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B17 crash at Bradley

Old 27th Mar 2020, 13:57
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Originally Posted by tcasblue
I wonder what the maintenance discrepancies were. That could be a big issue if they were significant and especially if they led to the accident.
If you read the recission document it tells you......
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Old 28th Mar 2020, 13:05
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Originally Posted by RobertP
Thank you for this information. Very interesting and also concerning. I find the information that the pilot in command was also the Director of Maintenance most concerning as presumably he is and was responsible for all the other aircraft within the maintenance organisation. An unacceptable conflict of interests in my opinion . I have been a director of maintenance here in Canada and cannot imagine ever being in this position.
very sad.
I cannot and won't comment on the operational procedures of the individual crew (as this is still part of the investigation) but I can assure you that other crews (I can speak personally for those on the P-51) were and always have been fully aware of all operating procedures and were bang-on with any maintenance whether scheduled or not.
As far as the pilot of the B-17 being 'Director of maintenance' that was for the B-17 and the other aircraft while on tour (although as previously stated, each crew were responsible for their aircraft and knew full well what was expected of them to maintain them to the highest standards) but annual inspection, maintenance and overhaul was carried out on all aircraft by an OUTSIDE independent organisation who are one of if not the best Warbird restoration and maintenance company around.
The whole thing is very sad and the question of what actually happened on touchdown (don't forget the aircraft actually got back to the airport) is still under investigation.
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Old 28th Mar 2020, 20:11
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Originally Posted by 212man
If you read the recission document it tells you......
If you read the previous posts, more friendly and helpful members answered his question obviating the need for your reply.
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Old 28th Mar 2020, 20:40
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Having previously flown on Nine-O-Nine, and provided some financial support to the Colling's Foundation, I'm shocked and dismayed at the findings. This suggests more than a one-off mistake or 'bad day' - more of a systematic carelessness. They may have a hard time surviving this.
Colling's has an impressive collection of both vintage warplanes and armored vehicles (they obtained most of the Littlefield collection of armored vehicles after he died). I hope the collection remains intact, even if it ends up "under new management".
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Old 28th Mar 2020, 22:02
  #285 (permalink)  
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The public should continue to be allowed to choose to be passengers in vintage aircraft. However, the organizations offering such rides owe a level of safety resulting from even more diligence than a regular commercial carrier. Most vintage aircraft were never designed with passenger safety in mind, and certainly not to today's standards. It would be impossible to bring an airplane like a B-17 to be compliant with the passenger safety standards of today's Part 25 airplanes - but the public does not know this, and does not try to inform themselves. Thus it is the moral responsibility of the vintage airplane operator to go above and beyond in passenger briefing, and every safety effort possible to mitigate the design gaps from vintage ex military airplanes to what today's passenger thinks they're riding in.

Good maintenance is a reasonable expectation of any passenger, there should be no doubt about it in the case of vintage passenger carrying airplanes. And the pilot was also responsible for assuring maintenance compliance? Hmmm... I think that could be better arranged!
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 00:40
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Tdracer has it exactly right.
My Collins Foundation experience is just like his, and I share his dismay and concur with his assessment. The reported faults found suggest an organization out of control, with procedural discipline lost.
Whether that is because of managerial overstretch possibly compounded by financial strains remains tbd. However, management obviously needs a very fundamental reform to regain credibility.
Not sure this can be done without new leadership and probably new funding.
Ideally, a big corporation such as Boeing would take it on as a public educational service, they have plenty of retirees who would love to help and the cost would be minimal.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 00:51
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR
And the pilot was also responsible for assuring maintenance compliance? Hmmm... I think that could be better arranged!
I don't know if that really should have been a problem. After all, if you are the one about to go down in flames, wouldn't you be pretty careful about maintenance? Even though that seems not to have been the case here...
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 11:27
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Perhaps a daft quetion, but where were the FAA in all this?
Don't they audit anything...?
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 11:48
  #289 (permalink)  
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After all, if you are the one about to go down in flames, wouldn't you be pretty careful about maintenance?
For a privately owned and flown plane, yes, that would be about it, as the balance of freedom and privacy allows a private airplane owner to take a lot of responsibility for the airplane and its operation. However, a "publicly available" commercial plane is held to a higher standard, and it is expected that there will be some second person cross checking (SMS) for safety aspects of the operation.

