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 7th Oct 2019, 15:29
  #161 (permalink)  
 
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Is there any additional information why the Collings B-17 was unable to maintain altitude?
I remain a little confused about that. Were they unable to maintain altitude or did they, because of the nature of their possible problems, misjudge their approach? Some of the above info would suggest they were too low on short final.
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 16:30
  #162 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jimjim1 View Post
I would be grateful if anyone could explain what "formation throttles" are? I can guess that is throttle controls positioned for Hands on Throttle and Stick while looking out to the side flying - but it would be good to know.
Google does not seem to be helpful.

Thanks.
Okay, I'll try and help. Most aircraft have a throttle for each engine located on the center throttle quadrant and is vertical ( sticks straight up) and is isolated from the other throttles but only by an inch or so.When you observe the throttle quadrant you will see the throttles protruding out ot the quadrant along with other levers such as prop control levers, etc., and none of them are connected. Now picture this: In the B-17 you have the same throttles ( four of them) located in the center, however, you notice that there are three horizontal bars facing inward from each engine lever between the throttles with a small gap separating the horizontal bars. Each bar can be grasped in one hand and the top bar will control the #1 and #4 engine and the bottom bar will control #2 and #3 engine when moved together. On the center bar ( 4 split bars aligned ) all four engines can be manipulated together when grasped to facilitate changing engine power on all four engines simultaneously. Therefore, when flying formation the pilot flying need to grasp only the center bar with his hand to control all four engines simultaneously making formation flying much easier. Take a look at a B-17 cockpit photo and this should all make sense.
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 16:41
  #163 (permalink)  
 
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B-17 Flying Fortress NL93012 by Mark Carlisle, on Flickr
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 17:26
  #164 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lake1952 View Post
Does anyone know to where the remaining aircraft flew after leaving KBDL two days ago?
Yep, to KEVB
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 17:44
  #165 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by eggplantwalking View Post
It wasn't until the introduction of the C-118 (DC-6) Connie and B-377 that a position was created especially for a F/E.
Actually, as I noted earlier in this thread, the B-307 Stratoliner, a derivative of the B-17C that flew in 1938, had a flight engineer.




The Boeing 314 Clippers which also first flew in 1938 had a flight engineer as well.



Originally Posted by CUTiger78 View Post
I find it a bit troubling that the "flight engineer" only held a student pilot certificate.
From a licensing point of view it appears to me that the third crewmember on this BDL B-17 mishap flight was not required to have any type of airman certificate. Was he legally a required crewmember with 10 pax under these historical aircraft regulations?
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 20:00
  #166 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Vzlet View Post
Brilliant photo!This shot of the throttles along with my attempt to explain formation throttles in verbiage should make jimjim1 understand the design / operation.
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 20:37
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One of several recent articles raising questions about the future of these LHFE flights.

Feds Could Ban Passengers on Vintage Aircraft Flights Following Deadly B-17 Crash
7 Oct 2019 Military.com | By Richard Sisk

Federal investigators will take a hard look at the possibility of restricting or banning rides for the public aboard World War II-era aircraft following the fiery crash of a restored B-17 "Flying Fortress" bomber in Connecticut last week that killed seven and injured eight.

"That is something we will look at down the road," National Transportation Safety Board member Jennifer Homendy said when asked whether the owners of vintage aircraft should be permitted to keep taking paying customers up for brief flights at airshows and heritage events.
"We're still at the very early stages of this investigation and we'll have to determine that at the appropriate time," Homendy said at an Oct. 4 news conference at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, where the B-17 crashed last Wednesday in an emergency landing attempt.

The NTSB is expected to make a preliminary report on the crash later this month, but recommendations on what actions the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) should take to ensure the safety of vintage aircraft flights will likely not be made for several months.

"Our mission is to determine what happened, why it happened and to prevent it from happening again," Homendy said. The B-17 that crashed was owned and operated by the Massachusetts-based Collings Foundation.

The record of previous fatal accidents involving heritage flights of World War II-era bombers will play a part in the current investigation, she said.

Since 1982, when the NTSB began tracking safety issues in the heritage flights, there have been a total of 21 accidents involving World War-II era bombers, resulting in 23 fatalities and one injury -- not counting the death toll last Tuesday, Homendy said.

