"It is with a heavy heart that I inform you we lost a valued Airmen and friend last night. In performing his civilian duties as an air tanker pilot, fighting wildfires in Australia, Lt. Col. Ian Mcbeth’s plane went down.
There were no survivors.
Ian was instrumental in the flying success of the 120th Airlift Wing and will be dearly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family as they navigate this painful and tragic situation. It is never an easy thing to manage, the loss of a brother in arms affects us all. Please know through difficult times such as these you are never alone. Don’t hesitate to reach out and lean on each other as we navigate this loss together."
Col. Buel Dickson, 120th Airlift Wing Commander
UPDATE - Coulson Aviation posted the following on their website:
Ian lived in Great Falls, MT and is survived by his wife Bowdie and three children Abigail, Calvin, and Ella. Also, by his parents Willian and Anneliese and his siblings Rick Fernandez, Eleanor McBeth, and Aislinn McBeth.
Ian’s love for his wife and children was evident for anyone who spent time around him. Ian was a highly qualified and respected C-130 pilot with many years fighting fire, both in the military and with Coulson Aviation.
Ian served with the Wyoming Air National Guard and was still a member of the Montana Air National Guard. He has spent his entire career flying C-130’s and was a qualified Instructor and Evaluator pilot. Ian earned his Initial Attack qualification for Coulson in 2018.