Incident Name: small IA fire in the San Jacinto Mountains near the town of Idyllwild, CA
Personnel: Robert Morrison
Agency/Organization: Hemet Valley Flying Service under contract with CDF (now CAL FIRE)
Position: aerial firefighter
Summary: On 7/20/1968, Robert Morrison was dropping borate on a smoky initial attack fire in the inaccessible San Jacento River Canyon, when the air tanker crashed. Robert Morrison perished.
TBM photo for type (not the Morrison AT)... Photo credit: From Tom Janney's collection.
Photo Note from Tom: N9394H. This representative TBM was the first TBM ever tanked, owned by Hollywood flying legend Paul Mantz. Used as a test bed during the mid 50s Firescope program, this aircraft was lost in the 1960 incident that killed Bill Druehl.
South fork of the San Jacinto River Canyon
- Concise Information from the NTSB, FAA, AAP and research by the WLF Staff:
- 7/20/1968, Tanker E96
- 1 killed, Robert Morrison
- Operator: Hemet Valley Flying Service, Hemet, CA
- Type: TBM 3E Avenger
- Location: near Idyllwild, CA
- FAA Registration # N9679C
- NTSB # none
- National Transportation Safety Board: There is no record of an investigation of this crash. During the 60s and early 70s, the NTSB left investigations to the Agencies that had agreements with the cooperating contracting companies. To see for yourself that there is no record, consult the NTSB online lookup Utility.
- California Death Index: Robert J Morrison
- Crash site photos and description from Mt Flyers Photo Gallery: A Photo Hiking Journal by Joe Idoni
- Project Remembrance: You Tube Wreck Hike Visit to a Grumman TBM-3 Avenger Crash on 7-20-1968
- CAL FIRE: Aviation History
Contributors to this article: Tom Janney, Mellie
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