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PartsGuy20
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:14 pm

As professional as the pilots flying for Collings might be, I have to wonder if there are other factors at play here like simply a lack of sim time/situational/CRM training for when something goes wrong. Is anyone familiar with their training/retraining procedures? Are there well-known, well-practiced procedures in place for engine-out scenarios in these birds that would have been followed?

Given the lack of an FDR or CVR, almost anything will be speculation of some kind, but I wonder if this might be somewhat similar to Eastern 401, where they became so focused on a mechanical issue that they lost track of their altitude/descent rate for even just a moment. Also, how is forward visibility from the B17 cockpit? Is it possible that they just couldn't see the ILS towers because they were in a blind spot?

Either way, a complete tragedy and my condolences to the family and friends of the victims.
 
BravoOne
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:21 pm

The co-pilot (?), was a retired NWA/DAL pilot, age 71. Have no idea how extensive his background was in the warbird community
 
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Revelation
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:00 pm

PartsGuy20 wrote:
As professional as the pilots flying for Collings might be, I have to wonder if there are other factors at play here like simply a lack of sim time/situational/CRM training for when something goes wrong. Is anyone familiar with their training/retraining procedures? Are there well-known, well-practiced procedures in place for engine-out scenarios in these birds that would have been followed?

I know nothing of Collings's procedures, but it's an interesting question.

Regarding sims, I noticed when watching "Ice Pilots" that they had fixed (i.e. not full motion) sims they used to train their pilots on aircraft of similar vintage. I don't know where it came from or what it did, though. I don't know where it came on the spectrum of "basic aviation training device", "advanced aviation training device", "flight training device", etc.
Ref: https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all ... simulators
Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_si ... for_pilots

Apparently in 2015 you could hire the EAA's B-17 "Aluminum Overcast" and an instructor and add the endorsement to your license: https://www.airspacemag.com/military-av ... 180955321/
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Redd
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:18 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
What do posters mean by “during start”? If the engines wouldn’t start, they wouldn’t be airborne.



In many other languages, take-off is directly translated to start.
 
BravoOne
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:25 pm

There are no model specific training devices for the B17. They train pretty much as the original crews that flew the airplanes during WWll. As far as things like CRM, I would expect that he would have with them from previous flight experience, certainly so for the NWA/DAL pilot. The initial report showed the PIC as having a Commercial certificate so just how much of this supplemental training he mave been exposed to is unknown at this time.

FWIW, the first model specific aircraft simulator was designed around the B377, post B17.
 
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:30 pm

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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:36 pm

BravoOne wrote:
There are no model specific training devices for the B17. They train pretty much as the original crews that flew the airplanes during WWll. As far as things like CRM, I would expect that he would have with them from previous flight experience, certainly so for the NWA/DAL pilot. The initial report showed the PIC as having a Commercial certificate so just how much of this supplemental training he mave been exposed to is unknown at this time.

FWIW, the first model specific aircraft simulator was designed around the B377, post B17.

Thanks for the info. It's interesting that there do seem to be flight training devices for some of the stuff Buffalo Airways flies. After reading your comments I can see there are so few B-17s flying there must be no market for such a device, so I agree training is done the old fashioned way: read the books and go up with a CFI. The https://www.airspacemag.com/military-av ... 180955321/ link says there are only two instructors rated to give training in the B-17 as of 2015.
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Redd
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:49 pm

It's really sad to see the loss of life and to see the loss of a classic warbird. But I'd like to chime in with my 2 cents as a response to the posters about the safety of vintage warbirds.

Back in university, I worked as a summer full time and autumn/winter/spring part time AME apprentice on the restoration of a C-54 for Millardair. We essentially worked on two airplanes, one which we were getting ready to ferry from YFD to somewhere in Arizona, which ended up scrapped and then one at the old Millardair hangars at YYZ. We also had some AME guys from Buffalo on the team and a few old hands, even an ex-MIG 21 Serbian AF AME from Serbia. As a part-timer and a young private pilot, it was an amazing opportunity and I really learned quite a bit about these old birds.

Safety in these old planes isn't a black and white thing, and anyone who has worked on these old planes and really understands them will tell you that age is not important when it comes to safety, it's the maintenance. And here is where it gets tricky, the guy who was running the project for the Millard family was a bit of a cowboy from Arizona, not an AME, although he had a huge amount of experience restoring, flying and maintaining these planes and even owned an Albatross with jet skis hung from the wings in pods. But none of the licensed AME's thought highly of him, to say the least, and he made us do things that were not safe. Needless to say that the project never got completed as we found corrosion in the main spar, after over a year of work, including the overhaul of 8 engines, had been completed.

