Three Americans, one a former Wyoming Guard member, killed fighting Australian fires

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - One of three Americans killed in a plane crash in Australia was a former Wyoming National Guard member. Captain Ian McBeth was part of a crew flying a C-130 outfitted for fighting fires. They were flying for Canadian-owned Coulson Aviation, which was contracted with Bew South Wales Rural Fire Service. They were flying the tanker in a remote part of Australia, loaded with retardant and on a fire-bombing mission, when the plane lost contact. Australian officials say there were no survivors in the crash.

According to a release from Coulson Aviation, Captain McBeth was living in Great Falls, Montana and was a current member of the Montana National Guard and a former member of the Wyoming National Guard. Coulson says he spent his entire career as a C-130 pilot. It adds that Ian was a respected and accomplished pilot with many years of firefighting experience.

McBeth leaves behind his wife, Bowdie, and three children, Abigail, Calvin and Ella.