Three of the previous accidents involved B-17G bombers of the same type that crashed at the Bradley airport, Homendy said. Currently, there are 16 B-17s registered to fly in the U.S., including the one that crashed in Connecticut, according to the NTSB.

"Every accident is different. We'll take a look at the history and make appropriate recommendations," Homendy said.

In response to the tragedy, the Collings Foundation announced that it was "suspending its flight operations and the Wings of Freedom Tour for the remainder of the 2019 season."

The various groups and foundations that seek to preserve and fly vintage aircraft profess safety as their primary concern in the display and flights of vintage aircraft that they see as a vital part of the nation's history.

However, vintage aircraft owner and aviation attorney Michael Slack said the FAA should consider keeping passengers off them.

"There's not a problem with these aircraft flying demonstrations and in tributes. We can continue to enjoy these aircraft from that perspective," said Slack, a former NASA engineer who owns a biplane P-6 Hawk military aircraft from the 1930s.

But, he said, there's a "legitimate risk" in taking passengers aboard.

"These airplanes were designed to do one thing -- deliver bombs and return. There was no incentive to create passenger-friendly aircraft," he said. Federal authorities, he added, should take "a serious look at simply ending taking up passengers" on heritage flights.

"Most WWII aircraft are now 70-plus years old since they were manufactured and the pool of pilots with the skills to fly these planes diminishes daily," said Slack. "The maintenance on these aircraft also requires special skills and knowledge, and replacement parts are very difficult to find and are often fabricated."

In addition, "vintage aircraft are not equipped with modern technology to prevent post-impact fires and fuel dispersal," he said.

"When I fly my [P-6], I know I'm putting myself at some risk," Slack said.

As a lawyer, Slack is currently representing a plaintiff in a civil suit against the owners of a vintage twin-prop C-47 Skytrain, the military version of the DC-3, that crashed and burned on takeoff in July 2018 in Burnet, Texas. The plaintiff suffered burns as a passenger on the C-47, Slack said.

The vintage aircraft are exempt from the rules for commercial aircraft requiring the safety features that have been developed since World War II, according to the FAA.

In a statement to Miitary.com, FAA officials said the vintage aircraft "are not eligible for sightseeing flights. They are only eligible for the 'Living History' Flights, which provide the passengers with an experience of what it was like to fly aboard these types of aircraft."

"Living History Flight Experience (LHFE) exemptions provide operators relief from several FAA regulations, allowing exemption holders to carry passengers for compensation or hire in 'historically significant' aircraft holding a limited or experimental airworthiness certificate," the FAA said.

The accidents involving vintage aircraft are not limited to bombers. In November 2018, a World War II-era P-51 Mustang fighter crashed into the parking lot of a housing complex in Fredericksburg, Texas. The pilot and a passenger, a World War II veteran, were killed, according to the NTSB.

In September 2011, a P-51 Mustang participating in the Reno Air Races in Nevada crashed into the crowd, killing the pilot and 10 spectators and injuring 69.

In statements last Friday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said the focus of the investigation should be the safety of future of vintage aircraft flights and whether they should be permitted to carry passengers.

The crash last Wednesday "has put this industry at an inflection point and the NTSB, plus the FAA, need to address the repeated and imminent dangers that have been demonstrated over the years," Blumenthal said.

"These planes are a profoundly significant part of our history and they should be revered and preserved but respected with adequate safety standards if they are going to be flown, and that's why a broader examination and investigation is absolutely necessary here," he said. "Not to say these planes need to be grounded, but they do need to be inspected and maintained and repaired with a frequency and intensity that guarantees their air trustworthiness."

At the news conference Homendy said the B-17, after the pilot reported an "issue with an engine," hit the approach lights about 1,000 feet from Runway 6 at Bradley International Airport while attempting to make an emergency landing.

The aircraft knocked over about 30 approach lights on breakaway poles before skidding off the runway into a de-icing plant and catching fire, Homendy said.

The B-17 that crashed in Connecticut had a crew of three and 10 passengers aboard. The pilot of the bomber, Ernest "Mac" McCauley, 75, of Long Beach, California, and the copilot, Michael Foster, 71, of Jacksonville, Florida, a retired
Navy captain and naval aviator, were killed in the crash.

