According to a statement by Coulson Aviation, the three Americans killed while fighting the Australian bushfires were all identified as military veterans. The C-130 air tanker crashed while they were fighting the bushfires on Thursday, January 23rd. According to officials, the plane did not return after carrying a load of fire retardant into a valley in the alpine Snowy Monaro region. Australian authorities do not know why the C-130 crashed, and a team of investigators from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau are looking into the accident. Unless a critical safety issue is found, it will take 30 days for the the preliminary report to be released. The fallen veterans are: Ian H. McBeth, a 44-year-old pilot who served with the Wyoming Air National Guard; Rick A. DeMorgan Jr., a 43-year-old who served 18 years in the Air Force as a C-130 Flight engineer; and 42-year-old Paul Clyde Hudson, a graduate from the Naval Academy and who served 20 years in the Marine Corps. “This will deeply be felt by all,” Coulson Aviation said in its statement, commenting on how tight-knit the aviation industry and emergency services sector are.
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