But, when it comes to safety these planes have a lot going for them that airlines don't. They're extremely rugged and overbuilt, they fly slow and can put down on a golf course if need be. But the old technology also means that there are much higher chances of something actually going wrong, even when maintained properly. But when something does go wrong the slow speed and the rugged build often mean that a crash landing isn't going to be fatal.

The crews flying these birds are usually extremely high time pilots (I met the founder of Millardair, the late Carl MIllard, in his early 90's, the man had over 40,000 hours logged. Not flying anymore obviously), but some of these pilots are very old and are definitely not able to react or make decisions like they had been able to decades ago, and some I've met have an old school piloting attitude that isn't, and I hesitate to say this, safe, the type of guys that put the word ''cock'' in cockpit. So, there are so many variables when it comes to these old planes which aren't present in the sterile and controlled airliner world.

They can absolutely be safely operated if everything is done properly no doubt. I really hope that steps aren't taken to ban these planes, it would be unnecessary and a real shame.
 
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:11 pm

Redd wrote:
...
Back in university, I worked as a summer full time and autumn/winter/spring part time AME apprentice on the restoration of a C-54 for Millardair. We essentially worked on two airplanes, one which we were getting ready to ferry from YFD to somewhere in Arizona, which ended up scrapped and then one at the old Millardair hangars at YYZ. We also had some AME guys from Buffalo on the team and a few old hands, even an ex-MIG 21 Serbian AF AME from Serbia. As a part-timer and a young private pilot, it was an amazing opportunity and I really learned quite a bit about these old birds.
....
So, there are so many variables when it comes to these old planes which aren't present in the sterile and controlled airliner world.

They can absolutely be safely operated if everything is done properly no doubt. I really hope that steps aren't taken to ban these planes, it would be unnecessary and a real shame.

Your post reminds me of when I owned a glider and hired a local AME for the task of changing its tire, which you would think is a simple task, but given its retracting gear and lack of space it was not.

The AME told me he started working for Eastern Airlines back when they still flew DC-7s. Google tells me EA retired those in 1966 so that gives a good fix on his age and experience.

Man that guy had mean mechanical skills, and more patience that I could ever imagine. I basically laid out every tool I had available on the floor and he had to cobble together a new tool using strong wire so he could get the wrench head into the available space. It ended up taking two hours to change a simple glider tire but I bet if I had infinite time I could not figure out how to do what he did in two hours.

Long story short, keeping those old birds running does require mad mechanical skills and the kind of inventiveness and patience few people have, never mind the experience gained over decades of working on those things.

I do worry about how age does catch up with all people yet we do keep wanting those machines to fly.

I have mentioned a few times that "909" was flying near my house the weekend before the tragedy. I was tempted to go to the airport and take a flight, but in the back of my mind such worries did appear, and I just carried on with my existing plans. Part of me is glad I didn't take a flight, part of me is sad that I did not.
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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smithbs
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:17 pm

Redd wrote:
It's really sad to see the loss of life and to see the loss of a classic warbird. But I'd like to chime in with my 2 cents as a response to the posters about the safety of vintage warbirds.

Back in university, I worked as a summer full time and autumn/winter/spring part time AME apprentice on the restoration of a C-54 for Millardair. We essentially worked on two airplanes, one which we were getting ready to ferry from YFD to somewhere in Arizona, which ended up scrapped and then one at the old Millardair hangars at YYZ. We also had some AME guys from Buffalo on the team and a few old hands, even an ex-MIG 21 Serbian AF AME from Serbia. As a part-timer and a young private pilot, it was an amazing opportunity and I really learned quite a bit about these old birds.

Safety in these old planes isn't a black and white thing, and anyone who has worked on these old planes and really understands them will tell you that age is not important when it comes to safety, it's the maintenance. And here is where it gets tricky, the guy who was running the project for the Millard family was a bit of a cowboy from Arizona, not an AME, although he had a huge amount of experience restoring, flying and maintaining these planes and even owned an Albatross with jet skis hung from the wings in pods. But none of the licensed AME's thought highly of him, to say the least, and he made us do things that were not safe. Needless to say that the project never got completed as we found corrosion in the main spar, after over a year of work, including the overhaul of 8 engines, had been completed.

