July 1, 2021: nine-year anniversary of Air National Guard plane crash that killed 4 in Fall River County

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photo courtesy: NCANG, via Facebook

FALL RIVER COUNTY, S.D. — Nine years ago Thursday, a C-130 from North Carolina Air National Guard’s 145th Airlift Wing crashed in Fall River County, killing four airmen and injuring two more.

The tanker and crew was helping battle the White Draw Fire near Edgemont when a microburst of turbulent air from a thunderstorm caused the plane to crash into a wooded area, a ravine, and then break apart.

According to a U.S. Air Force report, the aircraft had experienced a sudden drop in airspeed during its first retardant drop, but the crew had decided they could adjust to the conditions. The C-130, carrying a Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS) capable of dropping up to 3,000 gallons of fire retardant, crashed on its second drop.

The four Air National Guard members killed were:

Lieutenant Colonel/Evaluator – Pilot Paul K. Mikeal, 42

Lieutenant Colonel Evaluator Pilot Paul K Mikeal 42

Major/Instructor Pilot – Joseph M. McCormick, 36

Major Instructor Pilot Joseph M Mccormick 36

Major/Navigator – Ryan S. David, 35

Major Navigator Ryan S David 35

Senior Master Sergeant/Flight Engineer – Robert S. Cannon, 50

Senior Master Sergeant Flight Engineer Robert S Cannon


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(photos/graphics courtesy Fire Service Line of Duty Deaths and NCANG, via Facebook)
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