United States of America vs. Roy D. Reagan and Fred Albano Fuchs, set for trial Sept. 3, 1997, U.S. District Court, Tucson, Ariz.
Roy D. Reagan, 56, Medford, Ore., former Air Force pilot and aviation broker who allegedly acted as the middleman to secure airplanes from the Defense Department and Forest Service for private contractors who were expected to use them to fight fires on national forests.
Fred Fuchs, 57, Albuquerque, N.M., retired former head of the aviation program at the Forest Service who allegedly worked with Reagan in making aircraft available for private contractors.
Reagan and Fuchs conspired to convert 28 military aircraft -- 22 C-130s and six P-3As -- from government owned property to private corporations acting as airtanker operators.
They made numerous false statements to the Defense Department, Agriculture Department and General Services Agency to carry out the conspiracy.
Many of the aircraft never fought a fire on U.S. soil. Some were sold to third parties, stripped of useable parts for use or sale, and used illegally in commercial operations for profit both in the United States and abroad.
Lockheed C-130A, the Air Force's transport plane of choice in Vietnam, coveted for its ability to land on dirt air strips and get in and out of areas quickly.
Lockheed P-3A, Navy attack planes used primarily to track submarines. Both convert easily to airtankers for dropping retardant on fires.
Aero Union Corp., Chico, Calif., six P-3s
Hawkins and Power Aviation, Greybull, Wyo., six C-130As
Hemet Valley Flying Service, Hemet, Calif., seven C-130As
T&G Aviation, Chandler, Ariz., three C-130As
TBM Inc., Tulare, Calif., six C-130As
Forest Service Historic Aircraft Exchange Program established in 1989 to make surplus military aircraft available to airtanker contractors to help fight fires on national forests.
Contractors traded aging historical aircraft to military museums in exchange for working surplus military planes. However, federal investigators determined the old planes were of little historical significance and little value.
During the 1950s, the government owned and operated its own planes to fight fires. DC-6 and DC-7 commercial aircraft were converted to airtankers during the 1960s. C-119 air transports were used during the 1970s and into the 1980s, until they were grounded in 1987 after a series of fatal accidents, prompting the need for additional planes.