But, when it comes to safety these planes have a lot going for them that airlines don't. They're extremely rugged and overbuilt, they fly slow and can put down on a golf course if need be. But the old technology also means that there are much higher chances of something actually going wrong, even when maintained properly. But when something does go wrong the slow speed and the rugged build often mean that a crash landing isn't going to be fatal.

The crews flying these birds are usually extremely high time pilots (I met the founder of Millardair, the late Carl MIllard, in his early 90's, the man had over 40,000 hours logged. Not flying anymore obviously), but some of these pilots are very old and are definitely not able to react or make decisions like they had been able to decades ago, and some I've met have an old school piloting attitude that isn't, and I hesitate to say this, safe, the type of guys that put the word ''cock'' in cockpit. So, there are so many variables when it comes to these old planes which aren't present in the sterile and controlled airliner world.

They can absolutely be safely operated if everything is done properly no doubt. I really hope that steps aren't taken to ban these planes, it would be unnecessary and a real shame.


I like your write-up - thanks.

WW2 aircraft were not entirely safe in the first place - they were hastily designed, tested and then produced as fast as possible, often with marginal parameters and it was largely understood that there would be a consequence because of that, but in such a large war, it's going to be bad anyway.

I got to see a B-25 fly last year - it was actually supposed to be two B-25s flying in formation, but one popped an engine and laid down an oil trail in the sky. Luckily they came around to the runway and landed without incident. I got to walk in and around the B-25 later - oil was all over the nacelle. But that's the good thing about those birds, as you mentioned - being built for slower speeds and rugged handling gives them a fair chance if something does go wrong.

And I laughed out loud about your pilots comment. I was in the USAF for a time and can tell you - fighter pilots still live up to that.

Sad day for everyone with the B-17. Sad when a great hobby causes loss of life, and sad for the loss of a rare piece of history. But I hope warbirds keep flying out there - the experience of seeing and hearing one in flight is unforgettable, and you can see all the more clearly what previous generations had to go through.
 
SuperiorPilotMe
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:05 pm

smithbs wrote:
But that's the good thing about those birds, as you mentioned - being built for slower speeds and rugged handling gives them a fair chance if something does go wrong.


Modern aircraft have computers with multiple redundancy to aid the pilot and inherent design to lend greater crash avoidance, including into its aerodynamic design and structure. Old warbirds have whatever quality of brain bucket onboard and that is it.

And what exactly is “rugged handling?” That’s maybe something Jeep and BMW can use in their marketing!

The myth of old aircraft being more survivable in crashes is one of the stupidest things in aviation right now and this accident should prove it.
Stop the stupids!- Claus Kellerman
 
MartijnNL
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:50 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
This crash might spell the end of passenger flights on these antique warbirds. I am betting insurance premiums for the operators will skyrocket.

We had a DC-3 crash in the Netherlands in 1996 with 32 casualties. Today you can still fly as a passenger on a DC-3 in our country. The current Dakota of DDA Classic Airlines was build 75 years ago in 1944.
 
Canuck600
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:29 am

As with any accident it's probably not going to be a single thing that led up to the crash but I am wondering what role the age & health of the pilots played. in the accident. Also wondering what role over confidence might have played.
 
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NWAROOSTER
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:12 am

One of the primary causes of the aircraft crashing was the lack of altitude when the engine failed along with a propeller spinning around and adding drag. They needed to keep the aircraft in the air with out letting the right wing drop and also want to fly in a right hand turn. Like Donald Nyrop who was president of Northwest Airlines would remind pilots the following. You always need to "fly the aircraft". You need to maintain altitude and keep the aircraft under control and then bring it in for a safe landing. :old:
Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
 
jetmatt777
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:23 am

MartijnNL wrote:
jetmatt777 wrote:
This crash might spell the end of passenger flights on these antique warbirds. I am betting insurance premiums for the operators will skyrocket.

We had a DC-3 crash in the Netherlands in 1996 with 32 casualties. Today you can still fly as a passenger on a DC-3 in our country. The current Dakota of DDA Classic Airlines was build 75 years ago in 1944.


1996 Netherlands likely pales in comparison to the 2019 United States when it comes to lawsuits and enormously high dollar settlements. Insurance companies over here are also very risk averse and have sky high premiums for anything deemed “risky behavior”.
 
crownvic
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:30 am

Overall, this thread has mostly avoided the "mud-slinging", but some recent posts prove it was only a matter of time, before the negativity started. I fully expect it to migrate into a "These old planes should be grounded, because they're not safe". It happens all the time.

