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B17 crash at Bradley

Old 3rd Oct 2019, 00:15
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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It's time to stop flying the public in these old machines. As wonderful as they are, they are not safe for the transport of passengers. If you want to risk your life, go ahead. The risks when flying on one are worse than flying on a modern passenger plane and the public may not know that.
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 00:18
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Wunwing View Post
cpngrog.
The blowing out statement suggests to me that they may have had fouled plugs on the engine.
That would also explain why they didn't declare an emergency.

On the Connie for one example, fouled/non firing plugs are an engine shutdown condition.
Wunwing
That may be a more logical explanation than an engine fire, but it would have involved a "routine" engine shut down and feathering of the prop. As tdracer pointed out, a lightly loaded B-17 should have been able to easily climb out (not just maintain altitude) on three engines. As tdracer said, I too believe that there was something else going on besides a "simple" engine failure.

Regards,
Grog
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 01:17
  #43 (permalink)  
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I speculate that more than just fouled plugs or an straight forward engine shutdown are involved. Shutting down and securing one of four engines should not rattle experienced pilots. If an outboard engine were to have been on fire, and would not feather, the sense of urgency to get on the ground, coupled with a plane with lots of drag from the stopped prop would challenge most pilots, and turn an event from bad to worse. I have empathy for pilots watching the ground come up at them, and being unable to arrest a descent.
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 01:34
  #44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by RickNRoll View Post
It's time to stop flying the public in these old machines. As wonderful as they are, they are not safe for the transport of passengers. If you want to risk your life, go ahead. The risks when flying on one are worse than flying on a modern passenger plane and the public may not know that.
I too have had the pleasure of experiencing a B17 flight but unlike you I hope there is not an over reaction to this tragedy.

I clearly understood the risks involved and these risks were again clearly spelt out before the flight.

Passengers on these flights are not typical naive pax but are fully aware of the risks.

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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 01:37
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Scanner audio of the first responders arriving at the scene.

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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 01:44
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by capngrog View Post
Listening to the tower conversation with the B-17 (N90312CF), the pilot reported: " garbled ... number four engine. We'd like to return and blow it out". This sounds like there was a fire involved, but that should not have caused a control problem with the airplane unless the fire was well advanced. As to my speculation, well here goes. There may have been a massive oil leak in the No.4 engine resulting in rapid loss of engine oil pressure and ability to feather the propeller. The leaking oil may have caught fire. Inability to feather an outboard engine (in this case, no.4) would cause serious control problems. End of speculation.

Nine-O-Nine was a beautiful airplane, and its loss was a disaster. The loss of lives aboard was a tragedy. God bless.

Grog
Complete loss of oil would not be a problem due to a broken line or an engine problem as the oil tank has a stand pipe of a few gallons of oil which is only available to the feather motor for feathering. All aircraft with the big round engines have this safety feature incorporated into the design and we regiously check the feathering system before every flight.
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 01:50
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Originally Posted by Wabbot1 View Post
In that aerial photo, it looks to me like the rudder trim tab is set for a lot of left rudder.
Exactly as it should have been with the number 4 engine not producing power. The crew had compensated correctly with trim for the loss of the engine power with LH rudder trim to reduce rudder forces; making control of the aircraft more manageable.
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 02:19
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by eggplantwalking View Post
Complete loss of oil would not be a problem due to a broken line or an engine problem as the oil tank has a stand pipe of a few gallons of oil which is only available to the feather motor for feathering. All aircraft with the big round engines have this safety feature incorporated into the design and we regiously check the feathering system before every flight.
Years ago I had an R-1820 failure of the oil line that sends the oil to prop dome to adjust the propeller pitch. There was something called a b-nut that cracked as I recall. The oil was being pumped out onto the hot cylinders and you could see the smoke. We had a potentially unfeatherable engine that was about to seize but we got it shut down in time and went back to home plate.

Last edited by Airbubba; 3rd Oct 2019 at 02:53.
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 02:45
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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NTSB Member Jennifer Homendy gives her initial brief in the first 12 minutes of this clip. As usual, not a lot of detail in this first on-scene presser.

