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OT: Sad day in aviation: Collings B17 has crashed

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  • #46
    Top half looks yellow, bottom half looks blue. Long tubular shape with short protrusions. I'm changing my guess to a Minion.

    Or Johns suggestion above of a bug seems most plausible....


    • #47
      Originally posted by George Bulliss View Post
      I first thought: a runaway flying pig balloon from a Pink Floyd concert, but on second look perhaps a bug.
      You were actually very close - on both guesses,,, I have a friend who does this sort of stuff for a living and told him to blow it up and enhance it,,,


      • #48
        Mind, I used a question mark when I asked "what the hell is it" indicating I make no claim to knowing what it was other than a UFO in the literal sense.
        It's flyin' and I ain't identifyin' so there you go.

        It was no bug.
        I thought for sure it was something off the plane.
        In & out of the frame as fast as my camera would cycle.
        Could definitely be a flying Koala as put forth by pinstripe and I'll wager he's seen his share.
        And this was long before AK's flying horse dung balloon.



        • #49
          lol good write up --- what about Jimmy Hoffa?

          It was all worth it just to find out what kind of concerts GB attends to -- and im sure he's scored big points with most everyone...


          • #50
            In a related crash of a similar old bird, years ago I hiked to an area where a B-24 consolidated liberator went down I believe back in the early 1940's as i was told at the time that the plane was almost new when it crashed,,,

            way high up in the mountains and IIRC they figured it was due to wing and maybe prop icing, poor visibility, and just plain dangerous mountain flying conditions, the story goes from the people on the ground in the area is that they heard it pass over and due to the terrain knew they were not going to make the next ridge so threw the plane into a turn and then everyone heard all the engines respond to a full power roar, but as the plane came around for it's second pass to try to clear the ridge it was still not enough and they drilled it directly into the mountain,,, I tried to look at the surrounding area and IIRC remember thinking that if they just had another 50 ft of altitude the crash might have never occurred...

            at the time the plane was still considered somewhat "top secret" so what was left of the wings and fuselage and other critical components were immediately hauled away,,, but there was still literally "tons" of stuff including the engines and bent up props and things too labor intensive to move off the side of the mountain, I found a loose (free from the rest of the engine) rocker arm and it was indeed a marvel,,, it was very heavy, it could have held up a small building,,, it had a central pivoting bearing which was impressive for the time that even I found it some 50 years later --- it also had what was called an "elephants foot" on the business end of the rocker that contacts the valves flat end - they were a simply ball socket that had a flat end that butted up against the valves end - two flats contacting each other with lubrication between --- superior in comparison to conventional adjuster screws in all kinds of ways,,,

            they would not only hold adjusting tolerance and decrease wear far better, they allowed the rocker to "skid" on the valves end as the rockers end was going through it's geometry relationship change with the valves end, this also drastically reduced valve guide wear to boot,,,

            all early 1940's technology --- very impressive --- the weight wasn't lol but everything else was...


            • #51
              Pure speculation, but:

              It's happened at the airport I fly out of.


              • #52
                Originally posted by Optics Curmudgeon View Post
                Pure speculation, but:

                It's happened at the airport I fly out of.
                That guy (Mike Busch, Savvy Aviation) make a heck of a lot of sense. He has a lot of talks on the internet if you look him and savvy Aviation up.

                One of his talks was about maintenance, and "top overhauls".... He is (and I think rightly) of the opinion that lots of "maintenance" (vs doing just the necessary maintenance) is not necessarily better, and that it may actually be dangerous. Apparently most private aircraft accidents occur relatively soon after "maintenance events".

                Any time someone has ANY system, an engine, or any other complex system, apart, it is more likely to fail soon after, simply because of the risk of something not being done right. Mechanics are not perfect, and they can do stuff wrong, not in big ways,, but maybe in smaller ways that still cause problems. He had his engines at almost 2x TBO without an overhaul, and there were no signs of problems, based on oil and filter analysis.

                So, if the subject B17 was "heavily maintained", that may have been a contributory factor in the engine failure, without which the entire situation leading to the crash probably would not have occurred.
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                • #53
                  I found the information about the plane hitting a deicing facility interesting. About 8 years ago I installed an ultrafiltration unit and a two stage RO for recovering the deicing fluid in that facility. It was cold as hell out there in the winter, our equipment was in a tent! Neatest thing I saw was them loading the worlds largest airplane, an Anatov? Sikorsky uses it to transport large helicopters. It was right across from us and it was HUGE!