It should be pointed out, between the Collings Foundation and the CAF, just how many safe operations they conduct all year long with plenty of older pilots and old warplanes. Accidents are going to happen. Last month, a modern A321 struck birds and crashed into a field just after take off. As NWAROOSTER pointed out, they were extremely low, when two engines began to fail. Had an empty field been available, the result would have been different and this thread would not have gone beyond a handful of posts.
 
Karlsands
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:08 am

Has any one brought up the age of the two gentlemen flying ? Sure they knew what to do , but reaction time is a different story. No disrespect intended
 
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:48 pm

Karlsands wrote:
Has any one brought up the age of the two gentlemen flying ? Sure they knew what to do , but reaction time is a different story. No disrespect intended

This is not table tennis, split second reactions are not needed.

I'd go with the decades of experience over the split second reaction time of youngsters.

This crew was probably more trained on B-17 engine drills than any in existence, and that matters far more than split second reactions.

Depending on exactly when the engine issues arose there's a good chance this flight simply could not make it back to the runway even if a perfect robot was flying it.
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trnswrld
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:10 pm

Surprised to see no videos of the crash so far. Maybe there are some, but just not being released pending investigation and for the families of those involved?
 
Karlsands
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:22 pm

Revelation wrote:
Karlsands wrote:
Has any one brought up the age of the two gentlemen flying ? Sure they knew what to do , but reaction time is a different story. No disrespect intended

This is not table tennis, split second reactions are not needed.

I'd go with the decades of experience over the split second reaction time of youngsters.

This crew was probably more trained on B-17 engine drills than any in existence, and that matters far more than split second reactions.

Depending on exactly when the engine issues arose there's a good chance this flight simply could not make it back to the runway even if a perfect robot was flying it.

Are you kidding ? Of course split second reactions are needed in aircraft emergencies , specially so close to the surface, time is everything.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:57 pm

No, split second reactions are likely more harmful than thought out actions ESPECIALLY near the ground. Get it wrong and there’s no time to fix it.
 
glideslope900
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:51 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
No, split second reactions are likely more harmful than thought out actions ESPECIALLY near the ground. Get it wrong and there’s no time to fix it.



If an engine goes, the rudder generally needs to be put in immediately to keep the aircraft under control. There is not much time to “think” about whether or not to add rudder and which rudder pedal to use. Lack of expedient rudder use can result in loss of control.

Regardless, this accident occurred after a few minutes of the emergency, so they seemed to have the airplane under control. Perhaps there was additional engine failure on approach or they somehow lost control. Pointless to speculate now.
 
mjgbtv
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:57 pm

trnswrld wrote:
Surprised to see no videos of the crash so far. Maybe there are some, but just not being released pending investigation and for the families of those involved?


I got the impression from the FAA briefing that they had seen some video.
 
PhilMcCrackin
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:12 pm

mjgbtv wrote:
trnswrld wrote:
Surprised to see no videos of the crash so far. Maybe there are some, but just not being released pending investigation and for the families of those involved?


I got the impression from the FAA briefing that they had seen some video.


I was going to say, riding a B17 is bucket list stuff for most people and everyone has a smart phone nowadays. Surely someone was rolling video of the approach(or even in the aircraft).
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:19 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
Was that the Breitling airplane?


AFAIK the Breitling plane is a Lockheed Super Constellation. Its fan club failed to raise about 20 million dollars to pay for a total revision. It won't fly anymore.
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:26 pm

glideslope900 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
No, split second reactions are likely more harmful than thought out actions ESPECIALLY near the ground. Get it wrong and there’s no time to fix it.

If an engine goes, the rudder generally needs to be put in immediately to keep the aircraft under control. There is not much time to “think” about whether or not to add rudder and which rudder pedal to use. Lack of expedient rudder use can result in loss of control.

My point is that if given a choice between (1) older crew with decades of B-17 operation along with mandatory recurring check rides or (b) younger crew with table tennis class reactions but not much B-17 experience, I would chose (1). Whatever slowness age may cause is more than made up by early recognition of symptoms and automatic reflexes to perform the needed corrections due to decades of experience.
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hivue
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:43 pm

mjgbtv wrote:
I got the impression from the FAA briefing that they had seen some video.


That was an NTSB press breifing a couple of days ago. They said they have airport CCTV showing the airplane impacting the deicing farm, which allowed them to time that event precisely.
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
hivue
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:47 pm

NWAROOSTER wrote:
and also want to fly in a right hand turn.


