An air tanker which crashed in Australia last last week previously fought fires in San Luis Obispo county. The plane and its crew were from the US.
Coulson Air Tanker 134 was battling the massive wildfires burning in Australia when it suddenly lost contact with fire officials. The flight crew was on a fire bombing mission carrying fire retardant. Three men were killed in the crash.
They’re identified as Captain Ian McBeth of the Montana Air National Guard; First Officer Paul Hudson, a former member of the US Marine Corps; and Flight Engineer Rick Demorgan Jr., a former member of the US Air Force. The crash is under investigation.
The crew previously worked with Cal Fire, and spent several days working with Cal Fire SLO to protect our area.