Both McCauley and Foster were flying the B-17 under exemptions granted by the FAA. Commercial pilots must retire at age 65, but pilots of vintage aircraft can keep flying as long as their medical certificate, training and testing are current, according to the FAA.

Homendy said McCauley had more than 7,300 hours flying B-17s and was believed to be the most experienced B-17 pilot in the U.S.

The others killed in the crash were passengers: David Broderick, 56, of West Springfield, Massachusetts; Robert Rubner, 64, of Tolland, Connecticut; Gary Mazzone, 66, of Broad Brook, Connecticut; James Roberts, 48, of Ludlow, Massachusetts; and Robert Riddell, 59, of East Granby, Connecticut.




https://www.military.com/daily-news/...-17-crash.html
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 23:15
  #168 (permalink)  
 
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In actuality, these aircraft "earn their keep" with the revenue from these heritage flights. Remove that revenue stream, and I suspect the economics of these national tours becomes much more difficult if not altogether impossible.
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Old 8th Oct 2019, 00:04
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Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) held a press conference earlier today and sent a letter to the FAA with the questions below. I've attached the full letter to this post, it includes a copy of Collings' LHFE exemption notice. The exemption letter has details on the requirements and restrictions for carrying passengers in the listed historic aircraft.





This CTPost article examines some of the history and issues involved with the LHFE program.

Blumenthal questions exemption allowing passengers on vintage planes

By Lisa Backus

Updated 7:11 pm EDT, Monday, October 7, 2019
The fatal crash of a B-17 Flying Fortress last week and others like it will likely lead to changes in the Federal Aviation Administration policy that allows vintage aircraft museums to offer flights for a fee, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal wants to know whether the Collings Foundation properly reported prior engine problems as part of an inquiry he is requesting from the FAA, which allows vintage aircraft like the B-17 Flying Fortress that crashed killing seven in Connecticut last Wednesday to give flights to the public for a fee.

Blumenthal announced Monday during a press conference that he is seeking the FAA to conduct a full examination of its Living History Flight Experience exemption program and specifically he wants information on the Collings Foundation exemption, which was renewed in March 2018.
“I am in no way advocating that these planes should be grounded, just that they should be made safe,” Blumenthal said.

The exemption allows the Massachusetts-based company to use 10 vintage warbirds for passenger trips for a fee. The foundation was the first not-for-profit organization in the country to seek an exemption as a way of drumming up a revenue stream to help pay for the cost of maintaining its extensive vintage aircraft collection, according to the FAA.

The agency has issued exemptions to 20 organizations in the past 10 years, according to an FAA spokeswoman. The FAA didn’t immediately have information on how many non-profit museums and foundations have been given exemptions since the program started in 1996.
The FAA's LHFE exemption allows vintage warbirds that have met the agency's standards for training and maintenance to fly with the public on board with a special limited airworthiness certification.

Each exemption granted allows nonprofit organizations to fly the planes without the same restrictions as commercial or private planes that fly passengers. But in exchange, each exemption comes with a tailored list of requirements, said Dick Knapinski, a senior communications advisor for the Experimental Aviation Association, a national nonprofit organization that promotes recreational aviation and advocates on the federal level to prevent undue restrictions on flying.

The exemptions must be re-approved about every two years and involve an extensive review of all training and operations, Knapinski said.
The EAA has been flying its own B-17 since 1994 — two years before the FAA created the exemption program, he said. The EAA was the second outfit to receive an exemption, according to the FAA. Knapinski estimates that between 20 and 30 organizations have LHFE exemptions.

The B-17 Flying Fortress, restored by the Collings Foundation as a replica of the "Nine-0-Nine," which flew 140 combat missions in World War II, crashed minutes after taking off from Bradley International Airport Wednesday morning.

Pilot Earnest "Mac" McCauley radioed air traffic controllers that he was having a problem with engine four and needed to return to the airport about four minutes after he had taken off with 10 passengers aboard. The plane hit transmission towers before the runway and crashed into a de-icing building, National Transportation Safety Board officials said.

