Incident Name: Cottonwood Creek Fire
Personnel: Douglas William Gilbert
Agency/Organization: Craigmont Air Services, Inc, under contract with the Idaho Dept. of Lands
Position: aerial firefighter
Summary: Pilot Gilbert was operating a single-engine air tanker (SEAT) while fighting a 500-acre fire. The Cottonwood Creek Fire was located in the Idaho backcountry south of the Salmon River. Pilot Gilbert was preparing to make his second retardant drop of the day and was in radio contact with firefighters on the ground and with other aircraft. For reasons unknown, the aircraft crashed. Low visibility and smoke may have played a part.
20 mi SW of Cottonwood, ID
- NIFC: Sit Report (pdf) announcement from the next morning, this accident is coincidental with several others.
- Concise Information from the NTSB, FAA, AAP, WFF and research by the WLF Staff:
- 1 killed: Douglas Gilbert
- Operator: Craigmont Air Services, Inc
- Type: Rockwell S-2R-1200 Thrush
- Location: 20 mi SW of Cottonwood, ID
- FAA Registration # N4947X
- NTSB # SEA01FA127
- National Transportation Safety Board: Factual Report (78 K pdf)
- National Transportation Safety Board: Probable Cause (html)
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:Failure to maintain adequate clearance from terrain while dropping fire retardant. Factors include low visibility with smoke.
- NTSB probable cause (screensave)
- For more information consult the NTSB online lookup Utility Use NTSB Identification: SEA01FA127
- US Social Security Death Index: Douglas W Gilbert
- USFA Memorial Database: Douglas William Gilbert
Contributors to this article: Wildland Firefighter Foundation
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