Thread: C-130 LODD's

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    Unhappy C-130 LODD's

    The US Forest Service announced the following persons died in the line of duty when the C-130 crashed.

    Pilot-Steven Ray Wass, 42 years old from Gardnerville, Nevada.
    Craig LaBare, 36 years old from Loomis, California.
    Mike Davis, 59 years old from Bakersfield, California.

    Rest in peace brothers
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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    Unhappy Memorial held

    Special people...our firefighters in the skies. God bless them!
    ------------------------------------------------

    MINDEN, Nev. (AP) - Three crew members killed when their air
    tanker crashed battling a Sierra Nevada wildfire were remembered
    Saturday for their love of flying, God, family - and rock 'n' roll.
    About 350 firefighters, family members, friends, officials and
    strangers gathered in the bleachers at the Douglas High School
    football field to pay tribute to pilot Steve Wass, co-pilot Craig
    Labare and flight engineer Mike Davis.
    The three men died Monday when their C-130A air tanker crashed
    after dropping a load of fire retardant on the Cannon Fire in
    Walker, Calif., 80 miles south of Reno.
    The flag in the end zone flew at half-staff against the backdrop
    of the Sierra peaks. In a final salute, a P-3 tanker, No. 00, made
    a low pass over the field.
    "What Steve, Craig and Mike were doing was inherently
    dangerous. They knew that," said Lt. Andrew Sholtes, chaplain at
    the U.S. Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Center near Walker.
    "They did it anyway because the fire is even more dangerous,"
    he said. "They were in the business of helping others."
    After the crash, the U.S. Forest Service indefinitely grounded
    six remaining C-130A tankers until investigators determine what
    caused the wings of Tanker 130 to snap off in the air, sending the
    fuselage to the ground in a fireball.
    Firefighters were still struggling Saturday to contain the fire
    that took the three lives. Cooler temperatures and rain on Friday
    helped firefighters make progress against the 23,960-acre fire.
    The blaze was 60 percent contained Saturday night, with 1,273
    firefighters still at the scene. The cause remained under
    investigation.
    It was the only one of nine wildfires in California this week
    that had yet to be fully contained or extinguished.
    At Saturday's memorial, Jack Troyer, intermountain regional
    forester, said everyone in the firefighting community was grieving
    over the lost crew.
    "We all suffered a great loss," he said. "What they did
    really, really mattered."
    The plane was owned by Wyoming-based Hawkins & Powers, which
    contracts with the Forest Service during fire season. Wass, Labare
    and Davis were employees of that company.
    "This crew ... went forward in harm's way," said Gene Powers
    of the company, himself a tanker pilot. "Because of that they
    truly are heroes in my definition.
    "If God's busy, I sure will welcome Steve as my co-pilot," he
    said.
    The three flight veterans were remembered as much for the way
    they lived as the way they died.
    A solemn, multi-agency honor guard carried flags into the
    stadium after Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" played over
    loudspeakers. That song was followed by the wailing electric guitar
    rendition of the "National Anthem" played by Jimi Hendrix at
    Woodstock.
    The Hendrix selection was requested by firefighting air crews in
    attendance.
    "For those of you who knew Steve, you understand why," Sholtes
    said.
    Wass, 42, a 1978 graduate of Douglas High, got "flying fever"
    in the fourth grade, said his sister-in-law, Jodi Wass.
    He earned his pilot's license at 16, and two years later was
    flying charters. At 24, he became one of the youngest certified air
    tanker captains.
    "He was always very meticulous and careful in his
    preparation," Jodi Wass said.
    Another love was music. He played drums and guitar, and enjoyed
    playing gigs with friends.
    Labare, 36, of Loomis, Calif., "loved things of beauty - just
    like this day," said H.F. "Buzz" Schaffer, a fellow pilot who
    knew all three crew members.
    As a former firefighter, hotshot, high-rise window washer and
    pilot, Labare might be erroneously categorized as "an adrenaline
    junkie," Schaffer said.
    "Craig was into challenge," he said, his voice quivering with
    emotion. "He liked a job few people could do, and fewer people
    would do."
    Davis, 59, of Bakersfield, Calif., had three loves: God, his
    wife and flying.
    "His sole purpose in life was to tell someone about the one who
    transformed his life, the Lord," said Sholtes, reading a statement
    from Davis' son, John.
    Davis served in the armed forces as a flight engineer in a plane
    he called home, the Hercules C-130.
    "At six-foot-five, he was a great stature of man, a crusader of
    Jesus Christ," Sholtes said.
    After the service, about 800 people gathered in the hanger at
    Minden-Tahoe Airport - where Wass learned to fly - in a separate
    service.
    Among them was actor Cliff Robertson, a pilot who met Wass at
    the airport about 20 years ago.
    "He had a remarkable grasp of life's meaning for (being) so
    young," Robertson said. "He was happy in the air, happy in his
    music, happy here in Minden ... where we all already miss him so
    very much."
    Said Wass' nephew, Kyle: "Perhaps God needs him to be a
    guardian angel to look over some other pilot.
    "Rock on, Steve."
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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