RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Investigators will try to determine why an air tanker being used to drop retardant on a wildfire in the Sierra Nevada crashed, killing all three crew members on board.
An FAA spokesman says preliminary witness reports suggest the aircraft had lost part of one engine or a wing after taking off from an airport in Reno, Nevada.
The plane went down yesterday about a half-mile from the airport and burst into flames.
The twin-engine P2V air tanker was owned by Neptune Aviation of Missoula, Montana. It had been used to fight a wildfire that had forced evacuations during the weekend in California's Alpine County near Hope Valley south of Lake Tahoe.
The crash occurred as the tanker was taking off on a flight to another blaze in California.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)