McCauley and his co-pilot and five passengers died. The plane's technician and five other passengers survived with varying injuries. An airport employee in the de-icing building was also injured. Blumenthal said witnesses reported that the plane was having engine problems prior to the crash.

According to an FAA document renewing the certification sent to the foundation in March 2018, the organization must report any major system problems or failures on its exempt planes within 24 hours. Blumenthal said he’s talked to previous passengers of the B-17 who said they watched as McCauley got on a ladder to fix an engine before a flight.

The passengers had paid $450 for the B-17 flight.

Blumenthal is asking the FAA to review the policy and current safety protections to determine if they are adequate.

“The questions I’m raising is how does the FAA justify the differences between these flights and others and what’s the rationale for treating them differently?” Blumenthal said.

In a letter he sent Monday to the FAA, Blumenthal also questioned if the Collings Foundation had maintenance logs at another location since the documents appeared to have been stored on the aircraft, which crashed and burned.

Knapinski said his organization keeps maintenance logs in the plane and in a central office.

“It would be important for a mechanic to have that information if the plane was out in the field,” Knapinski said.

The planes operate primarily out of commercial airports since they allow the public greater access to the warbirds, Knapinski said. Passengers are not screened by Transportation Safety Administration employees but are treated the same way as those who are taking a business jet, he said.

“We have a manifest of the passengers,” Knapinski said. “But the passengers do not go through metal detectors in the same way those who fly on business jets do not go through metal detectors.”

Knapinski said the FAA and the NSTB, which are both investigating the crash, will also draw larger conclusions if the LHFE program needs to be changed based on their findings.

“Let’s let the professionals do their investigation because at this point, what are we chasing?” Knapinski said. “It’s premature and an injustice to those investigators.”

This isn’t the first time the LHFE program has faces scrutiny. FAA documents show the agency has rewritten the requirements and regulations for LHFE exemptions at least twice since 1996 due to problems. The FAA placed a four-year moratorium on any new exemptions in 2011 after receiving applications that included potentially dangerous activities, including offering passengers the chance to engage in mid-air flight simulations for a fee, according to agency documents.

“What I am suggesting is nothing new,” Blumenthal said. “These standards have been revamped at least twice since 1996.”

According to Blumenthal, there have been 21 crashes involving vintage aircraft, including three B-17s, since 1982 that have resulted in 23 deaths. The figures do not include Wednesday’s crash.

Blumenthal contended that the planes and the flights are a valued part of the country’s history, but said the crashes will likely lead to changes in the exemption program.

“These World War II planes are a respected and revered part of American history,” he said. “Part of that respect is to make sure they are safe whenever flown.”



https://www.ctpost.com/local/article...w-14497565.php
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
Blumenthal FAA Letter.pdf (1.59 MB, 8 views)
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Old 8th Oct 2019, 01:24
  #170 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) held a press conference earlier today and sent a letter to the FAA with the questions below. I've attached the full letter to this post, it includes a copy of Collings' LHFE exemption notice. The exemption letter has details on the requirements and restrictions for carrying passengers in the listed historic aircraft.
The Senator is on occasion one of the few voices of reason at what passes for government today in the US of A, but his comments on the B-17 show lack of pre-briefing or knowledge.

Since 1982, the 23 deaths before these 7 is an extraordinarily low level of fatalities. That stands as a credit to the efforts of those concerned, notwithstanding the personal loss and suffering that accompanies each injury and death. These aircraft were designed at a time where minimal safeguards were applied in comparison to current transport category standards. It is because of the knowledge gained in their operations and similar civil developments that we get to the rules that apply to new designs.

Adding black boxes is not just irrelevant, it is fundamentally unachievable to any extent that would leave the character of the aircraft that exists at present. It is akin to covering the cabin of an open biplane cockpit as the nanny state is worried about mussing your hair up. The causation of these accidents is usually clear from the evidence on the ground, look at the engine and prop in the building.... where is the benefit from having a TSO'd DFDR to an aircraft that has no sensors incorporated. A CVR/DCVR would be possible, as is video and that would give the investigators additional information, but they already have the info they need.

To expect that a WW-II bomber is going to meet existing airworthiness standards is inane. If the Senator assumes that the people who want to spend their money on a B-17 experiential ride would prefer to fly a warpaint wearing B787 then I doubt that is going to garner much support.

