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Thread: Collings B-17 Mishap

  1. #11
    BusyLittleShop's Avatar
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    I lost my friend Mac... he absolutely loved his job... 20 years with the foundation with over 7,300 B17 hours...

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  2. #12

  3. #13

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    What a tragedy. People ask if it is worth the risk to fly these old airplanes. Compare the videos and pictures on the internet of Nine-O-Nine to the actual combat veteran Memphis Belle. The exposure and history lesson generated by Nine-O-Nine and the other B-17's that barnstorm the country is incredible. That doesn't bring any of the crew or passengers back, but we can rest in knowing that their mission was worthwhile.




    https://youtu.be/VkC9ZdlzV30

  4. #14

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    At least one prop (in the video) was feathered.

  5. #15
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    Worth the risk of what? Risk of death of the crew? They chose to do so. Risk of loss of the airframe? I'm of the mind of Scott Crossfield: "Put one in a museum and recycle the rest into canoes" The thing that bears scrutiny, and likely will after this, is the deaths of the public members who were on board.

  6. #16

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    I have been a joyous passenger in a 1928 Ford Tri-Motor twice now at AirVenture and would not hesitate for a second to climb onboard again. I haven't ridden in the Aluminum Overcast solely due to $$$ constraints.

    It may well be that every death diminishes us all but if it's one thing I learned at an early age (4th Generation Funeral Director myself) it is that life itself is a terminal condition. To quote good old actor William Shatner - "Live like you're gonna die, because you are." No worth or value judgements made on how each person chooses to march towards their inescapable end.

    Sometimes 'stuff' simply 'happens' and there's not a darn thing we can do about it beyond feeling angry, sad and helpless.
    Last edited by CHICAGORANDY; 10-05-2019 at 10:21 AM.
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  7. #17
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    Nothing in life is "safe." Everything carries risk. This is particularly true regarding flying -- flying anything. But we seem to live in a society that is risk averse about a great many things. The time will come Ron, and possibly quite soon, where these risk averse decision makers will decide that flying planes older than 50 years, or 25 years, is not in the public interest, that they create a safety hazard for the general public. Then they will decide that any private aviation at all is hazardous to the public and must be banned.
    Chris Mayer
    N424AF
    www.o2cricket.com

  8. #18
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhemxpc View Post
    Nothing in life is "safe." Everything carries risk. This is particularly true regarding flying -- flying anything. But we seem to live in a society that is risk averse about a great many things. The time will come Ron, and possibly quite soon, where these risk averse decision makers will decide that flying planes older than 50 years, or 25 years, is not in the public interest, that they create a safety hazard for the general public. Then they will decide that any private aviation at all is hazardous to the public and must be banned.
    I don't see that stemming out of this accident.

    For one thing, the general populace is going to view the victims as participants...not members of the general public. They were passengers on the airplane of their own choice.

    So while the rabble-rousers may spout about the dangers of old aircraft, it's not likely to cause a reaction from the populace. Because their attitude will be along the lines of, "Well, I wouldn't fly in one of those things, anyway."

    It would have been different if the plane had crashed off-field, especially into a population center. Then it would be perceived as a threat.

    Remember, less than ten years ago, another WWII airplane crashed, causing more fatalities than happened with 909 and more then five times the number of injuries. And the vast majority of the victims were members of the public on the ground. Yet, any calls to ban WWII aircraft flying in public fizzled out.

    It's possible that more strict rules regarding passenger carriage will result. B-17s are not type-certified aircraft; they carry passengers under special FAA dispensation. That dispensation is going to be reviewed, even potentially cancelled, with few avenues of appeal. Hate to see it happen, but I suspect without the revenue provided by paying passengers, nobody is going to be able to afford touring WWII airplanes.

    Ron Wanttaja

  9. #19
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    I may have misinterpreted your intent. If so, I apologize.

    The "Living History Flight Experience" exemption allows carrying paying passengers on a Part 91 flight, in an airplane 50 years or more old and for which there is no standard category airworthiness certificate. (So my warbird is not eligible as it is certified in the standard category) The rules for getting an exemption are pretty rigorous and essentially require operations equivalent to Part 135. We have no idea yet what the airplane came to earth 1000' short of the runway so speculation about what the FAA may or may not do is premature. I agree with you that if the exemption is pilled, then the tours end. The price for a flight is really only enough to cover the expenses of keeping the airplanes flying and associated tour expenses. To me, it is amazing that the seats normally sell out for each flight, and about 80% are in pre-sales.

    I have worked ground support for Aluminum Overcast several times over the past few years. I have had the opportunity to fly in the airplane and the tri-motor in association with that volunteer work. I have always believed that the flights in the EAA aircraft were as safe and to as high as standard as any airline flight I have been on, and maybe safer than some. (And certainly safer than some military flights -- especially the I was with a UN peacekeeping operation.)
    Chris Mayer
    N424AF
    www.o2cricket.com

  10. #20
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhemxpc View Post
    I may have misinterpreted your intent. If so, I apologize.
    I'm sorry if I was unclear. I was referring to the last line in your previous comment....

    "Then they will decide that any private aviation at all is hazardous to the public and must be banned. "

    I do not think this incident, or any involving exemption aircraft, will affect citizen opinion of private aviation itself. The only exception would be if an accident causes casualties among members of the public who were not involved in the flight...a Cessna 172 crashing into a school, for instance.

    The B-17 crash gave non-flying pundits a chance to raise alarm about the use of aged ex-military aircraft. The regulatory outcome of this will depend on the result of the NTSB's investigation.

    Ron Wanttaja

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