Marc “Thor” Olson died when the single-engine air tanker he was piloting crashed in Hermit Park, near Estes Park, Colorado, while dropping water on the Kruger Rock Fire.
Growing up in Texas, he knew from a young age that he wanted to fly. He became a licensed pilot at age 17 and enlisted in the Army as a helicopter mechanic. After attending Army Officer Candidate School and Embry Riddle, he became a helicopter pilot and transitioned from the Army to the Air Force.
Olson was a highly decorated veteran of both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force, with 32 years of combined military service. A pilot for 42 years, he had more than 8,000 flight hours, including over 1,000 hours flying with night vision goggles in combat and civilian settings.
Thor was passionate about flying and loved to share that passion with others. He was remembered by colleagues as a straight shooter, meticulous, knowledgeable, and highly skilled. Friends recalled his reputation as a prankster, as well as his generosity and thoughtfulness.