If the pilot acts as a "director of maintenance", to assure the continued maintenance by an entirely separate organization, who have their own SMS system, that's something. If the pilot is acting as the maintainer within one SMS, that's not nearly as much.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 11:54
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
And the pilot was also responsible for assuring maintenance compliance? Hmmm... I think that could be better arranged!
Quite some years ago my club had an Stampe SV4 (old vintage single engine aircraft) that we used to advertise especially during airshows. I was one of its pilots back then .
However on that particular aircraft maintenance was done by old retired mechanics , all volunteers, and the so called "post-it" culture prevailed. (you know, the yellow sticky papers) . i.e., never write anything down on the logs otherwise the aircraft would have been grounded most of the time. So the maintenance book , if checked, was always in order . But we all knew how maintenance was really done. This was long ago and I was young and accepted things I probably will not anymore, and definitively not carry pax .. . But I know this "post-it culture "is still there when you want to operate very old aircraft. Not an excuse , just stating facts
..
Now , that said, what I read here in the report about magnetos and sparks plugs indicate quite another level of disregarding the rules., basically having botched the 50h or 100h maintenance checks.,Everyone knows that this is and was no-go., even back then...
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 14:28
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR
It would be impossible to bring an airplane like a B-17 to be compliant with the passenger safety standards of today's Part 25 airplanes - but the public does not know this, and does not try to inform themselves.
What is interesting is that the 10 year restoration of NX611 seems to be held to the same UK standards as commercial pax aircraft by weight class, Andrew Panton putting the Lanc in the same weight class as larger commerical types - this from an airworthiness standard, not necessarily a pax safety standard. Apparently far different from the restoration occuring in Windsor. Interesting video on CA paperwork for NX611 if so inclined.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue5t...84993057850026

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Old 29th Mar 2020, 15:02
  #292 (permalink)  
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restoration of NX611 seems to be held to the same UK standards as commercial pax aircraft by weight class
From a maintenance standard, possible, and well done NX611 team. From a design compliance standard, not so easy. As a person who issues STC approval for modified aircraft, I deal with the reality that older aircraft can be very difficult to bring up to today's design standards for passenger safety. Included in aircraft for which I am responsible, are two very well rebuilt [Basler] DC-3's which are operated commercially. With a lot of work, and modification, they generally meet FAR Part 25, with a few agreed allowances. But, the DC-3 originated as a passenger/cargo airplane, not a pure military role. The basics were in place in the design already.

I've been involved with the restoration of Lancaster FM104 (I loaded parts of it with my tractor, for its shipment to Victoria, and assisted the team in Victoria with restoration planning. I have also spent time in the cabin of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Lancaster. I could not make the Lancaster compliant for carrying any number of passengers, by today's design standards. Similarly, I was asked to plan and approve changes to a PBY Catalina to allow commercial passenger carriage. 'Not easy. By the time we worked through what would be required (emergency egress), it was agreed as impractical, and the project not continued.

If eager vintage military plane "experience" passengers can demonstrate unusual passenger skills in terms of difficult egress, risk, and understanding the limitations of the design, fair enough, let them fly. But to market rides to the public without extra briefing does not comply with the exceptions of Mr./Mrs. Public for the latest standards of safety.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 23:54
  #293 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR
If eager vintage military plane "experience" passengers can demonstrate unusual passenger skills in terms of difficult egress, risk, and understanding the limitations of the design, fair enough, let them fly. But to market rides to the public without extra briefing does not comply with the exceptions of Mr./Mrs. Public for the latest standards of safety.
But this presupposes that Mr/Mrs Public are fully capable of comprehending the contents of such a briefing and acting thereupon. Taken to an absurd level, it could require parachute training. I imagine the probability is that such people will be "enthusiasts" and may take a particular interest in the briefing but beyond that, I suspect the pre-flight chat would achieve a level of attention similar to that accompanying the usual FA's routine on commercial flights and thus become another box-ticking exercise.