Watching a B-17 fly today is a reminder of the risks and sacrifices that were undertaken from those before, of all nationalities, those that were allies and those that were enemies at that time. It is part of our history, and to forget history is to risk repetition. Much like some clown deciding to turn a back to allies in the field in front of mortal enemies... Forgetting the past comes with global risks.

....who cannot learn...
....who do not remember their past are condemned...
....who do not read history are doomed...
...who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors...
...who do not know history's mistakes are doomed...

"People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors."
Edmund Burke, in Revolution in france

When people cue up to go fly these aircraft, there is a mixed emotional state; at one end they want to experience in a much more controlled and non threatening environment, what the kids in WW-II experienced in mortal combat. That experience is still not without risk, and that risk may be acknowledged at one level, ink on paper on waivers etc for experimental/restricted category operations etc, but underneath it, there is also a level of denial that the risk is not really to the one, it is to others, and statistically, that is almost correct, but not always. Every accident has someone involved who didn't wake up that morning expecting to end up where they did. They are however part of something larger than themselves, perhaps there is a measure of solace in that fact to assuage the anguish of the personal loss.

"there is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval"
George Santayana

Condolences to all concerned on your tragic loss



Some Elective Activities Risks:
  • 41 people are killed on average every year in the USA skiing or snowboarding
  • 30 people a year die in jet ski accidents (approx)
  • 800 cyclists die every year (approx)
  • 30 US climbers die every year on average
  • 70 US scuba divers die every year
  • between 300 and 400 US ATC riders die every year
  • In an average year, "fewer than 1000" US people are accidentally shot in hunting, and "only 75" die
  • 9000 injuries occur each year due to golf cart use
  • Every 2-3 years someone is killed by a golf ball
  • In 2012, 19 US parachutists died, in 2018, 13 died
  • Kite surfing deaths from 2000 to mid 2007 averaged 8.3/year.

Last edited by fdr; 8th Oct 2019 at 01:48.
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Old 8th Oct 2019, 01:57
  #171 (permalink)  
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but underneath it, there is also a level of denial that the risk is not really to the one, it is to others, and statistically, that is almost correct, but not always.
I don't know if it's denial, or more simply very eager enthusiasm. We desperately need enthusiasts. I chatted with two Air Cadets out tagging on Saturday, just to boost their enthusiasm. We need to have people who put forth effort and investment in the preservation of our aviation history.

On the other side, we, in the industry, owe it to "civilians" to afford them a fair combination of protection and opportunity. not all of one nor the other, a balance. A part of that balance is information, provided, and conveyed so as to be considered seriously. As I have given [non piloting] crew briefings for persons flying in the DC-3's, I am aware that it is necessary to provide more than just the waking of the arms as to where the exits are, and the path lighting. Sometimes my briefing includes "we are going to be wearing dry immersion suits, have you worn one before?", and "here's how you actually use a fire extinguisher", and I challenge each person for understanding and questions about the briefing.

And, important to me, I have done testing and certification evaluation, both flight, and cabin safety, and I understand and have documented the differences (or "gaps" if you like) between that airplane, and the present day certification standards. If something is less performing or safe, I state what, and by how much.

The questions raised by the senator have an understandable intent, but only partly contribute to further understanding and safety. No, installing flight data recorders of any real meaning is simply not practical on that vintage plane. CVR maybe, maybe telemetry in real time, maybe telemetry of cockpit video so a record stays behind. This is society's collective decision, the acceptable standard of safety for these experience flights, perhaps more rigorous, perhaps flown as is, but flown "risks understood". No one takes off planning to be involved in an accident, at best one takes off prepared for some form of unexpected event, but it is not possible to cover all the eventualities.

The distraction of the experience, or even the ease of complacency can take a person's mind of the real risks of a flight. I know, a right seat flight put me in hospital for three months. I can truthfully say that I do not remember the accident. But, when I was crashed, I had made a few personal preparations for both of us, and we both survived. But, was that one flight worth the three months in hospital? Nope! Since then, though I still fly, I decline some flights, I just don't want some risk, which I do understand more clearly. Not walking for three moths makes you think about that, and it's hard to forget! And, for me, it could have been worse.

