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B17 crash at Bradley

Old 15th Oct 2019, 09:17
  #201 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gearlever View Post
Would the outcome be any different?

R.I.P.
yes possibly. I can see where he's coming from though.
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 09:24
  #202 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Mozella View Post
Perhaps. It's impossible to tell for sure, of course, but that isn't the point.
I was trained as a U.S. Navy Fighter Pilot and very early on I was told that when things so South, declare an emergency, stop asking permission, and start telling the controllers what you intend to do. You don't ask for permission to land, you TELL them you're landing. And you don't ask for a runway which will make their job easy, you TELL them what runway you are going to use and you start heading that direction without waiting for someone to say it's OK. You certainly should NOT ask them to accommodate your emergency "when you get a chance", especially if they aren't even aware you are involved in a potentially fatal emergency. In this case, the controller might have thought one of the passengers had to go to the bathroom or something, or that someone left their luggage behind. Why rush?

Let the tower worry about sorting out any traffic problems. Let them apologize for making things inconvenient for others. You job is to take care of your crippled aircraft and that's all you should be worried about. Saving seconds or minutes can make all the difference.

Even if you're not bold enough to take charge, at least tell the tower that you're having an emergency. Generally speaking, once the ground guys know you're in trouble, they will pull out all the stops to help you resolve the problem quickly and safely. But if they are unaware, how can they help?
yup. Very lackadaisical comms if they've really lost all climb performance. But why no climb performnce on 3 engines?
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 16:38
  #203 (permalink)  
 
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NTSB Preliminary Report:

National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Preliminary Report

Location: Windsor Locks, CT
Accident Number: ERA20MA001
Date & Time: 10/02/2019, 0953 EDT
Registration: N93012
Aircraft: Boeing B17
Injuries: 7 Fatal, 5 Serious, 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use - Sightseeing

On October 2, 2019, at 0953 eastern daylight time, a Boeing B-17G, N93012, owned and operated by the Collings Foundation, was destroyed during a precautionary landing and subsequent runway excursion at Bradley International Airport (BDL), Windsor Locks, Connecticut. The commercial pilot, airline transport pilot, and five passengers were fatally injured. The flight mechanic/loadmaster and four passengers were seriously injured, while one passenger and one person on the ground incurred minor injuries. The local commercial sightseeing flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, in accordance with a Living History Flight Experience exemption granted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed BDL at 0947.

On the morning of the accident flight, an airport lineman at BDL assisted the loadmaster as he added 160 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel to the accident airplane. The lineman stated that the accident airplane was the first to be fueled with 100LL fuel that day.

According to preliminary air traffic control (ATC) data provided by the FAA, shortly after takeoff, at 0950, one of the pilots reported to ATC that he wanted to return to the airport. At that time, the airplane was about 500 ft above ground level (agl) on the right crosswind leg of the airport traffic pattern for runway 6. The approach controller verified the request and asked if the pilot required any assistance, to which he replied no. The controller then asked for the reason for the return to the airport, and the pilot replied that the airplane had a "rough mag" on the No. 4 engine. The controller then instructed the pilot to fly a right downwind leg for runway 6 and confirmed that the flight needed an immediate landing. He subsequently cancelled the approach of another airplane and advised the pilot to proceed however necessary to runway 6. The approach controller instructed the pilot to contact the tower controller, which he did.

The tower controller reported that the wind was calm and cleared the flight to land on runway 6. The pilot acknowledged the landing clearance; at that time, the airplane was about 300 ft agl on a midfield right downwind leg for runway 6. The tower controller asked about the airplane's progress to the runway and the pilot replied that they were "getting there" and on the right downwind leg. No further communications were received from the accident airplane. Witness statements and airport surveillance video confirmed that the airplane struck approach lights about 1,000 ft prior to the runway, then contacted the ground about 500 ft prior to the runway before reaching runway 6. It then veered right off the runway before colliding with vehicles and a deicing fluid tank about 1,100 ft right of the center of the runway threshold.

