Accidents and Close Calls Discussion on accidents, close calls, and other unplanned aviation events, so we can learn from them, and be better pilots ourselves.

B17 crash at Bradley

Old 4th Oct 2019, 06:18
  #121 (permalink)  
 
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Not much left of the old girl so surprising there were survivors.
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Old 4th Oct 2019, 08:22
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
The flight engineer title came from the State Police casualty list. Ms. Homendy referred to him as a loadmaster in the latest NTSB briefing. Some early news reports referred to the third crewmember as a steward.
Yes, that fits with my experience when I took a flight in '909' back in 2007.
3rd crew member was there to check every one strapped in and give safety briefing etc., and to help shuffle the PAX around once in the air etc. so everyone had a chance to experience each bit of the a/c in flight.

I suspect the ones that got out were the PAX that were sitting on the side seats in the rear fuselage section by the door hatch, by the waist gunner positions, rather than those sitting on the floor of the radio op area (where I was)

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Old 4th Oct 2019, 14:34
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RickNRoll View Post
In a plane like the B-17 the flight engineer is critical.
Says who? None of those flying today are required by the FAA to have a licensed Flight Engineer.
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Old 4th Oct 2019, 15:01
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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The B-17 does not have a flight engineer station or panel. There are only two seats in the cockpit. In the 80’s we referred to the third crew member as the Crew Chief...he took care of logistics on the ground and supervised the passengers.

Again...the B-17 is a fairly simple aircraft made to be operated by comparatively very low time pilots. The WWII crew consisted of Navigator, Bombadier, Pilot, Co-pilot, Dorsal turret gunner, Radio operator, and the four gunners aft of the bomb bay.
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Old 4th Oct 2019, 15:27
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Tailspin45 View Post
1. Can any of the former B17 crewmewbers here confirm that with two engines out a Fort will not accelerate (much less climb) if the airspeed is below 115-120 MPH? Not suggesting that was an issue here, but it would be a seldom seen gotcha. I read such was the case years ago when I was flying a C-45 and wondered if the Twin Beech had a similar surprise. It didn't, because that drag hole occurred near or below Vmc, apparently. (Anyway, a Beech 18 definitely wouldn't climb with two engnes out.)

2. Also, does anyone have a handle on the performance curves for these birds with the turbochargerers uninstalled? Used to be, according the Dash One, you'd push the balls to the wall, and then adjust MP with the turbo wheel to 47.5" MP for54,000 max gross takeoff. So at a typical 45-47,000 pounds ride gross would a conservative 41" without a turbo be equivalent?
I never did a practice two engine out departure...the loss of one engine was enough of a balancing act. The -17 is a portrait in drag, so acceleration was always a slow affair.

The C-45 would climb (oh so slowly) on one if you were faster than about 90 when you punched the feather button.

Re take-off boost. We used to try to get away with 42”. The wastegate controller is a single rotary dial with settings of 1 through 8, and 9 & 10 through a guarded detent. The turbochargers were working when I last saw her 32 years ago.
By no means definitive observation: I have never operated a radial on 100LL above 42” unless it had water injection. I’m sure that was based partly on superstition and partly on chief mechanics’ wisdom. No experience on that since the Reagan years.
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Old 4th Oct 2019, 16:03
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CUTiger78 View Post
Both the B-17 & B-24 HAD a flight engineer. Maybe they didn't REQUIRE an FE, but the Army Air Corps sure put one on as a required crewmember.
Nope!!! The AAF DID NOT train Flight Engineers per say., rather he was chosen as most qualified by the captain.Here is what the the 1943 303 Bomb Group B-17 manual says about Flight Engineers:
Duties and Responsibilities of
THE ENGINEER
Size up the man who is to be your engineer. This man is supposed to know more about the airplane you are to fly than any other member of the crew.

He has been trained in the Air Forces' highly specialized technical schools. Probably he has served some time as a crew chief. Nevertheless, there may be some inevitable blank spots in his training which you, as a pilot and airplane commander, may be able to fill in.

Think back on your own training. In many courses of instruction, you had a lot of things thrown at you from right and left. You had to concentrate on how to fly; and where your equipment was concerned you learned to rely more and more on the enlisted personnel, particularly the crew chief and the engineer, to advise you about things that were not taught to you because of lack of time and the arrangement of the training program.

Both pilot and engineer have a responsibility to work closely together to supplement and fill in the blank spots in each other's education. To be a qualified combat engineer a man must know his airplane, his engines, and his armament equipment thoroughly. This is a big responsibility: the lives of the entire crew, the safety of the equipment, the success of the mission depend upon it squarely.

