Warbird Alley
Warbird Alley

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Warbird News Archive
After approximately 14 months on the main news page,
warbird-related news is moved to this page as a permanent archive.

Index
1998  |  1999  |  2000  |  2001  |  2002  |  2003  |  2004  |  2005
2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013



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December 1998:
  • Rescue crews searching for the wreckage of a Piper Cherokee in California's Salton Sea have discovered the corroded remains of a WWII Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo-bomber. It is located in 37 feet of water and covered by a thick layer of mud. Though it appears largely intact, there are no plans to recover it due to its substantially-corroded condition.


Sonar image of the "Salton Sea Avenger"

  • 24 December: A BAC Jet Provost trainer crashed into the sea off the coast of Essex, England, killing owner/pilot Nigel Paterson.

February 1999:

  • 4 February: Pilots Bill Jones and Greg Weber were killed when their two North American T-28 Trojans crashed in the mountains near Joshua Tree, California. They departed Van Nuys Airport, CA as a flight of two, headed for a fly-in at Thermal Airport in Palm Springs. Approximately 50 minutes later, they flew into the side of Quail Mountain at the 5,300-foot level. Weather at the time of the accident was reported as "an overcast sky, with clouds and rain showers obscuring the tops of the mountains." The crash site was not located until the 6th of February.

March 1999:

  • 10 March: The first privately-owned and operated English Electric Lightning, a T.5 (XS452), has flown at Capetown, South Africa. Operated by the Classic Jets company, the Lightning will eventually be available for training and adventure flights.
  • The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed substantial fines and certificate suspensions for at least two of the participants in a formation flight staged between a passenger-carrying Northwest Airlines 747 and the Collings Foundation's Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber last summer. The airliner's captain, who was flying his last flight before retirement, had pre-arranged the formation, and Northwest had approved it. The FAA, however, took a dim view of the proceedings and has begun an investigation into the matter.

April 1999:

  • 19 April: A Beechcraft T-34 Mentor operated by Sky Warriors, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, suffered an inflight breakup during mock combat maneuvering. The instructor and his pilot-rated student were killed.

May 1999:

  • 19 May: Raytheon released a "Safety Communiqué" which essentially grounds all Beechcraft T-34 Mentor aircraft following two recent in-flight structural failures. The areas of the aircraft affected by the resulting mandatory inspections are the wing attach fittings and the wing spar assemblies.
  • 30 May: An Australian Commonwealth Wirraway crashed at an air show at Naval Base HMAS Albatross, near Nowra, New South Wales, Australia. Both occupants were killed.

June 1999:

  • T-34 AD: The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Priority Letter Airworthiness Directive (99-CE-22-AD) on Beech Models 45 (YT-34), A45 (T-34A, B-45), and D45 (T-34B) which restricts operation of these aircraft until the wing structure has been inspected and found to be free of cracks.  The Directive prohibits aerobatic or utility-category operations, and limits the aircraft's maximum speed (Vne) to 152 KIAS.
  • 19 June: Entrepreneur and inventor Steve Snyder, the owner of South Jersey Regional Airport, Lumberton Township, New Jersey, USA, was killed in the crash of his North American F-86 Sabre Mk.6. He was reportedly performing a flying demonstration for the Bonanza Society, and impacted the ground during a flyby.

July 1999:

  • A Federal Judge in Miami, Florida, USA decided against the US Navy in a case involving noted warbird collector and museum owner Doug Champlin of Mesa, Arizona. Champlin has been attempting to recover one of three known Douglas TBD Devastator dive bombers from the ocean floor, 56 years after it ditched. He now has the right to salvage the aircraft, but it is believed the Navy will appeal the decision. They claim ownership of the airplane, despite the fact that the aircraft was stricken from their records shortly after the crash.
  • 29 July: A Chance-Vought F4U Corsair collided with a Grumman F8F Bearcat on the runway at the AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA, destroying the Corsair and seriously injuring its pilot, Laird "Lad" Doctor. The Corsair had begun its takeoff roll while the Bearcat sat idling on the runway ahead. The pilot of the Bearcat, Howard Pardue, was only slightly injured. A second Corsair narrowly avoided the collision.

August 1999:

  • 1 August: A privately-owned BAC Jet Provost trainer crashed near Gloucester, UK, killing both people aboard.
  • 24 August: A Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 operated by Air USA of Quincy, Illinois, USA, crashed while engaged in shipboard radar-tracking tests off the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. Only debris and an oil slick were found after the airplane disappeared from radar. Pilot Doug Schultz was killed.
  • 24 August: The Finnish Aviation Museum and their volunteer diving group have successfully raised a rare WWII Messerschmitt Bf109-G2 fighter from the sea. The airplane will be stored in a tank of fresh water until the salt-water corrosion process has been halted. It will then be restored to static display condition for the museum in Vantaa, Finland.

September 1999:

  • 12 September: A Cessna L-19 Bird Dog and a Cessna O-2 Skymaster collided in mid-air during an airshow in North Hampton, Massachusetts, USA, killing both pilots.
  • 24 September: New Zealand's Alpine Fighter Collection is pleased to announce the rollout of their newly-restored Hawker Hurricane IIb, which is scheduled to once again take to the air very shortly.
  • 25 September: Two pilots were lost in the crash of a North American SNJ-5 trainer in a residential area of Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The airplane was seen maneuvering, then dove and hit trees and the ground before bursting into flames against the side of a house.
  • 26 September: Mark Hanna, legendary warbird pilot and co-founder of England's Old Flying Machine Company at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, passed away from injuries sustained in the in-flight fire and crash of a Hispano Buchon (Messerschmitt Bf109) fighter near Barcelona, Spain.

October 1999:

  • 1 October: A Beechcraft T-34 Mentor of the Lima Lima flight team crashed in rural Illinois, USA, after a mid-air collision with another Lima Lima aircraft during a non-aerobatic formation practice session. The pilot, Keith Evans, was killed.
  • 13 October: The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) lifted its moratorium on the importation of subsonic ex-military aircraft. The agency will resume processing of Form 6 applications. The Form 6 is necessary for the importation of former military aircraft, since they are considered implements of war.
  • 30 October: Ron Mitchell's English Electric TT.18 Canberra (WJ680) has made a successful engine run, and taxied under its own power for the first time in many years, at Kemble Airfield, UK. This is the first of many tests which will culminate in the restoration to flight status of the rare Canberra bomber.

November 1999:

  • A Hawker Hunter jet crashed at Williams Gateway airport in Arizona, USA after the engine failed immediately after takeoff. The pilot, ex-Blue Angel Larry "Hoss" Pearson, suffered a fractured vertebrae, but is expected to make a full recovery. Pearson's passenger, crew chief Terry Daubner, suffered only minor injuries. The aircraft reportedly "shed engine parts" as it took off, then plowed through a fence and a flood-control canal. It took rescue crews over an hour to rescue the two men.
  • 23 November: A Japanese Air Force Lockheed T-33 crashed near Tokyo, causing a widespread power failure throughout much of the city as it clipped two power lines. Military leaders have grounded the entire Air Force until an investigation can be completed.

December 1999:

  • A group of over 20 volunteers in Bradford, Ontario, Canada has begun the restoration of a 1944 Douglas A-26 Invader attack bomber which, for the past 25 years, had been sitting on a rooftop.

Index
1998  |  1999  |  2000  |  2001  |  2002  |  2003  |  2004  |  2005
2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013


[Back to Warbird News Page]


January 2000:

  • 8 January: A Hawker Hunter Mk.4 crashed in a field approximately half a mile short of the runway at Chino, California, USA, after the pilot ejected following an engine failure. The pilot was ferrying the airplane from Mojave, California to Tulsa, Oklahoma and elected to land at Chino for maintenance work. The pilot, who ejected at a very low altitude, was seriously injured.
  • The Corsair pilot involved in last July's spectacular runway collision at the AirVenture airshow ("Oshkosh") has filed a lawsuit against the pilot of the Bearcat he hit, claiming the other pilot was negligent.
  • The crash site of a British Lancastrian lost in August 1947 has been found high on the side of Tupungato Mountain in the Andes, near the Chile/Argentina border. The wreck still contained three bodies, which were partially preserved by the cold. The airplane was enroute from Santiago, Chile to Buenos Aries, Argentina, when it vanished.

February 2000:

  • A North American NA-64, N64WP, crashed near Clearwater, Florida, USA, sustaining substantial damage. The pilot, who was uninjured, reported a partial loss of engine power and was unable to regain enough power to make the runway. The aircraft came to rest on a street, after striking trees and a telephone pole.

March 2000:

  • 16 March: A barge left San Diego, California, USA, carrying 24 WWII-era warbirds to be used in the filming of the movie "Pearl Harbor" to be filmed in Hawaii beginning next month.
  • British TV has reported that a 1944 Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX sustained minor damage at Duxford Airfield, Cambridgeshire, UK, after colliding with a parked helicopter after landing. The pilot, Carolyn Grace, is Britain's only woman Spitfire pilot. She was treated for shock.

April 2000:

  • 8 April: One of three remaining two-seat Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXs, G-TRIX, crashed during landing at Goodwood Airfield, West Sussex, UK, bursting into flame and killing the pilots, Norman Alan Lees and South African Greg McCurragh. The aircraft apparently clipped a tree and skidded down a bank and onto the Goodwood motor racing track before coming to rest 50 years short of the runway.
  • 9 April: A Fouga CM-170 Magister VI, N495F, was destroyed and both crewmembers killed after the jet crashed in a pasture near San Joaquin, California, USA. Witnesses reported the aircraft performed aerobatic maneuvers at approximately 2,000 feet above ground level, ending in a series of descending aileron rolls into the ground.
  • 15 April: A Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX crashed during a loss of engine power during an air display at Swartkop Air Force Base, near Pretoria, South Africa. The pilot, LtCol Neil Thomas, commander of South Africa's Air Force Museum, sustained cuts and bruises. The military-owned Spitfire was extensively damaged.
  • 17 April: A Vultee BT-13 built to resemble a Japanese D3A "Val" dive bomber crashed on Ford Island, Hawaii, during the filming of the movie "Pearl Harbor," slightly injuring the pilot and heavily damaging the aircraft. The plane apparently flew through an area of heavy smoke, clipped a tree and hit the ground, coming to rest inverted.
  • 17 April: American pilot Gus McLeod was forced to leave his Boeing PT-17 Stearman biplane near the North Pole after a hard landing which damaged it.
  • 28 April: A North American SNJ-5, N3187G, crashed on Beech Mountain, near Elk Park, NC, USA. Both occupants were killed. Witnesses reported hearing the sound of an engine sputtering prior to the crash.

May 2000:

  • 19 May: A PZL Mielec AN-2 biplane sank through the ice at the North Pole after landing with a load of adventure travelers, including Dick Rutan, the pilot of the globe-circling Voyager aircraft. The group was rescued by a deHavilland Twin Otter sent by the Canadian Coast Guard.
  • 24 May: Telecommunications workers on Bathurst Island, north of Darwin, Australia, have discovered the wreckage of a WWII-era Beaufighter strike aircraft. The aircraft is believed to have crashed in November or December of 1942, and it is believed the two-man Australian crew escaped injury.

June 2000:

  • French newspaper Le Figaro has reported that a French Scuba-diver has discovered what might be the wreckage of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning flown by author and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery when he disappeared in 1944. The wreck is located off the coast of Marseilles, France.
  • The Vulcan Operating Company at Bruntingthorpe Airfield, England, has reported that its Avro Vulcan (XH558) will resume airshow flight demonstrations by next year. The massive delta-winged bomber is one of several which is under restoration to fly in the UK.

July 2000:

  • The FAA has agreed to extend the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) comment period for the T-34 Airworthiness Directive 2000-CE-09 to October 2000. The directive applies to the wing spars of all Beech T-34 Mentor aircraft.
  • 19 July: The US Navy won its appeal against collector Doug Champlin, who had claimed ownership of a rare Douglas Devastator located on the bottom of the ocean. (See July 1999 story above.) The Navy says it wants to recover, restore and display the aircraft at its Pensacola, Florida museum. Champlin, who says he will appeal the ruling, wants reimbursement of the $130,000 he has invested in the aircraft's recovery.
  • The first civilian F-16 and F/A-18s may soon be appearing on the warbird circuit. Air Capitol Warbirds of Wichita, Kansas, USA, is offering one of each for sale. The aircraft are not airworthy, but it is believed they can be restored to flight status.

August 2000:

  • 18 August: An Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin jet trainer crashed into the sea during an airshow at Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK, killing the pilot, ex-Red Arrows pilot Ted Girdler. Onlookers report that the aircraft appeared to have insufficient altitude to complete a maneuver.
  • A US House bill (H.R. 4205) has been introduced which might inadvertently ground all surplus military aircraft in the USA. Its language aims to ensure that ex-military equipment is thoroughly "demilitarized" prior to its sale to civilians. In theory, the bill, if passed into law, would require all warbird owners to render their aircraft unflyable.
  • The Confederate Air Force (CAF), of Midland, Texas, USA, has announced that its membership will vote next year on whether or not the organization will adopt a new name in 2002. The group has been under pressure from corporate sponsors, who are increasingly uncomfortable with the word "Confederate," a term which is claimed by some segments of American society to have racist connotations.
  • The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) which has effectively grounded the venerable Bell 47 helicopter in the USA, by calling for additional inspections and time-limited replacement of certain hard-to-find parts. Several sport aviation associations are expected to fight the issue on behalf of owners and operators of the 50-year old aircraft, many of which have been in continuous use since the Korean War.

September 2000:

  • 2 September: A Hispano HA-1112 (NX700E), playing the part of a Messerschmitt Bf 109 for the filming of a scene in the Warner Brothers film "Pearl Harbor," at Folkestone, England, experienced an apparent wheel brake failure after landing, causing it to depart the runway surface, and collapsing the main landing gear. The pilot, noted warbird pilot Steve Hinton, was uninjured. The aircraft is operated by the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, California, USA.
  • 3 September: A North American T-6 / SNJ, registered N440JG, crashed in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, killing pilot Joe Gunnels. Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft enter a 5-10 turn flat spin, from which it did not recover.
  • 7 September: Another T-6 / SNJ went down in Colorado, this time with happier results. The aircraft, enroute to the National Air Races in Reno, Nevada, suffered an engine failure and made a forced landing on a major four-lane street in suburban Denver. No injuries were reported.
  • 21 September: The 53-year old wreckage of a Supermarine Seafire (PR432) has been lifted by helicopter off a remote hill west of Glascow, Scotland where it had lain since its pilot J.R. Knight hit the hill during a cross-country flight in February 1947. Several blocks of stone will be lifted to the site to form a memorial. Plans for the aircraft are unknown at this time.
  • 23 September: A 1952 deHavilland DH-100 Vampire jet, N152RD, crashed two miles north of the Ontario Municipal Airport in Ontario, Oregon, USA. The pilot, Fred Ihlenburg, was killed. No persons or property on the ground were damaged in the accident. Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft enter a "series of rolls" after a low, climbing pass, which continued to ground impact.

October 2000:

  • 4 October: A newly-restored Messerschmitt Bf 109 (Hispano HA-1112), N109W, has made its first post-restoration flight in California, USA, under the command of Charlie Brown. The aircraft is owned by Harold Kindsater.
  • The US House bill which could have grounded all warbirds, H.R. 4205, has been re-written to remove the threatening language. The bill, as it was first written, would have required all military items sold as surplus to be completely demilitarized, with no time limit or "grandfather clause" for items already sold, whether it was a bolt or a completely restored WWII airplane. The US aviation community banded together in a remarkable grassroots effort to stop the bill from being passed.
  • 16 October: A 1946 Republic P-47N Thunderbolt, N47TB, owned by the Confederate Air Force and operated by the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, was involved in a landing accident at an unknown airport. According to the FAA's preliminary report, the aircraft's right brake locked, causing the aircraft to skid off the runway and nose over in the grass.
  • 16 October: The only airworthy B-29 Superfortress, "Fifi," operated by the Confederate Air Force, was safely landed after suffering an engine fire shortly after takeoff from Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. The crew performed a shortened landing pattern after the Number 3 engine began backfiring.
  • 16 October: An aircraft mechanic was seriously burned and a Douglas B-26 Invader aircraft operated by Airspray Ltd., a Canadian aerial firefighting company, was destroyed in a hangar fire at the company's Red Deer, Alberta facility. Two other B-26 fuselages and at least four other aircraft were also destroyed. An Airspray F-86 and several nearby PBY Catalinas belonging to Buffalo Airways narrowly escaped the fire.
  • 21 October: The UK-based Vulcan Operating Company (VOC) has launched a massive fundraising effort to bring their Avro Vulcan (XH558) back to flight status in time for the 2002 airshow season. If the group is successful, the huge 1950s-vintage delta-winged bomber would be the only airworthy one of its kind in the world.

November 2000:

  • 3 November: A restored Boeing C-97 Stratocruiser landed at the Minneapolis-St.Paul Airport in Minnesota, USA. It will to be added to the aircraft collection at the Minnesota Air National Guard Museum.
  • 10 November: A Thai Air Force Aero Vodochody L-39 jet trainer crashed in northeastern Thailand during a training mission. The trainee was killed and the instructor was seriously injured. Few details of the accident, which took place 130 miles northeast of Bangkok, have been released.
  • 17 November: Robert Ragozzino landed his 1942 Boeing Stearman in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA and became the first pilot to fly around the world solo in an open-cockpit biplane. He flew more than 23,000 miles in 170 days, and beat a previous speed record set by a US Army crew in 1924.
  • 18 November: The Confederate Air Force, based in Midland, Texas, USA has released the results of its recent membership vote (see August 2000 news item) on whether the organization will change its name. 82% of the membership approved the proposal. In late 2001, four proposed names will be submitted to the membership for further voting.
  • A rare North American P-82 Twin Mustang belonging to the Confederate Air Force has been moved from Midland, Texas, to Gillespie Field, San Diego, California to be restored to flight status. The aircraft, one of two P-82s in the world which has the potential to fly again, last flew in 1987. It was disassembled and flown to California inside a U.S. Air Force C-5 transport.

December 2000:

  • Russia will allegedly repay part of its debt to Croatia by delivering a number of aircraft, including at least two MiG-21UM jets, and spare parts to support them.
  • 9 December: A privately-owned BAC Strikemaster, registered G-BXFX, crashed in Lincolnshire, UK. One of the two occupants was killed. Further details are not known.
  • South Coast Airways, based at Biggin Hill, UK, has begun London sightseeing flights in their freshly-renovated DC-3/C-47, giving modern adventurers a chance to experience the nostalgia of the Golden Age of Flight.
  • 16 December: An Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros was damaged during a landing accident at Hilton Head, South Carolina, USA. The pilot delayed extending the jet's landing gear until just prior to touchdown, and since it had not fully locked in place, it collapsed upon landing. The pilot was unhurt.
  • 17 December: The entire collection of the Phoenix, Arizona-based Champlin Fighter Museum has been sold to the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, according to a press release. The collection will remain in its present location until 2003, and will reopen on December 17, 2003, in Seattle. Museum owner Doug Champlin will continue to act as the Curator Emeritus of the new collection.
  • 17 December: A T-34 Mentor crashed during an airshow near Istanbul, Turkey, killing the pilot and a passenger, and injuring two spectators. The cause is not known.
  • 21 December: A 1944 Curtiss C-46A Commando, operated by Everts Air Fuel of Fairbanks, Alaska went down in bad weather during a flight from Nondalton to Kenai, Alaska, with the loss of both pilots.

Index
1998  |  1999  |  2000  |  2001  |  2002  |  2003  |  2004  |  2005
2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013


[Back to Warbird News Page]


January 2001:

  • The owner of a newly-imported Russian Mi-2 helicopter has had his aircraft grounded at California's Hayward Airport while the FAA looks into allegations that he flew it without an Airworthiness Certificate and without locally-required insurance documents. Officials in Oakland, California, where pilot Thierry Thys was based, asked him for the documents, but when he couldn't produce them (and later flew the Mi-2 to nearby Hayward), the FAA was notified.
  • 9 January: A Messerschmitt Bf 208 (Nord 1101), registered N208BF, was damaged in a forced landing near McKinney Texas, USA, after it lost engine power. The pilot was not injured, and damage to the aircraft was relatively minor. [The Bf 208 is the tricycle-gear version of the Bf108 Taifun.]
  • 17 January: A Hispano HA-200 Saeta, registered N3179Z, was involved in an unusual landing incident at Deer Valley Airport near Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The jet's right wing tip struck the runway and started a small fire on the wing, which then started a grass fire at the airport. The aircraft suffered an unknown amount of damage.
  • 21 January: A 1982 Nanchang CJ-6, N6373S, crashed into a high school parking lot in Edgewood, Texas, USA, after striking the guy wire of a radio tower. Both occupants were fatally injured, one of whom was the aircraft owner. The pilots were flying from Georgia to New Mexico, where the owner lived.
  • The Government of Nigeria has ordered the sale of over 600 out-of-service and abandoned aircraft from around that country. It is not known what aircraft types are involved, but since at least some of the aircraft are rumored to have been dormant for many years, warbird- and vintage-aircraft collectors are scrambling to research the matter.
  • 24 January: The chairman and CEO of Atlas Air, Inc., a US-based cargo airline, was killed along with a reporter for the Washington Post, when his Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros jet (N602MC) crashed after takeoff from Front Range Airport, near Denver, Colorado, USA. The reporter was riding along as part of an interview he was conducting for a story on the pilot.
  • Helicopter pilots Charlie Hollinger and Jack Kelly have begun the formation of a worldwide association dedicated to the Bell Model 47 helicopter, a versatile workhorse which has been in service for 50 years.

February 2001:

  • Accident investigators at the site of last month's Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros crash near Denver, Colorado, USA, have reported that the rear-seat occupant of the aircraft may have jettisoned the canopy, either accidentally or intentionally.
  • 7 February: An unmanned QF-4 Phantom drone operated by the US Air Force crashed shortly after takeoff from Tyndall AFB, Florida, USA. Since the aircraft was equipped with a self-destruct system, police were forced to close a nearby highway for several hours while an explosives-disposal team examined the site for unexploded charges in the aircraft.
  • 8 February: US officials have asked China's permission to examine the wreckage of two recently-discovered aircraft crash sites in the Lang Gong region of Tibet. The Chinese Foreign Ministry notified the Pentagon of the discoveries last fall. It is believed that one of the sites is that of a US Army Air Corps Curtiss C-46 Commando transport which disappeared in March 1944. The crew of four has been listed as "missing" since then. Very little is known about the second site, except that it is described as a "WWII-era American plane." It is not known how the discoveries were made.
  • 10 February: An Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros, N901NL, crashed near Lafayette, Louisiana, USA, killing pilot David Jeansonne and his passenger, Jennifer Lynn Girouard. Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft performing low-level aerobatics prior to the crash. The aircraft was a spare aircraft for the Northern Lights aerobatic team, and Mr. Jeansonne was a major sponsor of the aircraft, although not a member of the flying team.
  • 12 February: A BAC Jet Provost, G-BYED, reportedly landed in the water and mud flats short of a runway at Eglinton, UK. The pilot apparently walked (swam) away uninjured, but the aircraft was nearly covered by water when the high tide came in.
  • 16 February: The World Wildlife Fund has discovered the wreckage of four unidentified WWII Japanese fighter aircraft in six feet of water off the shore of an Indonesian island. The area was known as West Papua during WWII. All four aircraft are reportedly of the same type, but no more information is known at this time.
  • 21 February: The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear the case of International Aircraft Recovery vs. U.S., in which a private collector was trying to retain salvage rights for a US Navy Douglas Devastator at the bottom of the ocean. (See July 2000 news item.)
  • The remains of a WWII P-51 Mustang and its pilot have been discovered near Maubeuge, France by workers who were draining a field. Bullet holes were discovered in the aircraft's engine, and its believed the aircraft was shot down in January 1945. Among the personal effect found in the wreckage were the pilot's scarf and a set of metal dog-tags stamped with the name "William Patton."
  • 27 February: A Yakovlev Yak-11, N18AW, was damaged during takeoff from Eagle's Nest Airport, California, USA, when it departed the paved surface, bounced into the air, and came to rest off the opposite side of the runway. The landing gear was extensively damaged in the incident. It was allegedly the pilot's first flight in the aircraft, which he had just recently purchased.

March 2001:

  • The Royal Australian Air Force has recovered the remains of four WWII crewmembers from the wreck of an RAAF Beaufort bomber which crashed near Kawa Island in Papua New Guinea in November 1943. The crew has been reported as "Missing In Action" since they disappeared during a torpedo attack on enemy shipping.
  • 15 March: A Douglas DC-3, N842MB, experienced an engine fire during cruise flight over Georgia, USA. The engine was shut down and the crew prepared for an emergency landing at nearby Donalsonville Municipal Airport, but after attempting to feather the propeller and discharge the fire extinguisher, the engine separated from the aircraft and fell to the ground, landing in a farmer's backyard. The aircraft landed successfully, and the two-man crew was not injured.
  • 31 March: A rare Douglas A24B Dauntless, N93RW, lost power and belly-landed into a muddy field near Angleton, Texas, USA. The pilot and passenger suffered only minor injuries, and the plane appeared to have suffered relatively little damage. The aircraft was piloted by the Chief Pilot of the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas, Ralph Royce.

April 2001:

  • 5 April: New Zealand's only airworthy Hawker Hunter apparently made a gear-up landing at Ardmore Airport, New Zealand. The circumstances of the incident are not known, but the pilot is believed to have escaped injury.
  • 10 April: A Canadian Air Force Tutor jet flown by the Snowbirds demonstration team had its right main landing gear collapse during a formation landing at CFB Comox. The pilot was not injured, and the team is expected to resume its schedule shortly, after the incident is investigated.
  • 14 April: A Fairchild PT-19A, N58123, crashed at Midland International Airport, Midland, Texas, USA. The pilot, Roy Green, was killed. The passenger, Capt. Manfred Aust, a U.S. Air Force T-37 Instructor Pilot at Sheppard AFB, TX, sustained minor injuries. The aircraft was operated by the Confederate Air Force.
  • The Confederate Air Force has reported that it has received over 1000 suggestions for a new organization name (See November 2000 news item). In October 2001, its members will vote from a list of four pre-approved names, and the winner will be announced in December.
  • A new organization, the National Historic Aircraft Association, has been formed. It is dedicated to the salvage and preservation of historic aircraft. Membership is free for active members. For more information, please phone, fax or e-mail Mike Baltrotsky, located in Maryland, USA. Telephone: (301) 930-1300. Fax: (240) 371-5877. Send your mailing address, and they will send out an information package.
  • A fishing boat off the coast of India near Quilon has discovered the wreckage of a Vought F4U Corsair fighter. It is believed the aircraft may have been dumped in the water from the HMS Illustrious by the Royal Navy after the end of World War II. The Corsair was brought ashore and appears to be in poor shape.

May 2001:

  • 10 May: The Southern Minnesota Wing of the Confederate Air Force (CAF) has flown its newly-restored P-51C, N61429, after a comprehensive restoration.
  • 12 May: A Hawker Sea Fury FB.11, G-EEMV, flipped over on landing at Sywell Airport, north of London, UK, killing the pilot, Paul Morgan. Mr. Morgan was a co-founder and managing director of Ilmor, a well-known auto-racing engine company, as well as a prolific warbird operator.
  • 12-13 May: A dozen North American B-25 Mitchell bombers gathered in Fresno, California, USA for a reunion of the men involved in the 1942 "Doolittle Raid" on Tokyo. Eleven of the bombers got airborne simultaneously in what is believed to have been the largest B-25 assembly since the filming of the movie Catch 22.
  • 14 May: A Vultee BT-13, N66791, operated by the Confederate Air Force (CAF), crashed at Bates Field, near Odessa, Texas, USA, killing the pilots, Dan Secker and Neal Clifton. The aircraft was being operated on a familiarization flight at the time. The CAF's "High Sky" Wing, which operated the BT-13, also operated the PT-19 which went down exactly one month ago (See April 2001 entry), and their remaining aircraft, an SNJ-4, has been grounded pending a maintenance review of the unit.

June 2001:

  • 2 June: A deHavilland D.H. 115 Vampire T.11, G-DHAV (XH308), crashed at the Biggin Hill International Air Fair near Bromley, UK, resulting in the death of both pilots. The Vampire, operated by deHavilland Aviation, Ltd., was in formation with the only airworthy deHavilland Sea Vixen, when it appeared to stall and corkscrew nearly vertically to the ground. The pilots have been identified as Sir Kenneth Hayr and Jonathan Kerr.
  • 2 June: Earlier the same day, a deHavilland Venom, G-GONE, operated by the same company, was involved in an inadvertent belly landing incident which temporarily closed the runway at Biggin Hill.
  • 3 June: In a sad turn of events, a second fatal accident occurred at the Biggin Hill Air Fair. A Bell P-63A Kingcobra, operated by The Fighter Collection at Duxford, UK, crashed in a ball of flame in front of spectators during a maneuver. The pilot was former Red Arrow member Guy Bancroft-Wilson. Eyewitness reports appear to indicate that the aircraft was too low at the top of a loop.
  • 4 June: A Spitfire PR.XI, G-PRXI (VS365) crashed at Rouen, France during an air display, killing the pilot, Martin Sargeant. BBC news said the aircraft reportedly experienced engine problems, after which the pilot attempted to perform a forced landing, but sacrificed himself to avoid landing in the crowd.
  • 8 June: The Central Texas Wing of the Confederate Air Force announced the successful flight of their rare Bell P-39 Airacobra, which has been undergoing restoration since 1997.
  • 10 June: Two Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros jets of the aerobatic team "Team Rus" collided during an airshow at Levashovo, Russia. One of the two pilots was killed.
  • 10 June: A Yakovlev Yak-52 crashed into a field near Ferndale, Washington, USA, killing the two pilots, Jerry "Mike" Warren and Alexander Zuyev. Warren gained notoriety in 1998 when his Cessna 150 became entangled in power lines near Seattle, leaving him hanging upside down for four hours until rescuers could reach him. Zuyev was the Soviet fighter pilot who defected with his MiG-29 to Turkey in 1989 after a dramatic shootout with a sentry. He later emigrated to the USA and wrote a book about his experience entitled Fulcrum.
  • 16 June: A Fouga CM-170 Magister, N301FM, crashed prior to an airshow in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, USA, after a losing a wing tip tank, which led to structural failures of the tail and wing. The pilot, Roger Simpson, and his non-pilot passenger, Sara Hanson, were killed. [Editor's Note: Roger was a friend of ours, and our deepest condolences go out to Roger's family and friends.]
  • 25 June: M.L. "Lefty" Gardner's famous White Lightnin', a Lockheed P-38L (N25Y), made a forced landing in a cotton field west of the Greenwood-LeFlore, Mississippi airport, USA. Lefty's son, Ladd, was flying the distinctive twin-boom fighter when the left engine apparently suffered an in-flight fire, which caused the cockpit to fill with smoke, Unable to see, Gardner successfully belly-landed the plane in the field and walked away with no injuries. The plane suffered moderate damage but is rumored to be repairable. The aircraft was not insured. (Contributions toward the repair of this aircraft can be sent to: M.L. "Lefty" Gardner, 413 Malabar Street, Austin, TX 78734 USA.)
  • 28 June: Near Orlando, Florida, USA, a drought-ravaged pond has exposed part of what is believed to be a P-40 Warhawk fighter which was lost on a training mission early in WWII. The aircraft appears to have been looted by souvenir-hunters. Upon its recovery from the water, the wreck will be moved to the nearby Leesburg airport.

July 2001:

  • 2 July: The US Federal Aviation Administration issued its long-awaited Airworthiness Directive (AD), effective 16 August 2001, pertaining to wing spars of the Beechcraft T-34 Mentor. The AD was developed in response to a structural failure accident in April 1999. The full text of the AD can be found at AOPA Online.
  • 6 July: A 1943 Aeronca L-3B (O-58B Defender) crashed near San Andreas, California, USA. The pilot/owner, Carrol Poe, a WWII veteran, was killed.
  • 8 July: Noted pilot, warbird owner and restorer Carey Moore was killed in the crash of his Hawker Sea Fury FB Mk.11, N56SF (TF987, Ser.# 37733), at the Sarnia International Airshow, Ontario, Canada. Television footage of the accident appears to indicate that the aircraft stalled in a low-altitude turn. It landed in a nearby soybean field, and no spectators were injured. Moore was the president of Moore Aviation Restoration of Breslau, Ontario.
  • 9 July: A Douglas DC-3 / C-47 Dakota ("Tico Belle") operated by the Valiant Air Command was heavily damaged in a crosswind landing accident at the Titusville, Florida, USA airport. The VAC intends to restore the aircraft to airworthy status. (DC-3 parts wanted! Anyone wishing to help restore this aircraft, please contact Mr. Robert James, VAC Warbird Museum, 6600 TICO Road, Titusville, FL 32780 USA, Phone 321-268-1941.)
  • 9 July: In order to create an artificial reef for divers and marine life, an F-4 Phantom fighter was intentionally sunk in a lake in Sparks Marina Park, Sparks, Nevada, USA. The jet was airlifted into its final resting place by a Chinook helicopter after being donated to the park by local resident Kevin Schwartz.
  • 15 July: The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper has reported that the hangars at Warminster, Pennsylvania which used to house the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation (manufacturers of the Buffalo fighter and Buccaneer bomber), will be destroyed this fall to make room for retirement housing.
  • 24 July: The Tamiami, Florida-based Weeks Air Museum, has closed due to poor attendance and other factors. Owner Kermit Weeks will reportedly move the collection to the EAA's Sun 'n Fun Sport Aviation Museum in Lakeland, Florida.

