One of three crew members who died in a plane crash in Australia Wednesday was from the Florida Panhandle.
Coulson Aviation confirms three of its crew members died during a crash in a C-130 transport aircraft in Australia while they were responding to the country’s wildfires.
Flight engineer Rick A. DeMorgan Jr., 43, of Navarre, Florida was among the flight crew who died in the plane crash. Couslon Aviation confirmed DeMorgan is survived by his two children Lucas and Logan, his parents Rick Sr. and Linda and his sister Virginia. Rick served in the United States Air Force with 18 years as a Flight Engineer on the C-130.
Rick had over 4,000 hours as a Flight Engineer with nearly 2,000 hours in a combat environment. Ricks passion was always flying and his children.
First officer Paul Clyde Hudson, 42, of Buckeye, Arizona died during the plane crash. Coulson Aviation confirmed Hudson is survived by his wife Noreen. Paul graduated from the Naval Academy in 1999 and spent the next 20 years serving in the United States Marine Corp in a number of positions including C-130 pilot. Hudson retired as a Lt. Colonel and received many decorations during his career.
He earned master’s degree in both business administration and information technology management from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Captain Ian H. McBeth, 44, of Great Falls Montana died in the crash. Coulson Aviation confirmed McBeth is survived by his wife Bowdie and three children Abigail, Calvin and Ella. he is also survived by his parents Willian and Anneliese and his siblings Rick Fernandez, Eleanor McBeth and Aislinn McBeth.
Coulson Aviation said McBeth’s love for his wife and children was evident for anyone who spent time around him. McBeth was a highly-qualified and respected C-130 pilot with many years fighting fire, both in the military and with Coulson Aviation.
McBeth 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. McBeth earned his initial attack qualification for Coulson in 2018.
“At Coulson Aviation, we have the incredible job of fighting fires around the world and we take pride in this responsibility,” the family-owned company shared in its press release. “Right now, our hearts are with the crew’s family and friends and our Coulson family suffering in the loss of these three remarkable and well-respected crew members.”