Foresta, CA — Cal Fire has released more details about the pilot that was killed after his plane crashed while battling the Dog Rock Fire near El Portal in Yosemite National Park. The S-2T plane smashed into a canyon wall after 5 p.m. yesterday.
“He has been flying for us for over 13 year veteran,” says CAL FIRE Director Ken Pimlott. “He is a DynCorp International pilot contracted with Cal Fire.”
That company is based out of Falls Church, Virginia. Yosemite Officials say the wreckage site is a quarter mile long and the rugged terrain made it hard for ground crews to get to the site, where they found the pilot dead near the wreckage. The pilots name has not been released at the family’s request until all members have been notified.
“We have been engage with the family and will continue to support the family through this difficult time,” says Pimlott.
The air tanker was number 81 based out of the Hollister Air Attack base. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials will be on site today to investigation the crash.
Pimlott says, “We will be cooperating with the NTSB and other members of the investigation as that critical piece goes forward.”
Yosemite Officials say that NTSB will be at the crash site for several hours after which the pilot’s body will then be removed from the wreckage.