Maybe I have gotten confused somewhere, but I think they took off from 06 and when returning after having problems almost immediately, they flew a left hand pattern back to 06.
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:47 pm

glideslope900 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
No, split second reactions are likely more harmful than thought out actions ESPECIALLY near the ground. Get it wrong and there’s no time to fix it.



If an engine goes, the rudder generally needs to be put in immediately to keep the aircraft under control. There is not much time to “think” about whether or not to add rudder and which rudder pedal to use. Lack of expedient rudder use can result in loss of control.

Regardless, this accident occurred after a few minutes of the emergency, so they seemed to have the airplane under control. Perhaps there was additional engine failure on approach or they somehow lost control. Pointless to speculate now.


True, but that’s “flying the airplane” and they did maintain control. I doubt this crew had any problem pushing the rudder, they just didn’t have enough power to make the runway or more drag than the available power could overcome. Now, if they stalled and spin early on, I’d agree with reaction time.

GF
 
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NWAROOSTER
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:06 pm

hivue wrote:
NWAROOSTER wrote:
and also want to fly in a right hand turn.


Maybe I have gotten confused somewhere, but I think they took off from 06 and when returning after having problems almost immediately, they flew a left hand pattern back to 06.

When you loose power on the right side of an aircraft the aircraft wants to pull the aircraft to the right as the engines on theft wing have more power and pull the aircraft to the right. You need to compensate for that by pulling the rudder to the left. If you do not have enough altitude you may not have enough time to do so. When an engine fails altitude is the most important thing to help regain control of the aircraft. When you have control of the aircraft a safe landing is what then is needed. I do not know if they were able to fly a left hand bank yet. :old:
Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
 
flightwriter
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:12 am

hivue wrote:
NWAROOSTER wrote:
and also want to fly in a right hand turn.


Maybe I have gotten confused somewhere, but I think they took off from 06 and when returning after having problems almost immediately, they flew a left hand pattern back to 06.


Their initial VFR clearance was a turn to 095 after takeoff. They flew right traffic back to 6.
 
F9Animal
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:43 am

I don't care what one says about the pilots age here... Those guys up front of that B-17 likely had over 80 years or more flying experience between them. They obviously tried all they could to get that plane back safe. And if tomorrow I was offered a chance to fly on a Collings Foundation war bird, I would leave a smoke trail from my driveway to the airport.

Here is a little more info, including an emotional message from a pilot from the foundation who was departing BDL.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.couran ... utType=amp
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
tomaheath
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:52 am

F9Animal wrote:
I don't care what one says about the pilots age here... Those guys up front of that B-17 likely had over 80 years or more flying experience between them. They obviously tried all they could to get that plane back safe. And if tomorrow I was offered a chance to fly on a Collings Foundation war bird, I would leave a smoke trail from my driveway to the airport.

Here is a little more info, including an emotional message from a pilot from the foundation who was departing BDL.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.couran ... utType=amp

I agree with you 100% if anything now I want to fly on one even more to support the foundation and show my trust in them.
“Live Free Or Die” General John Stark
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:14 am

flyingturtle wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
Was that the Breitling airplane?


AFAIK the Breitling plane is a Lockheed Super Constellation. Its fan club failed to raise about 20 million dollars to pay for a total revision. It won't fly anymore.

No, I meant the JU 52 that a luggage company rebuilt to showcase aluminum travel cases.
 
estorilm
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:56 pm

PartsGuy20 wrote:
As professional as the pilots flying for Collings might be, I have to wonder if there are other factors at play here like simply a lack of sim time/situational/CRM training for when something goes wrong. Is anyone familiar with their training/retraining procedures? Are there well-known, well-practiced procedures in place for engine-out scenarios in these birds that would have been followed?

Given the lack of an FDR or CVR, almost anything will be speculation of some kind, but I wonder if this might be somewhat similar to Eastern 401, where they became so focused on a mechanical issue that they lost track of their altitude/descent rate for even just a moment. Also, how is forward visibility from the B17 cockpit? Is it possible that they just couldn't see the ILS towers because they were in a blind spot?

Either way, a complete tragedy and my condolences to the family and friends of the victims.

I'm not familiar with Collings specifically, but they're a class act and the people who touch those planes are absolutely the best of the best (clearly, as he was the most experienced pilot in the history of that airframe!!!)

From a CAF perspective, we absolutely respect the power and dangers associated with these warbirds, and police ourselves year-round both in maintenance and with the training of our pilots / crew. We adhere to all of the CAF safety and training / education protocols, as well as additional "ground school" classes which are ~7+hr long in the middle of winter located at hangars that are hours away from where people live. If you're not there, you're not crew - simple as that - and that's an "add-on" safety measure our wing employs.

