Monday, July 2, 2012

Tanker Crash in South Dakota

Details are sketchy, but a military C-130 transport aircraft equipped for fighting wildfires, crashed yesterday near Edgemont SD. Local officals are reporting that three crew members survived the crash and were transported to Custer SD by helicopter for treatment.

MAFFS Equipped C-130, similar to the one that crashed 
yesterday. Air National Guard photo

The C-130 reportedly was assigned to the White Draw fire, which has consumed about 3000 acres near Edgemont SD. Details as to whether anyone else was on the plane or the circumstances of the crash have not been released. The condition of the survivors was withheld as well.

One local report stated that the crash occurred several miles from the fire.

Calls to the Northern Command Public Affairs Officer produced no further information, or any estimate on when further details would be released was given.

The MAFFS is a modular, self contained aerial retardant/water application system that can be loaded onto C-130 transport aircraft, essentially converting it into a firefighting tanker. Certain USAF and Air National Guard squadrons receive special training and equipment to allow them to perform the firefighting mission. MAFFS equipped resources are used when contract and other aerial resources are spread thin, especially during periods of heavy fire activity.

ANG footage of MAFFS equipped C-130 during recent firfighting
operations in CO.

As soon as further details become available, I will post it. Until then, our thoughts and prayers go out to the affect crew and their families.

Thanks for reading,


  1. The C-130H in your photo IS the one that crashed on 1 Jul 2012. Call sign MAFFS 7.

  2. Anon - Yeah I know, When I posted this Northern Command was not releasing any information at all as to which aircraft had gone down. I just pulled that image off of the ANG Web-site, it had been taken and posted a few days prior while 07 was working a fire in CO.

    It was a sad coincidence that it was the one that they, and I, posted.

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. That's an old photo with the old MAFFS 1 unit (you can tell because the ramp is open and there are two tubes spewing water). The photo is not quite clear enough to read the tail number on the c-130. If it's 31458, then it's indeed the plane that crashed last week. The MAFFS unit is able to be outfitted on most of the airplanes in the unit and they occasionally swap tails. North Carolina has always been assigned MAFFS numbers 7 & 8.

  4. Matt - sorry for the delay it publishing your comment. I looked at a higher-res image of the plane pictured, it is actually 31459 a sister to the one that crashed. Good eye.

    Thanks for the comment.