A firefighting plane crashed near Manning, Alta. at approximately 4 p.m. Thursday when the pilot suffered a medical episode.
There were two pilots inside the Convair 580 water-tanker plane as it prepared to land at the Manning Municipal Airport. They needed to refuel and restock the plane with fire retardant after fighting the fire at Loon River near Red Earth Creek.
During the landing approach, the pilot suffered a medical episode and the co-pilot had to land the plane. During the emergency landing, the plane veered off the runway and into the ditch.
RCMP said the plane did not catch fire and the co-pilot was not injured.
The pilot suffered a cut to his head, but was conscious and breathing when emergency crews arrived.
“An air tanker slid off the runway in Manning,” Premier Rachel Notley said during a news conference updating Alberta’s wildfire situation Thursday. “We’re pleased to report there were no fatalities.”
The Transportation Safety Board is following up on the crash.
The crash came as the Fort McMurray wildfire disaster continued to unfold and the broader wildfire situation across Alberta intensified – late Thursday afternoon, the government of Alberta announced a province-wide fire ban.