Co-Pilot Craig Labare, 36, of Loomis, California, died on June 17, 2002, when Pilot Steve Wass and his C-130 air tanker crashed after dropping fire retardant on the Cannon Fire in Walker, California. The air tanker, based at the Douglas County Airport in Minden, was on contract to the U.S. Forest Service. Steve, and Engineer Mike Davis were also killed in the crash.
Like many who have fought wildland fires Craig LaBare started by skiing all winter as the lead lift operator at Kirkwood, the fighting fire during the summer for the Silver State Hot Shots and later the Lake Tahoe regular crew. He spent the summer of 1990 washing high ride office building windows, sometimes on the 42nd floor. He must have liked the altitude because while he was there he put himself through pilot training and began to fly in 1992. Craig joined Hawkins and Powers Aviation in 1997 flying a KC97 aircraft in Alaska. This was his fourth year in the C-130, receiving his rating as an initial attack qualified captain last year.
He was known as fun loving with a quick wit and someone who would just burst into a song but change the lyrics to suit him.