The wreckage came to rest upright and the majority of the cabin, cockpit, and right wing were consumed by postimpact fire. The landing gear was extended and measurement of the left and right wing flap jackscrews corresponded to a flaps retracted setting. The flap remained attached to the right wing and the aileron was consumed by fire. The flap and aileron remained attached to the left wing and a section of flap was consumed by fire. The empennage, elevator, and rudder remained intact. Control continuity was confirmed from the elevator, rudder, elevator trim, and rudder trim from each respective control surface to the area in the cabin consumed by fire, and then forward to the cockpit controls. Elevator trim and rudder trim cables were pulled during impact and their preimpact position on their respective drum at the control surfaces could not be determined. The left wing aileron trim tab remained intact and its pushrod was connected but bent. The left aileron bellcrank separated from the wing, but the aileron cables remained attached to it and the aileron cable remained attached in cockpit.

The Nos. 1 and 2 engines remained partially attached to the left wing and all three propeller blades remained attached to each engine. One propeller blade attached to engine No. 1 exhibited an 8-inch tip separation; the separated section traveled about 700 ft before coming to rest near an airport building. Another propeller blade on the No. 1 engine exhibited chordwise scratching and leading edge gouging. The third propeller blade was bent aft. The No. 2 engine propeller blades exhibited leading edge gouges and chordwise scratches.

The No. 3 engine was recovered from the top of the deicing tank. One blade was impact damaged and near the feather position. The other two blades appeared in a position between low pitch and feather. One propeller blade exhibited a 5-inch tip separation and the separated tip sections were recovered from 100 ft and 700 ft from the main wreckage. The No. 4 engine was recovered from the deice building. All three propeller blades on the No. 4 engine appeared in the feather position.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

A fuel sample was able to be recovered from one of the No 3. engine's two fuel tanks. The recovered sample had a visual appearance and smell consistent with 100LL aviation fuel and was absent of debris or water contamination. Following the accident, the fuel truck used to service the airplane was quarantined and subsequent testing revealed no anomalies of the truck's equipment or fuel supply. Additionally, none of the airplanes serviced with fuel from the truck before or after the accident airplane, including another airplane operated by the Collings Foundation, reported any anomalies.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, instrument airplane, and held a type rating for the B-17. In addition, he held a mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on January 9, 2019. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 14,500 hours.

The co-pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane, with type ratings for B-737, B-757, B-767, DC-10, and LR-Jet. In addition, he held a flight engineer certificate as well as a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on January 8, 2019. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 22,000 hours.

The airplane was manufactured in 1944, issued a limited airworthiness certificate in 1994, and equipped with passenger seats in 1995. It was powered by four Wright R-1820-97, 1,200-horsepower engines, each equipped with a three-blade, constant-speed Hamilton Standard propeller. The airplane was maintained under an airworthiness inspection program, which incorporated an annual inspection, and 25-hour, 50-hour, 75-hour, and 100-hour progressive inspections. Review of maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on January 16, 2019. At that time, the airframe had accumulated about 11,120 total hours of operation. Engine Nos. 1, 2, and 3 had 0 hours since major overhaul at that time. Engine No. 4 had 838.2 hours since major overhaul at that time. The airplane's most recent progressive inspection, which was the 100-hour inspection, was completed on September 23, 2019. At that time, the airplane had been operated about 268 hours since the annual inspection.

The recorded weather at BDL at 0951 included calm wind; 10 statute miles visibility; few clouds at 11,000 ft; few clouds at 14,000 ft; broken clouds at 18,000 ft; temperature 23C; dew point 19C, and an altimeter setting of 29.81 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Boeing
Registration: N93012
Model/Series: B17 G
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No

Operator: Collings Foundation

Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: Collings Foundation
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BDL, 175 ft msl
Observation Time: 0951 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 23C / 19C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 11000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 18000 ft agl
Visibility 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.81 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Windsor Locks, CT (BDL)
Destination: Windsor Locks, CT (BDL)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 5 Fatal, 4 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 7 Fatal, 5 Serious, 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 41.931667, -72.692222

Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Robert J Gretz
Additional Participating Persons: Todd Gentry; FAA AVP-100; Washington, DC
Note:The NTSB traveled to the scene of this accident.
Attached Files
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 17:15
  #204 (permalink)  
 
