Firefighting plane crashes near Reno airport, killing 3 on board

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.)

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 27767549 -