James Edward Towell, Jr., Pilot

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Pilot Towell was participating in the Bureau of Land Management's Single-Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) Pilot Academy near Safford, Arizona. Pilot Towell was practicing a water drop under the supervision of an IC on the ground. He requested and received permission to do a dry run prior to the water drop. As the aircraft proceeded through the dry run, it crashed. Initial unconfirmed reports blamed engine trouble. The plane was destroyed on impact, and Pilot Towell was killed. For additional information about this crash, consult the National Transportation Safety Board web site at https://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/query.asp - NTSB identification LAX04TA161.

Department information

National Aviation Office
3833 S. Development Ave.
Boise, Idaho 83705

Chief: Aviation Group Manager Dave Dash

James Edward Towell, Jr. was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.
Age: 63
Rank: Pilot
Classification: Wildland Contract
Incident date: March 16, 2004
Date of death: March 16, 2004
Cause of death: Vehicle Collision - Includes Aircraft
Nature of death: Trauma
Activity type: Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus
Emergency duty: No
Duty type: Training
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property