Coulson Aviation acknowledges the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) final report into the collision with terrain involving N134CG which occurred on January 23, 2020.

Three Coulson team members tragically died in the accident while working on bushfire control operations over the Snowy Mountains region of New South Wales while on contract to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.

Captain Ian McBeth, first officer Paul Hudson and flight engineer Rick DeMorgan perished while working as part of the firefighting effort during the 2019/2020 bushfire season.

Coulson Aviation has worked hand in hand with the ATSB over the past two and a half years to provide all information required as part of their investigation to make sure any relevant safety lessons identified were acted upon.

The ATSB released its final report on Monday 29 August, following the interim report released in September 2020.

Coulson Aviation CEO Wayne Coulson said the loss of Tanker 134’s crew continues to be deeply felt by the Coulson Aviation family.

He said the summer of 2019/20 was a difficult one for communities, agencies and operators across Australia.

“Our aircraft and teams operate more than 8000 firefighting missions worldwide each year, with the largest wildfire agencies in the world.

“We operate under our industry leading safety management system and operational procedures which assess and manage risks unique to the aerial firefighting environment.

“As the largest Australian supplier of large firefighting aircraft, we continue to innovate and improve our aircraft, policies, procedures, and practices to provide our customers with safe and effective aerial firefighting operations.

“We have full confidence in our aircraft and in our team members, and the safety of our team while conducting aerial firefighting operations across the world remains the number one focus of the organisation,” Mr. Coulson said.