Gary D. Nagel, Contract Pilot

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Airtanker Pilot Nagel was killed in the crash of a Grumman TS-2A airtanker when he misjudged his maneuvering altitude and impacted the terrain. He had made two drops on the Mount Edna fire near Banning, California and was preparing to make a third. Other factors that contributed to the crash were the mountainous terrain, tailwind conditions, and turbulence in the area. Airtanker Pilot Nagel was an employee of San Joaquin Helicopters, a contractor to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. More information related to this incident can be found in National Transportation Safety Board report LAX99GA005.

Department information

California Department of Forestry
1416 Ninth Street
PO Box 944246
Sacramento, California 94244-2460

Chief: Safety Officer Galen McCray

Gary D. Nagel 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: 62
Rank: Contract Pilot
Classification: Career
Incident date: October 5, 1998
Date of death: October 5, 1998
Cause of death: Struck By
Nature of death: Trauma
Activity type: Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property