Perhaps insufficient bureaucracy would attend the old and simple blood chit arrangement to allow its adoption in these circumstances.


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Old 30th Mar 2020, 00:34
  #294 (permalink)  
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I suspect the pre-flight chat would achieve a level of attention similar to that accompanying the usual FA's routine on commercial flights and thus become another box-ticking exercise.
My experience has been better than this. I give "passenger" briefings to non airplane people who are carried as working crew on science/research flights in the DC-3's. Those flights are conducted under a restricted authority, as the airplane cannot be made to fully comply with the design requirements (cabin flammability). Unlike the FA standing at the front of the cabin with a canned presentation, I'm looking at each person as I give the briefing, and assessing their understanding. Sometimes the briefing will include the availability and use of immersion suits, for low level oceanic flying. These briefings will be followed by at least "Is that all understood?", for which I will not accept less than a spoken response from each person. This will have been a ten to fifteen minute discussion with demonstration, not a quick video, or waving of FA arms. There is no doubt about the purpose of the briefing, and no rush. Any points which are not clear, are reviewed, until they are. Each of the people wants to fly on the aircraft for their own science reason, but their presence requires their greater than normal familiarity with the emergency drills for the plane. They are willing.

Of course, I can do this, as the group of people will be six to ten, not a cabin of a hundred plus, with ear buds in. So similarly, a group of people paying the big bucks for a vintage ride, have a greater than pedestrian interest in the goings on of the plane, and once briefed, the emergency procedures. These people don't rise to the level of "crew", but their involvement exceeds that of "just going to visit grandma a few hundred miles away".

This is where the regulator has a role to define, review, and approve a more detailed than normal passenger briefing. The only reason that the briefing that I, and/or the flight crew of the day, give for the science flying on the DC-3's does not require "approval", is that the regulator knows it's being done correctly to begin with.

For the B-`7 accident, I cannot say if a better passenger briefing would have improved the outcome, I'm sure that the final report will present some findings. But, it would be helpful if the operators of these flights treated each flight more like a "crew mission" rather than a spin around the patch with passengers.

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Old 30th Mar 2020, 17:43
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR
For the B-17 accident, I cannot say if a better passenger briefing would have improved the outcome, I'm sure that the final report will present some findings. But, it would be helpful if the operators of these flights treated each flight more like a "crew mission" rather than a spin around the patch with passengers.
My Collins Foundation experience was definitely 'spin around the patch' rather than 'crew mission'. The intervals between flights were too short for anything more and there was not enough staff to do 'mission briefings' during the time the prior flight was in progress.
So I suspect that there was not enough money to do more and that the flights were aimed at generating the essential revenue to keep the endeavor afloat. So the maintenance chief squeezes the spending to cut costs, because he too wants the enterprise to survive. Here that killed him, along with other people.
I don't know how to reconcile the conflicting demands, no flights means no money to continue, but the equipment has not enough been serviced adequately because there is no money.
Is this not very similar to the Swiss Ju-52 crash a few years prior?
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 21:25
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Is this not very similar to the Swiss Ju-52 crash a few years prior?
No, the Ju-Air 52 accident of 2018 is different . The investigation is still ongoing but the interim last report mentioned the probability of high temp and density altitude trying to clear a pass in the mountains. Since then a video appeared taken by a mountaineer showing the aircraft falling down after what looked like a stall.
The Swiss TSB issued a second intermediate report in November 2018, mentioning corrosion and cracks, but said they were not related to the accident.. But in March 2019,the FOCA (Swiss regulator) quote : "banned Ju-Air from conducting commercial passenger flights with Ju 52s, allowing only private flights for club members. It was deemed that historical aircraft such as the Ju 52 no longer meet current safety requirements for commercial passenger transport" .
Following this the Lufthansa Board decided to definitively ground their own Ju52 which was operating similar passenger flights since years...
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 22:43
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[QUOTE=ATC Watcher;10733784]No, the Ju-Air 52 accident of 2018 is different . The investigation is still ongoing but the interim last report mentioned the probability of high temp and density altitude trying to clear a pass in the mountains. Since then a video appeared taken by a mountaineer showing the aircraft falling down after what looked like a stall.
The Swiss TSB issued a second intermediate report in November 2018, mentioning corrosion and cracks, but said they were not related to the accident.. But in March 2019,the FOCA (Swiss regulator) quote : "banned Ju-Air from conducting commercial passenger flights with Ju 52s, allowing only private flights for club members. It was deemed that historical aircraft such as the Ju 52 no longer meet current safety requirements for commercial passenger transport" .
Following this the Lufthansa Board decided to definitively ground their own Ju52 which was operating similar passenger flights since years...QUOTE]