We go through every system in the plane, all the numbers from hydraulic accumulator pressures to landing gear up-lock release methods during a hydraulic failure, airspeeds for everything, etc. Crew on comms are expected to know all of this data, not just the pilots - if there's a failure, everyone on that plane should be able to chime in and troubleshoot.

I know for a fact that Collings was every bit as proactive as we were in the CAF, so that shouldn't even remotely be considered an issue. As far as maintenance is concerned, they've got far more resources than we do, and I'm sure that plane was dispatched out 100%.
 
JohnJ
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:40 pm

Senator Blumenthal rides to the rescue:

https://www.wfsb.com/news/senator-to-ca ... 284a9.html
 
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smithbs
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:47 pm

SuperiorPilotMe wrote:
smithbs wrote:
But that's the good thing about those birds, as you mentioned - being built for slower speeds and rugged handling gives them a fair chance if something does go wrong.


Modern aircraft have computers with multiple redundancy to aid the pilot and inherent design to lend greater crash avoidance, including into its aerodynamic design and structure. Old warbirds have whatever quality of brain bucket onboard and that is it.

And what exactly is “rugged handling?” That’s maybe something Jeep and BMW can use in their marketing!

The myth of old aircraft being more survivable in crashes is one of the stupidest things in aviation right now and this accident should prove it.


Multiple redundancy just means a lower statistical chance of things going very wrong, and it's been proven to not be infallible. And I didn't claim they were more survivable except that approach and landing speeds are usually slower, so you have less energy to get rid of if you manage to come in half-way properly. If you read my post, I gently hint that are more likely to crash because of their design and production.

Rugged handling refers to whether the aircraft is going to do what you command it to do, multiplied by what confidence the pilot has in that it's going to work.

Rugged Factor = Mechanics x Confidence

So note there is a highly fungible factor in the math that makes it very subjective. A system of cables and pulleys usually lends a lot of confidence to the pilot, whereas joysticks and software are often viewed with more suspicion because to them it's intangible. Now, the math can say that a 737 is rugged too - it's subjective, after all. So we get to throw the word around as we feel like it. :)

Now yes, joysticks and software actually help a lot, but we're talking pilot psychology here, which usually follows the following traits:
a) Very high confidence in self.
b) Lower confidence in things outside themselves.

And the thing is, when things go wrong and a situation is marginal, the technical matters are eclipsed by the soft factors of pilot skill and confidence. Sully proved how that works.
 
BealineV953
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:20 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
Was that the Breitling airplane?


AFAIK the Breitling plane is a Lockheed Super Constellation. Its fan club failed to raise about 20 million dollars to pay for a total revision. It won't fly anymore.


From the Super Constellation Flyers website:

"Information letter from the extraordinary general member assembly, July 4th, 2019
Farewell, HB-RSC - the 'Star of Switzerland' will be leaving Switzerland
In the coming weeks, the 'Star of Switzerland', will be dismantled and transported to Bremgarten, Germany.
With retroactive effect to July 1, 2019, our Super Connie L-1049, including all of its inventory, will be
taken over by a group of German investors. The group of aviation enthusiasts has set a goal to refurbish
the Connie, and get it back into an airworthy condition. They expect it will take approximately 3 years to
get the Super Constellation back into the air.
The group owns several airworthy, vintage aircraft. All associated costs will be covered by the investor
group as of July 1, 2019. This includes mechanic salaries, hangar rent, costs associated aircraft
disassembly and transport, as well as all spare parts and tools."
Ever since childhood, when I lived within sight of London Airport, I have seldom seen a plane go by and not wished I was on it.”
With apologies to Paul Theroux - ‘The Great Railway Bazaar’
 
PartsGuy20
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:51 pm

estorilm wrote:
...


Thank you @estorilm for the thoughtful, informative response.
 
estorilm
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:52 pm

PartsGuy20 wrote:
estorilm wrote:
...


Thank you @estorilm for the thoughtful, informative response.

Absolutely - it's kinda unusual to get any warbird posts in here, so I figured I'd chime in when I can. :)

Also there's a fundraiser going for the flight engineer Mitch Melton on FB if anyone can help out - he suffered a broken arm and multiple broken ribs plus other internal injuries. https://www.facebook.com/donate/772931286494235/ - hopefully that's allowed.
 
