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Air Force planes again ready for fire missions

7:24 AM, Jul 4, 2012   |    comments
Hercules C-130J
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DENVER -- Five Air Force C-130 tankers are ready to resume firefighting flights after the crash of another tanker over the weekend killed four crew members and injured two.

The military said none of the planes had been called on as of Tuesday afternoon. A sixth C-130 will be available by Wednesday.

A C-130 crashed Sunday while fighting a wildfire in the Black Hills of South Dakota. That prompted officials to ground the seven remaining planes in the fleet.

The C-130 that crashed was from an Air National Guard wing based in Charlotte, N.C. Another C-130 from that unit has returned to Charlotte.

The military said the dead are Lt. Col. Paul K. Mikeal, Maj. Joseph M. McCormick, Maj. Ryan S. David and Senior Master Sgt. Robert S. Cannon.

(Associated Press)

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