. Density altitude about 12,000 feet

  • For more information consult the NTSB online lookup Utility Use NTSB Identification: LAX74FUJ68
  • US Forest Service Heroes Memorial: Larry Mortensen | Tim Chittenden
  • US Social Security Death Index: Larry Mortensen | Tim Chittenden

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Media Articles and Reports

 

 

 

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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

 

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Contributors to this article: Tim Stubbs, Mellie, John Miller

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