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Incident Name: practice drop
Date: 6/6/1970
Personnel: Marcel Roberts
Age: 52 (born in 1918)
Agency/Organization: Aircraft Specialties Inc, Mesa, AZ
Position: aerial firefighter

Summary: Aerial Firefighters Memorial Board has Marcel Roberts, airtanker pilot, dying in a crash of his TBM in 1970. The only record that I could find was the NTSB report listed below which says there were no fatalities. I'm continuing to research to see if he could have died somewhat later from some cause related to the crash. Maybe he's still alive! or continued to live long after the plane crashed and burned. I could find no death record for 1970. Mellie

Update: Chuck Ross contributed this:

You list a TBM crash on 06 June 1970 near Boise, Idaho. I must confirm that pilot Marcel Roberts was killed in that crash. His TBM departed Boise on what I believe to have been a practice drop when the engine caught fire. He attempted to get the plane back to Boise but the fire spread too fast. It appears that he bailed out at a height of only a couple hundred feet. The parachute was out of the pack tray but had not deployed. I came along just after the crash but a friend of mine witnessed it. I followed the story on the Boise local news.

 

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near Boise, Idaho

 

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Concise Information from the NTSB, FAA, AAP and research by the WLF Staff:
    • 6/6/1970, Tanker 38E
    • Chuck Ross reported to Always Remember that Marcel died on 6/6/1970 near Boise, ID..
    • Operator: Aircraft Specialties Inc, Mesa, AZ
    • Type: GRUMMAN TBM Avenger
    • Location: near Boise, ID
    • FAA Registration # N9926Z
    • NTSB # LAX70DUJ42
  • National Transportation Safety Board does not report this as a fatality, although the plane was destroyed by fire: Probable Cause for the crash (html)

    Type of accident Ground water loop-swerve; collided with object

    • Airframe - Landing gear: wheels, tires, axles
    • Miscellaneous acts, conditions - Material failure
    • Airports/Airways/Facilities - Airport conditions: other
    • fire after impact
    • Remarks - Pilot reported left tire or wheel failed. Hit rocks due to roadway repairs, Aircraft destroyed by fire.
  • To see for yourself, consult the NTSB online lookup Utility Use NTSB # LAX70DUJ42

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Contributors to this article: Chuck Ross

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