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spudsmac
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Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:48 am

I've seen a couple photos of airlines in boneyards that end up turning up at another boneyard even though they would have been in no condition to fly. How do they do this? Take the 707 on the front page today as an example.

In the 80's with engines removed at Pinal
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Ameri...d=03bcb64cf0a722e2a58c3624364cad55

At Davis-Monthan AFB in 2007 with wings still attached:
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Ameri...d=03bcb64cf0a722e2a58c3624364cad55

I know they're probably only 30 miles or so apart, but I don't see how they would move them on the roads with the wings still attached and I doubt they fixed it to fly it there.

That's not the only one I've seen, but I can't think of any more at the moment.
 
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BreninTW
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:47 am

Those aren't the same aircraft (according to the registrations). One is N404PA and the other is N402PA.
 
spudsmac
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:50 am

Quoting brenintw (Reply 1):

You are right. I put in the wrong photo.

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Ameri...d=e3095e3baad95982c3dde7b34eff9fde

That was taken at Pinal in 1985 and it's the same one in the pictures at DM.
 
packcheer
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:11 pm

Is it possible the military used it for parts or some type of research?
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spudsmac
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:32 am

Quoting Packcheer (Reply 3):
Is it possible the military used it for parts or some type of research?

I'm sure they are used to support the 707 variants in the military fleet (KC-135, RC-135, etc).

My question is how are they moving them?
 
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BreninTW
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:43 am

Since the two places are pretty much in the middle of nowhere, they probably did move the aircraft by road. A late-night move would involve minimal disruption to whatever traffic there is. I doubt there are a lot of obstacles in the way.

Stick it on a lowbed and carefully move it.

While quite a bit smaller, but probably a lot more involved, that's pretty much how my uncle's ocean-going yacht was moved from his front garden (where he built it) to the marina to be launched. That particular move involved going through residential areas and the hazards of power and telephone lines. With a bit of planning, it's actually relatively easy to do.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:07 pm

Quoting spudsmac (Reply 4):
Quoting Packcheer (Reply 3):
Is it possible the military used it for parts or some type of research?

I'm sure they are used to support the 707 variants in the military fleet (KC-135, RC-135, etc).

Dozens of retired airline 707s were acquired by the U.S. military to provide engines and other spare parts.
 
spudsmac
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:33 am

Quoting brenintw (Reply 5):
they probably did move the aircraft by road.

Yeah, but what about leaving the wings attached? I'm surprised they did.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 6):
Dozens of retired airline 707s were acquired by the U.S. military to provide engines and other spare parts.

I knew about that and figured that's why it was there. Do you know how they got all the retired birds there? Did they fix any and fly them in?
 
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BreninTW
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:18 am

Quoting spudsmac (Reply 7):
Quoting brenintw (Reply 5):
they probably did move the aircraft by road.

Yeah, but what about leaving the wings attached? I'm surprised they did.

Understand that I don't know the topography of the area, so my answer is supposition.

Assuming there are no significant obstacles along the route (and in the middle of a desert, that's entirely possible) there is no real reason to go to the expense of removing the wings. It's possible that there was a route available that was free of buildings and other structures, trees are pretty sparse in the desert. Shrubs and cacti aren't much of an obstacle.

I would say an aircraft (complete with wings) would be a relatively easy move for the right specialists. Sure, they're wide, and they're long, but they are also relatively light and have a low center of gravity. Compare that to jacking up a house or hospital and sticking it on a trailer to move down the road / across town (which has happened).

Alternatively, for a distance of 30 miles, how difficult would it be to strap the aircraft to a Sikorsky SkyCrane and fly it there? (Assuming the weight of an empty 707 is within the SkyCrane's payload.) Expensive, sure, but probably cheaper than getting the aircraft flight-ready for a short hop. I still think it's likely that it was moved by road.

Looking at Google maps -- it's a 38 mile trip along highway 10. As far as I can see, no buildings obstructing the route and one bridge, which I'm sure they can work around. Most highway signage can be removed (overhead signage would be a problem).

A challenge, for sure, but nothing insurmountable.
 
NBGSkyGod
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:39 am


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andy Martin - AirTeamImages



I think this picture explains why this aircraft was moved from Pinal to DMA. More than likely it was trucked, but with the wings removed, then reassembled at DMA for the purpose of the testing. While the wings are attached, they may not be reassembled in such a way to sustain flight.
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Flighty
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:20 pm

Can I gently and respectfully hijack/add to this topic? Are there some stories of FLYING some particularly ratty aircraft from one boneyard to another? Late ferry flights after a long period of disuse have always been a particular interest for me.
 
KELPkid
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:39 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
Can I gently and respectfully hijack/add to this topic? Are there some stories of FLYING some particularly ratty aircraft from one boneyard to another? Late ferry flights after a long period of disuse have always been a particular interest for me.

