Accident Took Lives Of Three Firefighters
The NTSB has filed a preliminary
report on the April 25th accident that took the lives of three crew
aboard a P-2V Neptune fire fighting aircraft. The P2V Neptune went
down in Utah, near Stockton Pass, with heavy fog reported along the
route. The aircraft was enroute from Missoula, MT, to Alamogordo,
NM, on Saturday morning and discovered at 1300 local time in the
No distress call or other associated reports were received from
the aircraft prior to its impact. Some reports indicate that the
aircraft failed to negotiate its way through the pass and was found
an eighth of a mile from its crest. The debris path was reported as
being nearly 500 feet long.
The Tooele County Sheriffs office confirmed the deceased as
Pilot Tom Risk, 66, from Littleton, CO, along with crew members
Mike Flynn, 59, from Alamogordo, NM, and Brian Buss, 32, from
Alberton, MT. All three were employed by Neptune Aviation of
The aircraft was loaded with fire retardant and was reportedly
on the way to southern New Mexico to deal with a partially
contained 19,000-acre wildfire that was still endangering homes and
structures in its path at the time of the accident.
NTSB Identification: WPR09GA216
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Saturday, April 25, 2009 in Stockton, UT
Aircraft: LOCKHEED P2V-7, registration: N442NA
Injuries: 3 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may
contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when
the final report has been completed.
On April 25, 2009, about 1005 mountain daylight time, a Lockheed
P2V-7 Neptune, N442NA, impacted the terrain about one and one-half
miles north of Stockton, Utah. The two airline transport pilots and
their passenger were killed in the accident sequence, and the
airplane, which was owned by Neptune Aviation Services, and under
the operational control of the United States Forest Service, was
destroyed by the impact. The 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91
Public Use repositioning flight, which departed Missoula, Montana,
about two hours prior to the accident, was en route to Alamogordo,
New Mexico. At that time of the accident, the airplane was flying
in an area of low ceilings and restricted visibility. No flight
plan had been filed.
According to two individuals who were near the crash site, the
airplane could be heard proceeding in a southeasterly direction,
and although to them it sounded low, it could not be seen because
of the low clouds. In a matter of seconds after the airplane passed
their location, they heard what sounded like the airplane impacting
The wreckage was eventually located about 250 feet below the top
of a ridge on the eastern side of Stockton Pass. The point of
initial impact was located about 5,630 feet above sea level, on the
northwestern slope of the ridge.