Wichita Falls Native Dies in Air Tanker Crash

A pilot, who was from Wichita Falls, is one of two pilots killed Sunday while battling a wildfire on the Utah-Nevada border.
 40-year-old Ron Chambless was a 1989 graduate of Rider High School.
 He had done his pilot training at Wichita Valley Airport and we're told he worked there for several years.
 He and 48-year-old Todd Tompkins were killed when their air tanker was on its second run to drop retardant on the fires and the plane crashed into steep rugged terrain.
 Iron County Utah Sheriff Mark Gower says, "The plane had gone down into a, kind of a canyon. It looked like a right wing tip had hit the ground, and caused the plane to start into a cartwheel type, uh, crash."
 Gower also says, "From start to finish, probably 5, 600 yards of debris field.  The plane was destroyed in its entirety. The only thing that was of any size was the motors, the engines. The rest of the plane had disintegrated, basically."
 Authorities believe this latest wildfire was caused by a lightning strike in Eastern Nevada that quikcly spread across the Utah state line.
 We want to express our sympathy to the families of both men.

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