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TOPIC: B 17 Crash at Bradley

B 17 Crash at Bradley 05 Oct 2019 12:56 #13

I keep reading comments that blame the pilot as these aircraft were design to run on 2 engines. No they were designed to run on 4 engines, that's why they have 4 engines. Yes there are countless stories about crippled birds making it home on 2 engines but not at take off. I do wonder if the higher octane they ran would have made a difference.

There was a TV show that tried to replicate the short field take off Doolittle's B25s practiced. They could not do it and the pilot made some statement about the 100 oct avgas vers the 130.

While we're talking about, give a Salute to the CMS James M. Traficante for pulling survivors out. :salute
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"If you don't like it why don't you just let it be"
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B 17 Crash at Bradley 05 Oct 2019 19:39 #14

Old Dog wrote:
You are still more likely to be killed in a car accident on the way to the airport to ride in a warbird than actually flying in one.

Excellent point Gary, and completely true! I realize that many aviation enthusiasts have a love for these old planes (myself included) and that flying in one is truly an experience of a lifetime. I myself have had the chance to fly in 2 vintage aircraft: a 20’s era Waco biplane (one of the best experiences in my life) and a 50’s era Beaver float plane. interestingly, the Waco biplane was involved in an accident a couple years after my wife and I flew on it. No one was injured, but still an accident.

My personal feelings are that there aren’t many of these planes left and with each accident, we loose another piece of history that is gone forever. I suppose there will always be enough in static displays at museums but I hate to see them go and feel very bad that people sometimes loose their lives. Every day each of us take risks, it is up to each of us to justify if the personal risks are worth it. I for one take risks in my job each year going to sea on research and commercial fishing vessels. It is part of my job and I train yearly to keep my life saving skills up to par but there is certainly a chance that an accident could happen. I hope it doesn’t.

Just want to point out something that I disagree with though, since I deal with the media a fair bit in my job. “Since 1982, the National Transportation Safety Board has investigated 21 accidents involving World War II-era bombers. They resulted in 23 deaths.” This is a statistic, not “fake news”. Should we still be flying 70 year old aircraft? It is a valid point and that is what the article is putting out there for discussion. In any accident we as humans, try to determine what we can do to mitigate any further accidents. The fact is though these aircraft are old, require stringent maintenance, were designed for war, not to carry passengers, and someday the maintenance and requirements to keep them flying just won’t be possible. Articles like this tend to invoke a lot of passion from people on both sides, but it is up to the reader to be critical of the articles source and determine what are the facts from the opinions and the motivation of the article. Certainly do your own research too, reporters do get things wrong from time to time.

In the end, I hope they do keep them flying as long as they can. For me personally though, the experience at this point in my life would not be worth the risk.


and yes, Salute to the CMS James M. Traficante for his heroism. :salute
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B 17 Crash at Bradley 06 Oct 2019 01:57 #15

I have flown a lot of different airplanes over the years and at least five of them that I know of were involved in fatal crashes. At least one was a mechanical, but the worst was a jet piloted by a stupid pilot who made a bad decision on a dark night IFR departure and a copilot whose experience level made him nothing more than a passenger.

One 58P Baron nearly got me because during the annual inspection the mechanic failed to tighten the turbocharger drain hose. I had two habits that helped me out there, I always taxied up a few feet and checked the taxiway after the run up on post maintenance test flights and in that case I saw a whole lot of engine oil on the pavement. The other habit was taking mechanics along for the ride, it tended to make them a little more attentive. But the main reason I did that was because I was both a mechanic and a pilot, and it was clear to me that it was hard for the maintenance guys to see an airplane actually operating and it made them better mechanics. That P Baron later crashed into the Forest Service building up at Redding California after an exhaust clamp came loose on the turbocharger outlet. The maintenance contract at that time was with another company.

Another was a pretty new A-36 Bonanza which I found on a flight one day was running extremely lean on takeoff and climb, which I compensated for by running the boost pump. Not a good deal on a new engine especially. I thought the engine needed some heavy maintenance because of that, and actually quit the company later when they set me up to fly on a charter in it that involved both night flying and flight over the Sierra to Mammoth Lakes. I was not inclined to take innocent souls on the route in a single engine airplane, and offered to do it in a Beech Duchess. That was refused and so I gave notice. That Bonanza a little later broke a cylinder leaving at dusk from an airport and the pilot was able to return to the airport. Some airplanes are just cursed though, a few years later it had an engine failure and bellied in to a plowed field a mile or two from the airport. No injuries, thankfully.

I always felt that new airplanes (sometimes ones that I picked up at the factory) were just as dangerous as well maintained old ones, as long as the mechanics were current on the maintenance procedures. That's something that troubles me with large or complex old aircraft. You just don't have the possibility of a large base of people who are working every day on similar airplanes and components, nor do you have the support organizations supplying new parts and reconditioned old ones. Been there, done that, and it leads to a different standard of maintenance no matter the dedication of the people doing it.
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Last Edit: 06 Oct 2019 01:58 by jeaton01.
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B 17 Crash at Bradley 06 Oct 2019 08:51 #16

Not to change the subject but this seems to have been a bad year for general aviation in general, I know of at least a half dozen fatal crashes in Ohio alone and have heard of numerous others from around the country, planes flying into buildings and houses and the like.
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B 17 Crash at Bradley 06 Oct 2019 12:57 #17

Interesting stories John!

A while back I was trolling Utube and ran across a video where a P-51 was flying in formation and started loosing power. It showed the whole thing where the pilot was trying to get back to the field. He finally couldn't keep it in the air and bellied it in to a nearby field. The plane had significant damage, but the pilot walked away.
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B 17 Crash at Bradley 07 Oct 2019 09:31 #18

I'm so glad that nobody here said that "they died doing something they loved". That saying bugs me because the last few moments were sheer terror. The loss of people is bad enough, the lost of Nine o Nine, is what I'm mourning most. I had a chance to fly in the Collins B-24 which was parked next to the B-17 at the time. Gary S.
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