He must work closely with the copilot, checking engine operation, fuel consumption, and the operation of all equipment. He must be able to work with the bombardier, and know how to cock, lock, and load the bomb racks. It is up to you, the airplane commander, to see that he is familiar with these duties, and, if he is hazy concerning them, to have the bombardier give him special help and instruction.

He must be thoroughly familiar with the armament equipment, and know how to strip, clean, and re-assemble the guns.

He should have a general knowledge of radio equipment, and be able to assist in tuning transmitters and receivers.

Your engineer should be your chief source of information concerning the airplane. He should know more about the equipment than any other crew member -- yourself included.

You, in turn, are his source of information concerning flying. Bear this in mind in all your discussions with the engineer. The more complete you can make his knowledge of the reasons behind every function of the equipment, the more valuable he will be as a member of the crew. Who knows? Someday that little bit of extra knowledge in the engineer's mind may save the day in some emergency.

Generally, in emergencies, the engineer will be the man to whom you turn first. Build up his pride, his confidence, his knowledge. Know him personally; check on the extent of his knowledge. Make him a man upon whom you can rely.
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Old 4th Oct 2019, 17:28
  #127 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Turbo use

The B-17G "Sentimental Journey" has has operative turbos for over 35 years, uses the maximum of 46"/2500 RPM quite often and uses 100LL with no problems
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Old 4th Oct 2019, 19:39
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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years ago I bought about 20 of those B-17 turbo-chargers and modified them to run off high pressure steam I used them to fine control spinning parts up to 25000 rpm cheaply.
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Old 4th Oct 2019, 22:16
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by eggplantwalking View Post
Nope!!! The AAF DID NOT train Flight Engineers per say., rather he was chosen as most qualified by the captain.Here is what the the 1943 303 Bomb Group B-17 manual says about Flight Engineers.
And here is what an 8th AF305th Bomb Group B-17 Flight Engineer experienced - 6 months training before 26 missions serving as an FE and top turret gunner.


https://sites.google.com/site/8thafh...ray-peterson-f
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Old 5th Oct 2019, 05:06
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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Unlike, say, the B-29, the B-17 FE position wasn't/isn't necessary to fly the aircraft around the patch in Hometown USA.

On the other hand, in wartime flying through fields or flak and attacking fighters determined to shoot you down, the FE was a critical part of the crew dealing with battle damage throughout the entire aircraft and it's systems, plus serving as a gunner, an extra set of eyes, and communicator.
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Old 5th Oct 2019, 05:50
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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The Collings Foundation has suspended flight operations for the remainder of the 2019 season.

Statement from the Collings Foundation

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were on that flight and we will be forever grateful to the heroic efforts of the first responders at Bradley.

The Collings Foundation flight team is fully cooperating with officials to determine the cause of the crash of the B-17 Flying Fortress and will comment further when details become known.

In the wake of a tragic accident involving our B-17, the Collings Foundation is currently suspending its flight operations and the Wings of Freedom Tour for the remainder of the 2019 season. We are in the process of issuing refunds for those who had reserved flights through December.

The Battle for the Airfield Event at the American Heritage Museum is still taking place on Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13, 2019

Please visit the following link for details and tickets: https://www.americanheritagemuseum.org/event/battle-for-the-airfield-wwii-re-enactment/


https://www.collingsfoundation.org/
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Old 5th Oct 2019, 15:18
  #132 (permalink)  
Longtimelurker
 
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
The Collings Foundation has suspended flight operations for the remainder of the 2019 season.



https://www.collingsfoundation.org/
I feel for the people that work for Collings, a friend that works for them said its somber and sad.
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Old 5th Oct 2019, 18:54
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Australopithecus View Post
I just dug my 8th Air Force patch from my box o’ memories...and some Kodak prints from back in the day. The first time I flew it we transited the Erie, PA control zone. The tower was a tad confused at the “Boeing 93012” call sign and the 120 kt cruise speed, much slower than Vr in any Boeing of recent experience. Do that at 2000’ and you can actually (almost) see people look up in wonder. We certainly were looking down with our share of amazement, and wondered at how much courage it took to drive a load of bombs through 88 flack and fighters in broad daylight in a herd of planes slower than your mom’s (Ford) mustang.
Nothing to contribute to the substance of the thread, but I just want to give my compliments and respect to Australopithecus for a very moving account of your past experiences, and to thank you for sharing. I've been to the 8th Air Force museum in Savannah, and have to say your last sentence is truly sobering. It's amazing what those young blokes experienced back then, especially the lucky few that made it out.

