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Collings Foundation Loses Right to Carry Passengers #5387114 03/27/20 02:50 PM
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https://www.courant.com/news/connec...25-twq2alj7i5gztllf6h4p22mjyi-story.html

I realize it’s not a simple matter, but it seems like a case of an embedded culture of complacency. “We’ve always done it this way and we’ve never had a problem.”

Money was also probably a big part of it. The proper maintenance of airplanes is expensive. Both the parts and the man hours.

But, if the proper maintenance can’t be done right, the aircraft shouldn’t fly.

I am interested in y’all’s comments. Anyone here know any of the people involved? Or anyone at Collings?

RIP to the passengers and crew, and prayers for the families and friends of those who were in the crash.

Hopefully this results in an admission of problems within the organization, and the organization embracing the changes that need to be made.


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Re: Collings Foundation Loses Right to Carry Passengers [Re: john_pifer] #5387151 03/27/20 03:46 PM
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Unfortunate, but necessary.

My Dad served in the Army Air Corp’s 8th Air Force, 96th Bomb Group (a “C” in the tail), based out of Snetterton-Heath.

About a year before he passed, I bought him a ride on their B-17 as a surprise. It brought him to tears. Wish I’d gone with him.

Scott


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Re: Collings Foundation Loses Right to Carry Passengers [Re: john_pifer] #5387157 03/27/20 03:52 PM
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fdcg27 Offline
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It may not be so much problems within the organization as it is that nobody really has the funds or the expertise to operate these old machines commensurate with modern air safety standards.
These are large and complex aircraft. They are not cheap to maintain or to fly and they were designed and built for what was expected to be a fairly short service life in the mission they were intended for. There can't be any great parts infrastructure for these old frames just as there can't be all that many shops with any great knowledge of what it takes to keep big round engines happy. There are probably not all that many really qualified flight crew personnel either, although the PIC did have an impressive number of hours in the B-17.
Maybe it's time to ban the carriage of paying passengers in any of these old airplanes?
Those willing to fly them from one airshow to the next should be allowed to do so, since they presumably have a full grasp of the risks involved, but maybe rides should no longer be available for sale to the general public?
I do have a question.
Why did the PF shut down both 3 & 4? Intentional or a mistake? The B-17 should have been okay on three engines but probably not on two. The plane wouldn't have been that heavy, not needing the fuel to fly from the UK to Germany and back along with a bomb and guns load.
Having shut down two, what prevented the PIC from accepting a forced landing straight ahead rather than trying to return to the airport?
Damage to the aircraft for sure, but nobody would have died.


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Re: Collings Foundation Loses Right to Carry Passengers [Re: SLO_Town] #5387172 03/27/20 04:25 PM
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My father was also in the 96th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. He was a pilot and flew the B-17. He never spoke much about his military experience until I was in my late teens. In fact, none of my uncles spoke much of their military experiences.....except to each other at holiday gatherings and away from the kids, mothers, and grandmothers. Some of them drank mightily while doing so.....and with good reason I later learned.

I do recall my Dad telling of the many aborts of aircraft unable to complete missions because of engine related problems. Those big radials took a lot of maintenance man hours to keep them running. and there was always the cannibalization of damaged aircraft for parts. The B-17 was overall an incredibly tough aircraft, but in my Dad's words," those engines not only gave the maintenance crews fits, but the flight crews too."

I was fortunate to take a ride of one of the Collings B-17's a couple of years ago when it, a B-25, B-24, and F-51 Mustang were on tour at the Palatine, Illinois Executive Airport. It was an incredible, awesome, very memorable experience. The noise was intense and it got pretty cold pretty darn fast. It's hard to believe how the crews endured their missions at high altitudes in the plane, even with electrically heated suits ( which Dad said often did not work. )

As we were leaving the airfield, I recall seeing dozens of empty Shell Aircraft oil containers piled near a trash container. Those big 18 cylinder radials leaked oil just sitting there. There were oil spots under all four engines on the tarmac.

My dad related several occasions where they lost 2 engines and were still able to return to base after they jettisoned all unnecessary equipment. In his words again, "it was touch and go...touch and go."

The crash of Collings B-17 is very unfortunate for the crew, the passengers, and the families of all. And, if the aircraft cannot be maintained properly, they should not fly, much less carry passengers. Parts, knowledge and money are in short supply for these efforts and that is sad. The history and legacy of these aircraft and the men who served in them is fading into history. Without Collings efforts, it will be sooner rather than later. Sad !

Re: Collings Foundation Loses Right to Carry Passengers [Re: Chase1] #5387205 03/27/20 05:24 PM
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Cheers to our Fathers! They took part in some serious warfare. I’m thinking about donating my Dad’s considerable WWII photo album to a historical organization.

Scott


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Re: Collings Foundation Loses Right to Carry Passengers [Re: john_pifer] #5387273 03/27/20 07:04 PM
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As someone who previously worked at an airline i got to work in the planning department for three months. I got my degree in aviation management and I was astounded how many checks the scheduling timetables, and all of the maintenance repair cards for new Airbus aircraft. I couldn't imagine the daunting task of repairing something engineered so long ago and the lack of manuals.


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Re: Collings Foundation Loses Right to Carry Passengers [Re: john_pifer] #5387319 03/27/20 07:47 PM
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After years of watching those aircraft fly out of Concord California I took the plunge and booked a ride on Nine O Nine in June of 2019, about four months before the fatal crash. It was a thrilling experience but I will not fly anymore than is strictly necessary. I told my wife those planes were designed to withstand flak and enemy fighter attacks so a simple 1/2 hour joy ride on a nice day would be a piece of cake. I recall the flight crew and based on reports of their ages I think those who were killed and injured were the same men. I think of them each time I wear my souvenir t-shirt I purchased the day I flew with them.