August 2001:

  • The Confederate Air Force has announced the four organization names from which its members will soon chose to be the new name for the Midland, Texas-based warbird organization. The contenders are:
      -- Heritage Flying Museum
      -- Ghost Squadron
      -- Heritage Air Force
      -- Commemorative Air Force

    CAF members will cast their votes on 5 October 2001, and the new name will be announced on 7 December 2001.
  • Britain's Imperial War Museum at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, has been allocated £14 million for the construction of an aviation heritage center to be called "The Air Space." The funds came from two different sources: the Heritage Lottery Fund and BAE Systems. The project is scheduled for completion by 2005.
  • 4 August: A team from the US Department of Defense POW / Missing-Personnel Office has left the USA for Russia to recover the remains of the crew of a World War II US Navy PV-1 Ventura bomber, the wreckage of which was discovered on the Kamchatka peninsula in 1999. The aircraft disappeared during a mission on 25 March 1944.
  • 13 August: The founder of the Santa Teresa, New Mexico-based War Eagle Museum, John MacGuire, has passed away from a heart attack. Mr. MacGuire, who was 80, had amassed a large collection of vintage and warbird aircraft, many of them airworthy. It is presumed the museum will continue to operate and the collection will remain in place.
  • 16 August: A Curtiss P-40K undergoing restoration was lost in a hangar fire in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. The aircraft was owned by Bill and Mary Jo Stebbins. Arson is suspected as the cause of the fire.
  • 16 August: A group of researchers who have been slowly melting the ice around the crash site of a WWII Fairey Battle bomber in Iceland have reported this week that they are beginning to uncover significant items from the site. A propeller blade, machine gun, and various personal items from the crew have been found. The bodies of the crewmembers were recovered shortly after the crash in May 1941, but the airplane was quickly buried under ice and snow, and remained so until 1999.
  • 24 August: A North American T-6 Texan crashed in Raton, New Mexico, USA, during an aerobatic practice flight. Killed were pilot Minor Smith and passenger Matthew Hightower.
  • 25 August: The UK's Telegraph newspaper has reported that a family out walking in an Aberdeenshire forest has discovered wreckage from an Avro Manchester bomber which crashed in 1943. The bodies of the Polish crew, along with large pieces of the wreckage, were recovered long ago, but the family has found debris and and several personal effects in the area.
  • 27 August: Warbird collector Carl Terrana, of Seattle, Washington, USA, was killed in the crash of his replica Hawker Hurricane near Buckley, Washington. Terrana, a well-known aviation figure in the Northwestern USA, was noted for his generosity and friendliness.
  • 27 August: Two Grumman S-2s, operated under contract to the California Department of Forestry as firebombers, collided near Hopland, California while fighting a forest fire, killing the two pilots, Lars Stratte and Larry Groff. A man accused of starting the fire was arrested shortly after the crash and was arraigned on two counts of murder, among other charges.

September 2001:

  • 6 September: A North American P-51D Mustang, N551CB (Ser No. 45-11381), "Glamorous Glen III," owned by Gary Honbarrier, lost engine power and crashed near Lake Norman, North Carolina, USA. The pilot and rear seat pilot-rated passenger successfully bailed out. They are identified as Butch Caudle and P-51 "Obsession" owner Jeff Michaels. Caudle suffered some minor injuries. The aircraft, painted to resemble Brigadier General Chuck Yeager's original WWII mount (and often flown by General Yeager in airshows) was destroyed.
  • 9 September: US warbirds to be grounded and destroyed? Last year's US House bill H.R. 4205 (See August and October 2000 news items) resurfaced in a new, slightly different form -- one which still poses a significant threat to US-operated warbirds. The new Senate bill, S.1416, Section 1062, calls for the demilitarization of "significant military equipment formerly owned by the Department of Defense" without regard to how long it has been since the item was owned by the government, or the type of item involved -- be it a rifle or an airplane.
  • 14 September: The National Air Races in Reno, Nevada, USA were canceled after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded all VFR aircraft operations following terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, DC.
  • 20 September: Last week, Glacier Girl, the Lockheed P-38 Lightning which was recovered from deep inside a Greenland glacier in 1992 and is being restored to airworthy condition by Roy Shoffner in Middlesboro, Kentucky, USA, came to life when its engines were started for the first time in nearly 60 years. The restoration team plans to taxi the airplane in early October, and fly it sometime next year.

October 2001:

  • Warbird ownership in the United States continues to be threatened by vague wording in the Defense Authorization Bill of 2002. To add to the confusion, the bill has changed its designation several times, making it hard to track.

November 2001:

  • The National Warplane Museum in Horseheads, New York, USA, has closed for an indefinite period of time due to financial losses and decreasing attendance. The museum's Board of Directors will use the "down-time" to develop debt-reduction and fund-raising plans.
  • Actor/pilot John Travolta has donated his Canadair CL-41 Tutor/Tebuan jet warbird to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, along with a large quantity of spare parts.
  • 21 November: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD 2001-23-10) which applies to, among other Beech / Raytheon products, the popular T-34 model. The AD requires an inspection of flap flex-shaft assemblies, and possible replacement of these shafts, depending on date of manufacture.
  • 27 November: The remains of a ten-member U.S. Army Air Corps B-24 Liberator crew which was lost on March 5, 1944 have been identified and returned to their families. The bomber disappeared in a thunderstorm during a mission over Papua New Guinea, and the wreck was located in 1989.

December 2001:

  • 3 December: India's 62-year-old Chief of Staff, Air Marshall AY Tipnis became the world's oldest active-duty MiG-21 pilot, after he underwent a solo checkout in the aircraft just prior to his retirement. The flight was made from the Handigarh Air Base.
  • 7 December: The 11,000 members of the Confederate Air Force voted to change the name of the organization to "Commemorative Air Force." The change was the result of a vote taken last year, after it was decided that the original name was no longer appropriate in describing the organization's stated goals. The new name will take effect on 1 January 2002.
  • 8 December: A 1956 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15, registered N151MG, lost its canopy shortly after takeoff near Miami, Florida, USA. The canopy hit a house in Kendall, Florida. No one was injured, and the aircraft returned for a safe landing.
  • 10 December: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued their final findings on the fatal crash of deHavilland Vampire N15RD in Oregon, USA (see news item for 23 September 2000). The pilot apparently allowed the airplane to stall during a climb after a low pass. The Vampire is known for its tendency to snap-roll and spin if mishandled in certain flight regimes.
  • 11 December: Section 1062 of the U.S. Defense Authorization Bill of 2002 was deleted, eliminating the immediate threat that all U.S.-operated warbirds might be grounded and destroyed at the owners' expense.
  • Gesoco Industries, U.S. distributors of the Vedenyev M-14P radial engine found on Yak-52 aircraft, among others, has announced that the engine will now be available with an electric starter. Previous versions of the engine were fitted with air-starters.

Index
1998  |  1999  |  2000  |  2001  |  2002  |  2003  |  2004  |  2005
2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013


[Back to Warbird News Page]


January 2002:

  • 5 January: Restoration of a Grumman TBM Avenger has begun at the Central New Brunswick Woodmens Museum in Boiestown, New Brunswick, Canada. The aircraft was acquired from Forest Protection Ltd., which recently decommissioned the WWII torpedo bomber after it had served more than 40 years as a civilian water bomber. 

February 2002:

  • 4 February: The wreckage of a North American O-47 trainer and observation aircraft lost in June 1941 has been found in the jungles of Panama.
  • 5 February: A surplus F/A-18A Hornet fighter project has been offered for sale on the eBay auction site by Air Capitol Warbirds of Kansas, USA. It is believed to be the first and only one of its type available to the general public. An F-16A Fighting Falcon was made available by the same company in 2001.
  • New Zealand's Navy, in an effort to provide its forces with realistic "enemy" aircraft for training purposes, has recruited civilian-owned jet warbirds for that purpose, including a Fouga Magister, Hawker Hunter and Cessna A-37 Dragonfly. New Zealand's Air Force, which formerly provided these services, has had its budget for such activities cut dramatically in recent years.
  • The first replica Messerschmitt Me-262 jet has rolled out of its hangar in Washington state, USA after many years of construction. More information is available at the Stormbirds website.

March 2002:

  • Air Heritage Inc., of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, USA, has announced that a new agreement has been reached regarding the ongoing restoration of Mr. David Tallichet's Douglas A-20H Havoc. The restoration schedule will be "stepped up," and the aircraft should be airworthy in one year. This will result in the world's only airworthy A-20. For more information, see the organization's website at: http://airheritage.org/.
  • WWII aircraft parts have recently been uncovered during the excavation of two taxiways at the Chino (California) Airport. Most of the parts are small, such as engine components, fuel caps, knobs, starting cranks and armor plating, but several larger items such as landing gear legs and pilot's seats have also been unearthed. The Chino airport was the site of an aircraft decommissioning facility after WWII, and this is not the first time aircraft parts have been discovered at the site. Local government authorities will soon decide what to do with the items.
  • 15 March: An Antonov AN-2 Colt biplane crashed in a pond near Santa Clara, Cuba, killing 17. The cause of the accident is unknown.
  • 17 March: Embassy sources in Columbia have reported that a OV-10 Bronco, possibly owned by the U.S. government, has crashed while spraying illegal drug plants. It was reported to be flying in formation with five other airplanes when it hit a tree. The pilot, a non-U.S. citizen and the only occupant of the plane, was killed.
  • 21 March: Legislative Affairs staff members from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) met with California Representative Gary Miller to discuss ways to prevent further "warbird-grounding" language from being included in Defense future bills. Rep. Miller has assured AOPA that the issue has been forwarded all the way up the chain to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who is apparently working to correct it.
  • 21 March: A Republic P-47N Thunderbolt (N47TB, Serial No. 45-53436) operated by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) caught fire on takeoff at the Albuquerque International Airport (KABQ), New Mexico, USA. The pilot, Doug Jeanes, suffered minor burns and is in stable condition at a nearby hospital. The aircraft was making a maintenance test flight following overhaul of the engine. The aircraft was part of the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, Texas. Though heavily damaged, the aircraft is believed to be repairable.

P-47 accident at ABQ.
(Photo submitted by Mark D.)

  • 28 March: The world's only remaining Boeing 307 Stratoliner ditched in the waters of Elliott Bay, next to Seattle, Washington, USA. All four crewmembers were rescued unhurt. It is believed that the aircraft suffered fuel starvation, leading to the failure of all four engines. The aircraft is believed to be restorable. For photos, please see Bob Harrington's photos.

  • A restoration crew at the Palm Springs Air Museum in California has just completed a massive restoration of a SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber (Bu.No. 36176) which sat at the bottom of Lake Michigan for 55 years.

April 2002:

  • 1 April: A T-6D Texan, N7471C (s/n 42-85550), crashed in Gainesville, Georgia, USA, killing the two pilots. It was reported that the aircraft's engine failed in the traffic pattern, and the plane hit a tree as the pilots were attempting to make it to the runway. The pilots were identified as Dan Rocco and Don Keller.

  • 4 April: Pilot Richard Wirth died when the T-28 Trojan he was piloting crashed near the airport in Uvalde, Texas, USA. Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft performing low-level aerobatics just before the crash.

  • 9 April: A formation of warbirds was watched by a global audience when the RAF's Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) provided a Lancaster bomber and two Spitfire fighters to fly over the funeral of Britain's Queen Mother.

  • 15 April: A 1943 Fairchild PT-26 Cornell (CF-CVT, Ser.No FV720), operated by the Canadian Warplane Heritage museum, was heavily damaged after hitting trees during an apparent off-field landing at Port Colborne, Ontario. The pilot walked away from the crash unhurt.

  • 18 April: In Columbia, South Carolina, USA, eleven B-25 Mitchell bombers performed a formation flyover at the 60th anniversary reunion of Doolittle's Raiders, the squadron of B-25s which took off from an aircraft carrier on a daring one-way mission to bomb Tokyo in WWII. The commemorative formation was the third-largest gathering of B-25s since the end of the war.

  • 19 April: P-51 Mustang owner and NASCAR auto racing magnate Jack Roush was involved in a light aircraft accident in Troy, Alabama, USA. His left leg was broken and he suffered head injuries when his AirCam aircraft crashed into a lake near a housing development.

  • 20 April: A U.S. Navy QF-4 Phantom assigned to the Naval Air Weapons Test Squadron crashed during an airshow flyby at Point Mugu, California, USA. After one or both engines were seen to violently flame out, the aircraft departed controlled flight. One crewmember ejected at low altitude, but neither pilot survived.

  • 25 April: The last remaining airworthy Spitfire Mk IXe (TE566/ZU-SPT) in South Africa crashed and was destroyed, killing owner/pilot Michael Snoyman. He was reportedly flying the aircraft home to its base at Wonderboom Airport near Pretoria, when the engine lost power in the traffic pattern.

May 2002:

  • 4 May: Both the pilot and passenger walked away unhurt in the crash of a Boeing PT-17 Stearman which suffered an engine failure after takeoff at the Georgetown, Texas, USA airport during an airshow.

  • 5 May: A Hispano HA-200 Saeta jet crashed after takeoff from the Perry, Georgia, USA airport, killing the pilot, Randy Allen Smith. Witnesses reported that the aircraft appeared to have engine problems prior to the crash.

  • 9 May: The Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, California, USA is pleased to announce the successful first test-flight of its unique Spitfire Mk XIX (PS890). Pilot Steve Hinton reported that the airplane was fast, climbed well, and felt "like a Spitfire."

  • 9 May: Another "first flight" -- this time a Lockheed C-121A (L749) Constellation, N749NL. The ex-US Air Force Connie is now operated by a Dutch group which plans to eventually ferry it to Europe. The 20-minute post-restoration flight went well, according to group members.

  • 10 May: A Boeing C-97G Stratotfreighter (s/n 52-2718, "Angel of Deliverance,") operated by the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation, touched down at Floyd Bennet Field, Brooklyn, New York, USA where, for the next two years, it will be displayed and restored in commemoration of the end of the Cold War.

  • 17 May: One of the world's only civilian-owned English Electric Canberras has landed in New South Wales, Australia after a long series of ferry flights from Bournemouth, England beginning a week earlier. The TT.18 Canberra (WJ680) will be flown and maintained by the Temora Aviation Museum.

June 2002:

  • 2 June: An Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros jet overran the runway at Duxford airfield, Cambridgeshire, UK and crashed through a fence, coming to rest in the middle of the busy M11 motorway. At some point in the chain of events, pilot Gary Clarke ejected from the the aircraft while out of the seat's operating envelope and was killed. The back-seat passenger remained with the airplane and walked away unhurt.

  • 3 June: A Boeing A75N1 Stearman, N60812, was heavily damaged on landing after ground-looping into a row of trees at the New Garden Airport, Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania, USA. The pilot was uninjured.

  • 9 June: North American T-6 Texan N60690 (s/n 41-17321), suffered a similar fate after ground-looping off the runway at Salem Airpark, Salem, Ohio, USA. The aircraft's left landing gear collapsed. The pilot was not injured.

  • 18 June: A Yakovlev Yak-52, N644LL, crashed near Antioch, California, USA during an aerobatic practice session. The pilot, who was not the owner of the airplane, was killed.

  • 19 June: A Douglas C-47 Dakota, ZK-AWP, was damaged after swerving off a snow-covered runway in New Zealand.

  • 20 June: Six spectators visiting a Swedish air base north of Stockholm were injured by an extremely low-flying Saab Viggen jet fighter. Media reports said that the aircraft passed directly over the group at an altitude of 30 to 60 feet, burning several members of the group and throwing others to the ground.

  • 24 June: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a proposed Advisory Circular (43-L39) regarding maintenance programs and engine overhauls of Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros jet warbirds. Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments on the proposal before 23 August 2002.

July 2002:

  • 12 July: A DeHavilland DHC-2 (U-6/L-20) Beaver, N3129F, operated by Bigfoot Air Charter, crashed in the mountains southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, USA, killing the pilot and three passengers who were being transported to a fishing lake.

  • 13 July: The US National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) grounded eight firefighting aircraft because of cracks discovered in their wings. The aircraft types affected were Lockheed P2V Neptunes and SP2Hs.

  • 18 July: A 1945 Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer airtanker (Tanker 123) broke up in flight while fighting a forest fire near Denver, Colorado, USA, killing both crewmembers. Owned by Hawkins and Powers Aviation of Greybull, Wyoming, the aircraft was the second firebomber to suffer a structural breakup in the USA in as many months. It had recently undergone an inspection for wing cracks. Following the accident, all US-based fire-fighting aircraft were grounded for 48 hours.

  • An Avro Lancaster, C-GVRA (KB726) and a Douglas DC-3, C-GDAK, were damaged after the Lancaster apparently taxied into the Dakota following a flight at the Hamilton International Airport, Mt. Hope, Ontario, Canada. The aircraft are both operated by the Canadian Warplane Heritage organization. It is believed that mechanical failure contributed to the accident.

  • The Bombardier Aerospace corporation has opened a Commercial Service Centre which will meet the needs of operators of out-of-production aircraft, including the DHC-2 Beaver. The CSC's Technical Operations Centre phone help line is 450-476-6727.

  • 28 July: The Museum of Flying in Santa Monica, California, USA temporarily closed its doors after rising insurance costs and other factors dictated that it search for a new home. It is rumored to be looking at locations in more rural environments.

  • 29 July: A program manager at Boeing has announced that the one-of-kind Boeing Stratoliner, which ditched near Everett, Washington, USA (See 28 March 2002 item) will be restored to airworthy condition and will return to the air sometime next year. The aircraft will eventually be displayed in the National Air and Space Museum's Dulles Airport Annex.

August 2002:

  • 1 August: Thanks to the hard work of many individuals and organizations, the US Federal Aviation Administration issued a Special Airworthiness Bulletin (SAIB) which granted a deadline extension for mandatory (and expensive) wing-spar inspections on T-34 aircraft. More information is available at: http://www.aopa.org/whatsnew/regulatory/regt34.html

  • 6 August: A Yak-52 crashed near Aledo, Texas, USA, killing the pilot and passenger. Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft performing aerobatics prior to the accident.

  • An underwater imaging company has announced that a B-29 Superfortress (Possibly Serial No. 521847) which ditched in Lake Mead, Nevada, USA in July 1948 has been located by using side-scan sonar gear. All five crewmembers escaped safely from the bomber before it sank, and the airplane was mostly forgotten over the last 53 years. The National Park Service has now claimed ownership of the airplane, and is keeping its location secret. Sonar images of the airplane can be seen at: http://indepthconsulting.com/Lake_Meads_Los.html. This aircraft was believed to be involved in secret tests of "Sun Tracker" equipment at the time of its crash.

  • 18 August: A Grumman C-1A Trader, N189G, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in a cornfield near Roseville, Illinois, USA. The pilot and four passengers were uninjured. The pilot reported that the right engine suffered a severe failure and that he was unable feather the right propeller, resulting in an uncontrollable descent.

September 2002:

  • 11 September: A North American P-51 Mustang race plane, "Miss America," was seriously damaged during a forced landing during the National Championship Air Races at Reno, Nevada, USA. While on a qualifying lap, the aircraft's engine blew and pilot Brent Hisey landed it half-on and half-off the runway, causing it to spin around and come to rest on its belly. Miss America crewmembers say the aircraft is repairable.

  • 13 September: The Lost Squadron Museum has announced that the first (and possibly only) flight of Lockheed P-38 Lightning Glacier Girl will take place on 26 October 2002. This aircraft was recovered from deep within a field of ice in Greenland after being abandoned in the 1940s after a forced landing.

  • 18 September: A 1956 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 UTI jet, N151MG, crashed in rural North Carolina, USA, while enroute to Naval Air Station Oceana for an airshow appearance. The owner/pilot, Dr. Tom Righetti, was killed. Air Traffic Control personnel reported that before the crash, the pilot radioed that he was in a storm and was returning to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

  • 29 September: A 1942 North American T-6D Texan, N29930, crashed near Circleville, Ohio, USA, killing pilot/owner Bob Beckman, a member of the "Team Texan" formation flying squadron. According to witnesses, the aircraft stalled and spun during a post-flyby pullup.

October 2002:

  • 8 October: The U.S. Army announced that a 14-man team has recovered the remains of four American servicemen whose Curtiss C-46 crashed in China in March 1944. The team spent two months excavating the site, which was located on a cliff face at an elevation of 15,600 feet in the Tibetan Himalayas.

  • 26 October: The restored Lockheed P-38 Lightning named Glacier Girl (see September 2002 News item) has made its first flight in over 50 years. Pilot Steve Hinton made several laps of the Middlesboro, Kentucky (USA) airport under cloudy, rain-laden skies. He cycled the landing gear several times and performed two photo passes for the crowd, reporting that the aircraft flew well, if slightly right-wing "heavy." The flight was captured by The History Channel and will be broadcast early in 2003.

November 2002:

  • 4 November: Airshow performer Jimmy Rossi was killed in the crash of his Canadair Sabre VI (F-86), "CrapShooter," shortly after takeoff from the San Isidro Air Force Base, Dominican Republic. Witnesses reported that the engine failed catastrophically, and the airplane went down in a marsh off the departure end of the runway.

  • 10 November: Pilot Joseph Tobul was killed in the crash of his Vought F4U-4 Corsair, N713JT, during an airshow at Owens Airfield, Columbia, South Carolina, USA, after an apparent engine failure. The aircraft went down in a swampy area behind a housing subdivision.

  • 11 November: A planeload of Cuban defectors landed in Key West, Florida, USA aboard an AN-2 Colt biplane.

  • 25 November: The first of five replica Messerschmitt Me-262 Stormbird jet fighters has flown at Paine Field, Washington, USA. The aircraft was undergoing high-speed taxi tests when it reportedly got airborne after a 1,500-foot roll, and flew for approximately 1,000 additional feet. For more information, see http://www.stormbirds.com.

December 2002:

  • 4 December: The U.S. Forest Service has permanently grounded the remaining fleet of WWII-era Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer and Vietnam-era C-130A firebombers in the USA, after a panel of experts claimed the firefighting program is unsafe and the airplanes are worn out. In Summer 2002, one of each of the aircraft types suffered fatal inflight breakups.

  • 8 December: The Antonov AN-2 Colt biplane which landed in Key West last month (see 11 November entry) has been ordered by a Florida judge to be auctioned off. Proceeds from the sale will help to compensate the wife of a former Cuban spy. Ana Martinez now lives in the USA, and recently won a large judgment against the Cuban government. Cuba is demanding the return of the airplane.

  • The Blayd Corporation in North Dakota, USA has announced the completion of the first of several new A6M2 Zero re-creations. The aircraft, like the ones which will follow, is an exact replica, built using an original airframe as a pattern, and powered by a new engine.

  • 18 December: Sierra Hotel Aero, a St. Paul, Minnesota, USA-based company, purchased the type certificate, production jigs, and engineering data for the North American Navion series of aircraft. The company plans to provide maintenance and repair support for current operators of the type, and will offer improvements and modifications for existing airplanes, including 320-hp engine installations.

  • 20 December: The first replica Messerschmitt Me 262 jet (see 25 November 2002 news item) has made its first official test flight, reaching a height of 2000 feet. Test pilot Wolf Czaia reported the jet's handling qualities as "excellent."

  • 20 December: The Highland Lakes squadron of the Commemorative Air Force has taken delivery of a DC-3 named Bluebonnet Belle, which it will restore to its original C-47 Skytrain configuration. The aircraft will be based at the Burnet Municipal Airport, Texas, USA.


Index
1998  |  1999  |  2000  |  2001  |  2002  |  2003  |  2004  |  2005
2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013


[Back to Warbird News Page]


January 2003:

  • 11 January: Two occupants of a Cessna 182 were killed when their plane collided with a 1944 Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat, N4994V, in the traffic pattern at the Parker Airport, Arizona, USA. The Hellcat, registered to the Planes of Fame Museum, sustained substantial damage to its left wing, but the pilot managed to land safely.

  • 17 January: A replica Messerschmitt Me-262 (see 20 December and 25 November 2002) suffered a collapse of its left main landing gear upon landing at Paine Field, Everett, Washington, USA. The pilot escaped injury as the plane slid 300 feet off the main runway, struck a concrete block, and came to rest in a drainage ditch. Damage to the airplane appears to be extensive.

February 2003:

  • 5 February: Paul Poberezny, the famed founder of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), retired his P-51D Mustang named "Paul 1." The airplane will be permanently displayed in the Eagle hangar of the organization's Air Adventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA.

  • 10 February: A Harvard Mk IV, N45918, made a precautionary landing in Riverside, California, USA after the pilot reported fumes in the cockpit. After landing, a bullet hole was discovered in the left wing.

  • 14 February: A CAC CA-13 Boomerang, VH-MHR, successfully made its first post-restoration test flight, from Toowoomba Airport, Queensland, Australia. Pilot Wayne Milburn and owner Matt Denning reported that it flew well during its 15-minute flight.

  • 20 February: Prominent warbird owner Jim Shuttleworth, of Huntington, Indiana, USA, was killed in the crash of his TF-51D Mustang "Scat VII," N93TF, (s/n 44-72922) near Wabash, Indiana. Witnesses reported that the aircraft was performing aerobatics prior to the accident.

March 2003:

  • 10 March: The Flying Tigers Warbird Restoration Museum in Kissimmee, Florida, USA has announced that it will hold its annual Aviation Auction on 30 March. The event will feature WWII memorabilia, aircraft parts, old manuals, vintage art, books, and other rare items. For more information, see their Web site.

  • 17 March: A Curtiss P-40N Warhawk, N1226N, owned by the Commemorative Air Force, made a forced landing short of the runway at Casa Grande Airport, Arizona, USA after suffering an engine failure. Pilot Ollie Crawford was uninjured. The aircraft came to rest on its belly and appears to be repairable.

  • 20 March: A Cuban DC-3 airliner, operated by a commuter airline called Aerotaxi, was hijacked by six men wielding knives. The plane was flown to Key West, Florida, USA, and was intercepted along the way by US Air Force F-15s and a US Customs Blackhawk helicopter. The hijackers were arrested upon landing, and none of the 30+ passengers and crew were injured.

April 2003:

  • 4 April: A Boeing PT-17 (A75N1) Stearman, N2535R, ran off the side of the runway and flipped on its back, at the Lakeland, Florida, USA airport. The pilot was uninjured.

  • 5 April: A late-evening hail storm at the Addison, Texas, USA airport damaged the B-17 and B-24 bombers operated by the Collings Foundation. The fabric-covered flight controls on both airplanes were destroyed, and their paint and sheet metal were damaged. Both aircraft are expected to be fully repairable.

  • 15 April: A Grumman HU-16 Albatross crashed into the jungle south of Cancun, Mexico, killing American owner/pilot Rob Carlson and three passengers. Circumstances of the accident are not known.

  • 25 April: The Jayhawk Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, based in Wichita, Kansas, USA has announced the first flight of their newly-restored 1943 Cessna UC-78 Bobcat, N44795. It is now in the identical colors and configuration that it had in 1944, when it served at Douglas AAF, Arizona.

  • 28 April: A 1947 Aeronca L-3B (O-58B), N46183, was forced into a grove of trees by a gust of wind, after takeoff from the Battleboro, Vermont, USA airport. The sole occupant was uninjured.

May 2003:

  • 5 May: Noted T-6 Texan owner and warbird flight instructor Rick Lucente was killed in the crash of an Air Tractor AT-503 near Pontiac, Illinois. [Editor's Note: Rick was a friend of ours, and a great guy. The staff of Warbird Alley offers its sincere condolences to Rick's family and friends.]

  • 10 May: A Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, N263WL, operated by Advanced Training Systems International (ATSI) and flown by ex-U.S. Navy pilot Phillip "Steve" Kenny, suffered an engine failure near Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. The pilot ejected but was fatally injured when his parachute apparently did not deploy. The aircraft crashed into the lake. ATSI owns a dozen A-4s used for government contract work.

  • 12 May: An article in Canada's National Post profiled a new aircraft collector named Ed Russell, an Ontario architect who recently became wealthy as a result of a lawsuit. Russell apparently has been acquiring and flying a rapidly-growing collection of warbirds, including a Spitfire Mk.IX and a Harvard, with plans to purchase many more types. The article said that associates close to Mr. Russell have noted his abundant enthusiasm, yet many have expressed concern about his extremely limited flight experience.

  • 16 May: A 1945 Goodyear FG-1D Corsair, N451FG, registered to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum of Addison, Texas, USA, lost engine power and made a gear-up forced landing in a field near Era, Texas. The pilot was uninjured, and the aircraft suffered relatively minor damage.

  • 22 May: A Bell UH-1 "Huey" helicopter which was clearing the old Kahoolawe weapons range in Hawaii suffered a cable snag on its tail rotor and crashed, killing the pilot, Gary Freeman. Gusty winds may have been a factor in the accident.

  • 22 May: A North American SNJ-6, N5485V, was damaged after a loss of control on landing at the Double Eagle II airport, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. The aircraft apparently veered off the runway, causing the main landing gear legs to collapse. The pilot was uninjured.

  • 24 May: The firm which owns and operates the fleet of A-4 Skyhawks mentioned in the 10 May 2003 news item, has purchased an additional 17 A-4s from New Zealand's air force, which retired them in 2001. It is possible that some of the aircraft may initially go to Australia for some government contract work, but the rest will apparently be shipped to ATSI's operating location in Mesa, Arizona, USA to join their existing fleet of 12 Skyhawks.

  • 24 May: A North American T-28C Trojan, N537Z (BuNo 140537), crashed in the hills near Los Angeles, California, killing the pilot and passenger. NTSB reports indicate a possible loss of control in IFR (instrument) flight conditions as the cause, and witnesses reported seeing the aircraft exiting the bottom of the clouds in a steep dive before it hit the ground.

  • 30 May: The EAA has reported that five former gang members in Riverside, California, USA are taking part in the restoration of a Douglas DC-3, as part of a youth program administered by Poly Fiber, Inc. and the Thomas W. Walthen Foundation. The airplane is owned by the Commemorative Air Force. The students are learning various facets of aircraft restoration, in addition to interpersonal communication, leadership development, and many other life skills -- and are apparently doing very well.

  • 30 May: An Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros jet, N139RH, crashed during an airshow rehearsal at the New Jerusalem Airport near Modesto, California. The pilot, Andrea Ellen Rice, was killed when the aircraft impacted the ground after performing several aileron rolls. The aircraft was one of three operated by the Airshows America team.

June 2003:

  • 7 June: A North American P-51D Mustang, N6306T (s/n 44-74878), made a gear-up landing at the Quad Cities Air Show in Davenport, Iowa, USA. The aircraft skidded off the side of the runway, and owner/pilot Tom Wood of Indianapolis, Indiana, was uninjured. The aircraft appeared to have suffered only minor damage.

  • Through the diligent efforts of EAA, AOPA and other groups, the United States Senate and House of Representatives re-wrote legislation which had threatened the continued existence of warbird aircraft (and virtually all ex-military equipment) by requiring them to be destroyed at the owner's expense. The bills, this year carrying the designations S.747 and H.R. 1588, were part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2004.

  • 30 June: An Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros jet, N8125R, crashed at the Gadsden Municipal Airport, Alabama, USA. Witnesses reported that the aircraft's engine failed on takeoff after ingesting debris, possibly from an unlocked nose baggage compartment. The airplane stalled and the pilot, Elmo Hahn, ejected from the airplane at low altitude. Because of the low altitude, he struck the ground before his parachute could fully deploy. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died a short time later.

July 2003:

  • 9 July: Mojave, California-based BAE Systems has won a U.S. Air Force contract to convert 24 F-4 Phantoms into QF-4 aerial target drones. Deliveries will begin in the late summer of 2004. 

  • 10 July: The last airworthy Heinkel He-111 / CASA 2.111 bomber, N72615, owned and operated by the Commemorative Air Force in Mesa, Arizona, USA, crashed and burned near Cheyenne Municipal Airport, Wyoming. Pilots Neil Stamp and Charles Stephen Bates were killed. Witnesses reported hearing and seeing problems with at least one of the aircraft's engines prior to impact.

  • 12 July: A rare Fairey Firefly (WB 271), operated by the Royal Navy Historic Flight, crashed during the Flying Legends air display at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, UK. Both crewmembers perished. They have been identified as Lt. Commander Bill Murton (pilot) and Neil Rix. This particular aircraft was completely restored in 2001.

  • 14 July: A Fairchild PT-26 / M62-A3 Cornell, N103JC, made a forced landing on Saltaire Beach on Fire Island, New York, USA, due to an apparent mechanical problem. Neither the pilot, passenger, nor bystanders were injured.

  • 16 July: A Lockheed L-188 Electra operated as a water bomber by Airspray, Ltd, of Edmonton, Canada, crashed during a firefighting mission near Cranbrook, British Columbia. Both pilots were killed.

  • The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has announced that a Texas jury has found the pilot of the Vought F4U Corsair which crashed at the AirVenture air show in July 1999 to be 50% responsible for the accident, which appears to clear the way for him to collect $1.25 million in damages.

  • 16 July:  A Mikoyan MiG-15 bis, N15PE, aborted its takeoff from the Little Rock National Airport, Arkansas, USA, after losing engine power. The aircraft crashed through the perimeter fence, across a road, and into some brush, but the pilot, Tobe Gooden, was uninjured.

  • 18 July: Repair of the Boeing 307 Stratoliner which ditched in Elliot Bay, Washington, USA last year has been completed, and the aircraft took to the air on its first post-restoration test flight. It will be displayed at the EAA's AirVenture show later this month.

  • 19 July: A Boeing PT-17 Stearman, N411BT, suffered an engine failure and landed in the middle of a busy street in Hendersonville, North Carolina, USA. The owner/pilot and his passenger were unhurt, but at least six people on the ground were injured and the plane was heavily damaged.

  • 20 July: Glacier Girl, the P-38 Lightning rescued from the ice in Greenland in 1992 and restored by Roy Shoffner, was awarded the Rolls-Royce Aviation Heritage Trophy and the National Aviation Hall of Fame's People's Choice Award at the National Aviation Heritage invitational award ceremony, in Dayton, Ohio, USA. Other winners included Ken Wagnon's P-51D Mustang "Cripes A' Mighty," which won the Henry "Hap" Arnold Trophy for the Warbird category.

  • 21 July: A report in the Scotsman newspaper claims that fully-fueled and armed WWII German bombers are buried in underground bunkers beneath Berlin's Schoenfeld Airport. Some bunkers, first discovered in 1993, were deemed to be empty, but Stasi archival records have revealed new information about additional, undiscovered storage areas under the runways.

  • 22 July: A 1957 Hawker Hunter T.7 two-seat jet fighter, N614XL (ex-XL614), crashed shortly after takeoff from the Scranton-Wilkes Barre International Airport (Pennsylvania, USA) during a flight to deliver it to its new owner in Canada. The pilot, noted F-104 owner and airshow performer Tom Delashaw, was killed. The cause of the accident is unknown.

  • 22 July: A Fairchild C-123K operated on behalf of Starchaser Industries participated in the testing of an experimental, manned rocket capsule by dropping it (and its pilot) from 10,000 feet over Kingman, Arizona, USA. The British space tourism company is participating in the X-Prize contest.

  • 30 July: Sweden's Ministry of Defense has announced that they will recover the wreckage of a Douglas DC-3 which was shot down in 1952 over the Baltic Sea by a Soviet MiG-15. The DC-3 was on a secret mission to track Soviet radar installations, and the incident had been covered up until 1991.

 

August 2003:

  • 2 August: An Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros jet went down in a field near Duxford Airfield, Cambridgeshire, UK. The circumstances of the accident are unknown, but the pilot reportedly escaped injury.

  • 4 August: A North American T-6 Texan, N3518G, collided with the back end of a Beechcraft T-34 Mentor, N54RF, at Wittman Field, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on the last day of the EAA AirVenture fly-in, severely damaging the T-34. Neither pilot was injured.

  • 6 August: A North American T-6D, N9272K, was damaged during a gear-up forced landing following an inflight engine failure near Brookings, South Dakota, USA. The pilot was unhurt.

  • 15 August: A Yakovlev Yak-9U, N6373Y, was damaged at the Salisbury-Wicomico Regional Airport, Maryland, USA after owner/pilot Sean Carroll narrowly avoided a collision with another aircraft while performing a "touch-and-go."