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Any chance they might have feathered the wrong engine?
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 17:38
  #205 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jugofpropwash View Post
Any chance they might have feathered the wrong engine?
The No. 3 engine was recovered from the top of the deicing tank. One blade was impact damaged and near the feather position. The other two blades appeared in a position between low pitch and feather. One propeller blade exhibited a 5-inch tip separation and the separated tip sections were recovered from 100 ft and 700 ft from the main wreckage. The No. 4 engine was recovered from the deice building. All three propeller blades on the No. 4 engine appeared in the feather position.
It looks like they feathered both 3 and 4. Maybe 3 started to run rough too, maybe inadvertent, going to be hard to ascertain without CVR, unless the "loadmaster" knows what happened...
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 18:23
  #206 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by hans brinker View Post
It looks like they feathered both 3 and 4. Maybe 3 started to run rough too, maybe inadvertent, going to be hard to ascertain without CVR, unless the "loadmaster" knows what happened...
Anyone know how close together the switches are? Could they have reached for one and accidentally hit both switches? Or they feathered the wrong engine, then realized their error and feathered the correct one without bringing the good engine back to speed? Are there any common fuel/oil lines to both 3 and 4 that could cause a problem for both engines? (I just checked the weather for the night before the crash - supposedly was light rain. Could water have gotten into the fuel?)

Last edited by jugofpropwash; 15th Oct 2019 at 18:42.
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 18:55
  #207 (permalink)  
 
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Im assuming the airplane tanks would have been checked before and after refueling.
Engine 1,2,3 had 268 hrs and #4 about 900.

Back in 1944 cockpit ergonomics and man/machine interface wasnt any priority.
Several sources on YT have B-17 training footage and cockpits are equipped with similar looking switches anywhere they could be fit rather then what we have nowadays.

Not suggesting anything just stating an observation.

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Old 15th Oct 2019, 19:41
  #208 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by B2N2 View Post
Engine 1,2,3 had 268 hrs and #4 about 900.
From the NTSB report:

Review of maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on January 16, 2019. At that time, the airframe had accumulated about 11,120 total hours of operation. Engine Nos. 1, 2, and 3 had 0 hours since major overhaul at that time. Engine No. 4 had 838.2 hours since major overhaul at that time. The airplane's most recent progressive inspection, which was the 100-hour inspection, was completed on September 23, 2019. At that time, the airplane had been operated about 268 hours since the annual inspection.
If engine number 4 had 838.2 hours SMOH at the annual and flew about 268 hours more wouldn't that put the total at around 1106 in late September?

According to a Collings Foundation video these R-1820-97 engines were made by Studebaker.

See:
https://airandspace.si.edu/collectio...adial-9-engine
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 19:43
  #209 (permalink)  
 
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Looking at the layout of Bradley airport and their apparent height downwind for 06 runway,I think with the problems of 1 or 2 engine problems they should have just turned finals for RW 33,as the extra distance to fly amounts to about 4miles to get to final on 06...
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 20:40
  #210 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jugofpropwash View Post
Anyone know how close together the switches are? Could they have reached for one and accidentally hit both switches? Or they feathered the wrong engine, then realized their error and feathered the correct one without bringing the good engine back to speed? Are there any common fuel/oil lines to both 3 and 4 that could cause a problem for both engines? (I just checked the weather for the night before the crash - supposedly was light rain. Could water have gotten into the fuel?)
Definitely out of forward vision and close to each-other.


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Old 15th Oct 2019, 22:03
  #211 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by hans brinker View Post
Definitely out of forward vision and close to each-other.

The fact that a switch is out of direct vision should mean nothing to a well trained crew. Critical items like this is not going to be operated without confirmation from both crewmembers, not that mistakes can't be made. Although I didn't know him except as a familiar face the copilot worked at the same airline as I did and confirmation of critical switch movement is ingrained from day one.Failure to do so could get you sent home for the day.
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 22:10
  #212 (permalink)  
 
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Flaps retracted is interesting since it seems like the ac gained very little alt.

Also, on the original B-17, there were 4 red propeller feathering buttons under the original ALT, ASI, and Turn & Bank gauges for F/G models according to the documents at Zenos and 909 cockpit pic below.

http://www.zenoswarbirdvideos.com/Images/B-17/17CCL.pdf

http://www.zenoswarbirdvideos.com/Images/B-17/17CCR.pdf


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Old 15th Oct 2019, 22:16
  #213 (permalink)  
 
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The circled levers in blue are the RPM levers to my understanding.