I think it was suggested some posts back that you should consider writing as a pastime if not a career. Motion seconded.
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Old 5th Oct 2019, 20:08
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
And here is what an 8th AF305th Bomb Group B-17 Flight Engineer experienced - 6 months training before 26 missions serving as an FE and top turret gunner.


https://sites.google.com/site/8thafh...ray-peterson-f
The timeline makes the difference. The 303 Bomb Group manual was dated 1943. Flight engineer training formally started in Texas for enlisted personnel in March of 1944 and during that interval a lot changed. The article states that the person was in Flight Engineer school for six months. However, since there are so many errors in the article the six months could have been the combined time including basic, gunnery plus the engineer schooling i.e., start to finish time for all training before deployment.
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Old 5th Oct 2019, 21:21
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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Go ahead declare an emergency. I don’t understand the reluctance. It helps everyone to get on the same page. It’s an emergency. Your crew, ATC, ARFF. Not a big deal. Just might save your and others life.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 05:05
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by eggplantwalking View Post
The timeline makes the difference. The 303 Bomb Group manual was dated 1943. Flight engineer training formally started in Texas for enlisted personnel in March of 1944 and during that interval a lot changed.
No, the early B-17s sent to the Philippines had FEs as did MG Caleb Haynes crop of B-17s in Task Force Aquila - that was pre-Doolittle in 1942. Scott (in his book God is My Co-Pilot pg. 39) references his engineer (and gunner in case of attack), Sgt.Aaltonen, standing behind the flight deck.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 05:50
  #137 (permalink)  
fdr
 
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Originally Posted by Australopithecus View Post
Re take-off boost. We used to try to get away with 42”. The wastegate controller is a single rotary dial with settings of 1 through 8, and 9 & 10 through a guarded detent. The turbochargers were working when I last saw her 32 years ago.
By no means definitive observation: I have never operated a radial on 100LL above 42” unless it had water injection. I’m sure that was based partly on superstition and partly on chief mechanics’ wisdom. No experience on that since the Reagan years.
With the power checks we do on the T28B, C & D's, they are always down on the lower limit from my experience when operating 100LL. The performance charts are on the higher octane levels. I have never come across a value that gives a correction value for operating on lower octane fuels. Flying the blender is a leisurely affair.

Operationally, losses will occur with these aircraft, but they provide a unique link to the most momentous event in human history. Assuming that those that forget are destined to repeat, risk related to ongoing public display is less than the risk of loss of remembrance. It is chilling to see these aircraft fly past at any time, whether at a show or just passing by on a transit or experiential flight. Personally, at 15 I went up with a fairly famous B25, mustang and T28B, and my parents were well aware of the risks involved and fully supported my decision to go fly. The loss is always tragic, but the loss is also a part of the history now, Condolences to all concerned, but the people involved, flying and as passengers were a part of something much greater than the individual, and that should be respected, preserved, and continued.

Learn to minimise risk, but risk is a certainty of life that we accept in every daily action we take.

respectfully,


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Old 6th Oct 2019, 08:00
  #138 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PickyPerkins View Post
The one turbocharger disc that I looked at on 909 on Aug. 18th, 2019, on a port engine at Butler Airport, PA, would not turn with finger pressure.
This surprised me, because on another (static museum) B17 that I looked at decades ago the disc turned easily.
‘People are talking about "uninstalled" turbochargers".
In that case, is the disc absent, frozen sold, or what?
I am not a mechanic, and have no special knowledge of these matters.
Hah! I got a gentle rebuke from the boss when I spun the turbo by hand during training; apparently the oil turns to coke as it drips down the shaft, creating a temporary, fragile oil seal. In fact you do cause an oil drip with a (very tempting) casual spin of the disc.

I have no experience with a normally aspirated installation, but a locked turbo disc isn’t normal in the standard configuration.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 08:58
  #139 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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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.
This ^^^^^^ is unfortunately what Australia is. Brainwashed by incompetent government agencies, making citizens think that 'everything is dangerous' and will kill you. Let us tell you what's safe and what's not. Don't think for yourself, it's safer playing inside on an ipad than riding your pushy to school.

Are you calling for motor vehicles to be banned when you look at the road toll in the morning newspaper? Nup, jump in your car and head off to work, even though Collings Foundation have probably less incidents per kilometer than any road system in the world.

Ok, back away from the keyboard and go and have a snickers. You're contradicting yourself and making me ashamed to be Australian.
Ashamed is an understatement Peter.

I would jump on a Collings Foundation aircraft tomorrow.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 09:44
  #140 (permalink)  
 
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As Porter says, yep I would jump on a Collings aircraft any day.

To see these fabulous historic aircraft in the sky is amazing. If your ever in doubt get yourself to Oshkosh.

One question I have and in no way am I being negative to the crew. I ask about older pilots flying and potential issues. How heavy on the controls is the B17 in emergencies? As we get older we can loose some of our strength and dexterity.

In most countries in commercial ops over xx age can not fly together.

I am the first to put my hand up and say I would love to learn from pilots this experienced.

As I said in no way am I having a go at the crew.
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