I seem to remember the inquiry showing less than adequate engine performance, but have no idea whether that was maintenance related. Nevertheless, the inquiry did suggest a shoestring effort, held together by the love of the volunteers.
That is not sufficient imho for a passenger service, even on historic aircraft.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 23:13
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR
Of course, I can do this, as the group of people will be six to ten, not a cabin of a hundred plus, with ear buds in. So similarly, a group of people paying the big bucks for a vintage ride, have a greater than pedestrian interest in the goings on of the plane, and once briefed, the emergency procedures. These people don't rise to the level of "crew", but their involvement exceeds that of "just going to visit grandma a few hundred miles away".

This is where the regulator has a role to define, review, and approve a more detailed than normal passenger briefing. The only reason that the briefing that I, and/or the flight crew of the day, give for the science flying on the DC-3's does not require "approval", is that the regulator knows it's being done correctly to begin with.
Thank you Pilot DAR for a well-reasoned response to my post which, I admit, was a little flippant as I was imagining a DC3 conversion to include over-wing exits and a slide from the forward door straight into the port prop. I suffer the frustrations of a dinosaur from an age when a/c were controlled with "joy sticks" and punters went aloft for "joy rides", long before we were swamped in the myriad regulations and restrictions which hobble us today,

I have vivid memories from 1944 of busting the string which was supposed to secure the porthole bung on a C47 and spending the rest of the flight searching for the wretched thing under the canvas pipe cots. I have never forgotten my father's displeasure and the lecture about loose items and jammed control cables. Strangely, I don't remember anything about that in the briefing! Years later I was still in trouble, this time for busting a tail wheel shear pin . . . .





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Old 30th Mar 2020, 23:34
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long before we were swamped in the myriad regulations and restrictions which hobble us today,
We did it to ourselves Gipsy. In long gone times, a person who experienced a bump and a bruise weren't out to sue everyone. We have evolved a "how could that have been allowed to happen?" society, which is okay, unless you want to go flying in "that could happen" airplanes with the "how could that be allowed to happen?" attitude. A extra detailed briefing will remind passengers that it could happen, and this is what you should do to make it least bad. If you don't feel you can do that, don't board. But, the passenger to be has to understand - detailed briefing!



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Old 31st Mar 2020, 00:35
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR
We have evolved a "how could that have been allowed to happen?" society, which is okay, unless you want to go flying in "that could happen" airplanes with the "how could that be allowed to happen?" attitude.
Or a Max?

That said, I agree with your earlier comments on some of these elder aircraft. But, at what point do you start drilling rivets and removing panels to inspect structural components within the wing for corrosion or fatigue, where the need for inspection plates may not have been anticipated given the operational life expectancy? As you pointed out earlier, the DC-3 was designed for a specific pax purpose unlike the 909. I doubt that either designer(s) anticipated them to be flying 70-80 years on. But watching what is being pulled out of Just Jane, I'm surprised at the number of stretched rivet/bolt holes, double drilled holes, rib corrosion (and lack of any corrosion inhibitor), dissimlar metal corrosion (wing tip) etc. After all, if a wing tip folds, isn't the result the same for any pax?

I once had the opportunity to buy a Catalina live-aboard that was docked in Boston harbor. Thought it would be an easy sell since my wife and I lived on a boat. Probably a good pass.
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