  • 17 August: A Boeing PT-17 Stearman, N38998, crashed near Macon, North Carolina, USA. Pilot Joe Vance was killed and his passenger was seriously injured after the aircraft hit trees just short of a pasture after an apparent engine malfunction. The aircraft was fitted with several external cameras, and the flight was intended to be an operational test of the equipment.

  • 18 August: The world's only airworthy Bristol Blenheim bomber made an apparent gear-up landing at Duxford Airfield, Cambridgeshire, UK. Neither of the aircraft's crewmembers were injured, and the aircraft reportedly suffered only minor damage.

  • 20 August: A Boeing A-75 Stearman, N806RB, suffered an engine failure and was damaged during a forced landing in a cornfield near the LaCrosse Municipal Airport, Wisconsin, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 24 August: An Aero Vodochody L-39 ZO Albatros jet, N298RD, crashed near Baltimore, Maryland, USA, after takeoff from Martin State Airport. Owner/pilot Robert Martin, the sole occupant of the aircraft, was killed. Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft flying low and erratically before it clipped the top of a house and hit the ground.

September 2003:

  • The wreckage of an Avro Anson from the Indonesian Air Force which disappeared in December, 1947 has been discovered in a swamp in Indonesia. The plane is believed to have been shot down by Dutch P-51s during the country's war for independence, and was piloted by the founder of the Indonesian Air Force. A salvage operation is planned.

  • The remains of another vintage aircraft, this time an RAF deHavilland Vampire jet, has been discovered in a jungle. Vampire FB.9 WG871 was found deep in a forest in Malaysia by native people. The aircraft, which flew from Tengah, Singapore with No. 60 Squadron, disappeared during a night flight in March of 1952. The British High Commission is reportedly making plans to recover the aircraft and/or search for the pilot's remains.

  • 11 September: A Messerschmitt Bf-108 Taifun, N2231, owned by the Commemorative Air Force, suffered an engine malfunction and landed with its landing gear partially extended at White Sands Airport, Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA. The aircraft suffered only minor damage.

  • 21 September: A Nanchang CJ-6, N9278F, landed gear-up at the Janesville Airport, Wisconsin, USA. The pilot reported that he mistakenly retracted the landing gear instead of the flaps on final approach. The aircraft suffered minor damage.

  • 24 September: The pilot of a newly-completed restoration of a Vought F4U Corsair, N45NL, was forced to make a gear-up landing at New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA, after the right main landing gear refused to extend. Pilot Dale Snodgrass was not injured. The aircraft, owned by the Collings Foundation, sustained damage to the propeller and belly, but appears to be easily repairable.

  • 25 September: A Grumman HU-16 Albatross, N70258, crashed after suffering an engine failure near the St. Lucie Airport, Florida, USA. The pilot and one passenger were seriously injured; one passenger was killed. The aircraft plowed through a commercial honey farm, and rescue efforts were hampered by the presence of tens of thousands of angry bees.

October 2003:

  • 2 October: Famed test pilot Chuck Yeager suffered minor injuries after the North American T-6 Texan he was flying (N2831D, Ser. No. 53-4577, owned by Ed and Connie Bowlin) veered off the runway during a landing at Heaven's Landing Airport, Clayton, Georgia, USA. The aircraft's wing was damaged and its main landing gear was torn from the airplane in the accident. The passenger, Yeager's wife, was not injured. [Accident report>>]

  • 3 October: A Lockheed P2V Neptune firebomber, N299MA, operated by the U.S. Forestry Service, crashed in the mountains northeast of Redlands, California, USA, with the loss of both crewmembers aboard.

  • 10 October: A Max Holste M.H.1521 Broussard, N239HL, crashed on takeoff from the airport at El Cajon, California, USA. No injuries were reported. No further information is available.

  • 13 October: An Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, N139RG, operated by Red Star Jets blew its left main tire on landing at Lexington, Kentucky, USA, The aircraft ran off the runway and struck a sign. The pilot was not injured.

  • The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a letter to operators of Yak-52 aircraft to be on the alert for foreign objects which might impair the movement of the elevator bellcrank behind the rear seat. A recent rash of accidents has been attributed to this factor. The letter urges Yak-52 owners to install Plexiglas skin panels so they can inspect the mechanism before flight.

  • A rare North American P-51H Mustang, one of only five "H"-models in the world, is being restored at the Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum in Rantoul, Illinois, USA. The museum is actively recruiting volunteers who are interested in joining the restoration team, either through direct work on the airplane; donations of parts, manuals, or advice, or monetary donations.

  • 18 October: A 1944 Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, N681S, operated by the Commemorative Air Force, crashed in a field near Ellington Field airport, Houston, Texas, USA after an airshow there. The pilot, Bill Johnson, was killed and the aircraft was destroyed. The aircraft had been involved in an air-to-air photo mission and was on final approach to land when it went down. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

  • 18 October: A deHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth biplane, ZK-DHA, crashed near Taumarunui Airfield, New Zealand, shortly after takeoff. The pilot, notable aviation personality Nola Mary Pickard, and husband Michael Stanley Pickard, were killed. The aircraft was observed to enter a turn, then a spin, before hitting the ground.

  • 24 October: A Czechoslovakian Let NP Kinovice Z-37A, N137MS (believed to be the only one on the US civil register), crashed while attempting to return to the airport at Oak Hill, Florida, USA. Both the pilot and passenger were injured, but further information is not available.

  • 28 October: A North American T-28B Trojan, N28AF (s/n 138321), crashed into a largely-wooded area due to a catastrophic engine failure near Yreka, California, USA. Well-known warbird pilot John Herlihy was killed, and the other occupant was seriously injured.

  • 31 October: The US-based Commemorative Air Force (CAF) has voluntarily grounded its entire fleet of over 150 vintage aircraft until 24 November while it analyzes several fatal accidents which occurred this year.

November 2003:

  • Tom Reilly's Flying Tigers Warbird Air Museum, near Orlando, Florida, USA has announced that it will soon be hosting its last Warbird Restoration class. This course, offered several times each year, offered both an overview of the skills and techniques used to restore vintage aircraft, and a chance to ride in a B-25 Mitchell bomber. The museum cites its increasing restoration workload as the reason for discontinuing the classes.

  • 2 November: Pilot/owner Dan Lavigna was killed in the crash of his 1953 Canadair T-33, N99192, near Santa Clarita, California, USA. The aircraft went down under unknown circumstances in a mobile home park, destroying three homes and injuring one person on the ground. [Editor's Note: Dan was a friend of ours, and our condolences go out to his family and friends.]

  • 7 November: A Fouga CM-170 Magister, N573FM (Serial No. 573), registered to the Pavair Corporation, landed gear-up at Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. The sole occupant was not injured.

  • 9 November: During an airshow in Stuart, Florida, USA, a 1956 Canadair Sabre Mk VI (F-86), N186FS, was damaged when a pyrotechnics charge was prematurely detonated as the aircraft flew overhead. After an inflight damage assessment made by another aircraft, the Sabre owner/pilot, Ed Shipley, landed safely at an airport nearby. Witnesses reported seeing parts of the nosegear doors departing from the aircraft after the blast.

  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced that they have developed a system which might contribute to the resumption of space shuttle missions, by using two WB-57 planes carrying sophisticated cameras. The WB-57 aircraft, which are derived from, and closely related to the Canberra bomber, have been used for years by NASA, and would make ideal observation posts from which to watch for pieces falling from the shuttle during launch.

  • 19 November: A Beechcraft T-34A Mentor, N44KK, suffered an apparent structural failure and crashed while maneuvering near Conroe, Texas, USA. Both crewmembers (Don Wylie and William Eisenhauer) were killed. The aircraft was operated by Texas Air Aces, an air-combat and upset-training company. It is not known what type of maneuver was being performed at the time of the accident. A witnesses reported seeing one of the wings separating from the aircraft.

  • 20 November: The seven-man crew of a U.S. Navy Lockheed PV-1 Ventura bomber which was lost in March of 1944 has been buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington DC, USA. The bomber disappeared during a WWII bombing mission from Attu Island, Alaska, and its wreckage was discovered on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, first in 1962 and again in 2000. The crew's remains were identified earlier in 2003.

December 2003:

  • 16 December: Continental Airlines donated their immaculate Douglas DC-3, NC25673, painted in 1954-vintage livery, to the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas, USA.

  • 31 December: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered a "special inspection" of all Beechcraft T-34 Mentor wing spars within 120 days, following the 19 November accident in Texas in which the right wing separated from one of the airplanes during air-combat maneuver training.


Index
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2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013


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January 2004:

  • 9 January: A twin-engine Piper Apache suffered an engine failure on takeoff from Hicks Airport in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. Before crashing into a hangar, the airplane clipped the tails of two parked North American T-28 Trojan trainers on the ramp, substantially damaging both warbirds. The T-28s are operated by Trojan Phlyers, Inc.

  • 10 January: The T-34 Association has asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to allow at least one year for any required T-34 spar inspections to be complied with. In December, the FAA had demanded a 120-day compliance. (See News item above.)

  • 12 January: A new "reality TV" series debuted in Britain, entitled "Spitfire Ace." In the series, four young pilots attempt to learn to fly the famous Supermarine Spitfire fighter.

February 2004:

  • Three rare warbirds are up for sale by the Whale World Museum in Western Australia. The aircraft, a PBY Catalina, Vultee Vengeance and Vought Kingfisher, are partly restored, but the museum does not have the resources to complete the projects.

  • A new aircraft, the Wildfire Unlimited Air Racer, is being built to compete head-to-head against the traditional WWII-era fighter aircraft which have dominated the field at such events as the Reno Air Races for many decades. Powered by an R-2800 radial engine, it slightly resembles a Grumman Bearcat.

  • A policy change appears to be underway at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding the operation of some warbird aircraft types. Among other actions, the FAA seeks to restrict "flights for hire" of two-place aircraft which were originally single-place aircraft, such as the P-51 and P-38, since they "no longer represent [the aircraft] operated during World War II." They also seek to restrict "local educational or nostalgia flights" of turbojet-powered aircraft, since these aircraft types are "easily-available in the current international market," and they are therefore not "unique." Further, the restriction appears to affect all warbird aircraft manufactured after December 31, 1947. These actions came to light when the Administration recently notified the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) that they could only operate their experimental-category P-51, P-38 and T-33 aircraft "for the purpose of carrying persons for compensation" though 30 November 2004.

  • 10 February: A Vietnam-war vintage 1965 Bell UH-1 "Huey" helicopter began a month-long journey from the Bell factory in Hurst, Texas, USA enroute to the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., where it will go on display as part of a new exhibit. During its trip, it will visit more than 20 locations across the country.

  • 15 February: An F/A-18 Hornet project appeared on the eBay auction site. The aircraft was advertised as being an ex-Blue Angel airplane, but it is not known how it came to be on the open market without being "de-militarized." (Editor's Note: In July 2000, an F/A-18 -- believed to be the same one -- was offered for sale by a warbird dealer along with a General Dynamics F-16 project.) The bidding for the Hornet project, which began at around one million dollars, escalated to an unrealistic 99 million dollars before the auction was terminated by eBay.

  • 20 February: A Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 fighter operated by the Indian Air Force crashed into a residential area in India, killing four and injuring 14. The crash, the latest in a long string of incidents in the past few years, renewed public discussion about the maintenance reliability of the 1960's-era fighters, which make up almost half of the country's fighter inventory.

March 2004:

  • 2 March: An McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom fighter crashed in Turkey after an apparent midair collision with another F-4. At least one crewmember parachuted to safety, but the fate of the other three is unknown.

  • 4 March: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has revised an earlier Airworthiness Directive (AD) which applied to wing spars on Beech / Raytheon T-34 aircraft. Specifically, the Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) which had been approved previously have been rescinded. The Administration took these measures partly in response to a November 2003 accident in which a T-34A in Texas lost its wing due to apparent overstress. Aircraft which have not complied with the required inspections by March 15, 2004 will be grounded.

  • 8 March: Rolls-Royce announced that the National Aviation Heritage Invitational - Eastern Regional competition will be held at the Dayton Air Races and Air Show, Dayton, OH on July 15 - 18, 2004, and the Western Regional will take place on September 16 - 19, 2004, in conjunction with the Reno Air Races, Reno, NV. Aircraft operators, restorers and owners of fully restored vintage aircraft in original flying condition can enter. Entry applications, details on eligibility and judging criteria are available at http://www.heritagetrophy.org.

  • 19 March: A Fouga CM-170 Magister, registered ZK-FGA, and operated by a syndicate at the Ardmore Airport in New Zealand, crashed into the sea during an aerobatic practice flight south of Auckland. Pilot Chris Timms, a former Olympic gold-medal winning yachtsman, and Kerry Campbell, the chief executive of the Ardmore Airport, were killed when the aircraft dove into the Firth of Thames. Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft in a spin prior to hitting the water.

  • A group in Gila Bend, Arizona, USA is pursuing plans to create a "Classic Jet Airbase" there, with regular fly-ins and airshows helping to attract not only jet owners and operators, but spectators from nearby Phoenix and around the world.

  • Forest Protection Limited, operators of a fleet of TBM Avengers which were converted to firebombers in the 1970s, has decided to sell three more of the vintage aircraft, along with maintenance and flight-training packages. The aircraft are registered C-GFPS, C-GFPM, and C-GFPL.

  • Threat to Warbird Rides: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering revising regulations which govern the operation of vintage, antique and warbird aircraft used to give rides. The proposals would effectively eliminate the ability to give rides in the USA. Several large aviation organizations are battling the proposal, and your help is needed. You can learn more about the FAA's proposal and find out how to comment by going to either the PlaneRide.info site, or the National Air Tours site.

  • 25 March: A former Polish Air Force MiG-17 (Lim-6) disappeared from radar and crashed near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, USA, killing the owner/pilot, George Cambron. The aircraft departed from Roswell, New Mexico, headed for Phoenix, Arizona. After checking in with the Albuquerque Air Route Traffic Control Center, the pilot radioed that he was having fuel transfer problems, then the aircraft disappeared. State Police and Civil Air Patrol teams located the crash site after a two-day search.

  • 26 March: A Florida-based company, Warbird Adventures, Inc., has added a fourth T-6 Texan (N454WA) to its fleet of trainers, which makes it the largest T-6 flight training operation in the USA.

  • 27 March: The U.S. Navy has filed a lawsuit against a Minnesota warbird restorer who salvaged the wreckage of a rare, Brewster-built F3A-1 Corsair from a North Carolina swamp in 1990. The aircraft, which went down in 1944, was stripped of armament and instruments by the Navy shortly after the crash, then abandoned. The Navy now claims ownership of the airplane. The Brewster version of the Corsair is extremely rare, and it is believed that its historical value is the reason for the Navy's legal action. Restorer Lex Cralley has vowed to vigorously defend his ownership of the airplane.

April 2004:

  • The Swiss-based Super Constellation Flyers Association has announced that their Lockheed Constellation, long under restoration in the United States, will soon be ferried to Europe, where it will be flown on the airshow circuit for the public to enjoy.

  • 5 April: The directors of the All Red Star gathering of ex-Eastern Bloc aircraft have announced that this year's event will be held on 12-16 May 2004 at Castle Airport, California, USA. Flight training and ground training sessions will take place, and there will be plenty of socializing and good food. For more information, see the All Red Star web site.

  • 7 April: The wreckage of a lost P-38 Lightning found off the coast of France has been positively identified as that of the airplane last flown in 1944 by famed writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of such classics as "The Little Prince" and "Wind, Sand and Stars." The identification was made from a serial number found on a piece of the wreckage. Saint-Exupery disappeared during a wartime reconnaissance mission.

  • 10 April: A 1945 Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, N5HP, registered to Howard Pardue of Breckenridge, Texas, veered off the runway and flipped over at the Burnet, Texas airport. The owner/pilot escaped serious injury in the accident. [See photo below.]


Photo submitted by Virgil Belk

  • 10 April: A 1958 Pilatus P-3, N860MK (s/n 498-47), crashed under unknown circumstances near Edgewater, Florida. Pilot/owner Michael Keemar and passenger Lawrence Grinter were killed.

  • 18 April: The US Federal Aviation Administration has announced that public meetings will be held in Washington DC on 11 May 2004, and in Las Vegas on 21 May 2004, in order to hear from those who might be affected by a proposed charity/sightseeing rule. The troublesome Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), if passed into law, would effectively shut down hundreds of smaller sightseeing operations, many utilizing vintage, classic and warbird aircraft types. [More information]

May 2004:

  • 1 May: A 1953 LIM-2 (Polish-built Mig-15 UTI), N669MG, veered off the end of the runway at the Reading Airport, Reading, Pennsylvania, USA. The owner/pilot was not injured, and damage to the airplane was reported as "minor" or "none."

  • 5 May: The EAA's well-known 1944 Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Aluminum Overcast" (N5017N) suffered a slow-speed landing gear collapse during its landing roll at Van Nuys, California. Damage to the aircraft is fairly extensive, but it is thought to be completely repairable.

  • 5 May: The first two aircraft have been moved into the new display hall at the Newark Air Museum, Nottinghamshire, UK. A Jet Provost T3A and a Lockheed T-33A were rolled into the large facility, marking the beginning of a process which will culminate in more than a dozen aircraft eventually being on display.

  • 7 May: A North American OV-10A Bronco, N429DF, owned and operated by the U.S. Forest Service, made a forced landing in a wheat field near the Hemet-Ryan Airport, Hemet, California, after losing engine power during a maintenance ferry-flight. The pilot suffered minor injuries.

  • 24 May:  The U.S. Navy has dropped its lawsuit against warbird restorer Lex Cralley, who retrieved a Brewster F3A-1 Corsair from a North Carolina swamp [See 27 March news item]. North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones is credited with using his political clout to get the Navy to transfer the aircraft's title to Cralley, and to drop the lawsuit.

  • 29 May: A North American P-51C Mustang, N61429, (s/n 42-103645), lost engine power and crashed while participating in an airshow at Red Wing Regional Airport, Wisconsin. The rare "C"-model Mustang, named "Tuskegee Airmen," was operated by the Minnesota Wing of the Commemorative Air Force as a tribute to the WWII Army Air Corps group of the same name. The pilot, Donald "Pappy" Hinz, was taken to a local hospital in serious condition, but passed away from his injuries on 30 May.

  • 31 May: The pilot and passenger of a Boeing B75N1 Stearman, N48579 (s/n 75-6929), were killed when the airplane went down near Mesa, Arizona. The aircraft was apparently scheduled to take part in a Memorial Day formation fly-by near the time of the accident.

June 2004:

  • 3 June: A 1954 North American T-28B Trojan, N261FM (s/n 137655), suffered an apparent engine failure and crashed after takeoff from Tampa North Aero Park, Florida, USA, killing the sole pilot.

  • 4 June: The pilot of a 1956 North American T-28C Trojan, N404DK, escaped injury after performing a forced landing after losing engine power on takeoff from Manitowoc County Airport, Wisconsin, USA, during an airshow there.

  • 12 June: A 1963 Hispano HA-200 "Casa" Saeta jet, N611HA, crashed after takeoff at the Pueblo Memorial Airport, Colorado, USA, killing co-owner/pilot Tim Nelson, who had recently completed training in the airplane and was planning to fly it in airshows beginning this summer.

  • 13 June: An Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, N3083Y, registered to Joel Pickett of Huntsville, Alabama, USA, suffered a landing gear collapse after an apparent loss of control during takeoff at Griffiths Airpark, Rome, New York, USA. The pilot was not injured when the aircraft slid off the left side of the runway.

  • 16 June: A 1944 North American SNJ-5, C-GKGE, registered to North American Aviation, Inc. of Penticton, British Columbia, Canada, crashed near Oroville, Washington, USA. The sole occupant was killed.

  • 20 June: A 1958 North American T-28C Trojan, N28BZ (s/n 140637), made a forced landing in a field near Deland, Florida, USA due to engine problems. The pilot was unhurt, and damage to the aircraft is unknown.

  • 22 June: A newly-restored Focke-Wulf 190-A8 was test-flown in Germany, the first such restoration of a Fw-190. The airplane was restored by Flug Werk GmbH of Germany, and the test flight was conducted by pilot Horst Philipp, who reported that the airplane flew well.

  • 26 June: A Lisunov Li-2 (a Russian copy of the Douglas DC-3/C-47) crashed near Moscow, Russia, after hitting a house. The plane, which was enroute to a parachute competition, was scheduled to appear at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, later in the month. Three of the five people on board were killed.

  • 29 June: White One, the replica Messerschmitt Me-262 jet which suffered a landing gear collapse in January 2003, has made a successful third test flight in Washington state, USA, after a long repair process.

July 2004:

  • 4 July: A pair of fishermen using an underwater camera in a lake near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, discovered the wreck of a Cessna L-19 Birddog which crashed in October 1958. The body of the pilot was recovered two weeks after the accident, but the plane was never seen again until today. The plane is reported to be in amazingly good shape.

Underwater video footage showing part of the vertical stabilizer of the missing L-19. Courtesy WCCO-TV.
  • 5 July: The Associated Press has reported that the wreckage of a Douglas C-47 which was shot down in China in 1952, and possibly the remains of its crew, have been recovered. The aircraft, operated by Civil Air Transport, went down near the town of Antu after being hit by anti-aircraft artillery. Two CIA operatives onboard survived, and were held captive for more than twenty years.

  • 11 July: A North American T-28 Trojan, N5832X, ran off the end of the runway at Apple Valley Airport, California, after encountering windshear during landing. The pilot was not injured, but the aircraft's wing and left landing gear were damaged.

  • 17 July: Upon landing at the Caddo Mills airport, Texas, USA, the brakes on a Cessna L-19 Birddog (N5255G) failed, and the aircraft ran into another airplane parked near the runway. The pilot was not injured.

August 2004:

  • 13 August: A Florida-based warbird flight operation, Warbird Adventures, suffered a setback as a tornado spawned by Hurricane Charley collapsed a hangar and severely damaged two of their North American SNJ trainers and two helicopters.

  • 13 August: In related news, a Douglas DC-3 undergoing restoration at Orlando Executive Airport, Florida, was picked up by the hurricane and blown into a number of hangars at the airport, destroying it and the structures.

  • 17 August: A 16-member recovery team returned the remains of a U.S. Navy Lockheed P-2V Neptune patrol aircraft which crashed on a glacier in Greenland in 1962.

  • 20 August: What is believed to be the world's last remaining Brewster Buffalo fighter has arrived in Pensacola, Florida, USA, and is being prepared for display in the National Museum of Naval Aviation. The aircraft has had a long, convoluted history since its recovery from a Russian Lake in 1998.

  • 28 August: A 1941 Boeing PT-13 Stearman, N86600, crashed into Nepco Lake, near Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, USA after hitting a suspended power line. The aircraft came to rest inverted in the water. The pilot/owner was able to swim free, but the passenger was killed.

September 2004:

  • 2 September: The U.S. Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, USA took delivery of a freshly-restored Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero fighter.

  • Aircraft restorer Mike Davey unveiled the restored cockpit of a Spitfire fighter which was recovered from a bog in Acklington, Northumberland, UK. four years ago. The cockpit section will be displayed at historic Hooton Park airfield, the same airfield where the plane was based until it crashed in 1942 during a formation training mission.

  • 5 September: A Fairchild PT-19 Cornell trainer went down at Corsicana, Texas, USA, after losing engine power after takeoff. Pilot Cliff McCluney and passenger Robert Burleson were killed.

  • 10 September: A new bill (H.R. 5035) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives which, if passed, would have severely restricted all types of General Aviation in the United States. Thanks to an overwhelmingly negative response from the aviation community and other politicians, the sponsor withdrew the bill on 15 September.

  • 17 September: A Folland Gnat jet operated by Kennett Aviation in the UK made an off-airport forced landing in a potato field near its base at North Weald. The pilot was not injured and the airplane appeared to be in good condition.

  • 19 September: A 1989 Yakovlev Yak-52, N6YK, ran off the runway while taxiing at Barwick Lafayette Airport, Georgia, USA, and flipped over. No injuries were reported to the two occupants of the airplane.

  • 19 September: A 1941 Ryan ST3KR (PT-22) Recruit, N57015, made a forced landing in a pond at a golf course near Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA. The aircraft was heavily damaged, but the pilot was not injured.

  • 22 September: Two occupants of a 1941 Boeing PT-17 (A75N1) Stearman, N57003 (s/n 75-2223), escaped injury after the plane crashed into a house near an airport in Bayport, New York, USA.

  • 24 September: A 1955 deHavilland Chipmunk 22A, N665WB, landed hard and cartwheeled into the grass next to the runway at Chesterfield Airport, Richmond, Virginia, USA. The pilot was not injured.

October 2004:

  • 3 October: A Lockheed C-60 Lodestar, N6371C, Commemorative Air Force (CAF) operated lost directional control and impacted the ground immediately after take-off at Midland, Texas, USA. The airplane caught fire but it was immediately contained the Fire Department. Four of the five occupants were uninjured and one was treated for minor abrasions at the scene. The tail section and engines of the airplane sustained major damage.

  • 8 October: A restored Messerschmitt Bf 109 has flown at the Albstadt-Degerfeld airfield in Germany. The plane was created from a Hispano H.A. 1112 along with many newly-manufactured parts. Test pilot Walter Eichhorn made several "flybys" and pronounced the airplane as an excellent flyer.

  • 9 October: A Boeing PT-17 Stearman, N49738, crashed on departure in Jaffery, New Hampshire, USA. The aircraft came to rest upside down in a field.

  • 10 October: The Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run Airport, Michigan, USA, suffered a catastrophic fire during the night which destroyed the historic hangar that housed the museum, as well as the museum's collection of artifacts, photos, books, and some aircraft which were under restoration. Museum personnel were able to save the collection's airworthy B-17, B-25 and C-47 by rolling them out of the hangar, and the outside static-display aircraft were untouched. The museum has established a restoration fund; information is available at their website.

  • 12 October: A DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth, N819DH, suffered a landing gear collapse during a landing at Cross City, Florida, USA.

  • 19 October: An Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, N39TJ, went missing in the mountains near Hyak, Washington, USA, after the pilot told Air Traffic Control that he was "out of control." A search for the aircraft lasted for ten days and covered 2,400 square miles before being called off. Owner Rocky Stewart and passenger Scott Smith are presumed dead.

  • A replica of a Nakajima Ki-43 "Oscar" fighter, the first of four exact replicas planned to be built by the Texas Aircraft Factory in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, suffered the collapse of its landing gear during a high-speed taxi test, and was substantially damaged. The aircraft is owned by the Champlin Fighter Museum.

  • 23 October: A North American T-6 Texan, N92871, crashed under unknown circumstances in Gilbert, South Carolina, USA, killing both occupants.

  • 25 October: A 1985 Aerostar Yak-52, registered as N6203Y, was damaged in San Juan, Puerto Rico after landing with its left main landing gear retracted.

  • 25 October: Another threat to the warbird community in the USA: Language contained in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2005 would ban any U.S. citizen from engaging in any activity "that disturbs, removes or injures any sunken military craft," including airplanes. This could halt efforts to remove old aircraft wrecks and restore them to airworthy condition. EAA and other aviation organizations are fighting the bill.

  • 29 October: A North American T-6C Texan, N7061C, registered to Aircenter, Inc., of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, ground-looped after landing at Crestview, Florida. The landing gear collapsed, but the pilot was not injured.

November 2004:

  • 5 November: A Nanchang CJ-6, N82792, experienced a power loss and landed on a road near the airport in Quincy, Illinois, USA. After restarting the engine, the pilot reportedly taxied the airplane back to the airport.

  • 7 November: A North American SNJ-5, N6436D, crashed under unknown circumstances near Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA, with one person on board. It is not known if the pilot sustained any injuries.

  • 11 November: The Commemorative Air Force has created a P-51 Mustang flight simulator at the Mall of America in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. The simulator, located in a flight simulation arcade in the mall, will help the Red Tail Project fund the repair of a rare "Tuskeegee Airmen" P-51C, which was damaged in an emergency landing in May 2004.
    14 November: A 1942 Douglas A-24B Banshee / SBD-5 Dauntless, N82GA (s/n
    42-54532), operated by the Commemorative Air Force's Dixie Wing, experienced a loss of engine power and a successful forced landing at Lee Airport, near Deland, Florida, USA. 

  • 23 November: A deHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth, N5994M, suffered a landing gear collapse and nosed over at Hawthorne Airport, California, USA. The pilot was not injured.

December 2004:

  • 3 December: A 1988 Yakovlev Yak-52, N852GC, suffered a landing gear collapse during a landing rollout at Carbondale, Illinois, USA. The pilot and passenger were not injured.

  • 5 December: A Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 UM, N1165 (s/n 0165), registered to "MiGs of Delaware, LLC" veered off the runway after landing at Wilmington, Delaware, USA. No injures were reported.

  • 7 December: A Beechcraft T-34 Mentor, N141SW, operated by aerial adventure company Texas Air Aces, crashed near Lake Conroe, Texas, USA, killing pilot Richard Gillenwaters and a passenger. Witnesses reported seeing a wing separate from the plane. The accident is the second T-34 structural-failure accident suffered by the company in thirteen months.

  • 8 December: A group in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA has announced a "Corsairs Over Connecticut" event to be held June 3-5, 2005. The day will honor WWII veterans, and will include a large gathering of Corsairs, historically-accurate factory displays, flyovers and even a narrated "test flight." The event takes place on the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII.

  • 8 December: The thirteenth restored Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress bomber to fly in the world took flight again at Warbird Adventures, Inc., Kissimmee, Florida, USA, after a 14-year restoration. The aircraft, called Liberty Belle, is Don Brooks' tribute to all the men who flew in World War II and was inspired by his father's contributions in the 8th Air Force during the war. Another test flight is scheduled later in the month. [More information]

  • 11 December: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive for the Beech/Raytheon T-34 series aircraft, following an accident on 7 December (see above). The AD grounds the American T-34 community for the second time in just over a year.

  • 14 December: The FAA is seeking public assistance in finding a long-term airworthiness solution for the Beechcraft/Raytheon T-34. More information is available.

  • 15 December: The Collings Foundation has announced that their Consolidated B-24 Liberator, currently named "The Dragon and His Tail," will be repainted with a new identity, "Witchcraft," an aircraft flown in World War II by the US Army Air Corps' 467th Bomb Group, 790th Bomb Squadron.


Index
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2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013


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January 2005:

  • 2 January: Kelly Freas, a prolific aircraft nose-art illustrator in the Pacific Theater in World War II, has died at the age of 82 in Los Angeles, California.

February 2005:

  • 2 February: The EAA has announced that this summer's AirVenture fly-in at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA, which coincides with the 60th anniversary of end of World War II, will feature appearances by a B-29 and a B-24 (LB-30), both operated by the Commemorative Air Force.

  • 11 February: An important milestone flight of a replica Messerschmitt Me-262 fighter was accomplished in Everett, Washington, USA, as the aircraft, called "White One," successfully retracted and extended its landing gear for the first time since its previous test trials in 2003, when the landing gear collapsed on landing.

March 2005:

  • 3 March: A Cessna T-41B Mescalero, N14449, registered to and operated by the Tennessee Department of Forestry, suffered an engine failure and made a forced landing near Sparta, Tennessee, USA. The aircraft nosed over due to soft soil and came to rest inverted. The pilot was seriously injured.

  • 7 March: A 1974 Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros, N8098T, overran the runway during landing and was substantially damaged at the Shreveport Downtown Airport, Louisiana, USA. The pilot/owner and passenger were not seriously injured. The pilot reported poor braking action on the wet runway.

  • 11 March: Presumptive warbird restorer Lex Cralley, who rescued a Brewster Corsair from a North Carolina swamp (See 27 March 2004 news item), has been notified that his ownership of the airplane will come with some stringent restrictions -- among others, that he may not fly the plane for seven years, and that he must carry a $2 million liability policy which names the Navy as an insured party. Cralley, along with Department of Justice officials, are working to sort out the matter.

  • 11 March: Representatives from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and other organizations are in discussions with the FAA about the Beech/Raytheon T-34 airworthiness issue, as well as the future of other aging aircraft which are flown in the high-"G" environment. The FAA considers the T-34 to be just one of several high-interest aircraft which may experience a growing rate of structural-fatigue accidents.

  • 26 March: The pilot of a North American T-6C Texan, N7055H (s/n 88-12150), taxied into and damaged a Cessna 172 which was holding short of the runway at Chino, California, USA.

April 2005:

  • A new aerial event, the Tunica Air Races, will be held June 2-5, 2005, in Tunica, Mississippi, USA. Event organizers expect to host Unlimited Class, T-6 Class, and Formula One Class races, as well as flybys and aerobatic demonstrations from various warbirds and airshow performers. For more information see the event's web site at http://tunicaairraces.com/

  • 14 April: A North American AT-6C Texan, N7690U, suffered the collapse of its left landing gear while turning off the runway at Lakeland, Florida, USA. The aircraft's propeller, engine, and left wing were damaged, but neither occupant suffered injuries.

  • 18 April: A Bell P-39Q Airacobra, N6968, operated by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) departed the runway and rolled into a fence upon landing at Fredericksburg, Texas, USA, resulting in minor damage to the propeller and the leading edge of one wing.

  • 20 April: A 1966 Lockheed P-3 Orion airtanker crashed near Chico, California, killing the crew of three. The aircraft, which was owned and operated by the Aero Union Company, was on a forest fire training mission.

  • 30 April: The sole Fouga CM-170 Magister flying in Denmark, OY-FGA, was severely damaged by fire. Owner/pilot Niels Egelund an a passenger escaped injury after the cockpit filled with smoke during liftoff, apparently due to a missing fuel cap.

May 2005:

  • 5 May: The UK's only airworthy B-17 Flying Fortress, Sally B, has been effectively grounded by European regulations that require her operators to insure the aircraft at the same level as a commercial airliner, resulting in an absurd 500% increase in insurance cost. A charitable trust has been established which hopes to get an exemption to the regulations in time for Sally B to perform her traditional Memorial Day flyover of the American Military cemetery at Madingley. UK residents are encouraged to contact their MPs in an effort to get the law changed. For more information, see the Sally B website.

  • 7 May: One volunteer was killed and another critically injured when the landing gear of the wingless Douglas C-47 / DC-3 they were working on gave way and the aircraft fell on them. The incident took place at the Valiant Air Command's Warbird museum in Titusville, Florida, USA. 76-year old U.S. Navy veteran Michael McDonough was killed, and an un-named 15-year old volunteer was hospitalized.

  • 9 May: A North American SNJ-6, N453WA, operated by Warbird Adventures of Kissimmee, Florida, USA crashed in a thickly-wooded, remote area near Haines City, Florida, killing Warbird Adventures pilot Jonathon Hedgecock and pilot trainee Jim Kern.