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airkas1
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:43 pm

The preliminary report is out: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/Repor ... m&IType=MA

It appears that fuel contamination was not the cause of the crash. And am I reading it correctly that they lost engines 3 & 4?
 
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SEPilot
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:18 pm

airkas1 wrote:
The preliminary report is out: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/Repor ... m&IType=MA

It appears that fuel contamination was not the cause of the crash. And am I reading it correctly that they lost engines 3 & 4?

That appears to be the case.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
sgbroimp
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:54 pm

Losing 3 and 4, both same side raises question of whether wrong engine got feathered, no?
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:34 am

BealineV953 wrote:
From the Super Constellation Flyers website:



Thanks, I somehow missed these news!
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:37 am

FlyingElvii wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
Was that the Breitling airplane?


AFAIK the Breitling plane is a Lockheed Super Constellation. Its fan club failed to raise about 20 million dollars to pay for a total revision. It won't fly anymore.

No, I meant the JU 52 that a luggage company rebuilt to showcase aluminum travel cases.


That would be the Ju 52 with the reg HB-HOT, which crashed in August 2018 with 20 dead. It belonged to "Ju Air", which in turns belongs to the "Association of the Friends of the Swiss Air Force." These Ju 52 often carried advertising liveries, among others, the travel cases you mentioned.

You will find much information here viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1400703 - or just ask me.
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
SwissCanuck
Posts: 250
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:20 am

Kind of surprised they took passengers up with 3 freshly overhauled engines - would have expected them to have at least had a test flight first.
 
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SXI899
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:34 am

SwissCanuck wrote:
Kind of surprised they took passengers up with 3 freshly overhauled engines - would have expected them to have at least had a test flight first.

They had 268 hours since overhaul according to the NTSB prelim report.
We deliver......
 
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airkas1
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:10 am

SXI899 wrote:
SwissCanuck wrote:
Kind of surprised they took passengers up with 3 freshly overhauled engines - would have expected them to have at least had a test flight first.

They had 268 hours since overhaul according to the NTSB prelim report.

Actually, the report says:

Engine Nos. 1, 2, and 3 had 0 hours since major overhaul at that time. Engine No. 4 had 838.2 hours since major overhaul at that time.The airplane's most recent progressive inspection, which was the 100-hour inspection, was completed on September 23, 2019. At that time, the airplane had been operated about 268 hours since the annual inspection.
 
estorilm
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:10 pm

airkas1 wrote:
SXI899 wrote:
SwissCanuck wrote:
Kind of surprised they took passengers up with 3 freshly overhauled engines - would have expected them to have at least had a test flight first.

They had 268 hours since overhaul according to the NTSB prelim report.

Actually, the report says:

Engine Nos. 1, 2, and 3 had 0 hours since major overhaul at that time. Engine No. 4 had 838.2 hours since major overhaul at that time.The airplane's most recent progressive inspection, which was the 100-hour inspection, was completed on September 23, 2019. At that time, the airplane had been operated about 268 hours since the annual inspection.

Yes, thas to be read in context, they first mentioned the aircrafts last annual inspection, then said that the engines had zero hours "AT THAT TIME" - as in they were reinstalled during the annual inspection. So yes, they would have had 268hr on them. Wow they flew that thing a lot! We flew out to about 9 air shows this year and maybe have 70 hours on our aircraft since winter maintenance.

The time on that #4 engine is fairly high, although those single-row radials generally do better with higher times than the twin rows.

airkas1 wrote:
The preliminary report is out: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/Repor ... m&IType=MA

It appears that fuel contamination was not the cause of the crash. And am I reading it correctly that they lost engines 3 & 4?

I interpreted it a bit differently - #4 was feathered as-normal, however the blades on #3 were discovered in varying pitch conditions. This is nearly impossible to achieve in operation, as stripping the hub gears would almost certainly involve losing blade(s) and the destruction of the prop/hub under power. It's far more likely that the gears stripped when that engine impacted the ground while making power. We'd assume that the right side dropped first without #4 at slow speeds if they indeed stalled - that puts #3 at a) higher power if it was operational, and b) first engine to impact.

smithbs wrote:
WW2 aircraft were not entirely safe in the first place - they were hastily designed, tested and then produced as fast as possible, often with marginal parameters and it was largely understood that there would be a consequence because of that, but in such a large war, it's going to be bad anyway.

