CHARLOTTE --The NC Air National Guard says four men were killed and two others seriously injured when their plane went down in southwest South Dakota Saturday evening.
Lt. Col. Paul Mikael, 42, from Mooresville, Maj. Joseph McCormick, 36, of Belmont, Maj. Ryan David of Boone, 35, and Senior Master Sgt. Robert Cannon of Charlotte, 50, died in the crash.
All involved in the crash were full-time with the air guard.
The air guard says it will not release the names of the two seriously injured and are remaining optimistic, as positive feedback is coming from doctors in South Dakota.
The other members of this mission will be back in Charlotte either Tuesday or Wednesday.
“We are doing what our fellow airmen would want us to do. Yes we continue to grieve, but we are ready for any mission that may come our way, knowing we have four new wingmen watching over us,” said Brig. Gen. Tony McMillan.
The crash is under investigation and there's no word on a possible cause. The crew of six was actively fighting a fire in southwest South Dakota when they went down. The Air National Guard says all C-130's with the same firefighting equipment are grounded until further notice.