Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Port Alberni-based aircraft crashes in Australia while battling wildfire


Port Alberni’s Coulson Aviation had one of their aircrafts involved in a crash while fighting wildfires in western Australia.

On Monday February 6th, around 4:40 p.m. Australian Western Standard Time, a 737 FireLiner aircraft aiding in fighting a wildfire nearly 500 kilometers from Perth crashed in Fitzgerald River National Park in the Shire of Ravensthorpe.

Two pilots were the only people on board the aircraft at the time of the crash and they both reportedly were able to free themselves from the wreckage. Both walked away from the incident without any serious injuries. 

“Both pilots walked away from the accident, and have been medically assessed,” said Wayne Coulson, Coulson Group CEO. “Our thoughts and our immediate concern is for those team members and their families.”

“We are very grateful the two team members on Tanker 139 are safe.”

The pilots were rescued by helicopter following the crash and airlifted to hospital.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has launched an investigation into the circumstances of the aircraft crash as of Monday afternoon.

“Initially, investigators will seek to interview the pilots and witnesses to understand the circumstances of the accident, and determine the accessibility of the accident site with the aim of conducting an on-site examination of the aircraft wreckage,” said the ATSB in a statement.

“The scope of the investigation and its timeframe will be determined as the ATSB builds its understanding of the nature of the accident.”

Curtis Blandy

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