Incident Name: fire near Rohnerville, CA
Date: September 26, 1974, 1355 hrs
Personnel: Richard Miller
Agency/Organization: Sis-Q Flying Service (owned by Bud Davis), Montague/Santa Rosa, CA, under contract with CDF (now CAL FIRE)
Summary: On September 26, 1974, Dick Miller was piloting Tanker E-23, a Grummon F7F, flying out of the Rohnerville Air Attack Base (Airport) to a nearby fire. His aircraft's engine failed or malfunctioned, providing partial power, and he waited too long before aborting takeoff. He hit trees and impacted the field below the bluff at the end of the runway. He did not survive.
Photo of another F7F to show type of aircraft, compliments of Leroy Zwicky.
location Rohnerville Airport, just south of Fortuna, CA; the crash site was in one of the fields below the bluff and runway
- Concise Information from the NTSB, FAA, USFS, AAP, and research by the WLF Staff:
- September 26, 1974 - Tanker E-23
- 1 killed: Dick Miller
- Sis-Q Flying Service, Montague/Santa Rosa, CA, 1963-1974 under contract with CDF (now CAL FIRE)
- Grumman F7F-3
- collided with trees at end of runway Rohnerville Airport, CA
- Registration tail number: N6179C
- NTSB # OAK75FVD31
- NTSB: Probable Cause (html)
- Probable Cause(s)
- Pilot in Command - Improper operation of powerplant and powerplant controls
- Miscellaneous acts, conditions - Fuel starvation
- Pilot in Command - delayed action in aborting takeoff
- Pilot in Command - Inadequate preflight preparation and/or planning
- Miscellaneous acts, conditions - Checklist - failed to use
- Partial power loss - Partial loss of power - 2 engines
- Fire after impact
- Probable Cause(s)
- For more information, in case it becomes available, consult the NTSB Lookup Utiliy. NTSB Identification: OAK75FVD10
- The Warbird Registry includes a color photo of E-23 and more info including history. The Grumman F7F Tigercat # E-23 crashed and was destroyed, near Rhonerville, CA, September 26, 1974. History: Fred J. Amberg Inc, Yreka, CA, 1963 - 1974. Registered as N6179C.
- Hotlist thread on the research: 8/26/11
(Check the the Sacramento Bee archives and perhaps the Eureka Times Standard archives.)
- Warbirds Registry: F7F Tigercat, BU80494
Contributors to this article: Chris Anderson, Tom Janney, Leroy Zwicky, Mellie.
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