  • 10 May: The left main landing gear of a Yakovlev Yak-52, N567CD, collapsed upon landing in New Bern, North Carolina, USA, resulting in minor damage to the airplane. The pilot was not injured.

  • 15 May: A 1976 BAC 167 Strikemaster Mk.83, N399WH, crashed through a fence during takeoff in Boca Raton, Florida, USA. The two people on board suffered minor injuries.

  • 17 May: Air Assets International has announced that they have signed an agreement to have two Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters restored. The restorations will be undertaken by the same company that is presently building several flyable Me-262 replicas near Seattle, Washington, USA, and it believed the two Bf 109s will be restored to flyable condition.

  • 19 May: Excavation of a road intersection in London is scheduled for 30 May in an effort to uncover the remnants of a a historic Hawker Hurricane fighter that crashed on 15 September 1940, during the Battle of Britain. After running out of ammunition, the Hurricane's pilot, Sgt. Ray Holmes, intentionally rammed his airplane into a German Dornier bomber. His actions are believed to have saved Buckingham Palace, the bomber's target. The excavation of the Hurricane's crash site, to be broadcast live on the UK's Channel Five, is the result of the work of Chris Bennett and Steve Vizard, aviation archaeologists who researched the crash of the Hurricane, and contacted the pilot, now 89.

  • 20 May: UK aircraft restorer and pilot Clive Denney, who is spearheading an effort to raise funds to fly a Spitfire and a Hurricane from the UK to the island of Malta, has announced that the fundraising is halfway to its £100,000 goal. The flights, scheduled for September 2005, will commemorate the two airplane type's significant combat involvement there during World War II. [More information].

  • 31 May: In a move reminiscent of the actions taken after a series of Beechcraft T-34 accidents, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is now considering adopting 200-hour inspections of lower wing attach angles on North American T-6 Texan aircraft, following several inflight wing separations on the famous WWII-era trainer. T-6 owners, operators and type-clubs are being asked to comment on maintenance experience with the T-6. If you have information to contribute, please contact the EAA Warbirds of America immediately. The deadline is 4 June 2005.

June 2005:

  •  2 June: A WWII-veteran Douglas C-47, N5831B (s/n 42-100882), arrived in Liverpool, England after being ferried from Marana, Arizona, USA by its new owner, Paddy Green. During one stop in Great Falls, Montana, it was briefly flown by Bill Allin, the pilot who flew the airplane in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. The plane will now be re-painted in the wartime colors and markings of its original squadron.

  • 8 June: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) for all T-6 / SNJ / Harvard type aircraft after a fatal accident on 9 May in which a wing separated from the airplane inflight. AD# 2005-12-51 requires immediate and repetitive inspections of the inboard and outboard, upper and lower wing attach angles of both wings, and, if cracks are found, replacement of the cracked angle with a new one. All owners/operators are urged to read and study the AD, and ensure they understand the required actions.

  • 9 June: The EAA has announced that this summer's AirVenture convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA will be attended by no fewer than five B-17 Flying Fortresses, several B-25 Mitchells, a B-24 Liberator and the world's only flyable B-29 Superfortress, making the huge fly-in one of the decade's best chances to see such a large collection of WWII bombers in flight together.

  • 13 June: A Douglas DC-3, N3906J, operated as a cargo aircraft, crashed on a street in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, after suffering an engine failure after takeoff. The three occupants escaped serious injury, but the aircraft was destroyed.

  • 13 June: A Republic P-47D Thunderbolt that crashed in 1945 has been recovered from a lake in Traunkirchen, Austria. The recovery project, carried out largely in secret, resulted in a largely intact, apparently-restorable airplane.

  • 16 June: A 1943 Fairchild PT-26 Cornell, N26GA, operated by the Dixie Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, crashed after takeoff from Peach State Airport, Williamson, Georgia, USA. Both the pilot and the pilot-rated passenger were killed. Witnesses reported that the aircraft struck a tree.

  • 21 June: A Yakovlev Yak-52, N962KY, lost power and crashed at Columbus, Nebraska, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 22 June: A North American T-6 Texan, N39403, operated by the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, suffered a landing gear collapse at its home base at Addison, Texas. Damage to the aircraft, which won "Best T-6" at this year's EAA Sun-N-Fun fly-in, was minor.

  • 24 June: The wreckage of an Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros jet, N39TJ, which disappeared last October over the mountains east of Seattle, Washington, USA, has been located by hikers in a remote, dense forest near the town of Kittitas. Remains of the pilot and passenger were found, along with personal effects.

  • 24 June: A replica Mitsubishi A6M Zero (Harvard IV N15797) registered to the Commemorative Air Force, collided with a North American T-28B Trojan (N9060F), registered to "Trojan Phylers" of Fort Worth, Texas, while exiting the runway at Abilene, Texas, USA. Both aircraft sustained substantial damage.

July 2005:

  • 9 July: A replica Yakovlev Yak-3 (a 1996 Yak-3UR), N134US, crashed at Heber City, Utah, USA. Both the pilot and passenger suffered injuries; further details of the accident are not known at this time.

  • 9 July: A 1944 North American P-51D Mustang, N10607 (s/n 44-7446), registered to Advanced Air, Inc., lost power and crashed in a field off the end of the runway at Tarkio, Missouri, USA. The pilot was not injured, but the aircraft suffered substantial damage.

  • 10 July: In a series of intricate moves, four more aircraft at the UK's Newark Air Museum were moved inside Display Hangar 2, which was funded with a grant of £453,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The museum's Wessex, Canberra, Jetstream and Gannet were carefully maneuvered into the western end of the hangar. Two further aircraft, a Meteor NF12 and a Saab Draken, will soon be moved into the eastern end of the new hangar.

  • 23 July: A Yakovlev Yak-52, N2331C, crashed during an airshow in Claremore, Oklahoma, USA. The owner/pilot, Rodger Modglin, was killed.

  • 26 July: A North American P-51D Mustang, ("Donna-Mite"), N6327T (s/n 44-74417A), was destroyed, and owner Richard James was killed when the aircraft crashed near Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, USA. The aircraft was participating in warbird flybys at nearby Oshkosh Airport when it disappeared from a formation of P-51s that was preparing for another pass over the EAA's AirVenture fly-in.

  • 28 July: The pilot of a Cessna UC-78 Bobcat, N266C, departing Fond Du Lac airport, Wisconsin, USA lost control and veered off the left side of the runway. The left landing gear collapsed, but the plane was not seriously damaged.

August 2005

  • 3 August: A 1942 or 1945 Consolidated Vultee BT-13A Valiant, N49646, crashed and burned shortly after takeoff from Lyme, New Hampshire, USA. The two people on board were fatally injured.

  • 13 August: A Lockheed C-60A Lodestar, N30N, assigned to the Old Dominion Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force lost its brakes and overran the runway at Hampton Roads Executive Airport, Virginia, USA. The aircraft was damaged, but there were no injuries to the eight people on board.

  • 13 August: A submerged Cessna L-19 Bird Dog that crashed into a lake near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA in 1958 (see July 2004 item) was recovered by volunteers from EAA Chapter 1172. The chapter will now restore the airplane.

  • 15 August: The second Messerschmitt Me-262 jet fighter replica to come out of the Everett, Washington, USA workshops of the Me-262 Project has made its first test flight. The aircraft, known as "Tango-Tango," made a successful flight at the hands of pilot Wolfgang Czaia. It will eventually be delivered to a new owner in Germany.

  • 19 August: The administration building and an adjacent building at the Russian Air Force Museum at Monino Airfield broke out in flames and were heavily damaged. Several historic exhibits were destroyed.

  • 22 August: A Grumman S-2 Tracker, operated by a French firefighting agency, crashed near Valgorge, France, killing the pilot and trainee.

  • 24 August: A Canadair CT-114 Tutor jet flown by the RCAF Snowbirds crashed in a field in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada during a practice session. Pilot Andrew MacKay ejected safely after the engine failed while the airplane was inverted.

  • 31 August: The wreckage of a Grumman TBF-1 Avenger torpedo bomber was discovered in Clear Lake in northern California. The plane crashed on 4 December 1944 during a training mission, killing both crewmembers. The body of radioman David Herget was recovered in 1945, but the pilot, Robert Pinz, was never located. A local potato farmer, John Prosser, and his neighbor, Jerry Maxwell, undertook the search in an effort to bring some closure to the brother of the pilot, 96-year old Morton Pinz. No sign of Robert Pinz's body has yet been discovered.

September 2005:

  • 7 September: A Boeing A75N1 Stearman, N52551 (s/n 75-1707), lost power and made a forced landing in a bean field after takeoff from Galesburg, Illinois, USA during the National Stearman Fly-In. The aircraft flipped over, but neither occupant was seriously injured.

  • 8 September: At least two vintage aircraft operated by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) have reportedly been seen flying relief missions into the hurricane-ravaged areas of Louisiana, USA. A Douglas A-26B Invader and a Douglas C-47 Skytrain have been seen at the airport in Slidell unloading fuel and perishable items.

  • 19 September: A 1944 North American SNJ-5, N212TC, registered to C-4 Aviation, Inc. made a forced landing in a field near Torrington, Wyoming, USA after the engine seized. The pilot was not injured. This plane, better known as "Mystical Power" (Race #21), has won the Reno Air Races several times.


North American SNJ-5 N212TC "Mystical Power"

  • 21 September: A team of over a dozen workers raised a rare North American B-25C Mitchell from 150 deep Lake Murray in South Carolina. The bomber crashed on April 4, 1943 during a training mission, and the crew escaped safely, but the exact location of the plane was not established until 1990. The plane will eventually be restored and displayed at the Southern Museum of Flight in Birmingham, Alabama. 

  • 22 September: A 1976 Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros, N614RM, landing at Suffolk, Virginia, USA, suffered an apparent brake failure on landing. It crashed through a fence off the departure end of the runway and went into a field. The pilot was uninjured.

  • 24 September: A Yakovlev Yak-3M, N20669, suffered a broken landing gear and made a dramatic go-around after landing at Hampton Roads Executive Airport, Virginia, USA. After an in-flight assessment made by the aircraft's owner, who was flying an L-39 Albatros jet, pilot Jack Shultz made a textbook gear-up landing at nearby Norfolk International Airport (see photo below).


    Photo by Pamela Smith.
    Thanks to Ed Dillingham.

October 2005:

  • 2 October: Roy Shoffner, the man whose dream was responsible for the recovery and restoration of the P-38 Lightning named "Glacier Girl," has died at the age of 77. Shoffner was the driving force behind what became one of the most challenging and nearly-unbelievable warbird recoveries in history. [More Glacier Girl information].

  • 8 October: Art Vance, a well-known race pilot and president of the Unlimited Air Racing Association, was killed in the crash of a 1944 Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat, N4994V, after takeoff from the Gatlinburg Airport in Tennessee, USA. Vance reportedly attempted to make an emergency landing on a highway after engine trouble, possibly caused by hitting a power line. The Hellcat had been based at Chino, California's Planes of Fame Museum.

  • 12 October: Crews at the U.S. Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, USA began a long restoration of the famous B-17 bomber named Memphis Belle. Until recently, the airplane had been on outdoor display in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis Belle gained fame as the first 25-mission bomber to be recalled to the USA for a goodwill tour, and was the subject of several movies and documentaries.

  • 15 October: A North American T-6D Texan, N494S (s/n 42-44681) crashed near Mocksville, North Carolina, USA due to an apparent engine failure. One person on board was killed, and one was seriously injured.

  • 15 October: A 1942 Boeing B75N1 Stearman, N5158N, suffered an engine failure and made a forced landing in a field. During the landing, the aircraft clipped a power pole and became inverted. The pilot was not injured.

  • 17 October: A 1963 North American T-39A Sabreliner, N39FS, (s/n 62-4480) slid off the end of the runway and suffered minor damage at the Mojave Airport, California, USA. Neither crewmember was injured. The aircraft is part of a Research and Development fleet registered to BAE Systems, a Defense contractor.

  • 22 October: A North American P-51 Mustang allegedly made a low, high-speed pass over a college football game in Missoula, Montana. Authorities are attempting to learn the identity of the airplane and its pilot.

  • 26 October: An Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, N989BH, departed the edge of the runway after landing at Fort Myers, Florida, USA. The pilot, who was not injured, reported that the brakes "locked." The aircraft had only minor damage.

  • 27 October: Several aviation organizations in the United States have submitted objections to the latest Federal Aviation Administration regulatory revision (Draft Order 8700.1, Chapter 49), which involves airshows. Under the FAA's proposal, aircraft would only be allowed to make passes in one direction. Also, credentialed photographers would only be able to shoot from outside the air show's aerobatic box, greatly decreasing the type and scope of photos they could get. Other changes would establish Temporary Flight Restrictions around certain airshow locations, and require FAA Inspectors to approve changes to airshow performer lineups.

November 2005:

  • 16 November: A Ryan ST3KR / PT-20/22 crashed near Lincoln, California, USA, substantially damaging the aircraft and injuring the pilot.

  • 20 November: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) which could affect certain T-34s and Navions with certain propeller and engine combinations (specifically, McCauley props and Continental engines). For more information, see the text of the NPRM at AOPA's website.

  • 20 November: A 1949 North American T-28 Trojan, N7054L, landed gear-up at Santa Rosa, California, USA. Neither the pilot nor passenger were injured, and the aircraft sustained only minor damage.

  • 21 November: Hawkins and Powers Aviation of Greybull, Wyoming, operators of one of the United States' largest fleets of vintage aircraft, is liquidating and closing up shop. More than sixty aircraft are up for sale, including Boeing KC-97s, Consolidated PB-4Ys, Fairchild C-119s, a Fairchild C-82, a Douglas A-26 and many more.
     

December 2005:

  • 1 December: British vintage aircraft collector, former Red Arrows leader, air display pilot, and founder of Duxford's Old Flying Machine Company, Ray Hanna, passed away in his sleep in Switzerland at age 77. [Warbird Alley wishes to convey our condolences to Ray's family, friends and associates. He was a great man and a great pilot.  --Ed.]


Ray Hanna

  • 7 December: A North American P-51D Mustang, N251BP (s/n 44-84753) "The Vorpel Sword," registered to Bernie Jackson, landed hard and ran off the runway at Minden, Nevada, USA. The aircraft was substantially damaged but the pilot was not injured.

  • 9 December: The UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) granted approval to Hawker Hunter Aviation to operate their BAe Buccaneer (GHHAA / XX885) on the UK's civil register. This will be the first Buccaneer to be privately operated in the UK. It should make its first flight in the spring of 2006.

  • 15 December: A de Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth, OO-EVT (s/n 84875) has been brought to the Brussels Royal Army Museum in Belgium, where it will be placed on public display. The aircraft was with the Sabena Old Timers association for many years, and has been carefully restored in its original Royal Air Force colors.


Tiger Moth OO-EVT arrives at its new home.

  • 26 December: A 1940 Boeing PT-17 (A75N1) Stearman, N67195 (s/n 75-1755), crashed into a field and was destroyed near Hicks Field, Fort Worth, Texas, USA. One person on board was killed, and another was seriously injured.

  • 28 December: A replica Messerschmitt Me 262 fighter jet, the second one built by Everett, Washington-based Legend Flyers, has reached Germany after long a long delay caused by the U.S. State Department. The deal was scrutinized for 60 days because officials viewed the replica aircraft and its fake, replica guns as a weapon of war. The aircraft will be reassembled in Germany by the Messerschmitt Foundation and flown again.


Index
1998  |  1999  |  2000  |  2001  |  2002  |  2003  |  2004  |  2005
2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013


[Back to Warbird News Page]


January 2006:

  •  25 January: An Aero Vodochody L-39MS Albatros jet, N104XX, crashed near a residential trailer park in Ketchikan, Alaska, USA. The pilot, Stephen Freeman, was killed after attempting a low-level ejection while preparing to land. He was found 100 yards from the crash site. The aircraft was reported to have had recent maintenance problems and was allegedly the subject of a repossession at the time of the accident. Several people on the ground were injured, but none seriously.

February 2006:

  • 1 February: The Federal Aviation Administration has accused Eugene Mallette of being the pilot of the "Mystery Mustang" that performed a high-speed pass over a college football game in Missoula, Montana, USA, as well as at least one other event in the last year. The North American P-51 was seen flying very low and very fast over St. Cloud, Minnesota three months before.

  • 6 February: An Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros lost one of its two canopies after takeoff from Millville, New Jersey, USA. The pilot returned safely, and the canopy frame was found in a local resident's backyard.

  • 14 February: The Desert Rat, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress under restoration in a rural barn in Marengo, Illinois, turned 65 years old. Owner Mike Kellner and his crew of volunteers hope to one day fly the aircraft again, after what must be one of the most ambitious B-17 restorations ever undertaken.

  • 16 February: A fire at the Aviation Warehouse in El Mirage, California destroyed a third of the business's rare aviation technical and flight manuals, some dating from before WWII. A nearby building containing war memorabilia was un-damaged, as was the company's huge outdoor cache of aircraft and aircraft parts, which are often used in movie productions.

  • 23 February: The family of Ohio pilot Jerry Shiffer, who died in an aircraft accident in November 2005, has decided to continue the restoration of a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber that Shiffer began shortly before his death. The project will be directed by aircraft restoration expert Tom Reilly.

  • 26 February: An Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, N39DF ("Wild Child") crashed near Mojave, California, USA. The aircraft's two occupants, Skip Robertson and Terry Fregly, were killed. The aircraft was on a low-altitude aerial filming mission involving two other aircraft when it struck a hill.

March 2006:

  • 2 March: A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, N390TH ("LibertyBelle"), suffered a blown tailwheel tire while taxiing at Fulton County Airport, Georgia, USA. The crew steered the bomber off the runway and into the grass to prevent blocking the runway. They were able to change the tire in less than one hour. [Editor's Note: This non-event captured the imagination and irresponsible attention of many press outlets around the U.S.A. and elsewhere. We mention this piece of "news" here only to provide the real story for those who want to research the matter from an authoritative source.]

  • 3 March: A 1944 Douglas DC-3/C-47, N777YA, registered to Bush Air Cargo, Inc., clipped several trees and was damaged upon landing in Beluga, Alaska, USA.

  • 4 March: Airshow pilot Dale Snodgrass was not injured after a gear-up landing in a North American F-86 Sabre, NX86AM, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona, USA. The aircraft was part of a multi-plane flyby practice session for the U.S. Air Force's "Heritage Flight" program when the incident occurred. The F-86, operated by the "Planes of Fame" Museum, was not believed to be seriously damaged.

  • 5 March: The Supermarine Spitfire marked its 70th anniversary. In Southampton, England, five Spitfires flew in a "V" formation, 70 years to the minute after the first flight.

  • 6 March: The U.S. National Park Service has announced that it may lift its tight restrictions on access to the wreckage of the "Lake Mead B-29" which crashed and sank on 21 July 1948 during an atmospheric research mission east of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The wreck's location was kept secret for decades to discourage recreational divers, due to the nature and depth of the site. Aviation archeologists are concerned that the historic aircraft will be pillaged and further destroyed if the public is allowed access. [More "Lake Mead B-29" information here.]

  • 7 March: The EAA's Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress "Aluminum Overcast" made its first post-repair test flight at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. In May 2004, the aircraft was damaged after the main landing gear retracted upon landing at Van Nuys Airport, California. Aluminum Overcast will begin a busy flying season at the end of March. [More information.]

  • 8 March: A 1942 Boeing D75N1 Stearman, N59496, ended up on its back at Santa Teresa, New Mexico, USA, after going off the runway during landing. Neither occupant was seriously injured.

  • 10 March: The owner of Southern California's Heritage Aero and Preservation Aviation was fined $6 million by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for cleanup fees relating to the company's inventory of government surplus aircraft instruments, some of which contained trace amounts of radium. [Radium was often used on instrument faces during the 1940s and 1950s to make instruments readable in the dark. --Ed.]

  • 19 March: A Nanchang CJ-6A, N431DM, suffered a collapse of its right main landing gear while taxiing at Paine Field, Everett, Washington, USA.

  • 28 March: Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat N3210D, on flying status at the Olympic Flight Museum, Washington, USA, has been sold by its owner to the Pacific Air Museum at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It was one of approximately 18 airworthy Wildcats, but its "airworthy" status will most likely be negated by its transition to a static museum display piece.

  • 31 March: The type certificates for the deHavilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk, the DHC-2 Beaver and several other aircraft, including the Otter and Caribou, have been purchased by Viking Air of Sidney, British Columbia.

April 2006:

  • 8 April: The owner/pilot of a Canadair Sabre Mk.V (F-86), N86FS, was unable to extend the right main landing gear of his aircraft following an airshow in Montgomery, Alabama, USA. Pilot Wyatt Fuller made an successful emergency landing at Maxwell AFB on the two remaining gear, and the aircraft suffered only minor damage.

  • 12 April: A Cessna O-1A (L-19) Bird Dog, N3FS (s/n 51-12683), operated by the U.S. Forest Service, ground-looped and slid off the runway at Kenansville, North Carolina, USA. Damage to the aircraft is unknown.

  • 17 April: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will be returning at least six of the eight L-39 Albatross jets they seized from Security Aviation in Alaska, following a January raid on the company's facilities. Prosecutors had apparently claimed that the aircraft were capable of carrying live rocket pods when, in fact, they could not.

  • 18 April: The Australian Federal Police (AFP) seized more than $8 million in assets, including numerous warbirds and other aircraft, from a Brisbane businessman. The seizure resulted from a tax investigation.

  • 23 April: A private restorer has been granted salvage rights to the mostly-intact wreckage of a Canadair Sabre Mk.VI (F-86) jet that rests at the bottom of a shallow lake near Goose Bay, Canada. The aircraft, serial number 23400, was being ferried to Europe in March 1956 when an engine failure brought it down on the ice.

  • 23 April: "Fifi," the world's only remaining airworthy Boeing B-29 Superfortress, has returned to the air after several years of extensive maintenance.

  • 25 April: A recently-completed Messerschmitt Me-262 jet fighter replica, D-IMTT ("Tango Tango"), has made its first flight in its "home country" of Germany. Tango Tango is the second of five Me-262 replicas to be restored in the United States.

May 2006:

  • 3 May: The Mid Atlantic Air Museum (MAAM) in Reading, Pennsylvania, USA has announced that their Northrop P-61 "Black Widow" project has reached a significant milestone, as the aircraft is now standing on its own landing gear. The museum hopes to make the ultra-rare aircraft airworthy in the next few years. [More information].

  • 4 May: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has published an Alternative Method of Compliance (AMOC) for Beechcraft T-34 wing spars which will allow the aircraft to continue flying under its present restrictions until 2010. [More information].

  • 4 May: The pilot of a Douglas DC-3 / C-47 that successfully crash-landed on a residential street last year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida now faces federal charges that he illegally flew cargo to the Bahamas on numerous occasions.

  • 4 May: The Commemorative Air Force's Boeing B-29 Superfortress, "Fifi," after flying for six to eight hours after an extensive refurbishment, has reportedly suffered some mechanical setbacks that might ground the bomber for the remainder of the flying season. At least two and possibly all of the aircraft's four engines are showing signs of unexpected and premature wear. 

  • 11 May: Reuters reports that a Chinese businessman, Zhang Cheng, won an eBay auction for a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 jet fighter, and paid a $2,000 deposit on the aircraft. Now, he's angry and wants a refund because legal experts have informed him that the aircraft, located in Idaho, USA, would be "almost impossible to ship back" to China. Interestingly, the terms of the auction specified that the aircraft could only be shipped to the USA or Canada.

  • 17 May: North American P-51D Mustang, G-HAEC ("Big Beautiful Doll"), which was being flown from its home in England to the International Air Show in Berlin, lost its canopy over Muenster, Germany. No one was hurt, but the falling canopy damaged the roof of a home and a destroyed a small food stand. The pilot continued 250 miles to his destination without further incident.

  • 20 May: A 1941 Boeing A75 Stearman, N58072, lost engine power after takeoff and hit a fence at Jennings, Louisiana, USA. Neither person on board was injured.

  • 20 May: Another Boeing A75 Stearman, N60562, lost power and went off the side of the runway in Lake Wales, Florida, USA. No injuries were reported.

  • 26 May: A U.S. Federal trial involving Alaska-based Security Aviation has found the company's owners "not guilty" of possession and transport of illegal rocket launchers. The government had said the company's AeroVodochody L-39 Albatros jets could have been armed, but defense lawyers argued that the pods were just for show. A further charge of conspiracy (involving the hazy concept of "militarizing") is still under investigation.

  • 26 May: The nose landing gear of a 1970 WSK-PZL TS-11 Iskra jet, N315JB, collapsed after the aircraft landed at Burke Lakefront Airport, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. The pilot was not injured, and damage to the aircraft was minor.

June 2006:

  •  1 June: American Legend Aircraft has announced that they will offer their Legend Cub aircraft in a paint scheme reminiscent of historic Piper L-4 Grasshopper liaison aircraft used by the Army Air Corps in World War II. The new aircraft will be called the Legend Combat.

  • 1 June: The owners of a rocket-car made from the fuselage of a North American F-104 Starfighter displayed the vehicle in Palmdale, California. They hope to drive the car, the North American Eagle, to a new land speed record in July of 2007. The F-104, which was once flown by such test pilots as Scott Crossfield and Chuck Yeager, was purchased from a scrap dealer in Maine.

  • 5 June: A North American SNJ-6, N45CK, hit a set of 100-foot high power lines approximately 40 miles east of Jerome, Idaho, USA. Neither occupant was injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 15 June: In Ravenswood, West Virginia, USA, a Boeing B75 Stearman biplane, N67454, veered off a runway and into a ravine on landing after the pilot experienced a leg cramp. Damage to the airplane was reported as minor.

  • 17 June: A 1944 Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX, N308WK, veered off the runway after landing in Aspen Colorado, USA. The aircraft suffered only minor damage, and the pilot was not injured.

  • 28 June: Britain's first jet bomber, the English Electric Canberra, has been retired after 55 years of service with the Royal Air Force (RAF).

July 2006:

  • 2 July: A Nanchang CJ-6, N8120H, lost power and landed short of the runway at Brewster, Washington, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 16 July: Former Swiss Air Force Hawker F Mk.58A Hunter, N58MX, lost engine power and crashed into a densely-populated residential area off the end of the runway at Hillsboro, Oregon, USA. The owner/pilot, aviation attorney Bob Guilford of Los Angeles, California, was killed. The aircraft exploded, destroying at least one home and heavily damaging several others. No one on the ground was injured. [Editor's note: Bob was a wonderful man and a huge advocate for aviation of all kinds. He will be missed. Our condolences to his family and friends.]

  • 19 July: A Douglas DC-3, N782T, operated by Tol Air, lost an engine after takeoff and ditched in the ocean in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The four people on board were rescued.

  • 22 July: A Ryan ST3K (PT-22), N221SH, suffered an engine failure near Brussels, Illinois, USA and landed in a field, where it flipped over and was substantially damaged. The pilot was not injured.

  • 22 July: The pilot and passenger of a Yakovlev Yak-52 were killed as they returned to land at Bornemouth Airport, Dorset, UK.

  • 22 July: A Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17, N17YB, ran off the end of the runway during landing at Muskegon, Michigan, USA, after an airshow exhibition. The aircraft was not damaged.

  • 24 July: Owner/pilot Wyatt Fuller was killed in his Canadair CL-13 (F-86) Sabre Mk.5, N86FS, after the aircraft suffered an apparent engine failure and ran off the end of the runway at his home base of Hickory, North Carolina, USA.

  • 26 July: The rudder of a North American SNJ-5, N98FP, was substantially damaged after being struck by the wingtip of a Beechcraft C-45 while the latter was taxiing at the EAA AirVenture event at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA.

  • 30 July: One occupant of a Van's RV-6 homebuilt aircraft was killed in a tragic ground collision at EAA AirVenture, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, as a 1944 Grumman TBM Avenger, N420GP, operated by the Tri-State Warbird Museum in Ohio, collided with the rear of the RV-6, which had apparently stopped on the taxiway ahead of the vintage torpedo-bomber.

  • 30 July: A 1940 North American SNJ-2, N62382, ground-looped on landing in Farmingdale, New York, USA. No injuries were reported.

  • 31 July: A Scottish Aviation Bulldog Model 1, N9179C, landed hard and was damaged in Mobridge, South Dakota, USA.

August 2006:

  • 2 August: A Beech T-34A Mentor, N342MN, lost power and skidded off the runway at Bainbridge, Georgia, USA. The passenger suffered minor injuries.

  • 4 August: A 1958 North American AT-6A Texan, N512SE, ground-looped during its landing roll in Spokane, Washington, USA. No injuries or serious damage were reported.

  • 7 August: A 1979 Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin, N229DD, landed and blew at least two tires at Creve Coeur, Missouri, USA. The sole occupant was not injured.

  • 13 August: The pilot of a Boeing A75N Stearman, N469RH, lost control on landing, departed the runway, and flipped over in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

  • 25 August: Boeing E75 Stearman N58980 made a forced landing in a field near Morgan Hill, California, USA. The pilot suffered minor injuries but the passenger was unhurt.

  • 28 August: The Collings Foundation and Air Assets announced this week that they will soon be offering orientation flights and flight instruction in the legendary Messerschmitt Me-262 jet fighter. These opportunities will be available to donors, beginning at the $25,000 level. More information is available at the sponsor organization's websites.

September 2006:

  • 3 September: A North American T-6 Texan, N976WM, crashed under unknown circumstances in Dekalb, Illinois, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 6 September: A North American / Rockwell OV-10 Bronco, N419DF, operated by the California Department of Forestry (CDF) crashed near Springville, California, USA while on a fire-fighting "spotter" mission. Both the pilot and the firefighter passenger were killed. The crash sparked a three-acre wildfire which was extinguished by the fire crews who were battling the main fire.

  • 6 September: A 1953 Canadair CT-33A (T-33) Silver Star, G-TBRD, owned by the Golden Apple Trust and operated by The Aircraft Restoration Company, crashed shortly after takeoff at Duxford, UK. The airplane was almost completely destroyed, but miraculously, both occupants walked away from the crash.

  • 9 September: A North American T-6G Texan, N8540U, landed gear-up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. Neither the pilot nor the passenger was injured.

  • 22 September: An Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin crashed into the water off of Cape Town, South Africa, while practicing for a weekend airshow there. The pilot, Martin Van Straten, was killed. 

  • 30 September: A 1944 North American TB-25J Mitchell, 345TH ("Show Me"), operated by the Commemorative Air Force, struck a parked truck while taxiing at Alton, Illinois, USA.

October 2006:

  • 3 October: A man who purchased a rare Commonwealth Wirraway on eBay claims the seller failed to deliver the aircraft because he'd already sold it to another, local buyer for a higher amount. The matter has ended up in an Australian court.

  • 4 October: The only airworthy UK-based North American Yale, G-BYNF, made its first post-restoration flight at Duxford, UK.

  • 5 October: The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) has contracted with a San Diego, California company to test and monitor some of their vintage aircraft for carbon monoxide (CO) contamination. Thus far, one aircraft has been slightly modified in order to lower cockpit CO readings to a safe level.

  • 5 October: A BAC-167 Strikemaster jet, VH-AKY, crashed near Bathurst, NSW, Australia, after an apparent in-flight breakup, killing the pilot and passenger. The aircraft was being operated by a company named Jet Fighter Flights, which provides "adventure flights."

  • 9 October: Texas industrialist and inventor Joe Jamieson has made a generous donation of $2 million to the Commemorative Air Force's B-29 "Fifi" group to help them get the famous and rare bomber back in the air. Fifi was grounded earlier this year after metal shavings began appearing in her engine oil. Another $1 million will have to raised in order for Fifi to receive four new engines.

  • 18 October: A Piper Cheyenne crashed near Prescott, Arizona, USA, while flying in formation with a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (N21UT) owned by the Experimental Rocket Racing Association. The MiG pilot initially reported that there may have been a collision between the two aircraft, but no damage to the MiG was found after landing. All five people aboard the Cheyenne were killed.

  • 19 October: An Antonov AN-2 Colt biplane operated by Uzbekistan Airways crashed in poor weather near Tashkent, Uzbekistan, resulting in the loss of all 13 passengers and two crewmembers. The passengers were military personnel on a training flight.

  • 21 October: A 1956 North American T-28C Trojan, N470 (s/n 130523), crashed near Packton, Louisiana, under unknown circumstances, during a flight from Illinois to Louisiana. The pilot was killed.

  • 21 October: A Boeing AN75 (PT-17) Stearman, N4410, suffered engine problems and force-landed in a field near Palm Springs, California. The pilot was not injured.

November 2006:

  • 1 November: A consortium of Norwegian groups has raised a rare Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter from a fjord near Bergen, Norway. The aircraft, based during WWII at the nearby German airfield at Herdla, crash-landed in nearly 200 feet of water on 15 December 1943. The pilot survived the crash and was rescued.

  • 5 November: A 1958 North American T-6G Texan, N2831D, lost a wheel during landing in Griffin, Georgia, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 13 November: A Douglas DC-3 / C-47 Dakota, N64766, suffered the collapse of its right main landing gear upon landing in Houma, Louisiana, USA.

  • 23 November: The pilot of a 1973 Nanchang CJ-6, N8181C, made a successful forced landing after the engine failed near Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona, USA.

December 2006:

  • 2 December: Polish historians have announced the recovery of the remains of a Halifax bomber and more of its seven-man British and Canadian crew. The aircraft crashed on 4 August 1944 in Dabrowa Tarnowska, Poland, and the crew was buried in Krakow.

  • 3 December: The B-29/B-24 Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) has announced that they have begun restoring their LB-30 / B-24 "Diamond 'Lil" to a B-24A configuration. Organization members discovered that the aircraft was originally intended to be a B-24A, but was converted to an LB-30 early in its life. The project is due to be completed by 12 May 2007.

  • 6 December: Billionaire Paul Allen's ephemeral collection of aircraft, which features many rare WWII specimens in flying condition, will be moving from Arlington, Washington, USA to to Paine Field (KPAE) in Snohomish, Washington. The Flyng Heritage Collection's new facility will open to the public in the summer of 2007, after an extensive remodeling of their new hangar.

  • 6 December: Sweden's Defense Attaché in London signed over the logbooks of a Saab Viggen fighter to the Newark Air Museum in the United Kingdom. The aircraft, on long-term loan, flew into RAF Cranwell last winter, and was trucked to the museum for reassembly.

  • 7 December: A North American AT-6C Texan, N9525C (s/n 88-12407) struck a cardboard-and-wood target while simulating a bombing run in Mojave, California, USA. The pilot, a member of the Condor Squadron of Van Nuys, California, was not injured. The airplane suffered relatively minor damage, and landed safely.

  • 7 December: The new Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii celebrated its grand opening. Featured in the museum are vintage aircraft that fought in the Pacific theater, including a rare Zero fighter and an F4F Wildcat.

