In this aerial photo shows the wreckage is strewn at the crash site of a firefighting air tanker near Numeralla. AP
The bodies of three US flying firefighters and the cockpit voice recorder from the water bomber in which they died battling Australia’s unprecedented wildfire crisis were retrieved on Saturday as their grieving families arrived in Sydney, officials said.
Ian McBeth of Great Falls, Montana, Paul Clyde Hudson of Buckeye, Arizona, and Rick A. DeMorgan of Navarre, Florida, died when their C-130 Hercules tanker crashed on Thursday after dumping fire retardant on an out-of-control blaze northeast of the town of Cooma in southern New South Wales state.
T he device that records the last two hours of the cockpit conversation as well as the bodies were retrieved Saturday from a still-active fire zone, police and crash investigators said.
"It will record the pilot, the co-pilot and flight engineer's discussions in the cockpit. It will record also any of the aural alarms or warnings,” crash investigator Greg Hood told reporters.
The plane was not equipped with a flight data recorder, which is mandatory for airliners.
The Americans’ relatives who began arriving Saturday will be offered an opportunity to visit the hillside crash site, officials said.
Crash investigators have yet to explain why the four-propeller plane crashed in a fire ball shortly after dumping its load of water with additives in turbulent conditions. The plane was contracted from Canada-based Coulson Aviation, which is sending executives to Sydney.
Wildfires have claimed at least 33 lives in Australia since September, destroyed more than 3,000 homes and razed more than 10.6 million hectares (26 million acres). That's an area larger than the US state of Kentucky.
The fire, dubbed the Apple Fire by local firefighters — who routinely give blazes identifying names — was reported Friday in Cherry Valley, a community about 75 miles east of Los Angeles and had destroyed at least one family home as of Saturday evening.
The winds weren’t expected to reach the ferocious speeds that helped the Dixie Fire explode in size last week. As of Sunday, the fire had destroyed 489,287 acres (198,007 hectares), authorities said, up from the previous day's 447,723 acres.
It had spread to 10,000 acres with no containment as of 9pm and was moving northeast, the fire department and police said. Thick smoke enveloped the region, which is to the north of Los Angeles, a video issued by police showed.
His training included a fundamental armor course and a fundamental flying course, helicopters and tactical planes, as well as parachutist course. He has an experience in flying the Gazelle helicopter armor and fleet, fly school and air college.
The NSRC said the site was systematically examined by its operations room team, and its search and rescue team was able to evacuate the injured person to Fujairah Hospital to receive the necessary treatment while adhering to relevant COVID-19 preventive measures.
Local media reported that the 42-year-old Lebanese, Basem Hussein, booked a number of employees and citizens inside the Federil Bank in Hamra Street, central Beirut, by force of arms.
You are a real good example to follow.” Hamdan Bin Mohammed and Abdul Ghafoor Sheikh Hamdan previously praised the driver's behavior after he appeared in a video while removing two concrete blocks that were in the middle of a road