Funny you should mention that, I was remembering an accident involving a 707 being moved on a short (5 minute) flight. The captain was obese, and he tried to do a Tex Johnson (ailieron roll) and ended up crashing the aircaft. It was written up in Aftermath in Flying Magazine in the early 1990's. Beyond that, I don't remember any more details. It was to be the aircraft's final flight, as it was being broken up for spare parts by the Air Force when it got to it's destination.
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mandala499
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:13 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 11):
Fnny you should mention that, I was remembering an accident involving a 707 being moved on a short (5 minute) flight. The captain was obese, and he tried to do a Tex Johnson (ailieron roll) and ended up crashing the aircaft. It was written up in Aftermath in Flying Magazine in the early 1990's. Beyond that, I don't remember any more details. It was to be the aircraft's final flight, as it was being broken up for spare parts by the Air Force when it got to it's destination.

I remember that one (or was it another Aftermath article). I think it the ADI wasn't working, it was VMC, and a 5 minute ferry. Aircraft rotated, went airborne, started rolling and increased pitch with someone saying "yahoo" in the cockpit and then crashed. (not sure if the PF's seat rail gave way which changed the PF's position during the rotation as well, or was that another 707 case...)
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HAWK21M
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:26 am

Scrapping an Aircraft can generate more revenue thru spares than the total Aircraft itself.
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iRISH251
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:28 pm

Since the photo of N402PA at MZJ shows it minus (some) engines only, I'd suggest that it would have been a lot easier to refit engines and then fly it the 30 miles or so to DMA. That is assuming it was still in a fit state to fly, and provided it had been suitable maintained during storage, there is no reason it should not have been able to return to the air. The accident mentioned in posts 11 & 12 involved a 707 being ferried between the same two airfields. Accident details here: http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19900920-1
 
KELPkid
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:05 pm

Quoting IRISH251 (Reply 14):
Accident details here: http://aviation-safety.net/database/...920-1

Thanks, it's a bear to look stuff up in the NTSB database unless you have a vague idea when it happened. In my case, this accident happened during my freshman semester of college, and I probably had studies on my mind and wasn't paying attention to the news  
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4holer
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:16 pm

I too had read about the 707 crash of the Pinal (Marana) to D-M flight but this is the first that I had heard of an intentional attempt to roll the plane. Is it correct that he did that? I thought that the missing instruments were the cause.
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fsnuffer
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:21 pm

 
KELPkid
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:00 am

Quoting 4holer (Reply 16):
I too had read about the 707 crash of the Pinal (Marana) to D-M flight but this is the first that I had heard of an intentional attempt to roll the plane. Is it correct that he did that?

No one knows for sure, but "yahoo!" was recorded on the Cockpit Voice Recorder before the crash... read the Flying Magazine report. I have to admit, though, that Peter Garrison's analysis did color my memory of the facts....
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liedetectors
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:56 am

I remember reading a quick paragraph about this accident on page 99 of Desert Airliners by Graham Robson. Always wondered what the full story was!

[Edited 2012-04-15 23:07:40]
If it was said by us, then it must be true.
 
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Faro
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:30 am

Quoting 4holer (Reply 16):
I too had read about the 707 crash of the Pinal (Marana) to D-M flight but this is the first that I had heard of an intentional attempt to roll the plane. Is it correct that he did that? I thought that the missing instruments were the cause.

Also recall something about the aircraft being substantially below minimum take-off weight.


Faro
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Fabo
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:18 am

faro: that should not be a problem in itself. As Flying Magazine article states, the CoG was way back though...
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chrisair
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:06 am

Quoting brenintw (Reply 8):
Assuming there are no significant obstacles along the route (and in the middle of a desert, that's entirely possible) there is no real reason to go to the expense of removing the wings. It's possible that there was a route available that was free of buildings and other structures, trees are pretty sparse in the desert. Shrubs and cacti aren't much of an obstacle.

You haven't looked at a map of Tucson, have you?   There's no direct way to DM from Marana. There's a major freeway (that was a major freeway in the 80s, I might add), and the plane couldn't fit it under the underpasses. Saguaro cacti (the typical cactus you see here) can reach 15 to 75' tall, but many are ~30' in height. There's also a lot of trees here--not the typical fir or pine trees you might see elsewhere, but 20' trees aren't uncommon. In fact, they're very common...

It's not like they hitched it to a truck and pulled it in a straight line through the sand for 30 miles. These planes were flown.
 
spudsmac
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:53 am

Quoting chrisair (Reply 22):

It's not like they hitched it to a truck and pulled it in a straight line through the sand for 30 miles. These planes were flown.

I would like to think so. I love seeing old planes fly again, even for ferry flights.

When I was in DAB, there was an old 727 (N196AJ) parked there for many years and one day in October 08, it took off to CA. I remember watching it from my apartment complex pool and watching the thick black smoke trailing behind. It was pretty cool to see.

I heard that a couple years before some guys tried to fix it and fly it to the Caribbean and ended up turning around and returning because of system malfunctions.

https://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?regsearch=N196AJ
 
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DL_Mech
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RE: Moving Aircraft From One Boneyard To Another

Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:44 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 11):
I was remembering an accident involving a 707 being moved on a short (5 minute) flight.

This one?


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Photo © Keith Burton
View Large View Medium
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Photo © Keith Burton


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Photo © Bill Hough

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