  • 21 December: A 1967 Cavalier T Mk.2 (North American F-51) Mustang, N251RM (s/n 67-22579), force-landed in the grassy median strip on a highway in Rexburg, Idaho, USA, after the engine failed during a test flight. The aircraft was substantially damaged, but owner/pilot John Bagley was not injured.


Index
1998  |  1999  |  2000  |  2001  |  2002  |  2003  |  2004  |  2005
2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013


[Back to Warbird News Page]


January 2007:

  • 6 January: A 1941 Ryan ST3KR, N56434, force-landed in a field near Worthington Springs, Florida, USA, after a loss of engine power. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 18 January: A 1945 Douglas C-54G Skymaster, N82FA (s/n 45-0507), owned and operated by Roger Brooks, experienced an engine fire and force-landed on the frozen tundra, five miles west of Nenana, Alaska, USA. Neither crewmember was injured.

  • 24 January: A Yakovlev Yak-52, N4437F, suffered the collapse of its left main landing gear during its landing roll in Santa Rosa, California, USA. Neither occupant was injured. (See photo below.)


     Yak-52 gear collapse
   
 (Photo courtesy J. Langlois)

February 2007:

  • 3 February: During a formation flight, a 1942 Boeing PT-17 Stearman, N49270, collided with a 1940 Waco UPF-7 biplane, N30140, over the Pacific Ocean near Palos Verdes, California, USA. The Stearman's propeller apparently struck the tail of the Waco. The Stearman pilot successfully returned to his home base, Torrance Airport. The pilot of the Waco landed in shallow water near shore, where the plane flipped over. Neither pilot was seriously hurt.

  • 4 February: An alliance has been formed between the British Columbia Aviation Council (Canada) and the Maryland Aviation Museum (USA), to acquire and preserve the last two Martin Mars flying boats. The aircraft had been active for the past 40 years as water bombers in Canada, and were retired last year. Initial plans are for one aircraft to be displayed in Port Alberni, Vancouver, B.C., and the other to be displayed in Middle River, Maryland.

March 2007:

  • 16 March: The owner/pilot of an Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros was killed in the crash of his airplane at the TICO warbird airshow in Titusville, Florida, USA. Elion Krugman-Kadi was performing a loop when he entered scattered clouds and apparently lost sight of the ground and pulled out too low.

  • 26 March: This week, search crews will visit several sites identified by sonar that might be the resting place of a Douglas DC-4 missing over Lake Michigan, USA since 1950. Teams of searchers, one financed by author Clive Cussler, have been combing the depths of the lake on and off since 2004.

  • 29 March: The pilot of a Boeing PT-13 Stearman that hit a power line over a Wisconsin lake in 2004, and whose passenger died in the subsequent crash, has been charged with "homicide by negligent use of a motor vehicle." The pilot has pleaded not guilty.

  • 30 March: A Yakovlev Yak-52, N808TD, made a gear-up landing at Courtland, Alabama, USA. Neither occupant was injured.

April 2007:

  • 3 April: A Boeing E75N Stearman, N3840K, was substantially damaged in a landing accident in Fostoria, Ohio, USA. Neither occupant was seriously injured.

  • 7 April: The pilot of a Scottish Aviation Bulldog, N706X, was killed, and a passenger injured, when their aircraft crashed near South Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA. The passenger walked to safety after spending the night at the remote crash site.

  • 14 April: BAE Systems in Mojave, California has received a contract from the US Air Force to convert almost two dozen McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom fighters into unmanned QF-4 drones. BAE has been providing QF-4s to the military since 1992.

  • 14 April: One of the few civilian operators of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, Starfighters, Inc. of Clearwater, Florida, USA will be hosted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) beginning next week. The F-104 will participate in flights intended to help analyze various launch trajectories that might be accomplished from NASAs three-mile long Shuttle Landing Facility. Flight profiles will include supersonic noise-footprint assessments.

  • 15 April: A team of searchers found debris from the 1947 crash of a North American B-25 Mitchell bomber near Longview, Washington, USA. The crash was made semi-famous after several newspaper articles and books reported that the bomber was carrying fragments of "flying disk debris." [ Crash report ]   

  • 17 April: A North American T-28 Trojan, N464SB, suffered an engine failure after takeoff from Red Lodge, Montana, USA. The pilot, well-known warbird financer Wally Zook, made a successful forced landing in a field.

  • 24 April: Another North American T-28 Trojan, N328RB, experienced an engine failure and made a forced landing, this time on a beach in Oxnard, California, USA. Neither the pilot nor passenger was injured. The aircraft was reportedly in formation with another T-28 when its engine abruptly began spewing flames.

  • 26 April: An appellate court in Illinois, USA has reinstated a wrongful-death lawsuit brought against the Lima Lima Flight Team, Inc, a popular T-34 formation demonstration team. In 1999, team member Keith Evans was killed in a mid-air collision, and a subsequent lawsuit against the team and another pilot was dismissed. This new suit alleges the team was negligent in failing to implement certain formation procedures that might have prevented the accident.

May 2007:

  • 1 May: A Nanchang CJ-6A, N552CY, declared an emergency and force-landed in a field near Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The sole occupant was not injured.

  • 1 May: Restoration has begun in Hampden, Maine, USA on a 1943 Piper L-4 reportedly flown by General George Patton in 1944. The owner of the aircraft, which is named "Liberty Girl," crashed the airplane in Japan in 2005 during an around-the-world attempt.

  • 3 May: A Grumman US-2B Tracker, N5234A (BuNo 136404), operated by the Old Dominion Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), crashed on approach to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina, USA. Miraculously, all five occupants survived the crash. The aircraft was destroyed, partially by the crash itself, and also by a forest fire triggered by a downed powerline at the crash site.

  • 7 May: The Collings Foundation West is pleased to announce the successful first test flight of its McDonnell-Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk, N524CF (BuNo 153524). The flight was conducted from the aircraft's home base of Ellington Field, Houston, Texas, USA.

  • 10 May: A pseudo-replica of a Japanese Zero (actually CCF Harvard Mk. IV N7757) suffered the collapse of its landing gear during a landing rollout in Peachtree City, Georgia, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 23 May: A 1942 Boeing A75N1 (PT-17) Stearman, N55718, crashed into the water near Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, USA. Both occupants were killed.

June 2007:

  •  3 June: The restored P-38 Lightning named "Glacier Girl" will complete the WWII mission that ended with its landing on a Greenland ice field along with five other P-38s and two B-17s in 1942. Pilot Steve Hinton and "Glacier Girl" will depart America on 22 June and fly to England. A newly-restored P-51 (N251RJ), flown by Ed Shipley, will accompany him, and the adventure will be broadcast to the public using special satellite communications gear. The Mustang, owned by Duxford-based The Fighter Collection, will remain in the UK, while the Lightning will return to the USA.

  • 14 June: The 1945 crash site of a Lockheed P-38 Lightning that crashed in the Oregon desert has been declared a Federal historical site, protecting it from further defacement and "parts-poaching." The pilot, 2Lt Max Clark, was killed on 11 February 1945 while on a gunnery training flight about 25 miles southeast of Christmas Valley, Oregon.

  • 17 June: A 1945 North American AT-6F Texan, N75AG, struck powerlines but managed to land safely at Columbia, California, USA.

  • 22 June: The "Glacier Girl" P-38 and its accompanying P-51 Mustang escort arrived at Presque Isle, Maine, in preparation for their departure across the Atlantic Ocean. (See 3 June entry above.) For more information, and to track the flight real-time, see the "Operation Bolero II" links at AirshowBuzz.com.

  • 28 June: Operation Bolero II has been postponed. (See entries above). Glacier Girl, after being grounded at Goose Bay for engine troubles, will not make the trip to the UK, but will instead be repaired in time to attend the EAA AirVenture event in late July.

July 2007:

  •  2 July: A Nanchang CJ-6, N10EB, suffered the collapse of its landing gear after landing at Brigham City, Utah, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 3 July: Construction workers near Watsonville, California, USA have discovered what appear to be buried airplane parts, circa WWII. Crews unearthed a chunk of riveted metal, a burned parachute, and some bullet casings while digging a trench near the site of a long-defunct airport.

  • 14 July: A 1941 Boeing A75N-1 (PT-17) Stearman, N7034Y, ran off the end of the runway and plowed into a cornfield while landing at Oelwein, Iowa, USA. The aircraft was substantially damaged, but the pilot was not injured.

  • 15 July: Pilot John McKittrick was killed in the crash of a North American P-51D Mustang, N51TK ("Lou IV") at Camarillo Airport, California, USA. Witnesses reported seeing the plane bounce into the air and subsequently roll over during a touch-and-go. The accident occurred during the pilot's first solo flight in the Mustang.

  • 19 July: A 1952 Beech C-45H (Model 18), N9562Z, owned by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), crashed in rural Boulder County, Colorado, USA, after clipping some trees and hitting a pole, after losing power in both engines during a training mission. Both occupants escaped with only moderate injuries. The aircraft was mostly destroyed by a post-crash fire. [Preliminary NTSB report] [Final NTSB Report]

  • 22 July: A North American T-6G Texan, N22NA, suffered engine problems enroute to the EAA AirVenture event and made a successful forced-landing on a highway in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA. The pilot, airshow performer Bill Leff, was scheduled to perform at the event. Neither Leff, nor his son, who was a passenger, were hurt. The aircraft's right wing was slightly damaged by a road sign.

  • 26 July: The tailwheel assembly of a Cessna O-1/L-19 Birddog, N919BD, broke during a landing in Chino, California, USA. The sole occupant was not injured and the plane suffered only minor damage.

  • 27 July: Noted warbird rebuilder Gerry Beck was killed when two North American P-51 Mustangs (actually one D-model and Beck's replica A-model) collided while landing at the AirVenture event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. The two aircraft had just completed a race demonstration and were touching down when they collided. Beck's hand-built P-51A, "Precious Metal" (NX8082U) ended up on its back, while the P-51D, "Stang" (N151RJ), flown by Casey Odegaard, came to rest on its nose. Odegaard escaped with minor injuries.

  • 29 July: A Grumman J2F-4 Duck, N63850, owned by Chuck and Beverly Greenhill, won the National Aviation Hall of Fame's People's Choice Award at EAA AirVenture, besting four other immaculate aircraft, each of which had to win previous high-level aircraft competitions just to be contenders in this competition.

  • 31 July: A DeHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk, N2EA, lost engine power and struck powerlines while attempting a forced landing near Olympia, Washington, USA. The aircraft came to rest on a road. The pilot and passenger suffered only cuts and scrapes.

August 2007:

  • 2 August: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has confirmed initial suspicions that the two P-51 Mustangs involved in the runway collision at the AirVenture Oshkosh event (see 27 July 2007 entry) were not in formation. Rather, they were making separate approaches, and were apparently not aware of each other's presence until the collision occurred.

  • 3 August: Vin Thomas, who sold his 1946 Commonwealth Wirraway on eBay and then backed out of the sale because he had sold the aircraft to another person for a higher amount (see 3 October 2006 entry) has been ordered by an Australian court to hand over the aircraft to the original eBay buyer, Peter Smythe.

  • 12 August: A 1955 North American T-28B Trojan, operated by the Indiana Aviation Museum, over-ran the runway and went into a creek during landing at Joliet, Illinois. Neither the pilot nor passenger were injured. The airplane is reported to be repairable.

  • 16 August: The UK's Civil Aviation Authority has released at Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that hints of the possibility of a test flight of Avro Vulcan XH558 at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome sometime in late August or early September. XH558 will be the first Vulcan to fly since 1992, when it was displayed by the RAF Vulcan Display Flight.

  • 20 August: The buried aircraft parts found near Watsonville, California (See 3 July 2007 entry) have been revealed to be the crash site of a Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless which crashed in January 1944 during a night training mission from its base at Crow's Landing Naval Air Facility. Remains of the crew have been located along with several personal artifacts.

  • 31 August: Six women who labored building bombers during WWII got a chance to fly in a B-17 Flying Fortress and a B-24 Liberator bomber, as a tribute to their war efforts. The aircraft, operated by the Collings Foundation, appeared at the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York, USA.

September 2007:

  • 1 September: A Boeing A75N1 (PT-17) Stearman, N65PG, flipped over after veering left during takeoff at Edmond, Oklahoma, USA. The pilot was not hurt.

  • 2 September: A pair of North American SNJ-2s, registered N62382 and N52033, collided on the ground while taxiing at Farmingdale, New York, USA. The aircraft were operated by the SkyTypers aerial demonstration team.

  • 3 September: A Yakovlev Yak-52, N212YA, crashed after takeoff from the Lake-In-The-Hills airport in Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA, after an apparent loss of engine power. Pilots David Burdine and Steven Hildebrand were killed. Burdine was known in the airshow community for his excellent MiG-17 flying display.

  • 3 September: A Meyers OTW-145, N34321, suffered an engine failure and force-landed in a field near Annville, Pennsylvania, USA. Neither occupant reported injuries.

  • 7 September: Jan Wildbergh, the #6 pilot for the Geico SkyTypers aerial demonstration team, was killed in the crash of his North American SNJ-2, N52033, during an airshow practice session at NAS Oceana, Virginia, USA. The accident occurred as the team was pitching out to land. The accident aircraft appeared to continue straight ahead instead of "breaking" to the downwind leg; it then impacted the ground.

  • Both Wings magazine and Airpower magazine, which have been published since 1971, have ceased operations. The publisher cites small subscriber lists and increasing financial pressure as the reason for the demise of the magazines. (More information here). Back issues and CD-ROMs of the magazines are available.

  • 10 September: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other groups have expressed concern about keeping the approval and documentation processes viable for older aircraft. A new website, ClassicAircraft.com, has been created in order to facilitate "grass-roots" discussions on how to support aging aircraft in the USA.

  • 13 September: A 1943 deHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth suffered an engine failure and landed on a busy, traffic-filled road in Johannesburg, South Africa. Two people were killed: a passenger in the airplane and the driver of a bus. At least 23 people on the bus were injured. The pilot was also injured, not only by the crash, but allegedly by bystanders who kicked him while he was still strapped in the cockpit.

  • 13 September: Air race pilot Brad Morehouse was killed in the crash of his Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, N139DK (Race #4), during the second heat of the jet class races at the National Championship Air Races at Reno, Nevada, USA. It appeared the aircraft may have been caught in the wake of a preceding aircraft.

  • 14 September: A deHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth (G-ANDE), operated by Delta Aviation, made an emergency landing in a hayfield near Crowhurst, Surrey, UK, after experiencing engine troubles. One of the two occupants suffered a broken leg.

  • 15 September: Display pilot Brian Brown was killed when his Hawker Hurricane XII, BD707 (G-HURR), crashed near Shoreham Airport in West Sussex, UK while participating in a mock aerial battle involving Spitfires, Hurricanes and Messerschmitts at the Shoreham Airshow.

  • 17 September: Owners and operators of vintage or rare aircraft in the USA are urged to comment on an FAA draft order which might result in changes to how "abandoned" and "orphaned" type certificates are handled by the agency. More information is available here. (This is a MS Word™ document.)

  • 19 September: Warbird industry groups, after months of hard work, have announced that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has agreed to issue waivers to the 300- and 600-nautical mile operating radii previously issued to piston and jet warbird owners. (Note: The change is not "automatic"; owners must file paperwork to get the limitation removed. For more information, please visit the Warbirds of America site.)

  • 22 September: A 1943 North American SNJ-5, N11HP, went off the side of the runway and ground-looped at Bloomington, Illinois, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 22 September: Josephine "Fifi" O'Connor Agather, the namesake of the world's last remaining airworthy Boeing B-29 Superfortress (the Commemorative Air Force's "Fifi"), has passed away. She was 88. 

  • 23 September: A 1944 Boeing E75 Stearman, N2533, flipped over on landing at Culpepper, Virginia, USA. No injured were reported.

  • 26 September: After a piston blew on its #2 engine, the Commemorative Air Force's North American PBJ-1J (B-25J) Mitchell, "Devil Dog," has been grounded while funds are raised for repairs. [Media coverage here.] The CAF squadron that operates the airplane will hold a fund-raiser hangar dance on 20 October 2007.

  • 28 September: Nearly 100 North American P-51 Mustangs, as well as many other WWII-era warbirds, congregated in Columbus, Ohio, USA, along with numerous WWII pilots and crew members. The Gathering of Mustangs and Legends event is believed to have been the largest get-together of the type since the war.

October 2007:

  • 18 October: The Vulcan to the Sky Trust is pleased to announce the first flight of their famous Avro Vulcan bomber, XH558 (G-VLCN), after 14 years of restoration, intensive fund-raising, and hard effort by many people. XH558, piloted by Al McDicken and Dave Thomas, flew a 40-minute test flight from Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire. It is the world's only flying Vulcan. The Vulcan Operating Company (TVOC) team will complete a thorough analysis of the airplane, then begin displaying her distinctive looks (and sound) throughout Europe in 2008. Congratulations to the entire TVOC team, trustees, and contributors! [More information here, and BBC news video of the event here.]

  • 18 October: A 1949 North American T-6G Texan, N9067Z (s/n 49-3001), pitched forward during landing at Longview, Texas, USA, and damaged the propeller. The pilot was not injured.

  • 20 October: A 1942 Ryan ST3K, N780SR, force-landed in a hay field near Unadilla, Georgia, USA after its propeller came apart. Neither the pilot nor passenger were injured.

  • 23 October: Pilot Doug Jenkins managed to skillfully put his 1943 Taylorcraft L-2 "Grasshopper" down in a mall parking lot in Naples, Florida, USA, after suffering engine problems. The airplane and two cars were damaged in the incident, but neither Jenkins nor his passenger were injured.

  • 31 October: David Tallichet, a WWII B-17 combat veteran and one of the world's most prolific warbird collectors, passed away at the age of 84 in Orange, California, USA. Tallichet was known as one of the fathers of the warbird movement, thanks to his foresight and tenacity in recovering, acquiring and/or protecting military aircraft all over the world. He once owned approximately 120 vintage aircraft, although about half of his collection had gradually been sold over the past few years.

November 2007:

  • 5 November: The wreckage of a Lockheed P-38 Lightning has been found on a beach near Harlech, Wales, where it has lain for over 60 years. Recent low tides and surf action have uncovered part of the wreck. Authorities have not yet made a decision about if (or how) the aircraft will be recovered.

  • 10 November: A British Aerospace FA/2 Sea Harrier, N94422 (XZ439), has become the first Harrier to fly in the civilian warbird community. Owner Art Nalls successfully flew the aircraft twice from the St. Mary's County Airport, Maryland, USA. During the second flight the aircraft suffered a hydraulic failure, and during landing at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, an outrigger collapsed and the plane settled onto its side. Damage was minor and the plane is expected to fly again soon. Nalls plans to eventually display the aircraft at airshows in the USA. [More information]

December 2007:

  • 2 December: The Bournemouth Aviation Museum in Christchurch, Dorset, UK has announced it will be forced to close on 16 December due to airport re-development plans. The BAM is noted for its flying displays of airworthy aircraft, as well as a wide and unusual selection of aircraft. A grassroots effort is underway to either allow the museum to remain in its present facility or locate a new one.

  • 5 December: A legendary U.S. airshow team, the Red Baron Pizza Squadron, has been retired by its sponsoring company. The formation aerobatic team, which gave over 2,000 performances over the past 28 years, flew Boeing P-17 Stearman biplanes. [Press release]

  • 6 December: Prolific vintage aircraft collector, restorer, and noted warbird pilot Colin Pay died in an aircraft crash at Lake Liddell, NSW, Australia. The aircraft was reported to be an Air Tractor, used in agricultural / fire bomber roles.

  • 21 December: A turboprop Douglas/Basler DC-3 owned by Ken Borek Air Ltd., crashed on takeoff near Mt. Patterson, Antarctica. All 10 people on board survived. The passengers included six members of the Polar Earth Observatory Network (POLENET), an organization that deploys GPS and seismic sensors across Antarctica.


Index
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2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013


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January 2008:

  • 21 January: The Texas-based Cavanaugh Flight Museum has announced that it will sponsor the Commemorative Air Force's Boeing B-29 Superfortress named "Fifi." The $1.2 million sponsorship will make it possible for the famous aircraft to receive new engines and remain airworthy.

  • 23 January: The pilot of a Boeing PT-13 Stearman that was involved in a fatal crash in August 2004 (see news item) has plead "no contest" to negligent operation of a vehicle. He faces up to nine months in jail.

February 2008:

  • 15 February: The 2008 Arizona Skyfest airshow has been canceled due to liability concerns arising from the threat of a lawsuit following the October 2006 crash of a Piper Cheyenne that was flying in formation with a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 fighter. Among the four individuals lost in the Piper were the executive director and the operations director of the event. The families of several of the crash victims are the plaintiffs in the suit. The Prescott Air Fair Association, which runs the event, was named in the suit as being partly to blame for the crash. Also named as a defendant was the pilot of the MiG-21.

  • 16 February: The owner of a famous Piper L-4 Grasshopper, G-KIRK, named "Liberty Girl," ditched the airplane in the ocean off Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands, after the plane suffered an engine failure. Owner/pilot Maurice Kirk was rescued from the floating wreckage of the airplane by a US Coast Guard helicopter. Liberty Girl was damaged in Japan in 2005 during an around-the-world flight attempt.

  • 22 February: Lex Cralley, the owner of a Brewster F3A-1 Corsair recovered from a swamp in North Carolina, has placed the aircraft up for sale or trade.

March 2008:

  • 2 March: A North American T-28A Fennec/Trojan, N8523A (s/n 51-3530), suffered an engine failure and made a successful forced landing in a field near Gainesville, Texas, USA. The pilot was not injured, but the nose gear and left main landing gear collapsed in soft soil, causing substantial damage to the aircraft. 

  • 20 March: The crew of a Douglas DC-3/C-47, N138SF, reported a blown tire on landing, then the aircraft ground-looped into the grass next to the runway in San Juan, Puerto Rico. No injuries or serious damage were reported.

  • 21 March: Digital content laws in the United States and elsewhere are causing trouble for aviation artists and illustrators whose work allegedly infringes on copyright and trademark law. An example recently came to light when 3D illustrator John MacNeill's digital model of a Consolidated B-24 Liberator was removed from an online database by a legal order from the Lockheed Martin corporation. [More information here.]

  • 22 March: Paul Allen's Messerschmitt Bf-109E has flown at Everett, Washington, USA after its restoration. The pilot for the test flight was Steve Hinton. The aircraft will be a flying member of Allen's Flying Heritage Collection.

  • 25 March: A Yakovlev Yak-18T, N221YK, suffered a collapse of its left main landing gear while taxiing onto the runway for takeoff at Sacramento, California, USA.

April 2008:

  • 5 April: A North American / CAC CA-18 Mk.21 Mustang, VH-BOB (s/n A68-104), was forced to make an emergency gear-up landing in the grass at Point Cook, Victoria, Australia. Damage was minimal and neither occupant was injured. [Video>>]

  • 7 April: A PZL/WSK TS-11 Iskra jet, N501SH, made a successful gear-up forced landing on a road after losing its engine near Okeechobee, Florida, USA. No injuries were reported.

  • 8 April: A rare flyover by vintage warbirds is scheduled for April 10, 2008 over Washington DC, in commemoration of the thousands of U.S. airmen who lost their lives in combat. Boeing, the sponsor of the event, has announced that the flyby of the Pentagon will include a B-17, P-51, P-40 and a Spitfire. The event is being organized and run by the American Air Museum (AAM) based at Duxford, England.

  • 9 April: A tornado touched down at the Stevens County Airport in Breckenridge, Texas, USA, doing heavy damage to numerous aircraft and hangars, including some at the facility of noted warbird restorer Nelson Ezell. At least three warbirds, an Aeronca L-3, Lockheed P-38 Lightning, and Grumman F4F Wildcat, were damaged to varying degrees. [Aerial news videos here.]

  • 11 April: A North American T-28C Trojan, N9022N, suffered a total loss of engine power in cruise flight near Kingman, Arizona, USA. The aircraft was substantially damaged in the intentional gear-up landing that followed. The pilot was not injured, but the passenger was slightly injured.

  • 14 April: A Boeing E75N Stearman, N3840K, crashed and was substantially damaged under unknown circumstances near Youngstown, Ohio, USA. Neither occupant was seriously injured. This same aircraft was substantially damaged almost exactly one year ago during a landing accident.

  • A 1945 Goodyear FG-1 Corsair, N96RL (c/n 3769), operated by the Fighter Factory of Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA, ground-looped on landing, collapsing the landing gear. Damage was considered "minor."

  • 22 April: A 1948 Hawker Sea Fury T.Mk20, N51SF (c/n ES3613), operated by the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, suffered the collapse of its landing gear during landing at Addison, Texas, USA. Neither occupant was injured.

  • 26 April: During an airshow at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas, USA, a Supermarine Spitfire LFXVIe (N97RW / TE392) taxied into the tail of the museum's recently restored Hawker Hurricane (N96RW / CCF-96), heavily damaging both aircraft. Neither pilot was injured.

May 2008:

  • 2 May: A Yakovlev Yak-52, N62813, crashed shortly after takeoff from a private airport near Vancouver, Washington. Both the pilot and passenger were killed.

  • 5 May: Owner/pilot John Zayac survived the crash of his North American SNJ-5, N12KY (Race #12, "Thumper") after a rough forced landing in a remote area of Eagle County, Colorado, USA, about 85 miles west of Denver. (See photo below). Zayac is the president of the T-6 Racing Association and was flying his airplane to Reno to sell it at the time of the accident. The same aircraft and pilot were involved in a successful off-airport landing in 2000.


Photo courtesy of Eagle County Sheriff's Department

  • 9 May: A Boeing Model 75 Stearman, N57950, ground-looped, departed the runway surface, and flipped over after landing at McKinney, Texas, USA. The sole occupant was not injured.

  • 10 May: An Antonov An-2 Colt biplane crashed and burned in southeast Romania. One of the pilots was killed, and the other was injured.

  • 17 May: A deHavilland DH-112 Venom jet, N21MJ, suffered an engine failure in the traffic pattern at Platte Valley Airport, Hudson, Colorado, USA, and force-landed in a nearby field. The plane caught fire and was substantially damaged, but the pilot escaped unhurt.

  • 24 May: A 1949 North American T-28 Trojan, N228AF (c/n 49-1547), landed gear-up at Rogersville, Tennessee, USA. Neither occupant was injured.

  • 24 May: A 1944 Stinson L-5E/Consolidated OY-1, N8071, ground-looped and was damaged at Belleville, Michigan, USA.

  • 25 May: A Boeing A75N1 Stearman, N46996, lost power and crashed into the trees after takeoff from a grass strip near Romney, West Virginia, USA. The pilot and passenger suffered only minor injuries.

  • 26 May: A Messerschmitt Bf-109G-10, "Black 2," operated by the EADS Historic Flight, suffered the collapse of its right main gear and ground-looped during the ILA Berlin Air Show, Germany. The airframe was relatively undamaged, but since the propeller struck the ground, the engine's condition is unknown. [Video here]

  • 29 May: A rare Grumman J2F-6 Duck amphibian crashed on landing in Anchorage, Alaska, USA. Damage was reported as minor.

  • 31 May: A 1948 Pilatus P-2, G-BLKZ, made a forced landing in a field near Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK, after an engine failure. The pilot suffered minor injuries and was hospitalized, and the passenger was unhurt. The airplane's landing gear collapsed during the incident, but even more damage was allegedly done later by a vandal, who apparently smashed the plane's instruments and canopy, and set fire to the aircraft's wings.

June 2008:

  • 2 June: The newly-restored "Flying Bulls" Lockheed P-38L Lightning, N25Y (s/n 44-53254), has made its first post-restoration flight, at the hands of pilot Steve Hinton. The aircraft was formerly Lefty Gardner's "White Lightnin'." [Photos here]  

  • 6 June: Microsoft's co-founder Paul Allen's Flying Heritage Collection opened to the public at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, USA. The collection features numerous rare and historic military aircraft, most airworthy, restored to the highest standards.

  • 12 June: A 1970 BAC Jet Provost Mk. 5, N199ER (XW322), crashed while landing at Bay City, Texas, USA. The aircraft was destroyed, but neither occupant was apparently injured. This particular aircraft was one of two personal trainer aircraft assigned to HRH Prince Charles during his Royal Navy pilot training in 1971.

  • 21 June: North American P-51D Mustang G-MRLL (s/n 44-13521) owned by Maurice Hammond, made its first engine-run in 64 years after a lengthy 5-year restoration in the U.K. [Photos here.]

  • 22 June: A 1971 Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin, N29DJ, (c/n 892806), crashed in the forest shortly after takeoff from Millville, New Jersey, USA. Owner/pilot William Crean and passenger Frederick Gault were both killed.

  • 26 June: A Boeing D75N1 Stearman, N19BB, ground-looped and came to rest inverted on the grass after landing at Driggs, Idaho, USA. Neither occupant was injured.

July 2008:

  • 6 July: A 2002 Yakovlev Yak-52TW, N777YK, landed gear-up at Middleton, Wisconsin, USA. Damage was classified as "minor."

  • 8 July: North American P-51 Mustang G-BIXL ("Miss Helen") (s/n 44-72216), suffered a loss of engine power on final at Duxford, UK, resulting a hard landing and damage to the landing gear.

  • 12 July: A 1942 Boeing B75N1 Stearman, N0166M, nosed-over and came to rest inverted after landing at Culpeper, Virginia, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 14 July: A 1942 Curtiss P-40N Warhawk, N49FG, suffered the collapse of its landing gear during landing at Starkville, Mississippi, USA. No injuries were reported.

  • 22 July: The European Union grounded the last three passenger-carrying Douglas DC-3 Dakotas in the UK due to safety regulations. These regulations require, among other things, oxygen systems, escape slides, and weather radar -- three systems the vintage Dakota neither carried nor needed for the types of sightseeing flights it carried out. [Editor's note: The EU's march toward bureaucratic totalitarianism appears to be going well. European fans of vintage aircraft should enjoy whatever shows and sights they can take in, as these opportunities might not last.]

August 2008:

  • 4 August: A North American P-51D Mustang, N551W ("The Millie G"), was damaged in a takeoff accident at Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. The plane ended up on its belly against an airport perimeter fence. The pilot was not injured.

  • 5 August: A 1952 deHavilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk, N41832, suffered an engine failure and crashed after takeoff near Erie, Colorado, USA. The pilot/owner and had minor injuries, and his passenger (his teenage grandson) was seriously injured. The aircraft was mostly destroyed.

  • 8 August: The North American T-2 Buckeye flew its final student training sortie in service with the U.S. Navy, at NAS Pensacola, Florida. The venerable jet trainer entered service in 1959.


Photo courtesy Pensacola News Journal

  • 20 August: A 1948 Hawker Sea Fury T-Mk.20, N51SF, operated by the Texas-based Cavanaugh Flight Museum, suffered an engine failure while on approach and landed short of the runway at Reno-Stead Airport, Reno, Nevada. The aircraft, which was to compete in next month's National Championship Air Races, was substantially damaged, but the pilot was unhurt.


Sea Fury N51SF on its way to Nelson Ezell's restoration
facility after its off-airport landing at Reno.
Photo taken in Limon, Colorado,
September 6, 2008, by Bob Williams.

  • 22 August: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a draft advisory circular (AC) that "provides guidance for substantiating parts or materials substitutions to maintain the safety of old or out of production general aviation (GA) airplanes." This guidance will help operators of vintage aircraft maintain their planes and keep them in safe condition as they age. The text of the AC is available here.

  • 30 August: A deHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth, N80660, crashed on takeoff at Sevierville, Tennessee, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 30 August: A Yakovlev Yak-52, N524CK, crashed into the St. Lucie River near Stuart, Florida, USA. Neither occupant was injured. [Video of recovery efforts.]

  • 31 August: A 1935 deHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth, N522R, suffered an engine failure while in the traffic pattern and came to rest 50 feet up in a tree near the Skylark Airpark, East Windsor, Connecticut, USA. The two occupants were unhurt, but it took three hours for rescue crews to reach them and lower them to the ground using ropes and pulleys.

September 2008:

  • 1 September: A Lockheed SP-2H (P2V) Neptune airtanker, N4235T, crashed after takeoff from the Reno-Stead Airport, Reno, Nevada, USA. All three persons on board were killed. The aircraft was enroute to battle a wildfire in nearby Inyoe County, California. It was operated by Neptune Aviation of Missoula, Montana.

  • 1 September: A Yakovlev Yak-52 crashed into the sea off Stradbroke Island, Australia while performing aerobatics. Both the pilot and passenger were killed.

  • 5 September: The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) has gone back to court over a dispute with the U.S. Air Force Museum (USAFM) over the ownership of a rare North American F-82B Twin Mustang. The CAF contends that the aircraft was donated outright by the Air Force in 1968. A ruling in July favored the USAFM, but the CAF has appealed, citing multiple documents that contain the word "donation."

  • 16 September: The Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas, USA has issued a series of press releases detailing the damage sustained by the museum during this weekend's passage of Hurricane Ike. About a dozen of the flyable aircraft were previously flown out of harm's way. [Click through for a heartbreaking photo gallery of the damage to the museum and its exhibits.]

  • 19 September: A 1965 Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin, N129DH, lost its canopy while on the takeoff roll in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA. No one was injured.

  • 28 September: A 1941 North American Harvard Mk.IIA, N9272C, departed the edge of the runway during a touch-and-go in Dayton, Ohio, USA, resulting in the collapse of the left landing gear. The pilot suffered only minor injuries.

October 2008:

  • 9 October: A Canadair CT-114 Tutor jet operated by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds team crashed in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, during a rehearsal / photo flight, killing both the pilot and a photographer.

  • 9 October: The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has proposed sweeping new regulations that would require operators of all aircraft over 12,500 pounds maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) to enact strict security background checks and/or screening of crewmembers and passengers, much like that required by commercial airlines. The implications of such measures on warbird operations are obvious, and several organizations are studying the matter.

  • 11 October: Art Nalls and his privately-owned BAe Sea Harrier, N94422 (XZ439), made their airshow debut at the Culpeper Air Fest in Virginia, USA. Nalls' Harrier is the first one to fly in private hands, and its airworthiness is a significant accomplishment considering the complexity and expense of this type.

  • 11 October: A 1958 Focke-Wulf P.149D, N149PE, suffered the collapse of its nose landing gear during landing in San Diego, California, USA.

  • 31 October: A 1952 North American/CCF Harvard Mk. IV, N2047, operated by the Commemorative Air Force and modified as a replica of a Japanese "Kate" dive-bomber, landed at San Marcos, Texas, USA, with its landing gear only partially extended. Thanks to some expert handling by the pilot, damage was minimal as the left gear collapsed upon touchdown.

November 2008:

  • The Commemorative Air Force's (CAF) Gulf Coast Wing in Houston, Texas, USA has been notified that the lease on their hangar containing their Boeing B-17 Flying Fortess, "Texas Raiders," will expire at the end of this month, and the plane must me removed. Since it is under restoration and cannot be moved, it may have to be dismantled and shipped to the CAF's home base in Midland, Texas, unless a new home can be found.

