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Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by GuyIncognito, Oct 2, 2019.
Timm N2T. I was way off on that one but it was molded plywood and flew very nicely.
During my brief time in the USAAF ,I never saw or heard of this type of problem. Worn out mags, yes. At Langley, the B-17's hardly ever had engine tarps on them but they were being run every day and most nights and had mechanics on them all the time.
And I always thought that the Collings Foundation was one of the better-run warbird organizations.....
Oh I agree. If there is a known mag problem or a water intrusion issue it would be very well known. The UK isn't exactly in the desert and as I recall we had a few being operated from there years back. Fuel or fuel management makes a great deal more sense to me. Maybe they were or got switched to a dry tank. Low and slow can't always just switch back.
I think before any judgement can be made about that we need to know why this plane came down.
Well based on this it doesn't look so good. Operating even a 4 engine plane with a mag out and the other quite a bit less than 100% is just stupid. And the reports of detonation issues really makes me wonder what on earth they are doing?
Not long after the wreck reports were that the fuel was tested and found to be clean.
Sounds like a hell of flight and you probably deserved it.
yeah, looks like problems with two engines, not just one. Complacency plus need to 'complete the mission' with paying (needed income) customers.
Assuming the engines were switched to a tank that had fuel. And good fuel in good engines that are properly managed do not suffer detonation. Engines I might add that have never been run as hard as their designers intended.
All things considered after reading that most recent report It may not have been a 4 engine airplane. In reality it may have been a 3 engine plane with one self propelled prop. Unless that report was a lie its hard to imagine it passed a real run up and mag check.
From Hartford Courant news article:
Specifically, the inspection found that magneto and ignition failures existed in the aircraft’s No. 4 engine. Magnetos, engine-driven electrical generators that produce voltage to fire the engine’s spark plugs, were not functioning properly.
An attempt to jury rig one had left it inoperative, according to the report. A second magneto on the No. 4 engine, when tested, produced a weak or no spark to four of the nine cylinders it was supposed to fire.
Inspectors also found that all spark plugs required cleaning and that all of the electrode gaps were out of tolerance. Further engine inspection “indicated signs of detonation and associated damage," the decision reads.
An inspection of the No. 3 engine showed “all spark plug electrode gaps were out of tolerance, fouled, and revealed various signs of detonation." Inspection of the engine also revealed problems with the cylinders, according to the report.
I mentioned it eliminate that as a probably cause. It's still stupifying that a pilot with this much experience in that plane let it get this bad.
I do remember some discussion about how they don't run the superchargers on these planes now because of the cost of maintenance. So I guess losing engines is a much bigger deal when they're all not as powerful?
Many supercharged engines boost is regulated in a way to compensate for loss of air density at altitude. Not so much to improve output at or near sea level. This plane was never operated up high so it may not have been a loss of performance. A B17 isn't really my area of expertise.
Only really having 3 engines, losing the other on the same side when you are low and slow cannot be a good day. That is a scenario that could make some sense.
Fresh motors with signs of detonation. Does not speak well of the operation of the aircraft. Problems with the cylinders?? Operation or overhaul issues? Maybe getting run hard regularly because the engine next to it is all but dead. Something has to hold that side of the airplane up.
If I remember right they also lost control as they came down and landed then veered into that immovable object. That part may have just been bad luck but having gone up there in the first place was apparently only bad luck for the paying passengers. Given how legendary these planes were for taking extreme punishment and still making it back it's even more shocking. My wife's family tells a "story" about her father who was a B17 pilot with two tours in England bringing his plane in all shot up and one one engine WO crash landing it. I never heard it from him though. He never talked about at all about WWII. Apparently bombing all those civilians really bothered him.
Well like I always say, I am not a pilot but speed and altitude give you a lot of choices. I don't think this flight ever left the pattern.
The old "saw"; "Airspeed is altitude. Altitude is air speed."
I have spent a lot of my life with a gun in my hands. The people I know that have had negligent discharges are likewise very experienced. Complacency sets in easily if you are not of the mindset determined not to let it. There are basic procedures that you have to remind yourself probably came to be because someone was killed not doing it. Following a well established checklist and well established procedures isn't silly, its a way to stay alive.
I have flown with several "high time" pilots that had grown complacent and brushed over some things when they prepared to crank it up and to make a flight . Simple things like ascertaining that the door was shut and latched or that all passengers were belted. Fuel check to remove water, controls check prior to boarding to make certain the gust locks had been removed, and airframe check. Just get on board and light the fires. On the other hand I flew many times with two old airline pilots with umpteen thousands of hours, one of them author, Ernie Gann. You did not speak when he was going through his pre takeoff checks or pre landing check list that was permanently mounted on the left side of the panel. If you did, you got a hand in front of your mouth to silence you. Every item was touched while going through the routine, every instrument was touched while doing the run up. He was totally involved with the airplane. Then when we had a cabin on Lost River air strip years ago, one of the residents from Montana owned a Cherokee Six that reeked of poor care and rough use. I watched him load his family into it and opened the cowl to check the oil. The cowling latch was broken and after putting two quarts of oil in the engine he wired the cowling shut with a coat hanger.
The takeoff was accomplished without a run up, just cranked it up and left. Iv'e been told that God watches over drunks and fools. Maybe I saw His handiwork.
They veered off the runway to the right and hit a building; it appears that if they had veered off to the left they would not have hit anything more solid than runway lights. Bad luck indeed, but of course the dead engine dictated which way they went off.
Sounds like that building did not belong there. Usually zones are cleared around approach ends of runways.
Several buildings are that close (or even closer), plus they hit a big de-icing fluid tank first.
Looks like Collings is going to be out of business.
No Pax. Lawsuits, etc.
T- Did not cause the accident, but sure made it unsurvivable. Especially with Avgas.