Re: Collings Foundation Loses Right to Carry Passengers [Re: john_pifer] #5387398 03/27/20 09:10 PM
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I can take both sides of this argument, as I'm sure many of you can. From a practical point of view, we have standards that are intended to safeguard the public at large. They are generally considered: 10 or more passengers and 12,500+ pounds. Aircraft smaller than this are subject to less stringent rulemaking. The crash of such a large aircraft seems to be largely preventable with good practices and procedures.

We do have to recognize that even the finest aircraft experience problems, and crashes sometimes occur. An aircraft flying for 70 years will certainly have the odds against it. The wonderful thing is that the airlines have refined the art of safety to a very high degree!


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Re: Collings Foundation Loses Right to Carry Passengers [Re: john_pifer] #5388589 03/29/20 11:39 AM
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80 year old machines can be a bit temperamental...

How does one train/certify the crews? Nobody has a simulator for this. The crew made mistakes. Big mistakes.

So, if you can’t do maintenance to standards, and you can’t train/certify crews to standards, how do you operate to standards?


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Re: Collings Foundation Loses Right to Carry Passengers [Re: john_pifer] #5389020 03/29/20 10:58 PM
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I got to know Mac while machining parts to fix Nine 0 Nine's bomb bay doors... he had flown for the Collings for 20 years and was the highest time
B17 pilot in the USA with over 7,300 hours... He was also the Safety Officer for the foundation...

If Mac rolled on a engine that didn't pass mag check then even he would call negligence... if Mac rolled on a engine that passed mag check then why wouldn't he expect full power???

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https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/foru...re-sex-with-wings-pics-video#Post3522914

My video of the Collings Foundation P51C Betty Jane among a gaggle of B25 B24
B17 from McClellan AFB to Minden Nevada...



Last edited by BusyLittleShop; 03/29/20 11:16 PM.

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Re: Collings Foundation Loses Right to Carry Passengers [Re: john_pifer] #5389356 03/30/20 11:07 AM
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I always wanted to go for a ride in one of those old birds.Guess thats never going to happen. RIP to those that died


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Re: Collings Foundation Loses Right to Carry Passengers [Re: CT Rob] #5391620 04/02/20 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by CT Rob
I always wanted to go for a ride in one of those old birds.Guess thats never going to happen. RIP to those that died


AFAIK, EAA still offers rides on its B-17, although probably nothing this year.
This aircraft was delivered very late in the war and never saw service. It was sold very cheaply as surplus and went on to see various commercial uses over the next twenty years.
It sat for a couple of years, was purchased by an individual who intended to restore it and ended up donated to EAA, which then spent ten years on a complete restoration of the aircraft.


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Re: Collings Foundation Loses Right to Carry Passengers [Re: john_pifer] #5391720 04/02/20 10:02 AM
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My dad served as a Navigator on a B-24 with the 454th Bomb Group out of San Giovanni, Italy. I took a ride on the Collings Foundation B-24 in 2001 as a tribute to my dad. That plane, which is now named Witchcraft was at the time painted with the Dragon and His Tail motif. I remember thinking at the time that the old warbird was close to 60 years old but that was part of the excitement of the flight. In 2003 I took a ride on the ill fated 909 B-17 which was also a real thrill. Both flights were taken out of the McClellan-Palomar airport at Carlsbad, CA and entailed a flight down the coast to La Jolla and then back up on a beautiful, clear spring day. It took very little imagination to put myself in one of those planes flying over the Mediterranean in 1944. Except I was in my mid-forties instead of 21 like my dad and the Cessna that was pacing us wasn't an Me-109.

It was a tragedy what happened with the 909 and I guess I understand the ruling.

Re: Collings Foundation Loses Right to Carry Passengers [Re: BusyLittleShop] #5391926 04/02/20 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by BusyLittleShop
I got to know Mac while machining parts to fix Nine 0 Nine's bomb bay doors... he had flown for the Collings for 20 years and was the highest time
B17 pilot in the USA with over 7,300 hours... He was also the Safety Officer for the foundation...

If Mac rolled on a engine that didn't pass mag check then even he would call negligence... if Mac rolled on a engine that passed mag check then why wouldn't he expect full power???

[Linked Image]

My Mustangs are pure sex with wings thread...
https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/foru...re-sex-with-wings-pics-video#Post3522914

My video of the Collings Foundation P51C Betty Jane among a gaggle of B25 B24
B17 from McClellan AFB to Minden Nevada...



Somebody call OSHA. Improper use of ladder upper step/rung. There's your answer as to why one mag wasn't functioning as designed. Probably a lot of others maintenance requirements being written off using the P-51 method of maintenance.

Re: Collings Foundation Loses Right to Carry Passengers [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey] #5392276 04/03/20 12:00 AM
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john_pifer Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Yah-Tah-Hey
Originally Posted by BusyLittleShop
I got to know Mac while machining parts to fix Nine 0 Nine's bomb bay doors... he had flown for the Collings for 20 years and was the highest time
B17 pilot in the USA with over 7,300 hours... He was also the Safety Officer for the foundation...

If Mac rolled on a engine that didn't pass mag check then even he would call negligence... if Mac rolled on a engine that passed mag check then why wouldn't he expect full power???

[Linked Image]

My Mustangs are pure sex with wings thread...
https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/foru...re-sex-with-wings-pics-video#Post3522914

My video of the Collings Foundation P51C Betty Jane among a gaggle of B25 B24
B17 from McClellan AFB to Minden Nevada...



Somebody call OSHA. Improper use of ladder upper step/rung. There's your answer as to why one mag wasn't functioning as designed. Probably a lot of others maintenance requirements being written off using the P-51 method of maintenance.


Haha. I noticed that, also. We're not allowed to do that at work. Can get written up for it.


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