Fire-fighting planes grounded after crash

Sept. 18, 2007 at 5:59 PM

RIVERSIDE, Calif., Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Air tankers being used to battle the Butler 2 Fire in California were temporarily grounded after one of the planes was forced to make an emergency landing.

San Bernardino County Fire Department spokesman John Miller said the tankers were grounded for an hour Monday after a single-engine privately contracted tanker lost power in flight and was forced to make a hard landing in a field near Big Bear Lake, the Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise reported Tuesday.

Miller said the pilot noticed an engine light come on during takeoff and the engine failed soon after. He said the landing gear collapsed during touchdown, causing the plane to skid on its underside until it came to a stop.

The spokesman said the pilot was not injured and the rest of the planes resumed fighting the fire soon after.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

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