Fire Emergency Aboard CC130 Hercules
Nine Canadian Forces personnel are safe after evacuating from a CC-130 Hercules aircraft that caught fire during take-off while training at the Naval Air Station Key West in the United States.
The aircrew successfully conducted an emergency landing after the aircrew noted an onboard fire. Naval Air Station Key West Fire & Emergency Services extinguished the fire, and damage to the aircraft is reported as being extensive. A Flight Safety Investigation is being launched from National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa to determine the cause of the event.
The aircraft and crew are from 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron of 17 Wing Winnipeg. They have all been examined by the on scene Canadian Forces Flight Surgeon as a precautionary measure.
"Noting the seriousness of fire aboard any aircraft, I am proud of the crew that followed through on their training, conducted the immediate emergency procedures, and got everyone out safely," said Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Pamplin, Commanding Officer of 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron. "At times like this, my thoughts go to our families, and I am relieved to be able to confirm that the crew members are safe and remain in good spirits."
The RCAF strives to optimize its contributions to operations and training without compromising on safety or on standards, and this incident will be thoroughly investigated.
The CC-130 Hercules aircraft and crews were operating in the area to provide air-to-air refueling support for the training of new CF-18 fighter pilots from 4 Wing Cold Lake, who were conducting essential training focused on air combat tactics and air interdiction missions.