Kinda agree, BUT they were also "hastily designed" to be shot at with .303 API, 20mm cannon, etc. as well as being ditched, belly landings, flown routinely with dead or missing engines (ie control authority/stability considerations) etc etc. Structure limits on modern airliners and GA aircraft are ONLY considering 100% intact planes, there's no "well will it hold if there's a 2' hole going through the rear fuselage?"

Bringing crews back was actually very important to the USAAF, they were punching out planes far quicker than they were able to train (experienced) flight crews.

SuperiorPilotMe wrote:
The myth of old aircraft being more survivable in crashes is one of the stupidest things in aviation right now and this accident should prove it.

As I said above, they're built to standards that make GA aircraft look like paper airplanes, so that can't be entirely true. There are crane/hoist points on many of the single engine fighters/bombers that act as rollover protection for example, such as on our TBM Avenger.

Also on ours, the wing tanks are located FAR inboard, in the reinforced area of the wing, and all tanks including the center still retain their self-sealing bladders (ie. no wet wings) - so again, in that case they are FAR safer than most GA aircraft where you'd guaranteed to be dumping fuel with any kind of structural incident. I can't speak for the 1830, but the 2600 in ours requires like 8 gallons of oil to operate, but has a 32 gallon oil tank in it - that's a long time operating if you incur an oil leak or part of the engine lets go. The stories of people coming back after losing a piston/jug aren't that far-fetched trust me.

Think about the gear on the warbirds also - with no oxygen systems, guns, armor, etc these planes are WAY lighter than they were in war-time, not to mention bomb loads. The entire landing gear system is going to be complete overkill as they're operated today. Hell ours was designed for carrier landings too.

So in many ways, they are FAR safer and FAR more rugged in the event of something going wrong. Having said that, they're also MUCH more difficult to handle and are generally very high performance / high-powered aircraft, the bombers are heavy on the controls, and many warbirds have poor visibility in some situations.

NWAROOSTER wrote:
One of the primary causes of the aircraft crashing was the lack of altitude when the engine failed along with a propeller spinning around and adding drag.

Yeah, a friend who has seen the video said they were at about 300-350 AGL as the NTSB states, but that it was "clearly visible" that they were having difficulty maintaining speed and altitude. FWIW the #4 engine they called to ATC as having failed was found in the feathered/secured position so that shouldn't have been an issue. I know some of the B-17 operators will pull power on BOTH engines on the same wing during recurrent training exercises (obviously not on TO) but the plane should still be able to fly AND climb. Something else was going on, zero doubt in my mind.

Karlsands wrote:
Has any one brought up the age of the two gentlemen flying ? Sure they knew what to do , but reaction time is a different story. No disrespect intended

I've talked to a few people about this - I largely disagree to begin with, as these gentlemen were very sharp, however my logic here is that I'd MUCH rather have a 70/75yo up front that has literally seen, heard, felt, and memorized everything about that plane, including failures and checklists. If your reaction time is a fraction of a second slower, but you know EXACTLY what to do, where everything is located (even in a high-stress mode) and remember procedures without even thinking about it, those "old" pilots will be able to identify, react, and resolve an emergency far quicker than someone without that level of experience.

Given Mac's extreme level of experience in the type, I just don't think reaction time played a role - the experience would offset ANY "slowed" reaction time.
 
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Revelation
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Re: B17 Crash at BDL October 2nd, 2019

Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:27 pm

estorilm wrote:
smithbs wrote:
WW2 aircraft were not entirely safe in the first place - they were hastily designed, tested and then produced as fast as possible, often with marginal parameters and it was largely understood that there would be a consequence because of that, but in such a large war, it's going to be bad anyway.

Kinda agree, BUT they were also "hastily designed" to be shot at with .303 API, 20mm cannon, etc. as well as being ditched, belly landings, flown routinely with dead or missing engines (ie control authority/stability considerations) etc etc. Structure limits on modern airliners and GA aircraft are ONLY considering 100% intact planes, there's no "well will it hold if there's a 2' hole going through the rear fuselage?"

Bringing crews back was actually very important to the USAAF, they were punching out planes far quicker than they were able to train (experienced) flight crews.

Also keep in mind that Boeing bet the farm building the Model 299 i.e. B-17 prototype and it crashed, nearly bankrupting the company.

Luckily for Boeing, USAAF found a way to place an order despite the fact it could not fully participate in the evaluation.

After that, Boeing put everything it had into that aircraft from prototype on to producing them by the thousands.

The crash and recovery was many years before USA entered WWII, so the notion that they were hastily designed really does not stand up.

Ref: https://mynorthwest.com/1166154/flying- ... -17-crash/?
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