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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 03:30
  #50 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
NTSB Member Jennifer Homendy gives her initial brief in the first 12 minutes of this clip. As usual, not a lot of detail in this first on-scene presser.

https://youtu.be/HZOSVXOwOgU
True but one detail is they hit an approach light stanchion then went off course into the deice facility tanks. Very sad...
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 03:31
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RickNRoll View Post
It's time to stop flying the public in these old machines. As wonderful as they are, they are not safe for the transport of passengers. If you want to risk your life, go ahead. The risks when flying on one are worse than flying on a modern passenger plane and the public may not know that.
Ok, back away from the keyboard and go and have a snickers. You're contradicting yourself and making me ashamed to be Australian.
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 03:41
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Originally Posted by filejw View Post
True but one detail is they hit an approach light stanchion then went off course into the deice facility tanks. Very sad...
Actually at about 3:15 in the video she said that the plane impacted the instrument landing system stanchions. I presume she means the localizer antenna poles for runway 24.
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 03:46
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Listening to the ATC communication posted by Airbubba. When asked “why do you want to return?” it sounds very much to me like “fire (pause) number 4 engine. We’d like to return to the field and blow it out.” Also I’m surprised this hasn’t been mentioned yet, but looking at Google Maps satellite view of KBDL and figuring out from the news clips where it came to rest, that seems a long way off to the right of the runway, and very near the beginning. (We know they were using 6)
——————-
Ok disregard - I hadn’t seen the bit about hitting the stanchion when I typed that.
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 03:54
  #54 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
Actually at about 3:15 in the video she said that the plane impacted the instrument landing system stanchions. I presume she means the localizer antenna poles for runway 24.
I presume you are right but it will be interesting to find out why they landed / impacted short of the R/W. Should be able to fly on 3 engines .

Last edited by filejw; 3rd Oct 2019 at 04:08.
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 04:00
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RIP to all who perished. This aircraft regularly flies overhead as it performs the circuit to KMHT often with a 51 or 24 in loose formation. It occasionally does a fly-by over KBED on way south and north - a regular in the NE US. Very sad.
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 04:36
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RickNRoll View Post
It's time to stop flying the public in these old machines. As wonderful as they are, they are not safe for the transport of passengers. If you want to risk your life, go ahead. The risks when flying on one are worse than flying on a modern passenger plane and the public may not know that.
Last year at an airshow my wife wanted to buy me a ride on one of these warbirds but I declined. Early in my aviation career I was nearly killed by a P-51 that cartwheeled on landing in a crosswind. I was standing on the ramp and the prop broke off and went in front of me, the fuselage slid behind me inverted and started to burn. We were unable to rescue the two occupants. The backseater was a spectator who came out to the airport and was offered a free ride by the owner. I would have taken the ride if it was offered to me that day.

Are these warbirds in the experimental category? Is there a B-17 type rating even though there was never a civilian version (e.g. the C-130 and the L-382)? Are these rides Part 91? Or are they something else since money changes hands? Are they like the shoe selfie helo rides or are they more regulated?

I'm guessing that there is no requirement for a CVR or FDR even though the plane carries 10 paying pax, has four engines and weighs over 40,000 pounds.
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 04:46
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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I’ll speculate that if there was a fire, the tower would have seen the smoke inflight and rolled the trucks. It seems that there wasn’t any sense of urgency on the pilots or ATC’s part so perhaps the inflight fire scenario may not have occurred.
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 04:57
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
Last year at an airshow my wife wanted to buy me a ride on one of these warbirds but I declined. Early in my aviation career I was nearly killed by a P-51 that cartwheeled on landing in a crosswind..
This aircraft is a regular at my airport. I've never felt the urge to pay the $ for a ride (though if the Canadian Lanc were to come here I would reconsider. Had a PBY blow an engine on a low fly-by many years ago. Landed safely and had a bucket out front collecting $28K for a new engine. But, I'll ask a simple question. These aircraft are complex. The crews who flew them during their operational time frame knew them inside out (at least the ones that survived). I'm not sure you retain proficiency part-time anymore.
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 05:21
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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T
Originally Posted by Chiefttp View Post
I’ll speculate that if there was a fire, the tower would have seen the smoke inflight and rolled the trucks. It seems that there wasn’t any sense of urgency on the pilots or ATC’s part so perhaps the inflight fire scenario may not have occurred.
In the previously linked radio exchanges between first responders... “District 5.. three and myself heard that plane go overhead and it didn’t sound good”
EAOA

Mjb
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 05:54
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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My only connection to 9-0-9 is that I used her markings on a model many moons ago.

Not that that amounts to a hill of beans - the human losses take priority, as will the search to find what broke.

Damn....
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