  • 13 November: A North American FJ-4B Fury, N400FS, landed gear-up during an airshow at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 16 November: The Hagerstown Aviation Museum in Maryland has taken delivery of one of the last airworthy Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcars in existence. N8093 was flown to the museum from Graybull, Wyoming, where it had been a fire suppression bomber with Hawkins and Powers Aviation since the 1980s. The C-119 joins a C-82 Packet already on display at the former home of the Fairchild Aircraft Company.

December 2008:

  • 6 December: One of the Commemorative Air Force's first aircraft, a Curtiss P-40N Warhawk, N1226N (s/n 42-105867) has made its first post-restoration flight, with sponsor Ray Kinney at the controls.

  • After over seven years in flyable storage in Ohakea, New Zealand's fleet of Aermacchi MB-339CB strike trainers may be brought back into service. The new defense minister announced that the government would be considering the action shortly. The sale of seventeen Douglas A-4 Skyhawks to an American contractor is still held up by bureaucracy at the U.S. State Department.

  • 24 December: Marvin L. "Lefty" Gardner, WWII pilot, famous P-38 airshow performer, crop-duster, and one of the founding members of the Confederate Air Force, passed away at the age of 87.  [Blue skies, Lefty... --Ed.]

  • 26 December: The world's only remaining restored Handley Page Hampden bomber was badly damaged by heavy snowfall at the Canadian Museum of Flight. The left wing structure failed under the load of the snow, and separated from the airplane. The wing then fell onto a display case containing one of the plane's original engines.



Index
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2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013


[Back to Warbird News Page]


January 2009:

  • 3 January: A Nanchang CJ-6, N99YK, crashed into a field during a landing approach at the Propwash Airport in Denton County, Texas, USA. Both the pilot and passenger were killed. [Accident synopsis]

  • 5 January: The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) has announced that their Director of Maintenance and Quality Assurance, Gary Austin, will be leaving the organization to pursue "non-aviation related" activities. Austin, who has worked tirelessly on many major efforts including the CAF's B-29 and B-24, is noted for leading some of the vast improvements in the way the CAF maintains its fleet of vintage airplanes.

  • 5 January: A Russian polar explorer and three crewmembers survived the crash of a Basler BT-67 (a turbo-conversion DC-3/C-47) in Antarctica. The Russian-owned plane was carrying vehicle parts for a British expedition when it apparently crashed into the ice. All four survivors were evacuated on a second airplane.

  • 11 January: A 1945 Nord 1101 Noralpha (a license-built Messerschmitt 208), N208ME, lost engine power and landed short of the runway in Sparta, Illinois, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 12 January: A 1948 Ryan Navion A, N4387K, force-landed in a field near the Latrobe, Pennsylvania, USA airport. The pilot was not injured.

  • The Yankee Air Museum in Willow Run, Michigan, USA, may soon have to move from its current hangar facilities, apparently because the airport needs to close the building to save money. The museum had taken up residence in its current home after a fire in 2004 which destroyed its former hangar.

  • 15 January: A two-seat Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX, ZK-WDQ (MH367) owned and flown by Doug Brooker, suffered the collapse of its landing gear upon landing at Masterton Aerodrome, New Zealand, just before a weekend airshow in which it was to play a large role. [See photo below]. Details of the accident are not known, but most the aircraft appears to be relatively undamaged. The aircraft had recently been restored in Florida.


Photo courtesy Wairarapa Times-Age

  • 16 January: A North American T-6/SNJ-5, N7861B, ground-looped on landing at Merritt Island, Florida, USA. Damage to the airplane was substantial, but the pilot was not injured.

  • 17 January: The Heritage Flight Museum of Bellingham, Washington, USA reopened in its new location at the Bellingham International Airport. Showcasing nearly a dozen flyable vintage aircraft, the museum was founded in 1996 by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders and his family.

  • 24 January: A rare Avro Vulcan bomber on display at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, USA is threatened with destruction unless the base's 8th Air Force Museum passes an accreditation inspection by the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. [More information here.]

  • 27 January: The Hangar 11 Collection at North Weald, UK, is pleased to announced that their Hawker Hurricane X, G-HHII ("BE505") has made its first post-restoration flight.  

  • 28 January: A SIAI Marchetti SF-260C, N688C, crashed shortly after takeoff from the Santa Monica airport in California, killing both the pilot and passenger. Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft attempt to make an aggressive turn back to the runway after losing the engine.

  • 31 January: The Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas, USA, heavily damaged during Hurricane Ike in September 2008, has reopened.

  • 31 January: All four people involved survived after a North American T-6G Texan, N51KT (s/n 49-3266) was involved in a midair collision with a helicopter at an airport northwest of Houston, Texas, USA. The T-6 landed safely after losing its left wingtip and part of the wing, and the helicopter fell about 40 feet to the ground.

February 2009:

  • 1 February: A Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin lost its brakes and departed the end of the runway at North Shore Airfield, Dairy Flat, New Zealand. The plane crossed a road and came to rest against a fence, but the pilot was not injured.

  • 4 February: A Douglas DC-3 / C-47, N834TP, operated by the National Test Pilot School, veered off the side of the runway and nosed over at Mojave, California, USA. The plane was substantially damaged, but neither pilot was injured.

  • 7 February: A 1944 Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, N93012 ("Nine O' Nine"), operated by the Collings Foundation, struck approach lights during landing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. The aircraft apparently suffered no damage.

  • A 1943 Fairchild PT-26A Cornell, N49071, lost engine power and force-landed off the airport at San Juan Island, Washington, USA. The aircraft was substantially damaged, but the two occupants were not injured.

  • 18 February: A Douglas AC-47T / BT-67 "Fantasma" ("Phantom") on a training mission with the Columbian Air Force crashed in the village of El Purnio, Columbia (100 miles northwest of Bogota) shortly after taking off from its home base. 5 people were killed. First reports say that the aircraft involved was designated FAC 1659, an aircraft that had been involved in another fatal accident in September 2000.

  • 18 February: A second AC-47T / BT-67, registered PNC-0211, was damaged in Columbia, this time at the Medellin Airport. The press reported that a "tear-gas grenade" exploded inside the aft cabin -- however, since photos show that the fuselage was cut in half, it is likely a more powerful explosive was also involved.

March 2009:

  • 7 March: The left wing of a Grumman TBM-3 Avenger, N188TD (BuNo 53522), caught fire shortly after takeoff from Millville, New Jersey, USA. Pilot Terry Rush managed to return quickly to the airport, land, and run away from the burning airplane. He suffered second- and third-degree burns, but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. The aircraft, which was destroyed, was owned by Tom Duffy, who also owns a Corsair, B-25, and other aircraft.

  • 11 March: The National Museum of the Air Force declined a settlement proposal made by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) regarding the stewardship of a rare North American F-82 Twin Mustang. The aircraft, which was restored by the CAF during the past ten years with the intention to eventually fly it, was immediately dismantled and returned to the Air Force. The CAF intends to appeal the ruling.

  • 11 March: A newly-restored, authentic-restored Fieseler Fi 156 Storch, G-STCH, has made its first post-restoration flight. Owned by Peter Holloway, the aircraft will be based at Old Warden, UK along with his other vintage aircraft.

  • 12 March: The Illinois-based Warbird Heritage Foundation announced the addition of a Douglas AD-1 Skyraider, N2AD (BuNo 09257), to its collection.

  • The wreckage of what might be a long-lost Argentinean Air Force Avro Lancaster, missing since the 1950s, has been found in a remote fjord in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. [More information].

  • 20 March: The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum has announced that their Avro Lancaster bomber has been grounded due to corrosion issues. They have launched a fund-raising appeal to get the plane back into the air.

  • 28 March: A Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat, N7825C, operated by the Commemorative Air Force's SoCal Wing, suffered a progressive loss of power and made a successful forced landing at Burbank, California, USA. Pilot Steve Barber is reported to have done a magnificent job getting the plane on the ground.

  • 28 March: The left main landing gear of 1944 North American T-6D Texan N554Q collapsed upon landing in Destin, Florida, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 29 March: A 1975 Siai-Marchetti SM-1019B, N273LH, struck a tree after takeoff in Dade City, Florida, USA. The aircraft was substantially damaged, but the pilot escaped injury.

  • 30 March: ABC News aired an investigative report on potential safety issues with a 1957 Grumman HU-16E Albatross operated by energy drink maker Red Bull. The report alleges that the aircraft is used to fly media and celebrities at public sporting events and airshows, and that its airframe might be beyond its designed "fatigue life."

April 2009:

  • 3 April: An Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros blew a tire and went off the side of the runway during landing at Houma, Louisiana, USA. Neither occupant was injured.

  • 5 April: A Curtiss P-40N Warhawk, N740RB (s/n 44-7368) crashed into the water near Fire Island, New York, USA, while preparing for an air display. The aircraft's owner and pilot, Robert Baranaskas, was killed.

  • 14 April: A North American SNJ-4, N269WB, ground-looped on landing and ended up on its nose in a line of nearby trees in Bessemer, Alabama, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 18 April: North American NA-64 Yale N64FL (s/n 64-2207) completed its first flight since 1945, following a 8-year restoration in Slaton, Texas. The flight was completed with only a few minor issues being noted, and a second flight was made the same day. [Thanks to Malcom Laing]

  • 21 April: A 1944 Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, N909WJ, struck a wingtip during landing at Lakeland, Florida, USA, resulting in minor damage.

  • 24 April: After resting at the bottom of Lake Michigan for over 64 years, a Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber was successfully recovered. The aircraft, which was ditched in 1944 during naval carrier training operations, will be restored and displayed at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. [More news and videos.]

  • 24 April: Legend Flyers, LLC in Everett, Washington, USA rolled out a replica Messerschmitt Me-262 that, like previous flying examples, was painstakingly assembled using original German drawings and specifications (see below). This museum-display aircraft, which took five years to create, will not be made airworthy. Its new home will be announced shortly.

  • 24 April: A 1979 Siai Marchetti SM-1019 utility aircraft, N391RV, came to rest on its nose during a landing in gusty wind conditions at Novato, California, USA. The pilot and passenger were not injured.

  • 25 April: A Lockheed P2V Neptune firebomber, N442NA (Tanker 42, s/n 150283), enroute from its base in Montana to a wildfire in New Mexico slammed into a mountain near Stockton, Utah, USA, killing all three crewmembers aboard. The aircraft was being operated by Neptune Aviation, of Missoula, Montana.

  • 26 April: The crew of a 1942 Douglas DC-3 / C-47 Dakota, N136FS, reported a fire in the cockpit while taxiing at San Juan, Puerto Rico. All four occupants successfully evacuated the aircraft before it was destroyed by fire.

  • 26 April: A 1940 DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth, N82EK, made a forced landing on a beach at Smith Point, Islip, New York, USA. The pilot was not injured, and the aircraft was undamaged.

  • 30 April: An Antonov AN-2 Colt biplane, registered RF-00842, crashed on approach to Nemyugyunskogo, Yakutia, Russia in heavy snow. Witnesses reported the aircraft made three attempts to land and hit powerlines on the third attempt. All three people on board were killed.

May 2009:

  • 17 May: A 1941 Boeing E75 / PT-17 Stearman, N4787V, was substantially damaged during landing in Cottonwood, Arizona.

  • 18 May: A 1942 Boeing A75N1 / PT-17 Stearman, N450JN, departed the runway on landing at Joshua Tree, California, USA. The aircraft pitched onto its nose, caught fire, and burned. The pilot was unhurt, but the aircraft was destroyed.

  • 19 May: The Evergreen Air and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, USA has secured ownership of a rare Lockheed EC-121T (s/n 52-3417) that for years had been used as a training airframe at a technical college in Helena, Montana. The museum plans to have the aircraft restored in Arizona, then fly it to Oregon for permanent display.

  • 22 May: A 1974 BAC Jet Provost Mk.5A, N78SH (XW336), force-landed in a field near Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA. Neither occupant was injured.

  • 23 May: A 1972 Nanchang CJ-6, N81817, was involved in a formation mid-air collision with a RV-8 homebuilt aircraft in Decatur, Alabama, USA after the CJ-6 had participated in a flyby. The CJ-6 pilot safely returned for a landing. The pilot of the RV-8 was killed.

  • 23 May: A North American T-6G Texan, N25KP, suffered the collapse of its main landing gear and slid off the runway during landing in Belmar, New Jersey, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 29 May: The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released a modified version of its security directive (SD-8G), the previous version of which would have severely curtailed the ability of aircrew to access certain airports. [More information here].

  • 29 May: The Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force is pleased to announce the successful first flight of their North American B-25N Mitchell, N125AZ (s/n 43-35927), called "Maid in the Shade," in Mesa, Arizona, USA. Crewmembers Tim Jackson, Russ Gilmore, and Spike McLane reported that the aircraft performed very well. The aircraft last flew in 1981, and during its restoration it was returned to authentic wartime configuration.


B-25 N125AZ. Photo courtesy Francois Bergeon.

June 2009:

  • 4 June: A rare 1939 Messerschmitt Bf-109E-4, CF-EML, operated by the Russell Aviation Group, made an emergency landing in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, after hitting a flagpole near the end of the runway after takeoff. One of the aircraft's wings sustained damage, but pilot John Romain landed safely. The pole was allegedly one of several erected shortly before the incident by a disgruntled man who owns property adjacent to the airport.

  • 4-6 June: The National Biplane Association held their final Biplane Expo in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA. The event had been held every year for 23 years.

  • 6 June: A 1947 deHavilland DH-115 Vampire Mk.3, N6878D, owned by Wings of Flight, Inc., lost engine power after takeoff at Rochester, New York, USA, and made a forced landing short of the runway. Pilot Peter Treichler was injured, but is expected to make a full recovery. This particular aircraft was once owned by actor John Travolta, and it is generally considered to be the oldest jet aircraft still flying.

  • 6 June: A 1944 Lockheed P-38 Lightning, N79123 (s/n 44-27231, "Ruff Stuff") experienced an apparent "runaway propeller" during takeoff at an airshow in Fairmont, Nebraska, USA. Pilot Rob Ator did a great job aborting the takeoff, but a tire blew in the process. The aircraft was not damaged.

  • 8 June: A 1996 Yakovlev Yak-11, N7YK, veered off the runway and struck a concrete barrier during a landing in Culpepper, Virginia, USA. The pilot was not injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 8 June: A 1948 Meyers OTW-145, N34335, came to rest in a ditch upon landing in Haskell, Texas, USA, after the right brake locked. Neither occupant was seriously injured.

  • 9 June: The Canadian Warplane Heritage's rare Westland Lysander, C-GCWL, made its first post-restoration flight, with Rob Erdos at the controls. The flight was reported to be a complete success.

  • 17 June: A 1979 Dornier Alpha Jet, N707XA, landed gear-up at Arlington, Washington, USA. The aircraft was only slightly damaged.

  • 17 June: The U.S. Air Force's venerable Cessna T-37 "Tweet" flew its final student training flight at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. Over 78,000 pilots were trained in the T-37 during its 50+ years of service. [Including this editor, who has fond memories of the "6500-lb. Dog Whistle"... Ed.]

  • 19 June: A Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber has been recovered from the bottom of Lake Michigan, where it had rested since 1944. Former McDonald's CEO Fred Turner financed the recovery, and the aircraft will be restored in Pensacola, Florida, before being permanently displayed in a museum in Hawaii. [More details here.]

  • 19 June: A North American T-6A Texan, N9793Z, incurred damage in Olympia, Washington, USA as the result of a bounced landing, during which the right wing contacted the ground.

  • 23 June: The Florida-based Valiant Air Command's Douglas C-47A Skytrain, N3239T ("Tico Belle"), made its first flight after an eight-year long restoration following a landing accident in 2001.

  • 24 June: A 1973 Nanchang China CJ-6, N6339V, suffered the collapse of its landing gear after landing in Aurora, Oregon, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 26 June: The American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale, New York USA, might lose its historic hangar home at Republic Airport due to a federal airport improvement project. [Details here.]

  • 29 June: A 1941 Boeing A75N Stearman, N38978, flipped over while landing at Quinton, Virginia, USA. The pilot was not injured.

July 2009:

  • 4 July: A North American T-28 Trojan suffered an engine failure shortly after a formation takeoff from Midlothian, Texas, USA and made a force landing in a field. Owner/pilot John Sledge was injured but is good condition. The aircraft was badly damaged and is believed to be a "write-off."

  • 4 July: Two people were killed in the fiery crash of a 1968 Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin jet, N97869, in Tehachapi, California, USA. Local airport manager Dave Zweigle and former Air Force test pilot (and retired airline pilot) Bob Chamberlain were lost after performing a formation lag roll at low altitude. [NTSB report].

  • 8 July: David Lindsay, founder of the Cavalier Aircraft Corporation in Sarasota, Florida, has passed away at the age of 86. He was considered one of the world's leading experts on the refurbishment and re-design of the P-51 Mustang. Many of his Cavalier Mustang conversions are still flying today.

  • 9 July: A 1944 North American SNJ-5/T-6 Texan, N212TC ("Mystical Power"), crashed while performing aerobatics near Kiowa, Colorado, USA. Well-known air-race and airshow pilot Gary Miller was killed.

  • 9 July: A 1955 Percival P56 Provost T.1, G-AWVF / XF877, crashed near Bishop Norton, Lincolnshire, UK, killing pilot John Fairey.

  • 11 July: The Collings Foundation will soon be taking delivery of a two-seat Saab Viggen SK 37E jet fighter, believed to be one of only two flyable examples in the civilian world.

  • 15 July: A Canadair CT-133 Silver Star Mk. 3(T-33) jet, N3648 (s/n 133648), enroute from CFB Trenton, Ontario, Canada, to its new home in the USA, went off the end of the runway during its takeoff roll, coming to rest in a ditch near the perimeter fence. The pilot was taken to a local hospital with unknown injuries. [News link] This particular aircraft was the final CT-133 produced by Canadair, as was used as an ejection seat test-bed during its military service.

  • 16 July: The Royal Australia Air Force Museum and the Temora Aviation Museum in Australia are pleased to announce the first flight of their recently restored CA-27 Sabre (A94-983). [Photos and video here]. 

  • 17 July: The Commemorative Air Force's "Red-Tail Mustang," (a rare C-Model North American P-51 Mustang), N61429 (s/n 42-103645), has made its first engine run following a five-year restoration.

  • 18 July: A 1944 North American SNJ-6 Texan, N1044C, made a forced landing in a field near Castle Rock, Colorado, USA after reporting an engine problem. Neither person on board was injured.

  • 18 July: A 1944 Beechcraft TC-45J/SNB-5 Expeditor/Kansan, N6688, crashed near Verdel, Nebraska under unknown circumstances. The pilot was killed.

  • 22 July: A North American T-6G Texan, N555Q, ground-looped on landing in Ely, Nevada, USA, and was substantially damaged.

  • 22 July: The "Red-Tail" P-51C Mustang [see 17 July news above] has made its first post-restoration flight in Wahpeton, North Dakota, USA.

  • 23 July: Pride Aircraft, of Rockford, Illinois, USA, announced that they are offering for sale an airworthy pair of the first (and only) privately-owned Sukhoi SU-27 Flanker fighter jets.

  • 30 July: A 1943 North American AT-6D Texan, N7517, departed the runway on landing roll in Redmond, Oregon, USA. No damage was reported.

August 2009:

  • 4 August: A 1943 Boeing A75 Stearman, N5195N, crashed south of Flagstaff, Arizona, USA, under unknown circumstances. One of the two people on board was killed.

  • 8 August: A 1943 Fairchild PT-19A Cornell, N54804, crashed on takeoff from a private airport near Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. The pilot was seriously injured.

  • 10 August: A 1942 Boeing A75 Stearman, N75263, flipped over on takeoff in Salina, Kansas, USA, and was substantially damaged. The pilot was not injured.

  • 16 August: A 1942 Curtiss P-40N Kittyhawk, VH-MIK (s/n 42-104977), suffered the collapse of its landing gear during landing at Mareeba, North Queensland, Australia. The aircraft slid on its belly for nearly 1000 feet before coming to rest. The owner/pilot and his passenger were not injured.

  • 22 August: A North American T-6G Texan, N5599L (s/n 51-14333) ground-looped during landing in Ocala, Florida. The sole pilot was uninjured, but the aircraft suffered significant damage to its propeller and left wing.

  • 26 August: Midwest Texans, a restoration facility in Huntington, Indiana, USA, known for their near-perfect, white-glove restorations of North American T-6 Texans, has announced that it has ceased operations. An auction of its remaining assets will be announced shortly.

  • 28 August: A 1942 deHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth, CF-DHQ, operated by the Vintage Wings of Canada organization, crashed at Gatineau Airport, near Ottawa, Quebec, Canada, seriously injuring pilot Howard Cook. The aircraft reportedly lost power after takeoff.

September 2009:

  • 1 September: A 1980 Israeli Aircraft Industries Kfir-C2, N404AX, operated by Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), veered off the runway and into the grass during operations at Newport News, Virginia, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 4 September: A Siai Marchetti SF-260, N517P, landed off the runway at McCollum Field, Kennesaw, Georgia, USA. Neither the pilot nor passenger were injured.

  • 4 September: The pilot/owner of a 1970 PZL/WSK TS-11 Iskra jet, N315JB, was forced to land with only the nosewheel extended after experiencing a failure of the airplane's main gear extension system at Cleveland, Ohio, USA. A nearby F/A-18 pilot joined up and confirmed the gear's position before the uneventful emergency landing. The aircraft sustained damage to its wing and belly, but is expected to be repairable.

  • 28 September: The assets of Midwest Texans, formerly one of the world's premiere restoration shops for the North American T-6/SNJ Texan, will go under the auctioneer's gavel on 17-18 October, in Huntington, Indiana, USA. Parts, tools, avionics, vehicles, and several aircraft projects will be sold. [For more information, see Starman Brothers Auctions, Inc.]

  • 29 September: Divers searching the waters off Los Angeles International Airport have located the wreckage of a long-lost Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star that disappeared in October 1955. (They had been searching for a P-51D Mustang flown by Gertrude "Tommy" Tomkins Silver, the last missing WASP pilot, who disappeared in 1944.) The T-33 crewmembers were Lt. Richard M. Theiler and Lt. Paul D. Smith. [More information]

October 2009:

  • 14 October: The Commemorative Air Force's Gulf Coast Wing is pleased to announce that after 7-1/2 years of major restoration and Airworthiness Directive compliance, their B-17G Flying Fortress, N7227C ("Texas Raiders"), made its first post-restoration flight.

  • 15 October: The Collings Foundation, operators of a collection of diverse warbirds in the USA, was notified that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had denied their request to operate four of their aircraft in a passenger-carrying role. The aircraft are the McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom, Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, Fieseler Fi 156 Storch, and a replica Messerschmitt Me-262.

  • 22 October: A 1957 Fuji LM-1 Nikko, N2121J, crashed in Athens, Georgia, USA, shortly after takeoff. Both the owner/pilot and his passenger were killed.

  • 24 October: A Curtiss P-40E Warhawk, N4420K, suffered the collapse of its right main landing gear while turning off the runway in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. This aircraft won the Grand Champion Warbird award at EAA AirVenture this year.

  • 26 October: Gary Austin, a noted warbird mechanic, crew chief and influential aircraft restorer/pilot known for his work as the Director of Maintenance for the Commemorative Air Force, passed away at the age of 39.

November 2009:

  • 2 November: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of the National Museum of the United States Air Force (USAFM) in an ownership dispute with the Commemorative Air Force for a rare North American F-82 Twin Mustang. The ruling supports the original judgment of the District Court in July of 2009.

  • 7 November: A rare 1951 Piasecki PV-18 (HUP-1) Retreiver helicopter, N183YP, crashed after hitting power lines near Adelanto, California, about 70 miles northeast of Los Angeles. All three persons on board were killed.

  • 7 November: A Los Angeles Times online report published today includes a video of a pair of L-39 Albatros jets making low passes and aggressive pull-ups near the Santa Monica, California pier last year. The video also shows the frightened responses from the public, and contains recordings of several concerned calls to 911. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has since revoked the pilot's license of pilot David Riggs. He now faces civil charges over the incident. Riggs, who is a movie producer, claimed he buzzed the pier in an attempt to promote his new movie. The second pilot, noted air racer and test pilot Skip Holm, was apparently not cited. [Read the whole story]

  • 9 November: The world's only airworthy North American FJ-4B Fury, N400FS, made its first flight after repairs following a gear-up landing almost exactly one year ago. The following day, the aircraft was flown to Pensacola, Florida for the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels homecoming.  

  • 11 November: A North American P-51D Mustang, N151AF, operated by the Heritage Flight Museum, made an successful emergency landing in Bellingham, Washington, USA, after the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit. The smoke was apparently caused by a resistor, and ceased after the pilot shut off the electrical system.

  • 11 November: A Douglas DC-3 owner in Spaulding, Georgia, USA had a rather bizarre run-in with the law when he apparently nearly struck a police officer with his airplane, then taxied away and attempted a takeoff, before being apprehended. Officers were attempting to issue citations to Dan Gryder for airport vehicular violations, but he refused to sign them. He then boarded his 1937 DC-3A, N143D, and taxied away, ignoring police demands to stop. Gryder's Herpa DC-3 is well-known in the vintage aircraft community.

  • 14 November: An English Electric Lightning jet, ZU-BEX (XS451), operated by the Thunder City organization, crashed during an airshow at the Overberg Air Show at Bredasdorp, South Africa. Thunder City's chief pilot, Dave Stock, was killed after an apparent hydraulic failure and the simultaneous failure of his ejection seat.

  • 21 November: A Boeing A75N1 Stearman, N56099, flipped over upon landing in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 22 November: A Boeing B75 Stearman, N5521N, crashed next to the Creve Coeur Airport, Maryland Heights, Missouri, USA, after an engine failure immediately shortly liftoff. Neither the pilot (airport owner Al Stix) nor the passenger were injured.

  • 30 November: A Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat that crashed during a carrier-landing training flight in Lake Michigan in 1944 was recovered and brought to shore in Waukegan, Illinois, USA. This is the sixth Hellcat recovered from Lake Michigan. The original pilot, Walter Elcock (now 89), could not attend the recovery, but his grandson did. The aircraft is destined for display at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Florida. The recovery was funded by Andy Taylor, the chief executive officer of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, whose father flew Hellcats in WWII.

December 2009:

  • 1 December: The Warbird Heritage Foundation is pleased to announce that their Douglas A-4B Skyhawk, N49WH (s/n 11366 / BuNo 142112), made it first post-restoration flight, and was also moved to its new home in Waukegan, Illinois, USA. "Oshkosh" attendees will no doubt remember this aircraft as the one displayed at the convention grounds since the early 1990s.

  • 3 December: A two-seat Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX, ZK-WDQ (MH367) owned and flown by Doug Brooker, had its second serious incident in less than a year. This time the aircraft's landing gear collapsed after an apparent bounced landing at Ardmore, New Zealand. The pilot was not injured.

  • 6 December: A 1941 Boeing A75 Stearman, N1431C (s/n 75-1702), suffered the collapse of its landing gear upon landing at Corona, California, USA. Neither occupant was injured.

  • 10 December: Pride Aircraft of Rockford, Illinois, USA, announced they had successfully flown the USA's first and only civilian-operated Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker jet fighters. N131SU was followed into the air within days by a second, identical Flanker, N132SU.


Index
1998  |  1999  |  2000  |  2001  |  2002  |  2003  |  2004  |  2005
2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013


[Back to Warbird News Page]


January 2010:

  • 13 January: A Nanchang CJ-6, N75483, suffered the collapse of its left main landing gear and veered off the runway upon landing at Concord, California, USA. The pilot was not injured.

February 2010:

  • 7 February: A Nanchang CJ-6, N6263D, made a successful emergency landing next to a recreation center in Mesa, Arizona, USA, but swerved to miss a man and his dog, and ended up crashing into a restroom building. The pilot and his passenger were not seriously injured, but the plane was substantially damaged.


Nanchang CJ-6 N 6263D. Photo by Thom Shivka

  • 8 February: A 1985 Yakovlev Yak-52, N52VY, crashed shortly after taking off from Redlands, California, USA, killing the pilot and his passenger.

  • 9 February: The CAF's Devil Dog, a North American B-25J (PBJ-1J) Mitchell, N9643C, has finally returned to its home in Georgetown, Texas USA, after an engine change following its Oshkosh appearance last summer. The bomber's sponsor group had to raise over $75,000 for a new engine, a process that was greatly expedited by a recent anonymous donation of $30,000.

  • 17 February: A 1962 Fouga CM-170 Magister, N6222N, veered off the runway during takeoff at Imperial, California, USA. The aircraft was substantially damaged, but the pilot was not injured.

  • 20 February: A 1942 North American AT-6C Texan, N76BZ (formerly N7690U), left the runway surface and nosed over upon landing at Mesa, Arizona, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • A husband/wife team have become the first graduates of a Commercial Spaceflight Training course at NASA's Kennedy Space center, utilizing the fleet of Lockheed F-104 Starfighters owned by Starfighters, Inc.

March 2010:

  • 2 March: Today marks the 100th anniversary of military aviation. On 2 March 1910, Army Lt. Benjamin D. Foulois lifted off in a Wright B Flyer from the parade grounds at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Happy birthday to warbirds!

 

  • 4 March: A 1992 Short S.312 Tucano T Mk.1, N411ZF, suffered the collapse of its landing gear during landing at Nacogdochez, Texas, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 6 March: A North American SNJ-6 / T-6 Texan, N47LF, crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, USA, while performing aerobatics. Both the pilot and his wife were killed.

  • 11 March: Owner/pilot Nazzi Hirani was killed when his 1944 North American P-51D Mustang, N514NH (c/n 44-84850) (named "Su Su"), crashed during landing at Stellar Airpark, Chandler, Arizona, USA. The airplane clipped several stone walls and fences, and came to rest inside a hangar, part of which caught fire.

  • 17 March: A 1945 North American SNJ-6 Texan N75AG (s/n 44-81418) (Race name "Warlock") crashed in a field 20 miles west of Bakersfield, California, USA. Noted Reno air racer Al Goss and his pilot-rated passenger, Steve Ballard, were killed.

  • 18 March: Loggers working in a heavily-wooded area near Tillamook, Oregon, USA discovered the WWII wreckage of a Curtiss SB2C Helldiver. Authorities have not yet identified where the plane originated, or if any human remains are present at the crash site.

  • 21 March: An Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, registered YV100X, crashed into several homes in Cumaná, Sucre, Venezuela, killing the pilot and five people on the ground. Some media reports claim the pilot stated he was going to make a simulated engine-out landing prior to the accident. [News report and photos]

  • 22 March: A Yakovlev Yak-3UPW, N153U, (a modern replica of a Yak-3) suffered the collapse of its left main landing gear upon landing at Half Moon Bay, California, USA. The owner/pilot was not injured.

April 2010:

  • 8 April: Air racing legend Lyle Shelton passed away at the age of 76 after a short illness. Shelton was the holder of multiple speed and time-to-climb records in his famous Rare Bear racer, a highly-modified Grumman F8F Bearcat. Among other records, he still holds the world's absolute propeller-driven speed record over a 3-kilometer course at 528.329 mph. [Rare Bear information]  [Racing for the Gold book]

  • 10 April: A 1958 North American AT-6D/SNJ-5 Texan, N7300C, landed gear-up at Romona, California, USA, sustaining minor damage in the incident.

  • 10 April: The pilot of a Nanchang CJ-6A, ZK-JQS, successfully made a precautionary landing near Marlborough, New Zealand on a rough section of 4-wheel drive path. Neither he nor his passenger were injured. After an inspection of the airplane (and some mechanized improvement of the improvised "runway"), the aircraft made a successful takeoff and returned home. [Watch the takeoff video]

  • 10 April: A Yakovlev Yak-50, G-YAKK, experienced a loss of engine power and the owner/pilot made a forced landing in a field near Bothel, Cumbria, UK. The pilot suffered minor injuries. He was wearing a helmet-mounted video camera and recorded the entire incident. [View the video here]  

  • 16-18 April: One of the largest gatherings of North American B-25 Mitchells since WWII took place at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, USA, as part of a tribute to Doolittle's Raider's. At least 17 of the twin-engine bombers took part.

  • 23 April: A Grumman TBM Avenger firebomber, operated by Fire Protection Ltd., crashed after takeoff from Miramichi Airport, New Brunswick, Canada, killing the pilot.

  • 24 April: The pilot of a Yakovlev Yak-52, G-YKCT, made a successful forced landing in a field in Ayrshire, Scotland, after the plane's engine failed. The airplane sustained minor damage, but neither occupant was injured.

May 2010:

  • 4 May: The Collings Foundation is seeking to acquire a Republic F-105 Thunderchief and restore it to flying condition! To do this, they need your immediate help by making a simple phone call. [More information here]

  • 6 May: A 1944 North American P-51D Mustang, N55JL ("Cloud Dancer"), made a precautionary landing in Curtis, Nebraska, USA, due to a partial loss of engine power.

  • 6 May: A 1959 Hawker T.58 Hunter jet, N330AX, landed with its landing gear retracted at Point Mugu Naval Air Station, California, USA, suffering minor damage.

  • 13 May: Sue Parish, legendary owner/pilot of a pink Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, a WWII WASP, and co-founder of the Kalamazoo, Michigan-based Air Zoo museum, passed away at the age of 87. [1999 article about Sue Parish]

  • 15 May: Both the pilot/owner and passenger of a 1980 Yakovlev/Aerostar Yak-52, N6868Y, were killed when their plane crashed into the ocean near Nettles Island, Florida, USA, while apparently performing low-altitude maneuvering.

  • 22 May: A 1941 Boeing E75 Stearman, N1193N, ground-looped and was substantially damaged while landing near Yerington, Nevada, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 27 May: A 1949 North American T-28A Trojan, N128AF, was damaged after an emergency landing in Piedmont, Oklahoma, USA, after suffering a loss of engine power. The landing gear collapsed during the subsequent hard landing. Neither occupant was injured.

  • 27 May: The EAA has announced that two extremely rare warbirds will appear at Oshkosh this year: A Focke-Wulf Fw-190A-9 and a Nakajima A6M2 Model 21 "Zero." Both aircraft will fly together at last once during the week. [More information].

  • 30 May: A 1951 North American T-28A Trojan, N51705, touched down with its landing gear only partially extended in Hayward, California, USA, resulting in minor damage to the airplane.

June 2010:

  •  8 June: A 1942 Boeing A75N1 Stearman, N52652, nosed-over and ended up on its back upon landing at Washington DC's Reagan National Airport during a flight promoting a new 3D movie called "Legends of Flight." Neither the pilot nor his journalist passenger were injured. It appeared that one or both of the aircraft's brakes locked up upon touchdown. [Video from the airport terminal] [Video from the cockpit].

