Jump to content

Notice: Effective July 1, 2024, Vertical Forums will be officially shut down. As a result, all forum activity will be permanently removed. We understand that this news may come as a disappointment, but we would like to thank everyone for being a part of our community for so many years.

If you are interested in taking over this Forum, please contact us prior to July 1.

212 Shot at in the USA

Recommended Posts

If Firefighting isn''t dangerous enough already.....




On June 30, 2003 a Bell 212 Helicopter, was dipping water from a dirt tank to put on hotspots on the Picture Fire on the Tonto National Forest in Arizona. While dipping from the tank the first time, the pilot heard two distinct pops or snaps which he attributed to noises from the helicopter. After dropping that load of water, he returned to the dip site and while dipping heard two more popping noises and looking down saw a male on the bank of the pond holding a long gun to his shoulder. The male had the long gun pointed across the pond at the water bucket. The pilot left the area and upon returning to base, discovered that the collapsible bucket had numerous holes in it caused from being shot by a shotgun probably shooting #6 birdshot.


The bucket was impounded as evidence and the helicopter was grounded until a Forest Service Regional Office Aviation team can inspect it.


The person who shot at the helicopter bucket was identified and arrested by Forest Service Agents and LEO’s and is currently in jail in Maricopa County.


The helicopter is a Bell 212, owned by Kachina Aviation from Boise, Idaho. It is on contract to the USDOI BLM out of Bakersfield, California. It was assigned to the Picture Fire, which is a Forest Service fire on the Tonto National Forest in Arizona.


Damages are currently estimated at $5-7000 to replace the 324 galloon Bambi Bucket.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rancher faces fed charges in shooting of copter bucket


Dennis Wagner

The Arizona Republic

Jul. 3, 2003 12:00 AM


A Tonto Basin rancher who used a shotgun to defend his water supply from a firefighting helicopter last month now faces criminal charges.


Federal prosecutors say Clarence Conway, 59, blasted a collection bucket beneath the chopper as it hovered over his stock pond dipping for water to battle the "Picture" fire near Punkin Center.


Conway was arrested shortly after the June 30 incident, then released. He was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on a single count of interfering with the performance of federal officials or contractors. If convicted, he could face up to a year in prison.


The U.S. District Court case is likely to pit the water rights of a property owner against the needs of federal authorities during an emergency.


Clark Derrick, a Phoenix attorney assisting Conway''s family, said the rancher had filed a claim with the U.S. Forest Service after firefighting aircraft used more than $2,000 worth of his water to battle a blaze last year. Derrick said the government never paid that claim, and Conway warned the Forest Service not to take more water from Greenback Ranch because he was concerned about the welfare of his cattle.


Michael Johns, an assistant U.S. attorney, said two shots were fired and investigators later found pellets embedded in the water-collection bucket. He noted that the helicopter was not hit. Conway was not charged with any firearms-related offenses.


The Picture fire, which began around June 20, burned more than 12,500 acres of Tonto National Forest before it was contained 10 days later.


Reach the reporter at dennis.wagner@arizonarepublic.com or (602) 444-8874.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

407 driver

I just read the SafeCom on that shooting, boy if not worring about all the wires down there you have to worrie about some crazy shooting at you for saving his home. What else will happen, it was good to read that they arrested the fool.

Later Amigo.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...