I'm not about abandoning experience flights, though I think we owe experience seekers information on the full scope of the risks before they ride. If 25% (including me) decline the flight, after understanding the risks as explained, then the risks are being explained properly. The other 75% are fairly informed, and welcomed to fly, and enjoy the wonderful experience of historic planes. The senator, and society he represents, can know that the safety system is striking a fair balance of experience verses information.
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Old 8th Oct 2019, 02:47
  #172 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post

I don't know if it's denial, or more simply very eager enthusiasm. We desperately need enthusiasts. I chatted with two Air Cadets out tagging on Saturday, just to boost their enthusiasm. We need to have people who put forth effort and investment in the preservation of our aviation history.

On the other side, we, in the industry, owe it to "civilians" to afford them a fair combination of protection and opportunity...

The questions raised by the senator have an understandable intent, but only partly contribute to further understanding and safety...

The distraction of the experience...

I'm not about abandoning experience flights, though I think we owe experience seekers information on the full scope of the risks before they ride. If 25% (including me) decline the flight, after understanding the risks as explained, then the risks are being explained properly. The other 75% are fairly informed, and welcomed to fly, and enjoy the wonderful experience of historic planes. The senator, and society he represents, can know that the safety system is striking a fair balance of experience verses information.
PilotDAR, concur with your comments.

Political rhetoric has a way of becoming policy, and as regrettable as the accident is, excessive regulatory response would take away from the memorialising of global events that is provided as experience by these operations. I suspect that the findings from this will generally find that operational cautions were taken before every flight, as far as briefings and preparations. The Senator is suggesting a number of changes that would potentially lead to cessation of these activities; it is not unreasonable that informed individuals accept increased risks, as riders of Harleys without helmets do, or drivers who do not use seat belts, or anyone who sits astride a quad bike does. In a free society, it is not unreasonable to have free choice. Normal SAWC constraints assure safety of 3rd parties, those directly involved need to be aware of the inherent risks and take responsibility for those increased risks.

30 fatalities in 40 years doing something that keeps history alive, while painful to those involved, is not an epidemic. Images of the activities show that reasonable PPE is used by the crews, and presumably the pax.

The US Senate has much bigger issues, of greater importance to deal with at this moment in time, starting with defending the constitution and the 243 odd years of their experiment in democracy.
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Old 8th Oct 2019, 16:10
  #173 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
One of several recent articles raising questions about the future of these LHFE flights.

<Sorry, I am not allowed to post URLs (even those in quoted posts) until I have at least 10 posts of my own>
I'm surprised that no one has taken issue with the quote from aviation attorney Michael Slack that "..the pool of pilots with the skills to fly these planes diminishes daily". I'm not aware that these machines are operated solely by crews of the same vintage, and presume that fresh blood is taken on and trained in the same way as any other line of business.
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Old 8th Oct 2019, 16:11
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Here are some other recent articles discussing the safety aspects of carrying passengers on vintage aircraft in the wake of the B-17 crash. Ultimately litigation and insurance costs will probably be big factors in determining the future of these LHFE operations.

https://time.com/5692347/b-17-crash/

https://www.apnews.com/bd8a291db10e4885af369fbc6590b8f8

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...on/3858534002/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michael.../#3e2724265b42

And a 'keep 'em flying' view:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davedep.../#4e7330f17417

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Old 8th Oct 2019, 16:50
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Originally Posted by Blue_Circle View Post
I'm surprised that no one has taken issue with the quote from aviation attorney Michael Slack that "..the pool of pilots with the skills to fly these planes diminishes daily". I'm not aware that these machines are operated solely by crews of the same vintage, and presume that fresh blood is taken on and trained in the same way as any other line of business.
Are the pilots on these warbirds on average getting older as young people pursue other pastimes?