  • 11 June: "Swamp Ghost", a Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress recovered from a swamp in from Papua New Guinea after crash-landing there in 1942, returned to the USA today. Crewmembers' families, recovery team members, aviation archeologists, and other dignitaries attended a ceremony in Long Beach, California to welcome the aircraft back home and pay tribute to the men who flew her. Swamp Ghost is expected to be restored to museum display condition. [More information.]

  • 12 June: A FlugWerk / Focke-Wulf Fw190A-8N replica, F-AZZJ ("Black 1") suffered an apparent engine failure and ditched into the Bay of Hyères, on the south coast of France. The pilot was unhurt, and was assisted to shore by some nearby jet-skiers.

  • 17 June: A 1945 North American SNJ-4 Texan, N43NA, went into the grass during landing in Suffolk, Virginia, USA, causing the collapse of its left main landing gear. Neither occupant was injured.

  • 20 June: A 1943 Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper, N61720, lost engine power and crashed into a wooded area near Sippo Lake Park, Ohio, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 21 June: The movie producer who buzzed a Santa Monica, California pier in 2008 in a Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros jet to promote his movie was sentenced to 60 days in jail and fined for recklessly operating an aircraft in a manner that endangered life and property. The Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge also placed David Riggs, 48, on three years' probation, imposed court fees, and ordered him to clean city beaches for 60 days as community service. The jail sentence was stayed pending an appeal.

  • 21 June: Thieves broke into the Aero Space Museum of Calgary, Alberta, Canada over the weekend and stole both precious historical artifacts and cash from a donation box. [More information here

  • 23 June: A DeHavilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk, N6540C, made an emergency landing in a field near South Kitsap, Washington, USA, following an engine malfunction. The aircraft was substantially damaged, but the pilot suffered only a minor hand injury.


Chipmunk N6540C. Photo courtesy of the
Kitsap Sun.

  • 25 June: The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) announced that their famous and ultra-rare Boeing B-29 Superfortress, named "Fifi," will return to the air shortly, after several years of extensive engine rebuilding and related work. The aircraft's troublesome R-3350 engines were rebuilt with parts from two different models of the engine, and it is believed this combination will give Fifi a good chance at a long, lower-maintenance future.

  • 26 June: A 1954 Lockheed P2V Neptune, N1386C (Tanker #44), operated as a firebomber by Missoula, Montana-based Neptune Aviation, overran the runway after an apparent brake failure at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield, Colorado USA. Neither of the pilots were injured. The aircraft sustained serious damage.


Neptune N1386C. Photo contributed by ZEdge.

  • 26 June: A Boeing A75 Stearman, N469RH, ran off the runway and was substantially damaged in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Neither occupant was injured. This aircraft was also involved in a similar accident in August 2006.

July 2010:

  • 2 July: A North American T-6G Texan, N92778, crashed into the water off the coast of Destin, Florida, USA, killing the pilot and his passenger. The plane had been observed performing aerobatics shortly before the crash. This particular aircraft was the first signature T-6 restoration from Midwest Texans, and was a multiple Grand Champion award winner.

  • 3 July: A Bell P-39 Airacobra, N6968, operated by the Commemorative Air Force, landed short of the runway in Tyler, Texas, USA. The aircraft suffered relatively minor damage to its left landing gear, left wing, and the under-fuselage drop tank, but it managed to taxi to the parking area and is expected to be repairable. The pilot was unhurt.

  • 3 July: A 1951 Cessna O-1E / L-19 Bird Dog, LX-PAB, was heavily damaged during a hard landing at the Luxembourg-Findel Airport, Luxembourg. The pilot was not injured.

  • 8 July: A McDonnell-Douglas A-4L Skyhawk jet, N132AT, operated by the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), crashed shortly after takeoff from Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada, USA due to an apparent loss of thrust. The civilian pilot successfully ejected, and is in good condition. The crash ignited a brush fire that was extinguished by fire crews.

  • 17 July: An Aerostar/Yakovlev Yak-52, N52MY, crashed shortly after takeoff from Portland, Maine, USA after an apparent engine failure. Both the owner pilot and his pilot-rated passenger perished. [Donate to the families here.] 

August 2010:

  • 1 August: A 1954 Fairchild C-123K Provider, N709RR, operated by All West Freight, crashed in Denali National Park, north of Anchorage, Alaska, USA. All three crewmembers perished. The cause of the accident is unknown. [Side note: This aircraft was the flying star of the movie "Con Air" in 1997. More info here.]

  • 6 August: "Fifi," The Commemorative Air Force's famous and rare Boeing B-29 Superfortress, has returned to the air after more than four years of engine work and thousands of man-hours of restoration labor. The aircraft completed a 39-minute test flight with its new engines, and the crew reported no problems. [Congratulations to everyone involved in this huge project!  -Ed.]   [Great video of the flight.]

  • 20 August: A Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver that ditched in 1945 in the Lower Otay Reservoir near San Diego, California USA was raised to the surface. Shortly after, it was shipped to the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida, where it will be restored. [Photos and video of the recovery.]

  • 21 August: The pilot of a 1945 Supermarine FR Mk.XVIIIe Spitfire, G-BUOS (SM845), was killed after the aircraft flipped over upon landing at Tynset airfield near Trondheim, Norway. The plane apparently left the grass runway and headed into a field of thick wheat directly adjacent to the runway. The aircraft is registered to a Swedish company and the pilot, Bertil Gerhardt, was one of Scandanavia's most experienced pilots. He was preparing for an airshow the following day.

September 2010:

  • 3 September: A North American T-6/SNJ Texan, N77TX, was substantially damaged after ground-looping and hitting trees during a landing at Antique Airfield, Blakesburg, Iowa, USA. High winds were reportedly a factor. The pilot was not injured.

  • 5 September: A deHavilland DH.82A Tiger Moth, D-EBKT, veered from the runway during takeoff at an airshow at Lauf-Lillinghof Airport, Nuremberg, Germany, careening through a fence and into a crowd of spectators. One woman was killed and over 20 other people were injured, five seriously. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 24 September: A Boeing A75N1 / PT-17 Stearman, N65648, veered off the runway and struck a tree while operating at Warrenton, Virginia, USA. The aircraft was substantially damaged, but the pilot was not injured.

  • 24 September: A BAC Jet Provost Mk.5A jet, N4XW, had its main landing gear catch fire while taxiing at Palmdale, California, USA. The fire was extinguished and the pilot was not injured.

  • 26 September: A Naval Aircraft Factory N3N-3, N44873, ground-looped upon landing at Chico, California, USA, and was slightly damaged.

October 2010:

  • 6 October: The USA's first privately-operated Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jet has performed initial taxi tests at Arlington, Washington, USA. It is expected to fly soon.

  • 12 October: A Boeing A75N Stearman, N66940, ground-looped upon landing in Palm Springs, California, USA. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The pilot was not injured.

  • 17 October: A Boeing A75N Stearman, N55464, was substantially damaged after it crashed after takeoff near Fayetteville, West Virginia, USA. The pilot, who was not the owner of the aircraft, was not injured.

  • 20 October: A deHavilland DH.100 Vampire jet lost its nosewheel upon landing in Rochester, New York, USA. No serious damage or injuries were reported.

  • 20 October: A 1941 Boeing A75N Stearman, N63538, flipped over upon landing at Douglas, Georgia, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 20 October: A 1957 Hawker Fury FB10, C-FGAT, ground looped on landing after its gear collapsed at Breckenridge, Texas, USA. The aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 21 October: A rare Bell P-39Q Airacobra, now called "Miss Lend Lease," has returned to the location of the factory where it was built in 1943. The aircraft spent 66 years at the bottom of a Russian lake, and was discovered in 2004. The Niagra Aerospace Museum in Buffalo, New York will restore the aircraft. [More information]

  • 31 October: The world's last airworthy Avro Vulcan, G-VLCN (XH558), has once again been saved from being permanently grounded, after enthusiasts and supporters beat a deadline to raise ₤400,000 to keep the huge bomber operational. [More information] 

November 2010:

  • 5 November: Walter A. Soplata, known for his lifetime passion for collecting military aircraft, died at the age of 87. His wooded property near Cleveland, Ohio, USA, holds dozens of vintage aircraft, from WWII fighters to 1970s-era jets, and includes some extremely rare aircraft types. [Air and Space magazine article]

  • 6 November: The pilot of a 1944 North American T-6F Texan, N164US, was killed when his plane lost power on approach to Fitchburg, Massachusetts, USA. The plane came to rest inverted in the along the shore of a river. The plane's passenger walked away with minor injuries, but pilot/owner Reese Dill drowned before rescuers could reach the scene.

  • 8 November: Another WWII aircraft has been pulled from the depths of Lake Michigan -- this time, a rare "birdcage" version of the Vought F4U Corsair. The plane crashed into the lake in June 1943 during carrier training on the USS Wolverine. Local resident and warbird owner Chuck Greenhill funded the recovery, although the plane is still the property of the U.S. Navy. The plane will be shipped to Pensacola, Florida for restoration. [More information]

  • 12 November: A 1940 Aeronca L-3 / O-58 Grasshopper, N46014, crashed at Livingston, New York, USA, after losing power. The pilot and passenger were both injured.

  • 17 November: A Cessna M337B / O-2 Skymaster, N1309, went down during a nighttime military exercise near Avon Park, Florida, USA. The aircraft, operated by Patriot Technologies Group, LLC, lost most of its right wing while returning to base, and the subsequent crash killed all three crewmembers on board.

December 2010:

  • 1 December: Paul Allen's Flying Heritage Museum has announced that their rare Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-5 has made its first post-restoration flight. The plane last flew in 1943. Test pilot Steve Hinton said the plane was "very fast, light, and responsive."

  • 10 December: Air USA of Quincy, Illinois, USA announced it had performed the first flight of a privately-owned Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter.

  • 21 December: Australian manufacturer Supermarine Aircraft has announced that they will be opening a production facility at Cisco Municipal Airport near Fort Worth, Texas, USA. The company produces 80%-scale replica Spitfires.


Index
1998  |  1999  |  2000  |  2001  |  2002  |  2003  |  2004  |  2005
2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013


[Back to Warbird News Page]


January 2011:

  • 22 January: "Chuckie," a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress formerly owned for many years by the late "Doc" Hospers in Fort Worth, Texas, has found a new home at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Pilots Bob Hill and Don Anklin braved over six hours of frigid temperatures as they delivered the historic aircraft to its new owner, Jerry Yagen. [Link to news article >>] [Link to YouTube video of Chuckie's arrival]

  • 23 January: The Historic Flight Foundation is pleased to announce the first flight of their Mikoyan MiG-29UB Fulcrum, N29UB. Pilot Doug Russell and owner John Sessions moved the airplane from Arlington Municipal airport in Washington to Paine Field in Everett, Washington. This aircraft is the second privately-owned MiG-29 to be flown in the USA (See 10 December 201 entry.)

  • 27 January: The U.S. Attorney's office in Birmingham, Alabama, USA has filed a civil complaint against a local businessman who they say illegally imported a Douglas AD-4N Skyraider several years ago. The complaint orders the owner to forfeit the airplane to the U.S. Government. [Article link >>]

February 2011:

  • 2 February: A 1963 Fouga CM-170 Magister jet, N415FM, crashed near the Kissimmee, Florida airport, during a maintenance check flight, killing both occupants. Witnesses reported the airplane had been performing a series of touch-and-go's before impacting the ground east of the airport. [Editor's note: Noted classic-jet restorer Carl Vernon was one of the pilots lost in this accident. Our condolences go to his family and friends.]

  • 3 February: The EAA's Warbirds of America organization has announced that commemorative bricks are now available for sale that will be placed in their new "Eagle Plaza" at Oshkosh. Bricks may be purchased by both WoA members and non-members alike. Funds raised will support a student pilot scholarship program, and also go toward improvements in the Warbirds area at Oshkosh. [See more details >>]

  • 3 February: A 1943 Aeronca L-3 / O-58B Grasshopper, N57403 (s/n 058B-8212), suffered a loss of power and force-landed on a ranch near San Luis Obispo, California. Pilot/owner Jeff Welles suffered minor injuries. His 86-year old passenger, Obbie Atkinson (a B-29 crewmember in WWII and still an active pilot), passed away from his injuries on 4 February.

  • 9 February: The Collings Foundation has acquired a 1956 North American F-100F Super Sabre, N26AZ, formerly operated by David Tokoph in El Paso, Texas.

  • A two-seat British Aerospace Sea Harrier T2 (XW269), which was being sold on eBay for nearly ₤70,000 by a retired RAF mechanic, was accidentally purchased by a 7-year old boy who clicked on the "Buy It Now" button. The sale was later canceled and the airplane was put up for auction. Another Harrier (ZX494) was sold on eBay in 2007 for ₤10,000.

  • 15 February: A 1944 Taylorcraft DCO-65 / L-2 Grasshopper, N46089, crashed into a forested area near Lafayette, Indiana, injuring both the pilot and passenger -- both of whom are 22-year old students at Purdue University.

  • 18 February: A Canadair CT-133/CL-30 Silver Star, N123EM, operated by the Heavy Metal Jet Team, settled to the runway just after takeoff at St. Augustine, Florida, USA, after encountering jet wash from a previously-departed formation. The pilot was not able to fully extend the landing gear before touching down, and it collapsed. Except for spilling 60 gallons of jet fuel, the aircraft was barely damaged. The pilot was not injured. [More details >>]

  • 26 February: A 1969 BAC 167 Strikemaster Mk. 81, N167SM, crashed into the frozen Hudson River near Ulster, New York, about 50 miles north of New York City. The body of pilot Mike Faraldi was recovered from the river a day after the accident. Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft perform aerobatic maneuvers in the airport traffic pattern, then aggressively pull up and stall prior to the crash. [Accident analysis from the AOPA Air Safety Institute.]

March 2011:

  • 7 March: A 1957 Douglas A-4B Skyhawk, N49WH, suffered a partially collapsed main landing gear strut and veered slightly off the runway during the landing rollout at Waukegan, Illinois. The pilot was not injured, and only minor damage to the aircraft was reported.

  • 9 March: A 1952 Douglas AD-4N Skyraider, N2088G (Bu.No. 126935) crashed in southern Idaho, near the border town of Jackpot, Nevada, USA, in the Sawtooth National Forest. Both the pilot and a his female passenger perished. They were returning from Wendover, Utah to Idaho Falls, Idaho.

  • 12 March: A 1944 General Motors FM-2 Wildcat, N551TC (Bu.No. 47160) suffered the collapse of its landing gear during the landing rollout in Neosho, Missouri, USA. The aircraft is expected to be back in the air in the next few months.

  • 18 March: A new PBS television series entitled "The Restorers" will make its debut on US screens this year, featuring stories about those who restore warbirds and other vintage aircraft. [More information >>]

  • 25 March: A Boeing A75/PT-17 Stearman, N68117, was substantially damaged after a ground-loop during its landing roll at Wichita, Kansas, USA. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured.

  • 26 March: A 1983 Yakovlev Yak-52TW, N808TD, crashed at Bunnell, Florida, USA during a demonstration of the Red Thunder Airshow Team. Pilot Bill "Wild Bill" Walker was killed.

  • Several media outlets in Texas reported that a North American B-25J Mitchell, N747AF (Ser.No. 44-30456), suffered the collapse of its nose gear while taxiing at Jardin Ranch, near Laredo, Texas USA, resulting in an engine fire. No one was injured.

  • 27 March: A 1958 North American T-28 Trojan, N209WW (Bu.No. 138209), was forced to land in the water short of the runway at Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, after pilot Pierre Boursse noticed a "chip light" illuminated in flight, signaling the engine's impending failure. He attempted to return the the airport but did not have the glide range to make the runway without hitting a seawall at the approach end. Neither he nor his passenger were injured. [Watch a video of the incident>>]

  • 29 March: Medal of Honor recipient and former POW Col. Bud Day headlined the rollout of the Collings Foundation's North American F-100F Super Sabre in its new Vietnam camouflage colors. He flew in the "Hun," in a gala that featured the foundation's TA-4 Skyhawk, F-4 Phantom II, T-33 Shooting Star, and UH-1 Huey. [Watch the video>>]

April 2011:

  • 8 April: An article in the UK Telegraph chronicled the discovery and planned recovery of the world's only known Dornier Do 17 "Flying Pencil" bomber, which ditched in the English Channel during the Battle of Britain in 1940. The aircraft is largely intact and resting upside down on the sea floor. The RAF Museum plans to raise the wreck shortly.

  • 10 April: A 1953 Beechcraft T-34A Mentor, N6HK (c/n G-119), landed gear-up at Bullhead City, Arizona, USA. Neither person onboard was injured.

  • 11 April: A 1977 WSK-Mielec AN-2 Colt biplane, N122AN, flipped over after a forced landing near Loxley, Alabama, USA. Neither crewmember was injured, but the aircraft was destroyed.

  • 14 April: A 1955 Beechcraft T-34B Mentor, N93013, operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service, crashed shortly after takeoff in Linden, North Carolina, USA. Neither the pilot nor passenger were injured.

  • 15 April: Bill Reesman, former Vietnam War F-100 combat pilot and MiG-17 airshow performer, has passed away. Reesman flew the Red Bull-sponsored aircraft in a show called MiG Magic.

  • 23 April: A 2002 Yakovlev Yak-52TW, N916BM, landed gear-up in Englewood, Colorado, USA. The pilot was not injured.

May 2011:

  • 2 May: A 1957 Beechcraft C-45/Model 18, N18R, operated by a small Part 135 cargo airline, crashed after takeoff in Opa-Locka, Florida, USA, narrowly missing houses in a densely populated neighborhood. The owner/pilot was killed.

  • 6 May: A North American TF-51D Mustang, N51ZM (s/n 45-11471) was slightly damaged when its tailwheel collapsed after landing in Boise, Idaho, USA.

  • 9 May: Florida-based Starfighters, Inc. announced they will be taking delivery of five more Lockheed F-104 Starfighter jets from the Italian Air Force to complement the four already in their fleet. The company performs test and evaluation flights and training flights for NASA and other contractors.

  • 15 May: A DeHavilland DH.82 Tiger Moth, G-AOIL (XL716), crashed in a farm field near Witchampton, Dorset, UK, killing one man and seriously injuring another. The aircraft had been performing aerobatics prior to the accident.

  • 19 May: A 1943 Boeing B75N Stearman biplane, N81235, suffered a scraped wingtip while taxiing at Torrance, California, USA.

  • 20 May: A North American SNJ-6 Texan, N5485V, went off the runway during a landing in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. The aircraft sustained unknown damage.

  • 27 May: A Boeing A75N Stearman, N60147, struck a tree and crashed in a field near Fremont, Michigan, USA. The pilot and passenger suffered minor injuries. The aircraft was destroyed.

  • 28 May: A Boeing A75N1 Stearman, N55508, ground-looped upon landing and struck a wingtip at Millville, New Jersey, USA. Only minor damage was reported.

  • 29 May: A 1953 Grumman HU-16C Albatross, N7025J, was damaged by gunshots while parked on the ramp at Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The suspect, 26-year-old Randon Reid, was arrested after police chased him to his home after the late-night incident. [Editor's note: Reid's mug shot explains just about everything you need to know about the man involved.]

  • 31 May: A 1944 North American B-25 Mitchell, F-F-AZZU (s/n 44-58811, "Russell's Raiders") suffered an engine fire shortly after takeoff from the Melun-Villaroche Aerodrome, near Paris, France. The crew managed to land the airplane "gear-up" in a nearby field, but not without incurring significant damage to the airplane. Neither pilot was injured.

June 2011:

  • 4 June: A 1941 Boeing A75N Stearman, N50052, was substantially damaged after it struck a tree and a house shortly after takeoff, coming to rest in a yard near Junction City, Kansas, USA. Only minor injuries were reported by the pilot and passenger.

  • 13 June: A 1944 Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, N390TH, (s/n 44-85734, "Liberty Belle") was destroyed by fire after a successful forced landing in a field near Oswego, Illinois. Only one minor injury was reported among the seven crewmembers and passengers. The Liberty Belle, operated by Don Brooks' Liberty Foundation, had just departed Aurora, Illinois headed for Indiana as part of its 2011 "Salute to Veterans" tour when a fire was reported in the left wing by an escort aircraft, leading to the emergency landing. The aircraft was one of only thirteen flying B-17s remaining.

              [ Chicago Tribune coverage ]  [ Video from WTHR-TV ]  [ Daily Herald Photos ]

 

Photo courtesy Bob Mudra via the Daily Herald.

 

Photo by Mark Black, Daily Herald.

  • 14 June: A crane that was lifting a restored Douglas A-4 Skyhawk back onto its pedestal at the Alameda Naval Station in California toppled over, crashing down onto the aircraft and severely damaging it. The aircraft had been on display on the base since 1969, but had recently been removed for restoration work and repainting. [News coverage>>]

  • 18 June: A 1969 Aero Vodochody L-29C Delfin, N37KF, sustained substantial damage inflight at Reno, Nevada, USA. After the aircraft landed with noticeably-scorched paint on the tail section, the pilot reported difficulty operating the rudder. Although initial FAA reports indicated that the aircraft was trailing smoke and flames when it landed, subsequent NTSB reports said, "Part of the structure associated with an engine that had been installed under a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) failed. That failure allowed jet blast from the engine to be deflected onto a portion of the primary airframe structure. The melting of that structure affected the support and movement of the airplane's rudder. Although the failure occurred in flight, it was not detected until the pilot was operating the rudder pedals after landing." The aircraft was expected to be repaired.

  • 25 June: A 1972 Nanchang CJ-6, N8181C, was damaged while stored securely in its hangar at Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona, USA, after a young driver lost control of his uncle's Maserati sports car while driving it at high speed, unsupervised, on a taxiway late at night. The car skidded into the hangar, nearly demolishing the front of the building and doing extensive damage to the recently-restored airplane. [News report>>]

July 2011:

  • 1 July: The pilot of a rare, 1946 Griffon-powered Supermarine Seafire Mk. XVII, G-KASX (SX336), was unable to extend the aircraft's landing gear, and made a belly landing on a grass runway in Bondues, France. Pilot Anna Walker was not injured. [Photos of the incident]

  • 9 July: A 1989 Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros, N111XN, overshot the runway, went down an embankment, and ended up on its back while landing at Passaic, New Jersey, USA. The pilot suffered a broken collar bone, and the aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 9 July: A 1953 deHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk, N22DH (WZ859), suffered an engine failure during a go-around on a private airfield near Benton, Kansas, USA. The aircraft was substantially damaged after cartwheeling and coming to rest against a building. The pilot was injured, but is expected to recover. The aircraft has recently been restored after being dormant for 25 years.

  • 10 July: The pilot of a North American P-51D Mustang, D-FBBD (c/n CACM-192-1517, "Big Beautiful Doll") successfully bailed out of his airplane after the vintage fighter was struck by the wing of a Douglas AD-4N Skyraider, F-AZDP (c/n 7449), during the "Flying Legends" airshow at Duxford, UK. It appears that the Skyraider pilot lost sight of the Mustang during a "fan break" maneuver. The pilot of the Mustang, Rob Davies, successfully bailed out at low altitude, suffering only a few bruises in the process. The Skyraider pilot managed to land his airplane despite the loss of about four feet of his right wing. [Video of the accident>>]  [Photos of the Skyraider landing>>]

  • 17 July: A North American/CCF T-6D/Harvard IV, F-ASIG, crashed after takeoff from Lyon-Bron Airport, France. Both the pilot and his passenger (his daughter) were killed, and the aircraft was destroyed.

  • 22 July: A 1943 North American/Noorduyn AT-16 Harvard IIb, G-AZSC (s/n 43-13064), performed a gear-up forced landing in a field after losing engine power following a low pass down the runway at Goodwood, UK. No injuries were reported.

  • 25 July: A Sikorski UH-34J Choctaw helicopter, N3880J (c/n 148821) crashed while involved in agricultural application near Wilton, Iowa, USA. The pilot was killed.

  • 26 July: A 1958 North American FJ-4B Fury, N400FS, the only one of its type still airworthy, overran the runway and came to rest several hundred yards past its end at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. The pilot was not injured and the aircraft suffered only minor damage.

  • 26 July: The Vintage Wings of Canada organization in Gatineau, Québec, Canada is pleased to announce the first post-overhaul flight of their Fairey Swordfish Mk.III biplane, C-GEVS. Pilot John Aitken guided the rare beast on a successful shakedown flight. The next day, the aircraft departed for EAA's AirVenture event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where it was met by an appreciative audience. [Video of first flight]

  • 27 July: A 1954 Lockheed P2V-5F Neptune, N9855F (Tanker 06), operated as an airtanker, went off the end of the runway at Roswell, New Mexico, USA. No one was injured, and the aircraft was not substantially damaged.

  • 30 July: A Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat, N6178C, operated by the Historic Flight Foundation, veered into the grass while taxiing in Everett, Washington, USA. Minor damage to the aircraft was reported.

  • 31 July: A 1943 Vultee BT-13A Valiant, N818DM, ground-looped upon landing in Edmond, Oklahoma, USA. The passenger suffered minor injuries, and the plane was slightly damaged.

August 2011:

  • 1 August: Aero Union, a Sacramento, California-based company that provides contract aircraft such as the Lockheed P2V Neptune and Douglas C-54 Skymaster for firefighting use, has lost its contract with the U.S. Forest Service, apparently due to the company's failure to comply with mandated safety policies.

  • 2 August: A Yakovlev Yak-52, registered RA-1428K, crashed into a cornfield while on approach to Lelystad Airport, Netherlands. The airplane came to rest upside down, and the pilot was killed

  • 3 August: Wilbert L. "Skeets" Mehrer, noted pilot, prolific warbird collector, and owner of the Lickety Split T-6 Reno racing team, died of injuries suffered in the crash of a Piper Comanche near Camas, Washington, USA.

  • 6 August: A 1944 North American P-51D Mustang, N991R (s/n 44-74536) ("Miss America"), landed gear-up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. Damage was reported as minor.

  • 6 August: The nose landing gear of a 1958 North American T-28C Trojan, N28ZZ, collapsed upon landing in Long Beach, California, USA. The pilot was not injured. Damage to the airplane was reported as "substantial."

  • 6 August: A Fouga CM-170 Magister jet, F-AZZE (c/n 435), crashed in a field near Champ-de-la-Pierre, France. Both the pilot and passenger were killed.

  • 7 August: A 1973 Siai-Marchetti SF-260, N408FD, was substantially damaged after crashing off the runway at a private landing strip near Coalingua, California, USA. The pilot and three passengers suffered minor injuries.

  • 13 August: A 1943 Fairchild PT-19/M-62 Cornell, N53956, crashed in a remote area near the Des Moines River near Madrid, Iowa, USA, killing both occupants. The aircraft struck powerlines, but it is not yet known if this is the cause of the accident.

  • 13 August: A North American T-6D Texan, N7435U, crashed short of the runway near Carnesville, Georgia, USA, after reportedly running out of fuel. The plane was substantially damaged, but the pilot suffered no serious injuries. Strangely, local media outlets reported almost immediately that the Federal Aviation Administration had ruled the pilot was "not at fault" for the accident.

  • 14 August: A 1972 Nanchang CJ-6, N58T, landed gear-up at Fargo, North Dakota, USA, during the city's annual airshow. The owner/pilot was not injured.

  • 21 August: A Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, N86572, groundlooped during an airshow at Camarillo, California, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 23 August: The Santa Monica, California-based Museum of Flying has announced they will be reopening to the public in November, after being closed since 2002 due to economic issues. After a significant expansion and remodeling effort, the museum hopes to become an educational center for the surrounding community, with hands-on displays for kids and adults alike. [Museum Website]

  • 31 August: A freshly-restored Piper L-21B Super Cub, N10365, restored in Italian Air Force markings, went off the runway during landing in East Liverpool, Ohio, USA, and was substantially damaged. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured.

September 2011:

  • 1 September: A 1953 Beechcraft T-34 Mentor, N273CB, was slightly damaged on landing at Bridgeport, West Virginia, USA. Circumstances of the incident are unknown.

  • 4 September: A 1944 North American TB-25N Mitchell, N9079Z ("Panchito," s/n 44-30734), suffered the collapse of its right main landing gear upon landing in Georgetown, Delaware, USA. None of the three people on board were injured.

  • 4 September: A Siai-Marchetti SF-260, N260DP, had its nose gear collapse on takeoff at Santa Monica, California, USA. No injuries were reported.

  • 10 September: A 1943 Fairchild PT-26 Cornell, N103JC (s/n FC-119), operated by the Commemorative Air Force, lost engine power shortly after takeoff from Waukegan, Illinois, USA during an airshow. The pilot did a nice job of landing the airplane in a field next to the airport. Due to uneven ground, the airplane was substantially damaged.

  • 10 September: A 1943 Boeing PT-13/E75 Stearman, OE-AWW (formerly N75664) (c/n 75-5386), crashed and was substantially damaged after an apparent loss of power shortly after takeoff from Backnang-Heiningen airport, Germany, during an airshow. The pilot was slightly injured. The accident was captured on video in graphic detail by a spectator. [Video here.]

  • 13 September: The Reno Air Race Association (RARA) has grounded six jets from competing in this year's Jet Class races at the National Air Races in Reno, Nevada, USA. Five of them are L-29 Delfins believed to be fitted with powerful Rolls-Royce Viper engines, and one is a L-39 Albatros believed to have a substantially-modified engine. A RARA spokesperson said the aircraft would be able to compete next year, after safety issues had been addressed.

  • 16 September: A modified North American P-51D Mustang, N79111 (s/n 44-15651, "Galloping Ghost"), piloted by well-known racer and warbird owner Jimmy Leeward, crashed into the box-seat area in front of the grandstands during the last race of the day at the 48th Annual National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, USA. At least 10 spectators died and 70+ were injured, plus the loss of the pilot. Analysis of race video shows that the aircraft aggressively pulled up, rolled over, and essentially performed a "Split-S" into the ground. Investigators found that a failure of the aircraft's elevator trim tab could have caused a rapid pitch-up, massive structural overload, and G-induced loss of consciousness of the pilot.  [Reno Gazette-Journal coverage] [Article: Warbird Safety in the Post-Reno 2011 Era]

Jimmy Leeward with his P-51, Galloping Ghost, in 2010.
Jimmy Leeward with Galloping Ghost in 2010

  • 17 September: A North American T-28C Trojan, N688GR, flown by the "Trojan Horsemen" demonstration team, crashed during an airshow performance at Martinsville, West Virginia, USA. The pilot did not survive. The aircraft had just performed an opposing aileron roll with another T-28, but did not complete the roll.

  • 17 September: A North American SNJ-5 Texan, N217RK (c/n 88-16224), crashed at a private grass airport near Muskegon, Michigan after losing engine power and striking a tree just after takeoff. The engine was ripped off the firewall during the incident. The owner/pilot suffered a leg injury and other minor bumps and scrapes, but is expected to make a full recovery.

  • 20 September: Workers and volunteers at the Canadian Air and Space Museum in Toronto, Canada arrived to find that the museum's landlord had changed the locks and ordered the eviction of the museum. The government-run corporation that owns the museum's land is reported to be planning the construction of a hockey arena on the site. Residents and visitors are urged to visit the museum's website for information on how to contact Canadian officials to comment on the closure.

  • 24 September: A 1942 Douglas C-47A Dakota, N3239T ("Tico Belle"), operated by the Valiant Air Command, rolled off the end of the runway while landing in Titusville, Florida, USA. None of the nine people on board were injured.

  • 26 September: A replica Nakajima "Kate" Type 97 torpedo-bomber, N2047 (actually a highly-modified Harvard with a BT-13 tail section), operated by the Commemorative Air Force's "Tora Tora Tora" group, made a successful forced landing in a cotton field near Thatcher, Arizona after experiencing an engine failure. The pilot was not injured, and the plane suffered only minor damage.

  • 29 September: A 1965 Aero Vodochody L-29C Delfin jet, N9196X, blew its main landing gear tires upon landing in Georgetown Texas, USA. The pilot was not injured.

October 2011:

  • 9 October: An Aeronca L-3A (O-58) Grasshopper, N46513 (c/n 42-7798) crashed on takeoff from an airport near Westmoreland, Tennessee, USA, slightly injuring the pilot. The aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 15 October: A North American P-51D Mustang, N751RB ("Glamorous Gal"), was damaged when its right landing gear collapsed upon landing in St. Augustine, Florida, USA, causing it to go off the runway. The pilot and passenger were not injured.

  • 19 August: A 1973 Hawker Hunter Mk.58A, N327AX (c/n J-4103, ex-XE611), operated by a defense contractor, went off the runway while landing in Newport News, Virginia, USA, in windy, low-visibility conditions. The pilot was not injured. Other circumstances of the incident are not known.

  • 20 October: The U.S.-based Heavy Metal Jet Team has announced they are changing their name to the Black Diamonds Jet Team. They will also become a seven-ship team with the addition of a second MiG-17, in addition to their existing MiG-17 and five L-39s.

  • 22 October: A Yakovlev Yak-52, ZU-DTL (c/n 866404) lost brake pressure while taxiing at Durban, South Africa and ran into a parked Piper Meridian. Both aircraft were substantially damaged, but neither occupant was injured.

  • 26 October: Swift Fuel, a biofuel alternative to the current 100LL aviation fuel, has been tested in an unmodified Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engine. Initial results were positive, and more tests are planned to determine the final suitability of the fuel in large radial engines which power many warbird aircraft. [Read more>>]

  • 29 October: A 1980 IAR 823, N129GC, landed gear-up at Raymond, Mississippi, USA. Damage to the aircraft was reported as minor.

  • 31 October: Air Race Lawsuits Begin: In a predictable response to the Reno Air Race tragedy in September, the first multi-million dollar wrongful-death lawsuit was filed, by the wife of a man killed in the crash. Named in the suit were no fewer than six defendants. The plaintiffs asked for $25 million, calling the accident a "predictable result of a reckless drive for speed by a risk-taking pilot and crew, coupled with an insatiable drive for profit by those who stood to profit from the show." [Read the rest >>]

November 2011:

  • 2 November: A 1984 Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros jet, N139PM, struck a large flock of pigeons just after liftoff on a "touch-and-go" at Rockford, Illinois, USA. Neither crewmember was injured. The aircraft suffered minor damage to several locations on its right wing.

  • 5 November: A 1956 Beechcraft T-34B / D-45 Mentor, N34KT, crashed into a wooded area shortly after takeoff from a private airstrip near Williston, Florida, USA, killing both occupants. Witnesses reported hearing the engine sputtering during the takeoff.

  • 7 November: David Riggs, the notorious pilot who buzzed the Santa Monica, California pier in his L-39 Albatros jet in 2008, had his conviction upheld by a Los Angeles appellate court. He was ordered to serve 60 days in jail, pay a fine, and perform 60 hours of community service.

  • 15 November: A Bell UH-1H Iroquois ("Huey") helicopter, N502AW, lost power and made a hard forced landing near the Grand Canyon Valle Airport, Arizona, USA. The pilot was seriously injured.

