direct link to video on youtube
In early April of 2009 I had only been writing this blog on aerial wildland firefighting for less then three months when I learned about the loss of Tanker 9 on September 1, 2008. I think of the crew of Tanker 09 often. When I was reminded earlier today that today is the seventh anniversary of the loss of Tanker 09, I thought it only right to pause and remember the crew of Tanker 9 who died that day at Stead Airbase near Reno, Nevada.
Gene Wahlstrom, 61, Captain of T-09. He was the chief pilot for Neptune Aviation with over 25 years in the aviation industry.
Greg “Gonzo” Gonsloroski, 41, First Officer of T-09, received his type rating on the P2V in the spring of 2006 and was well on his way to becoming an air tanker Captain.
Zachary VanderGriend, 25, an airframe and powerplant mechanic, was fairly new to Neptune. He got his private pilot’s certificate at the age of 17.
Tanker 09, registration number N4235T, serial number 150282, model number SP-2H, date of manufacture: 1962. Owned and operated by Neptune Aviation, Missoula, Montana.
I won't forget. May you continue to fly in favorable tail winds.