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Matthew Robert Miller

Air Attack Pilot

Air Attack Group Supervisor Piechura and Air Attack Pilot Miller were supporting operations at the Cedar Basin Fire near Wikieup, Arizona. They were operating in a 1980 Beech King Air C90 turboprop fixed wing aircraft.

Piechura and Miller had been on station at the fire for about 45 minutes at an altitude of approximately 2,500 feet. They had accomplished multiple orbits over the fire area. For reasons unknown, the aircraft lost its left wing, entered a steep dive, and impacted the terrain. A post-crash fire ensued. The left wing of the aircraft was located about .79 miles northeast of the main wreckage and did not sustain thermal damage. Both firefighters were killed in the crash.

Additional information about this incident can be found in the National Transportation Safety Board Case Analysis and Reporting Online (CAROL) system ( The incident number for this crash is WPR21FA266.

photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Matthew Robert Miller 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.

Department information

Falcon Executive Aviation, Inc.
5133 E Roadrunner DR
Mesa, Arizona 85215

Chief: General Manager Brad Ludwick

Age: 48
Rank: Air Attack Pilot
Classification: Wildland Contract
Incident date: July 10, 2021 12:50 p.m.
Date of death: July 10, 2021
Cause of fatal injury: Vehicle Collision - Includes Aircraft
Nature of fatal injury: Trauma
Activity type: Other
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property

Last updated: July 07, 2022