June 4, 2012

    Photo: Kevin Stanchfield/Flickr

Pilots Die Battling Utah Wildfire

Plane crashes at fire’s edge

Two air tanker pilots died in a plane crash on Sunday while battling a 5,000-acre wildfire that ignited Friday in western Utah. Todd Neal Tompkins and Ronnie Edwin Chambless of Boise, Idaho, were flying retardant over the edge of the fire when a helicopter crew saw them go down into the sagebrush. Crews on the ground held back the fire while deputies hiked to the crash site to confirm the pilots' deaths. The fire later engulfed the wreckage after hotshot crews were pulled off the lines following the crash. “To have them working on the fire lines after this is more than we would like to ask firefighters,” said Don Smurthwaite, spokesman for the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Read more at The Washington Post

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    Photo: David Ortez/Flickr

Armstrong Claims 2nd Half Ironman Win

On the road to Kona, sets new course record

Lance Armstrong won his second Half Ironman triathlon in two weeks on Saturday, dominating a record field of 1,600 athletes at the Ironman 70.3 in Hawaii. Armstrong, who has raced in five triathlons this year, finished with a time of 3:50:55, breaking the course record by six minutes. Runner-up Greg Bennett finished two-and-a-half minutes later. “I’m having fun. That tells me I’m doing the right thing," said Armstrong. The former professional cyclist dominated the Florida Half Ironman two weeks ago, beating the runner-up by more than 11 minutes. Armstrong will compete in the Nice, France, full Ironman in June in the hopes of qualifying for the Kona world championship in October.

Read more at Bloomberg Businessweek

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Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart     Photo: Nationaal Archief/Flickr

New Details in Amelia Earhart Case

Researchers say she died on Pacific island

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) said Friday that new evidence from artifacts and SOS signals have solved the mystery of Amerlia Earhart's 1937 disappearance. Researchers for TIGHAR have concluded that the famous aviator crash-landed her Lockheed Electra 10-E off a Pacific island and lived there with navigator Fred Noonan for a period of time. Investigators revisited 120 previously dismissed reports of radio signals originating near the tiny atoll of Nikumaroro and determined 57 of them were actually distress calls from Earhart. TIGHAR also presented fragments of a jar of anti-freckle cream found on the island and a Plexiglas window that would seem to fit her plane as further evidence. The group plans to scour the area off the island's reef in hopes of recovering the aircraft.

Read more at Outside

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    Photo: trento/Flickr

SAR Volunteers Die in BC Boat Accident

Vessel capsized on the Sunshine Coast

Two search and rescue volunteers are dead after their rescue boat capsized Sunday morning in the hazardous Skookumchuck Narrows on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast. Four members of the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue were executing a training maneuver in a rigid hull inflatable boat when it overturned in the rapids. A nearby vessel was able to rescue the two male volunteers, but it took approximately two hours for crews to recover the bodies of the two females. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says it is investigating the incident.

Read more at the Vancouver Sun

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Black bear

Black bear     Photo: Bess Sadler/Flickr

Bear Euthanized After Eating Murderer

Black bear suspected of eating convict's remains

Canadian officials have euthanized a black bear suspected of partially eating the corpse of a convicted murderer. Authorities identified the remains as those of Rory Wagner, who was convicted of second-degree murder eight years ago. Wagner was reported missing on May 23 while on parole and is thought to have died of natural causes in his car on a remote logging road. The bear is believed to have pulled the body from the car before eating some of it and burying the rest. Hunters discovered the bear guarding the man's remains early last week. British Columbia Environment Minister Terry Lake said the animal had to be euthanized because bears remember food sources. 

Read more at The Associated Press

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