Feathering buttons are up front. The red and round ones labeld with their respective Eng number.

Uhhhh two engines feathered on the same side at just about the same time .. Chances for having to do that are very small I would say.

Feathered many on the DC-6.
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 22:34
  #214 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by filejw View Post
The fact that a switch is out of direct vision should mean nothing to a well trained crew. Critical items like this is not going to be operated without confirmation from both crewmembers, not that mistakes can't be made. Although I didn't know him except as a familiar face the copilot worked at the same airline as I did and confirmation of critical switch movement is ingrained from day one.Failure to do so could get you sent home for the day.
Seems like it would be fairly easy to bump the next lever in addition to the one you were trying to shut down, especially if you had large hands - or arthritis, for that matter. Not saying that's what happened, but could be a possibility?

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Old 16th Oct 2019, 02:24
  #215 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jugofpropwash View Post
Seems like it would be fairly easy to bump the next lever in addition to the one you were trying to shut down, especially if you had large hands - or arthritis, for that matter. Not saying that's what happened, but could be a possibility?
You reach with your finger pointing the correct Eng. feather switch leaving its number in view, then ask for the other pilots confirmation.
Once confirmation is received you just pressed it.
(Prior to that the affected throttle should be confirmed and retarded to verify you will shut down the correct engine. )

Last edited by WING7; 16th Oct 2019 at 14:08. Reason: Description
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Old 16th Oct 2019, 02:37
  #216 (permalink)  
 
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Wing is correct, the circle of blue in the photo is prop RPM levers and the feather buttons are the large red with the engine number visible on the button. #3 and 4 are partially hidden by the turbo controller, the black box with dial on top.
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Old 16th Oct 2019, 02:43
  #217 (permalink)  
 
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From the NTSB Report:

"The No. 3 engine was recovered from the top of the deicing tank. One blade was impact damaged and near the feather position. The other two blades appeared in a position between low pitch and feather. One propeller blade exhibited a 5-inch tip separation and the separated tip sections were recovered from 100 ft and 700 ft from the main wreckage."

The report did not specifically state that the separated tip sections were from the damaged blade of No.3 engine; however, from the above wording, I think that it can be assumed (dangerous to do) that the No.3 engine blade "... near the feather position." was the one that threw the "separated tip sections" several hundred feet from the impact site. It would take considerable rotational energy to throw propeller blade tip sections several hundred feet from the impact site. It is my understanding that the Hamilton Standard propellers that were fitted to the subject B-17 can have a single blade impacted and damaged to the extent that it will be out of phase with the other blades of the propeller. It is possible that the damaged blade had been in "low pitch" when the impact occurred. Low pitch is usually selected when maximum power is needed. I'm thinking (my thoughts are often proven incorrect) that the No.3 engine may have been providing significant power at impact and was not feathered.

Just more speculation on my part.

Regards,
Grog
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Old 16th Oct 2019, 03:26
  #218 (permalink)  
 
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In the panel picture posted above (and cropped below) what is the 'L' in the N-number? Does it signify limited category? It doesn't seem to be in the LiveATC clips or FAA online records.


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Old 16th Oct 2019, 03:32
  #219 (permalink)  
 
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Yes. Once the design type is aged enough you can add the letters.

You don't use them on radio call or in searches.
X- experimental, R-Restricted, L- Limited, C- Classic
45-22 CFR
The U.S. registration number of the aircraft; or
(ii) The symbol appropriate to the airworthiness certificate of the aircraft ("C", standard; "R", restricted; "L", limited; or "X", experimental) followed by the U.S. registration number of the aircraf
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Old 16th Oct 2019, 04:49
  #220 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by WING7 View Post
The circled levers in blue are the RPM levers to my understanding.

Feathering buttons are up front. The red and round ones labeld with their respective Eng number.

Uhhhh two engines feathered on the same side at just about the same time .. Chances for having to do that are very small I would say.

Feathered many on the DC-6.
Thanks for the correction, the props I flew, prop handle all the way back feathered the prop. Are these buttons push to feather and pull to unfeather? Is there a guard or something like that, or could you accidentally push 2 at the same time if you had fat fingers?
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