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Incident Name: Silver Creek Fire on the Coleville Indian Reservation, near Keller, WA
Date: 9/11/1990
Personnel: Robert Wiebe of Castlegar, British Columbia under contract with US Forest Service
Age: 53
Agency/Organization: CAZN-ARC Helicopters, LTD, Langley, BC, under contract with US Forest Service
Position: aerial firefighter, pilot

Summary: Helicopter pilot Robert Wiebe died when his helicopter crashed on the Silver Creek Fire on the Coleville Reservation on September 11, 1990.

 

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Maps

Keller, Washington

 

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Concise Information from the NTSB, FAA, AAP and research by the WLF Staff:
    • 9/11/1990, 1746 hrs
    • 1 killed, Robert Wiebe
    • Operator: CAZN-ARC Helicopters, LTD, Langley, BC
    • Type: BELL 204B
    • Location: near Keller Washington on the Coleville Reservation
    • FAA Registration # CGKQH
    • NTSB # SEA90GA180
  • National Transportation Safety Board:  Factual Report (pdf)
  • National Transportation Safety Board:  Probable Cause brief (html) Probable Cause (pdf)

Occurrence #1: LOSS OF ENGINE POWER(TOTAL) - MECH FAILURE/MALF
Phase of Operation: CRUISE
Findings
1. (C) AIRCRAFT WEIGHT AND BALANCE - EXCEEDED
2. (C) MISC EQPT/FURNISHINGS - IMPROPER
3. (C) MAINTENANCE,REPLACEMENT - IMPROPER - COMPANY MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL
4. (C) TURBINE ASSEMBLY,TURBINE BLADE - SEPARATION
5. (F) LOAD JETTISON - NOT POSSIBLE - PILOT IN COMMAND
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Occurrence #2: FORCED LANDING
Phase of Operation: DESCENT - UNCONTROLLED
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Occurrence #3: IN FLIGHT COLLISION WITH TERRAIN/WATER
Phase of Operation: DESCENT - UNCONTROLLED
Findings Legend: (C) = Cause, (F) = Factor

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Wildlandfire.com Links:

 

 

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Media Articles and Reports

  • Helicopter accident in far northern eastern Washington 
Helicopter accident Helicopter accident
 
  • Probe into arson possibility and release of Wiebe's name
Probe into possible arson fire Probe into possible arson fire
Robert P Wiebe named as fallen Robert P Wiebe named as fallen

 

  • Firefighting Helicopter Crashes - Pilot Killed

    9/13/1990 | Online article

    KELLER, WASH. — A helicopter dropping water on a forest fire crashed in a ravine of charred timber, killing the pilot, authorities said. The accident occurred while 250 firefighters, three air tankers and another helicopter battled a 970-acre blaze in the steep, rugged terrain near Silver Creek in northeastern Washington. The pilot's identity was not immediately released. He was killed on impact, authorities said. The cause of the crash was not known, he said.

 

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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

 

 

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Contributors to this article: Mellie

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