It is noted in the article that Slack represents a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the owners of a C-47 that crashed last year in Texas so he may be reciting some of his claims in that case. Still, I'd have to agree with many of his points about maintenance and safety features on these old birds. As I mentioned earlier, I haven't been around general aviation much in recent decades so I've learned a lot from the discussions on this thread.
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Old 8th Oct 2019, 18:07
  #176 (permalink)  
 
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I took a one-hour ride in another 17G, the Liberty Belle, as a present to myself in 2013, the year before it died in a cornfield in Illinois. I knew the risks, I thought, and thoroughly enjoyed an aerial tour of the Bay Area. (Nothing like the view from the top turret). I can see most sides of the issue of allowing these flights to continue, but at some point we are going to have to realize that we cannot keep flying around in 70-80 year old aircraft. We probably ought to park the examples we have left, not necessarily because we will be spending more on insurance than maintenance. And I never got my receipt for a taxable donation to the foundation.
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Old 8th Oct 2019, 18:46
  #177 (permalink)  
 
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Just a PPL, and part owner of 2 aircraft, a 1960/64 wood-and-fabric rebuilt over 30 years ago from 2 crashed aircraft, and a 1967 metal one.
There are passengers and passengers.
I wouldn't fly into the hills with an "innocent" trusting passenger. But I've done do with a pilot passenger able to assess the risk, and who suggested it.
I can see an argument for marketing such flights to enthusiasts, in a way that ensures they know about the aircraft and it's flight crew.
But NOT denying everyone the right to the experience.
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Old 8th Oct 2019, 20:43
  #178 (permalink)  
 
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While not directly relevant, I find it disappointing that there are calls from some in the USA to restrict the operation of these old aircraft.

In the UK we had one particular example of an old aircraft carrying out aerobatic manoeuvers at an inappropriate altitude resulting in the death of people on the ground unconnected with the air display.

The reaction by our UK airworthiness was to restrict all aerobatic displays by any organisations and including our national military flying display team the exemplary Red Arrows, to be over water, or more importantly NOT over populated areas, in a fashion totally inappropriate to the risk.

I very much hope the US is not going the same way as in many cases dense population is surely not an issue in vast areas of the USA?
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Old 8th Oct 2019, 21:29
  #179 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Senator Blumenthal's questions are typical of those which might be posed by any politician in similar circumstances. They (and the answers thereto) largely are irrelevant to the subject and are given primarily to provide additional exposure and the advancement of a self-aggrandising breed. Sadly, because of his position, he is likely to have an influence in a subject of which he clearly is possessed of very limited knowledge, but 'twas ever thus with politicos.

I flew as a civilian passenger (longitudinal pipe cots) on a C47 before the end of the Japanese war. It has occurred to me that the general level and standard of maintenance applied to these ultimately expendable military machines was likely to be rather inferior to that given to cherished historical artefacts 70-odd years later and operated under stricter procedures. No-one seemed bothered by such considerations then. Years ago, a prospective pax just signing the blood chit provided sufficient indemnity in "off the wall" operations.

The reaction to the Hunter crash at Shoreham (in which there was no fault with the a/c) is characteristic of the knee-jerk response by an authority keen to protect its own empenage. I do hope the US authorities will view things in a broader and more reasonable light.

Last edited by Gipsy Queen; 8th Oct 2019 at 21:42.
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 00:00
  #180 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Paisley, Florida USA
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Originally Posted by Gipsy Queen View Post
Senator Blumenthal's questions are typical of those which might be posed by any politician in similar circumstances. They (and the answers thereto) largely are irrelevant to the subject and are given primarily to provide additional exposure and the advancement of a self-aggrandising breed. Sadly, because of his position, he is likely to have an influence in a subject of which he clearly is possessed of very limited knowledge, but 'twas ever thus with politicos.

I flew as a civilian passenger (longitudinal pipe cots) on a C47 before the end of the Japanese war. It has occurred to me that the general level and standard of maintenance applied to these ultimately expendable military machines was likely to be rather inferior to that given to cherished historical artefacts 70-odd years later and operated under stricter procedures. No-one seemed bothered by such considerations then. Years ago, a prospective pax just signing the blood chit provided sufficient indemnity in "off the wall" operations.

The reaction to the Hunter crash at Shoreham (in which there was no fault with the a/c) is characteristic of the knee-jerk response by an authority keen to protect its own empenage. I do hope the US authorities will view things in a broader and more reasonable light.
Well said! It should be remembered that U.S. Senator Blumenthal is the one who on numerous occasions claimed to have served in Vietnam; however, the truth was that although in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, he never left the Continental United States (CONUS).

Cheers,
Grog
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