Coulson Aviation C-130 Large Air Tanker Crashes in Australia, Killing All Three US Crew Members On Board.

A file photo of a Coulson Aviation C-130 firefighting aircraft. (Image: Coulson Aviation)

Aircraft Was Fighting Fires in Monaro, New South Wales.

Three Americans are reported dead in the crash of a C-130 Hercules, registration N134CG, firefighting aircraft in the Monaro area of New South Wales, Australia.

The Associated Press reported that, “New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said, ‘The only thing I have from the field reports are that the plane came down, it’s crashed and there was a large fireball associated with that crash.’ The Commissioner also told the AP that, “Unfortunately, all we’ve been able to do is locate the wreckage and the crash site and we have not been able to locate any survivors”.

The aircraft, Tanker 134, was operated by the Canadian-owned Coulson Aviation company. It was previously based in Ramona, California in the United States before deploying to Australia to assist in fighting the catastrophic wildfires that have ravaged that nation for weeks.

Coulson Aviation was founded in 1985 and began providing aerial fire suppression services to the U.S. Forest Service five years later in 1990 as Coulson Aviation USA. The company purchased its first large, four-engine turboprop Lockheed C-130 Hercules firefighting aircraft in 2013. As of 2016 the company operated four C-130s.

As a further result of the massive wildfires in Australia, Canberra Airport, located in the country’s capital, was closed Thursday and residents of Canberra were told to seek shelter from the massive wildfires.

Reports also say that following the crash of the Coulson Aviation C-130, named “Zeus”, other firefighting aircraft in the region were grounded.

EC-130Q N134CG pictured on Sept. 30 2019 at McClellen, Sacramento, California. (Image courtesy: John Bennett)

About Tom Demerly
Tom Demerly is a feature writer, journalist, photographer and editorialist who has written articles that are published around the world on,, Outside magazine, Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, The Dearborn Press & Guide, National Interest, Russia’s government media outlet Sputnik, and many other publications. Demerly studied journalism at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom Demerly served in an intelligence gathering unit as a member of the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard. His military experience includes being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia (Cycle C-6-1) and as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance unit, Company “F”, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE), Long Range Surveillance Unit (LRSU). Demerly is an experienced parachutist, holds advanced SCUBA certifications, has climbed the highest mountains on three continents and visited all seven continents and has flown several types of light aircraft.