                  • #54
                    Some rampers are rather stupid, but to put JetA into a B17? The Collings foundation surely would be supervising the refueling, and there is absolutely no way to confuse Jet A with 100LL. The smell alone is not only much different, it is extremely strong and noticeable.
                    As for heavy maintenance, it is true. An airplane will go in with a list of problems to be fixed, and come out with a much larger list of bizarre problems. I have yet to depart our maintenance on time with an airplane with a fresh C or D check. Just so many systems, so many connections.
                    It's not like building your first computer, more like building all the computers in a medium sized office, AND building the network, switches, servers, etc, and turning it all on for the first time. Nothing is more reliable than an airplane in continued service a week after maintenance.


                    • #55
                      I'll be anxiously awaiting the official investigation reports. Meanwhile, I have a thought to throw out for your consideration.

                      These vintage aircraft have no modern power assisted controls. They are not "fly by wire," they are "fly by thick heavy cable." And by muscle.

                      Here is an aircraft in trouble. Here is an aircraft that was a handful for young, 22 or so year old men. But it was being flown by a 75 year old pilot and a 71 year old co-pilot.

                      And all of us here who are getting along in years know about how much we lose physical strength as we age.

                      I think maybe a younger, stronger flight deck crew perhaps could have brought it in for a safe landing. But 75 & 71 years old? Muscling the controls of a crippled B17 was just too much for them!


                      • #56
                        Right after I heard the news Iv wondered if the first engine was just the first in line with another or maybe more,,, just because the fact that one engine should not have been that much of a problem so then the thought pattern goes to "could have it been something more systemic?"

                        fuel would fall into that category right off but like RB said highly unlikely --- still, iv repaired a few diesel trucks cuz their owners brain farted and dumped pump gas into their tanks and that's after a decade of owning said truck and not having an issue with knowing what fuel to put in, you can never rule out simple human error no matter how many failsafe's involved...


                        • #57
                          Edited out of respect of the fallen and new information.
                          Last edited by RB211; 10-07-2019, 12:20 AM.


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by RB211 View Post
                            ...I don't think I need to wait for the NTSB report to come out to know what happened.
                            I'll just tell you... Pilots failed to secure a failed engine in a timely manner
                            Irony from the 737 thread:

                            Originally posted by RB211 View Post
                            Everyones first choice is to blame the pilots...
                            Location: North Central Texas


                            • #59
                              Last edited by RB211; 10-07-2019, 12:20 AM.


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by RB211 View Post
                                75 and 71 year olds flying it??? Sorry, that is asking for trouble. No offense, but I don't think I need to wait for the NTSB report to come out to know what happened.
                                In aviation, highly experienced can be a double edged sword.
                                I'll just tell you... Pilots failed to secure a failed engine in a timely manner(poor climb performance with a lightly loaded B17 with three good engines)Failure of pilots to maintain directional control(not enough strength on the rudder pedals, unable to maintain bank into good engines, unable to maintain Blue Line or better), failure to attain stabilized approach. They took out the glideslope tower which is positioned such that it paints a picture of desperation.

                                B17 is a complex multicrew airplane that requires CRM, yet no simulators exist to practice such things, and engine outs such as this do not get the practice they deserve. If they are going to fly the public, they better stick to age 65, and figure out a way to train better these emergencies.
                                I probably sound like a flaming A hole right now, but I wouldn't get inside one of those without much younger pilots at the controls with appropriate experience.
                                I would tend to agree with your assumptions. Its only a best guess at this point without more data but a very likely one.

                                The pilots age is one of the first things that got my attention. The reaction times and mental speed just slow with age unfortunately, especially after 65. Nobody want to admit it, including me, but those of us over 65 probably experience it even if we are in denial (me included). At very low altitude, like this incident, reactions have to be extremely fast with no margin for error.

                                But then, there are exceptions to everything, think "Bob Hoover" ! Extremely unlikely these two pilots of the B17 were Bob Hoover class pilots tough, he was a legend.
                                Last edited by Sparky_NY; 10-05-2019, 06:57 AM.