  • 19 November: A 1951 Beechcraft C-45G, N75Q, nosed over and suffered substantial damage upon landing in Lyman, Mississippi, USA. None of the seven people on board were injured.

  • 30 November: A 1951 Cessna L-19 (Model 305A) Bird Dog, N6735Q (s/n 51-16897), crashed on approach to the Fredericksburg, Texas airport, after the engine failed. The aircraft struck power lines and came to rest across the road from the airport. The pilot was not injured.

December 2011:

  • 8 December: A recently-restored 1943 Curtiss P-40M Kittyhawk, N5813 (ex-RNZAF NZ3119), operated by the Tri-State Warbird Museum of Batavia, Ohio, USA suffered a catastrophic engine failure at an altitude of 6,500 feet during a test flight. Despite having limited forward visibility due to smoke and coolant, the pilot was able to return to the airport, but the aircraft ended up going off the end of the runway, through a fence and onto a road. The right landing gear collapsed and the right wingtip was shredded, but otherwise the aircraft was largely undamaged.

  • 18 December: A static-display Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was stolen over the weekend from the Deelen Air Base Museum in the Netherlands. The thieves left a somewhat cryptic note which some officials believe indicates the aircraft will be returned next year.

  • 20 December: A group of SCUBA divers discovered what is believed to be a Curtiss SB2C Helldiver laying upside-down on the sea floor, at a depth of 185 feet, approximately four miles off the coast of Jupiter, Florida, USA. [Media coverage >>]

  • 21 December: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has announced they will host a one-day public hearing entitled, "Air Race and Air Show Safety" in Washington, DC on 10 January, 2012. [Learn More>>]

  • 22 December: A 1987 Nanchang CJ-6A, N8120C (c/n 44-04), suffered a power loss and force-landed on a beach in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, USA. Neither the pilot nor his passenger were injured, and the plane was undamaged.

Successful forced-landing by a Nanchang CJ-6. Nice job.
(Photo contributed by Mitch Meyers.)

  • 24 December: The Netherlands' "Aviodrome" aviation theme park closed its doors, a victim of bankruptcy due to the poor economic climate. Most of the museum's collection will be auctioned off in the next six weeks. The Aviodrome is the home of a well-known Lockheed VC-121 Constellation, N749NL, that was restored to airworthy condition in Arizona and flown 5,000 miles to Holland in 2002.


Index
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2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013


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January 2012:

  • 4 January: The Reno Air Race Association (RARA) has announced that they will press ahead with plans to hold an event in September 2012, despite the accident in 2011 which killed 11 spectators and injured 70. RARA President Mike Houghton would not speculate about what changes, if any, would be made to the event to help ensure the safety of spectators, and it is not known if the organization can acquire the needed permits to hold conventional air races, in the same format as before. [Read more >>]

  • 10 January: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) hosted a one-day public hearing in Washington, DC to hear opinions and testimony regarding the safety of air races and airshows in the United States. A notable moment occurred when the FAA's Director of Flight Standards said that he was "not aware of any significant or substantive changes to the policy and guidance we have in place" regarding current airshow regulations. It is hope this bodes well for events such as the National Championship Air Races.

  • 20 January: Pilot/owner Tom Coble was killed in the crash of his 1981 Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, N16RZ, shortly after takeoff from the Gadsden, Alabama USA airport. A low, overcast ceiling was reported at the airport at the time of the accident. [Local news report >>]

  • 21 January: A 1969 Nanchang CJ-6A, N620DM (c/n 2532080), lost brake pressure while taxiing and hit a building in Glendale, Arizona, USA. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured.

  • 23 January: A Yakovlev/Aerostar Yak-52TW crashed in a sports field in Feilding, Wellington, New Zealand, killing both men on board. Investigators later determined that the accident was caused by an errant screwdriver jammed in the flight controls. [Local news report >>]  [Accident investigation news>>]

  • 27 January: A 1942 deHavilland DH-82A Tiger Moth, VH-GVA (c/n 1014), struck trees shortly after takeoff from Maryborough Airport, Victoria, Australia. The aircraft burned, and both occupants were killed. [Local news report >>]

February 2012:

  • 3 February: The pilot of a 1958 Canadair CT-133/T-33 Silver Star III, N333MJ (c/n 456), performed an intentional gear-up landing at St. George, Utah, USA after he reported that one of the aircraft's main landing gear would not extend. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured.

  • 26 February: Legendary aviation figure and P-51 pilot Bob Hoover saved the day for a Mustang pilot in Mobile, Alabama. Pilot Chuck Gardner could not extend his left main landing gear at the conclusion of a 30-minute flight, and Hoover's expert phone advice was invaluable in getting the stuck gear extended, saving the expensive aircraft from damage. Way to go, Chuck and Bob!

March 2012:

  • 1 March: A Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopter, N197LE, crashed in the desert near Coolidge, Arizona, USA, while filming an episode of the Top Gear Korea TV program. Neither crewmember was injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged. [Video of the accident>>]

  • 2 March: A turboprop-powered 1983 SIAI-Marchetti SF-260TP, N350TP, was substantially damaged after landing at Corona, California, USA, after which it struck a vehicle, another aircraft, and some buildings. The pilot was not injured.

  • 6 March: An IAI F-21A Kfir jet, N404AX, operated by Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) crashed at NAS Fallon, Nevada, USA, killing the civilian contract pilot, Capt. Carrol LeFon (USN Ret). [Local media report >>]

  • 10 March: A 1959 North American SNJ-5, N3246G, operated by the Commemorative Air Force, ground-looped on landing at Mesa, Arizona, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 12 March: A Beechcraft T-34B (D45) Mentor, N8662E, experienced a collapsed landing gear upon landing in Okeechobee, Florida, USA. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured.

  • 20 March: A 1951 North American T-6G Texan, N791MH, operated by the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, was struck by a truck while taxiing at Bessemer, Louisiana, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 22 March: A Douglas C-54G Skymaster, N406WA (c/n 35944), suffered the collapse of its nose landing gear while taxiing in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Neither crewmember was injured.

  • 23 March: A 1978 Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros, N138EM, operated by the Black Diamond Jet Team, landed gear-up at Punta Gorda, Florida, USA, after an airshow performance. The aircraft suffered moderate damage, but the pilot was not injured.

  • 26 March: A 1958 Pilatus P-3, N821LT (A-821), suffered the collapse of its nose gear upon landing in Ardmore, Oklahoma, USA. The pilot and passenger were not injured.

  • 27 March: A 1969 Bell OH-58 Kiowa helicopter, N452MC, made an emergency landing near Liberty, Mississippi, USA after the aircraft began to smoke. Shortly after the landing, the helicopter was destroyed by fire. The pilot escaped injury.

  • 30 March: An Arado-Flugzeugwerke GmbH FW190-A5 replica, N190DK, veered off the runway upon landing at Casa Grande, Arizona, USA. The aircraft's left landing gear collapsed, but the pilot was not injured.

  • An oil exploration team working in the deserts of Egypt has discovered a remarkably intact Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk that crash-landed in 1942. The aircraft is believed to be ET574, flown by 260 Squadron of the RAF. [See the amazing photo gallery here >>] [Video of Egyptians removing ammo>>]

April 2012:

  • 1 April: A Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21UM Mongol-B, N1165, went off the runway and into the grass during its landing roll at Wilmington, Delaware, USA. No injuries were reported.

  • 4 April: Well-known warbird owner, race pilot and airshow pilot Howard Pardue was killed in the crash of his 1945 Grumman F8F Bearcat, N14HP, in Breckenridge, Texas, USA. Witnesses reported the pilot appeared to be attempting a Half Cuban-Eight maneuver immediately after takeoff, but the maneuver apparently went wrong, and the aircraft struck the ground in a high rate of descent. Pardue was a fixture at the National Air Races at Reno for many years, as well as an accomplished airshow performer. [Preliminary accident report >>]

  • 5 April: A de Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen FAW.2, G-CVIX (XP924), suffered the collapse of its nose landing gear upon landing at Bournemouth, Dorset, UK, following a test flight. The pilot was not injured, and damage to the aircraft was believed to be minor.

  • 10 April: Good News for the Reno Air Races: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has made some safety recommendations that will allow the National Championship Air Races to be held, in substantially the same form as in the past. Among the changes recommended are slight modifications to the race course and requiring heavily-modified race aircraft to be previously test-flown at race speeds before participating in the race. [More information >>]

  • 14 April: Twenty Supermarine Spitfire aircraft that were buried 40 feet underground in Burma just before the end of WWII have been located and will be repatriated to the UK soon, according to an article in the Telegraph. It is thought the aircraft are in very good condition. [Read the article>>]

  • 17-20 April: The annual Doolittle Raiders Reunion was held at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio, USA to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the famous and audacious B-25 raid on Tokyo. This event featured not only the largest gathering of B-25 Mitchell bombers since WWII (20 aircraft in attendance), but also four of the five surviving crewmembers from the raid. A mass flyover of B-25s was also performed. [Event information >>]

  
Photo Copyright 2012 by Francois Bergeon. Used with permission.
(Click for larger version.)

  • 18 April: Another legislative threat to warbirds: A proposed amendment to a House bill (H.R. 4310) would effectively stop the US Department of Defense from providing aircraft, or even spare parts, to civilian individuals or organizations, if those aircraft or parts are destined to be part of an airworthy aircraft. Please see our Threats to Warbirds page for more information.

  • 28 April: A Yakovlev Yak-52, registered RA-3585K, crashed into a lake near Langford, Essex, UK, after failing to recover from a spin. Both the instructor pilot and his passenger were killed. [AAIB accident report>>]

May 2012:

  • 3 May: A Supermarine TR.9 Spitfire, MJ772, performed a wheels-up landing in Bremgarten, Germany. The aircraft had been recently restored, and the pilot elected to perform the belly landing after one of the main gear would not extend.

  • 6 May: A 1950 North American T-6G Texan, N1284 (c/n 168/448), was slightly damaged after running off the end of the runway upon landing at Bayou La Batre, Louisiana, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 6 May: A 1946 Piper L-4 / J-3 Grasshopper was heavily damaged after the pilot lost control during takeoff, and the plane struck a stand of trees at his private airfield in Westhampton, Massachusetts, USA. The pilot suffered only minor injuries.

  • 6 May: A 1950 North American T-28A Trojan, VH-VBT (s/n 50-221), suffered the collapse of its nose landing gear just as it began taxiing at Toowoomba, Australia. Neither the pilot nor his passenger were injured. [News article and photo>>]

  • 11 May: A Boeing PT-17/A75N Stearman, N71327 (c/n 75-756), departed the runway during its landing roll and struck a tree in Weirsdale, Florida, USA. Neither occupant was injured.

  • 13 May: A 1943 North American T-6D Texan, N299CM (s/n 49-2912), went off the runway after landing at Anchorage, Alaska, USA, and struck runway lights. No damage to the aircraft was reported.

  • 18 May: A single-seat Hawker Hunter Mk. 58, N321AX, operated by the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) under government contract, crashed in a field three miles from its home base at Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station, near Camarillo, California, USA. The civilian pilot was killed. The pilot had reportedly completed a mission and was returning to base as part of a "flight of two" when the accident occurred. The other aircraft landed safely.

  • 18 May: A 1981 Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, N39WT, crashed shortly after takeoff from Boulder City, Nevada, USA. Witnesses reported the aircraft appeared to lose power shortly after takeoff. Noted warbird instructor Doug Gilliss and a passenger were killed when the aircraft "pancaked" in the desert near the airport.

  • 18 May: The Collings Foundation announced the debut of its replica Messerschmitt Me262 jet fighter ("White 1") at Moffett Field, California, USA. The foundation hopes to offer educational flights in the aircraft later this fall.

  • 19 May: A 1967 Hughes TH-55 Osage helicopter, N74914 (c/n 67-15442), rolled onto its side after landing at Pittsfield, Pennsylvania, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 22 May: The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) has announced they will ask the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to modify the Reno Unlimited Class race course by softening some of the turns and moving the course farther away from spectators. The changes were based on the recommendations of an independent review panel that was tasked with developing safety improvements at the annual event, following last September's tragic crash. The organization also announced that they have secured $100 million in insurance for the event. [News article>>]

  • 22 May: The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has called for a public meeting next month to address the issue of rides being given in non-Standard Category aircraft (warbirds). The FAA's current policy, called the "Living History Flight Experience (LHFE)" exemption, allows operators to sell rides in aircraft such as the B-17 and B-24 which were manufactured before 1947. Other operators of vintage jets, and warbirds built after 1947, have applied for exemptions under the LHFE rules, and the FAA has called for this meeting to discuss the expansion of the policy. The meeting will be held in Washington DC on 26-28 June 2012. A public comment period is now open. For more information, see our Threats page.

  • 26 May: Consolidated B-24A/LB-30 Liberator N24927 (s/n 40-2366, "Diamond Lil") suffered the collapse of its nose landing gear during the landing roll at Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, after the crew spent nearly an hour dealing with a landing gear/hydraulic system malfunction. None of the 16 people on board was injured, and the aircraft is expected to be repaired quickly.

  • 27 May: Prolific aircraft collector Merle Maine has announced that he is selling his collection, based in Ontario, Oregon, USA. The collection includes numerous types, including an F-104 Starfighter, F-86 Sabre, A-4 Skyhawk, L-39 Albatros, T-33 Shooting Star, MiG-21, MiG-23, deHavilland Vampire, two Grumman S-2 Trackers, and more. [Trade-A-Plane listing>>]

  • 28 May: A 1949 North American SNJ/T-6G Texan, N3753G (c/n 493177), crashed shortly after takeoff from a private airfield near Byron, Michigan, USA. The pilot's wife, who was a passenger, was killed after the plane struck a nearby barn. The aircraft was destroyed. [Local news coverage>>]

  • 30 May: A 1949 Hawker T Mk.20 Sea Fury, N71GB, (c/n 37525, "Sawbones"), suffered the collapse of its landing gear on landing rollout in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Minor damage was reported.

  • 30 May: The Chino, California-based Planes of Fame Air Museum announced that the Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress known as "Swamp Ghost" (s/n 41-2446) will be moving to the Pacific Air Museum in Hawaii. [Swamp Ghost's home page>>]

June 2012:

  • 2 June: A Heinkel He-115 seaplane torpedo-bomber was raised from the water of a fjord near Sola, Norway after resting at the bottom for over 70 years. [Photo gallery>>] [Slideshow>>]

  • 3 June: A 1955 Lockheed P2V Neptune aerial tanker (N41447, s/n 135587, "Tanker 11"), operated by Neptune Aviation, crashed during an air assault on a forest fire near the Nevada/Utah border. Both crewmembers were killed. [News report>>]

  • 3 June: Another Lockheed SP2H Neptune firebomber, this one registered N355MA ("Tanker 55") made an emergency landing at Minden, Nevada, USA, after the pilots could not extend the left main landing gear. The aircraft suffered minor damage, but the crew was not injured.

  • 3 June: A rare Fairey Firefly AS Mk.VI N518WB (Ex-WB-518) suffered an apparent failure of its landing gear during its landing roll at an airshow at El Cajon, California, USA. The aircraft came to rest in the dirt alongside the runway. The pilot was not injured, and the aircraft is believed to be repairable.

  • 6 June: The EAA's B-17 Flying Fortress, Aluminum Overcast, was slightly damaged by an unexpected hailstorm in Denver, Colorado, USA. The hail damaged the aircraft's fabric flight-control surfaces, but thanks to the hard work of some volunteers, the parts were replaced within a few days. [Story and photos>>]

  • 8 June: A 1942 Ryan PT-22/ST3KR, N721R (c/n 1840), went off the runway and into a ditch after landing at Norwalk, Ohio, USA. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 10 June: A 1964 Hispano HA-200 Saeta jet, N632HA (c/n E.14A-32), lost its left wingtip tank while in flight. The aircraft landed at Everett, Washington, USA without further difficulties.

  • 11 June: A North American SNJ-4/AT-6C Texan, N7055K (c/n 50-709E), landed in a field and flipped over near Delmar, Delaware, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 14 June: A 1985 Yakovlev Yak-52, N76YK (c/n 855706), suffered the collapse of its nose landing gear on landing at Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. No injuries were reported.

  • 15 June: A Canadair CT-133/T-33 Silver Star Mk.3, C-FUPM (s/n 133346), operated by the Jet Aircraft Museum, landed short of the runway in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The jet's left landing gear was sheared off, and the aircraft came to rest off the side of the runway in the grass. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured.

  • 18 June: A 1941 Boeing A75 Stearman, N59334 (c/n 75-1606), went off the side of the runway and ground-looped during landing at Glencoe, Minnesota, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 23 June: A 1940 de Havilland DH-82 Tiger Moth, N523R (formerly G-ANEI, c/n 82960) made an emergency landing in a field in Fontana, California, USA. The aircraft came to rest inverted and suffered substantial damage. There were no reported injuries to either the pilot or passenger.

  • 26 June: A 1941 Boeing B75N Stearman, N50082 (c/n 75-1037), flipped over on landing near Fredericksburg, Texas, USA. The pilot was not injured, but the plane was substantially damaged.

  • 26 June: A 1963 Bell UH-1F Iroquois helicopter, N4582D (c/n 63-13163), came in contact with power lines during sling load operations, and one member of the crew was seriously injured. The incident happened near Concrete, Washington, USA.

  • 30 June: An Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros jet (ZU-HIT) crashed during a formation aerobatic performance at the Klerksdorp Airshow in South Africa. The aircraft appeared to perform a loaded (high-G) roll during a low-altitude pullout from a split-S maneuver. The pilot was killed.

July 2012:

  • 10 July: A North American-Rockwell OV-10 Bronco, G-BZGK, operated by the civilian Bronco Demo Team, crashed at Cotswold Airport, Gloucestershire, UK, during a flight demonstration practice. The pilot suffered significant injuries, but is expected to survive.

  • 12 July: A Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21MF Fishbed, N9307, rolled off the end of the runway after landing in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA and suffering the failure of its braking parachute. The aircraft went through a fence and came to rest on a nearby road with at least one of its landing gear collapsed or sheared off. The aircraft was substantially damaged, but the pilot was not injured.

  • 15 July: A 1982 IAR 825 Triumpf, N825BA, crashed in a corn field near Peru, Illinois, USA, after losing power while on approach to land. The pilot was not injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged. This aircraft is the only prototype of a turbine-powered version of the better-known Romanian trainer, the IAR-823.

  • 22 July: A 1959 Dornier Do27, N780AX (c/n 391), was substantially damaged after crashing near Jackson, Wyoming, USA. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured.

  • 26 July: A 1971 Bell OH-58C Kiowa helicopter, N8092J (s/n 70-15363) was damaged after a rotor blade struck a powerline near Waukon, Iowa, USA.

  • 28 July: A 1973 Nanchang CJ-6A, N96YK (c/n 1232007), crashed on approach to an airfield near Walsenburg, Colorado, USA, killing the pilot and his son.

  • 30 July: Florida-based Draken International has won a bid to buy nine Aermacchi MB-339 advanced fighter trainers from the government of New Zealand. These aircraft, in addition to the company's previous acquisitions of eight Douglas A-4 Skyhawk fighter/attack aircraft, 29 MiG-21UM and MiG-21BIS Fishbed/Mongol supersonic fighters, and five L-39 Albatros fighter/trainers, make Draken the largest fleet of privately-owned tactical jet aircraft in the world. The aircraft are to be used for government contract work. Draken's CEO is also the owner of (and a pilot with) the popular Black Diamonds Jet Team. [Draken International website]

August 2012:

  • 4 August: Noted airshow performer Kent Pietsch was injured in the crash of his 1942 Interstate S-1 / L-6 Cadet, N37428, in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada. The incident happened after the airshow, as Pietsch was flying at low altitude while searching for the foam aileron he routinely drops as a part of his airshow act. He reportedly lost power and could not reach the runway.

  • 4 August: A Piaggio/Focke-Wulf P.149D, D-EGIT, was substantially damaged after losing engine power and hitting a barn during a forced landing near Hollandscheveld, Netherlands. Both occupants of the airplane and an occupant of the building were injured.

  • 9 August: The first U.S. flight of a restored Ilyushin IL-2 Shturmovik has taken place at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, USA. Noted warbird pilot Steve Hinton took the aircraft on its shakedown flight for its new owner, the Flying Heritage Collection. The aircraft was rebuilt from parts of no fewer than four IL-2 wrecks recovered during the past 20 years in Russia.

  • 12 August: A deHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth, G-AHLT, crashed in a field near Maeshafn, North Wales, UK, after it hit trees while the pilot was attempting to land on a short, sloping pasture. The pilot was not injured, but the airplane was substantially damaged.

  • 12 August: Another deHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth, G-ANFV, suffered substantial damage after a forced landing near Duffas, Scotland.

  • 13 August: The vintage aircraft collection of the late Howard Pardue is up for sale. The aircraft available include a Grumman FM-2 Wildcat and a Hawker Sea Fury. [See listings at Ezell Aviation]

  • 18 August: A 1943 Boeing B75N Stearman, N47964, ground-looped upon landing in Mesa, Arizona, USA. The pilot was not injured, and only minor damage to the airplane was reported.

  • 18 August: A 1940 Fleet 16B Finch biplane, N343SF (c/n 343), flipped over on landing at Bayport, New York, USA. The plane was substantially damaged. Neither the pilot nor passenger were injured.

  • 22 August: The Coulson Group of British Columbia, Canada has announced that one of the only two remaining Martin JRM Mars seaplane firebombers, C-FLYK ("Philippine Mars"), will go on permanent display at the National Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida, USA. The huge transport aircraft is being repainted in its original navy blue paint scheme, and readied for one last flight. [News article>>]

  • 22 August: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has publicly released 45 documents related to their investigation of the fatal P-51 race crash in Reno in 2011. The documents include various technical analysis papers, flight recorder data, witness photos, and more. [NTSB Docket 51746 >>]

  • 31 August: A 1944 North American T-6F Texan, N244GR (c/n 121-42642), ground-looped on takeoff at Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.

September 2012:

  • 1 September: A 1984 Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros, N139GS, crashed during a formation airshow performance at Davenport, Iowa, USA. Owner/pilot Glenn Smith was killed. [Editor's note: This is one of those times when reporting the news on this page is particularly difficult. Glenn was a good friend of ours and a respected aviator in the warbird community. Our sincere condolences to Glenn's family, friends, and fellow "Hoppers." He will be sorely missed.] 

  • 1 September: A Cessna L-19E Birddog, N4431F, ground-looped upon landing in Dallas, Texas, USA, collapsing the landing gear. The pilot was not injured.

  • 2 September: A 1952 Douglas AD-1N Skyraider, N965AD, struck a sign during a takeoff from Everett, Washington, USA. Damage to the aircraft is unknown.

  • 7 September: Famed pilot, racer, and vintage aircraft restorer Bob Odegaard was killed in the crash of a 1945 Goodyear F2G Super Corsair, N5577N (c/n 6172, Race #74), in Valley City, North Dakota, USA. He was reportedly performing a barrel roll during a practice flight for the following day's airshow when the accident occurred. [Editor's note: It's another tough weekend for the warbird community. Bob will be greatly missed -- our condolences to the numerous people Bob influenced over the years.]

  • 8 September: A 1943 Beechcraft C-45 ended up in a ditch at a private airfield in Suffolk, Virginia, USA, after its brakes failed during a maintenance check. The pilot was not injured.

  • 11 September: A 1951 Hawker FB.11 Sea Fury, N4434P ("Furias"), suffered the collapse of its right main landing gear on landing at Reno, Nevada, USA, during the National Championship Air Races. Pilot Matt Jackson was not injured.

  • 13 September: A 1942 Fairchild PT-19A Cornell, N19GP, crashed while making a low approach at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, USA. The pilot and his passenger, a reporter for a local newspaper, were not seriously injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 15 September: An Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros, ES-YLS (c/n 691881), operated by the Breitling Jet Team, crashed in a field near Valkenswaard, Netherlands after engine problems during a ferry flight. Both the pilot and his passenger (a team mechanic) ejected successfully. The aircraft was destroyed. 

  • 16 September: A Yakovlev Yak-52, N2207X, crashed near Huntsville, Alabama, USA, killing the owner/pilot and a passenger. Circumstances of the accident are not known, but the aircraft was seen maneuvering during a fly-in event.

  • 19 September: A Boeing A75/PT-17 Stearman, N4777V, ground-looped on landing in Lincoln, California, USA. Neither occupant was injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 30 September: A 1952 Hawker FB.11 Sea Fury, N878M ("Miss Merced"), landed gear-up at Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA. The pilot was not injured.

October 2012:

  • 12 October: A 1955 Sikorsky S-55B/H-19 Chickasaw helicopter, N443FD (s/n 55-1046), made a hard landing in a field near Yorktown, New York, USA, after suffering a power loss. The aircraft rolled over on its side during the accident, but neither occupant was injured. [Local news, with photo>>]

  • 29 October: A Mach 2+ Panavia Tornado F.3 fighter-bomber appeared for sale in several aviation-industry publications. Though the aircraft is largely complete, it is advertised in "museum display condition" rather than "airworthy" condition. It is believed to be the only Tornado in private ownership in the world. [See the ad>>]

November 2012:

  • 4 November: A Yakovlev / Aerostar Yak-52W, N767RG (c/n 0012208), force-landed in a field near Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The sole occupant was not injured. Damage to the aircraft is unknown.

  • 5 November: A Hawker Hunter, believed to be operated by a government contractor, suffered the collapse of its landing gear upon landing at Pt. Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center, California, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 10 November: A 1943 Boeing E75 Stearman, N1370V, was involved in a mid-air collision with a Vans RV-12 while the aircraft were flying in formation near Williamson, Georgia, USA. Both aircraft landed safely. Damage to the Stearman's rudder was reported.

  • 20 November: The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has revoked the pilot's certificate of notorious pilot Dave Riggs, who was involved in a recent fatal accident involving an L-39 jet that was allegedly used in an illegal commercial "adventure ride" program. Among his other accomplishments, Riggs also used an L-39 to "buzz" a Santa Monica, California beach pier in 2008; organized an air race that was grounded by the FAA for safety concerns; and was involved in another fatal L-39 accident involving a movie production.

  • 20 November: A 1941 Boeing A75 Stearman, N56226, lost power after takeoff from an airfield near San Antonio, Texas, USA. Neither the pilot nor passenger were injured, but the aircraft was damaged after crashing into trees and a fence.

December 2012:

  • 5 December: Aero Union Corporation is auctioning off its remaining inventory of seven modified Lockheed P-3A Orion airtanker aircraft. The auction also includes engines, spare parts, maintenance gear, and MAFFS aerial firefighting equipment. The aircraft have been active for many years, battling forest fires for the U.S. Forest Service and the California Department of Forestry. [Auction information>>]

  • 5 December: A Douglas C-47TP Dakota, operated by 35 Squadron of the South African Air Force, crashed in the Drakensberg mountain range in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, killing all 11 people on board. Poor weather conditions were reported in the area. This aircraft has been used as a support aircraft for the SAAF's Silver Falcons airshow display team, as well as in numerous other utility roles. [Commemorative photo issued by the team>>]

  • 5 December: Yet another WWII aircraft has been recovered from the bottom of Lake Michigan. This one, a Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, crashed in December 1944 while practicing carrier landings. It will eventually be sent to the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida, for restoration. The aircraft is currently available for public viewing in Kenosha, Wisconsin. [EAA news story>>]

  • 8 December: A North American T-28C Trojan, N280JM (Bu.No. 140589), landed gear-up in a field near Temple, Texas, USA. The pilot and passenger suffered minor injuries.

  • 13 December: A 1971 Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin, N29NR (c/n 1941440, crashed into a field near Scurry, Texas, USA, killing both the owner/pilot and the passenger. Circumstances of the accident are not known, but it was reported that the passenger was receiving a ride that he had won in an auction. [News report>>]


Index
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2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013


[Back to Warbird News Page]

 


January 2013:

  • 7 January: A Supermarine PR Mk. XIX Spitfire, G-RRGN, suffered the collapse of its landing gear during landing at East Midlands Airport, UK. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft, recently restored for Rolls-Royce, is believed to be readily repairable. [BBC news report>>]

  • 15 January: Noted warbird pilot, former Reno racer, and Airshow Competency Evaluator (ACE) Fred Cabanas was killed in the crash of a non-warbird light plane near Cozumel, Mexico.  [Godspeed, Freddy. -Ed.]

  • 19 January: A Nanchang CJ-6A, N5616N (c/n 5632016), landed gear-up at Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA. The pilot was not injured.

February 2013:

  • 6 February: A 1966 Hispano HA-200 Saeta Jet, N390WW, suffered the collapse of its landing gear during a landing at North Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The pilot was not injured and the aircraft sustained only minor damage.

  • 6 February: A Hiller UH-12B/OH-23 helicopter, N5072R, made a hard landing at Merritt Island, Florida, USA after a loss of power. One person was injured.

  • 6 February: In a surprise move, the U.S. National Park Service ordered the immediate closure of the delightful Pearson Air Museum, located on historic Fort Vancouver, Washington, USA. A press release from the Trust which operated the museum said the closure was the result of "an unresolved dispute with the National Park Service regarding park use policy."

March 2013:

  • 13 March: A group of  business leaders in Wichita, Kansas, USA has united to form "Doc's Friends," a group dedicated to the restoration to flight status of "Doc," a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber. Doc spent 42 years on a bombing-range in China Lake, California, and was rescued from an uncertain fate several years ago. [More information>>]

  • 26 March: A Hughes OH-6 Cayuse helicopter, N910WC (s/n 67-16372) crashed near Caddo, Texas, USA. A passenger was killed after the aircraft lost control while hovering over a stock tank and then plunged into the water. The pilot suffered only minor injuries.

April 2013:

  • 16 April: A deHaviland DH.82A Tiger Moth (ZS-OSS, c/n 82982) crashed into the water in Mmabatho, South Africa during a landing approach. Both occupants were killed.

  • 19 April: A Siai-Marchetti SF-260W, N224AP, landed gear-up at San Rafael, California, USA. Neither the pilot nor his passenger were injured.

  • 20 April: A 1942 Boeing A75N1 Stearman, N985SS (c/n 75-3431), force-landed in a vineyard near Santa Rosa, California. USA, ending up inverted. The pilot was not injured.

  • 24 April: A 1953 North American/CCF Harvard IV, C-FMWN (c/n CCF4 267) suffered the loss of its left brake after landing in Delta, British Columbia, Canada. The aircraft departed the side of the runway and the left main landing gear collapsed. The aircraft came to rest in a ditch. Neither occupant was injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.

May 2013:

  • 5 May: A Hispano Aviacion HA-200D Saeta jet, EC-DXR (c/n 20-56), crashed into a hangar during an airshow near Madrid, Spain. The 34-year old pilot died at the hospital, and several people at the scene were reported to be injured. The aircraft appeared to perform a slow-speed wingover-type maneuver, and did not recover before ground impact.

June 2013:

  • 10 June: The remains of a Dornier Do.17 bomber were recovered from the English Channel in one of Britain's most expensive and challenging retrieval operations. The aircraft is reported as being in "remarkable condition," and the plan is to eventually display it at the Royal Air Force Museum in London. The aircraft was shot down in 1940 by a pair of RAF Boulton-Paul Defiant fighters, and came to rest in 50 feet of water. [News article, with photos and video>>]

  • 13 June: Two Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros jets collided during a practice race at Reno, Nevada, USA. Both aircraft landed. One of the aircraft involved, L-39 N8124N (Race # 777), suffered the loss of approximately half of its vertical stabilizer and the pilot made a successful gear-up landing. The other involved aircraft, N2399V (Race # 99, "Miss Mona"), landed safely. The practice race was being flown in conjunction with the annual Pylon Racing Seminar, held to train new and prospective Reno racing pilots. [News and photo>>]

  • 22 June: A 1941 Boeing 1B75A Stearman 450, N450JW, crashed during an airshow performance in Dayton, Ohio, USA. Both performers perished after the aircraft appeared to stall while inverted at low altitude during a wing-walking act. [Jane Wicker and Charlie Schwenker will be missed. Our condolences to the family and friends of these two great performers. -Ed.]

  • 22 June: The Military Aviation Museum, Jerry Yagen's large collection of warbirds and vintage aircraft in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA, is reportedly for sale. [Museum link>>]

  • 23 June: A Nanchang CJ-6, N2726C, crashed in a field near Wolcott, Colorado, USA. Both the owner/pilot and passenger were killed. The exact circumstances of the accident are not known.

  • 23 June: A 1955 Beechcraft T-34/A45 Mentor, N434M, crashed after an apparent engine failure near Boulder City, Nevada, USA. Both occupants were killed. Both were active-duty National Guard members, although they were not flying in a military capacity at the time.

  • 25 June: A Canadian businessman is selling his British Aerospace FA2 Sea Harrier VTOL jet on eBay. The aircraft is largely complete but not airworthy, and the starting bid is $500,000 USD, with a "Buy It Now" price of $1.5m.

  • 25 June: The Tillamook Air Museum in Oregon announced that they will be acquiring two new airplanes: "Chuckie," the well-known Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, and a Flug Werke/Focke-Wulf Fw-190A-8N replica -- both of which were, until recently, operated by Jerry Yagen's Military Air Museum. The B-17 will be making the long flight from Virginia to Oregon this weekend, weather permitting, with the -190 following shortly. [Tillamook Air Museum link>>]

  • 27 June: A Fouga CM-170 Magister, F-GLHF (c/n 406), operated by the Dutch Historic Jet Association, suffered the collapse of its landing gear upon landing at Lelystad, Netherlands. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured.

  • 29 June: A Hiller UH-12A / OH-23 Raven helicopter, N6331D (c/n 213), crashed into a residential yard while maneuvering to land on a trailer. The pilot sustained unknown injuries and the aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 30 June: A Nanchang CJ-6A, N116RL, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean about 500 yards (460m) offshore near Ocean City, Maryland, USA. The pilot and passenger, both of whom were Ocean City police officers, were killed. Their bodies were later recovered by divers.


Photo courtesy AP

 July 2013:

  • 11 July: A Boeing A75N1 Stearman (PT-17 Kaydet), N62465 (s/n 75-3096), ended up on its back while taxiing at Canby, Oregon, USA. Both occupants escaped injury, and the plane suffered relatively minor, repairable damage. The aircraft had recently been restored.

  • 16 July: A 1965 Bell UH-1H Iroquois (Huey) helicopter, N775AR (s/n 65-10067), crashed during a seismographic survey flight near Dove Creek, Colorado, USA. The pilot was killed.

  • 17 July: A Boeing A75N-1 Stearman biplane, N5815V (s/n 75-7616), crashed during landing approach at Woodruff, South Carolina, USA after hitting a tree. The plane was heavily damaged, but the occupants suffered only minor injuries.

  • 29 July: A 1963 Folland Gnat T.1, N18GT (XS105), crashed after the pilot attempted to perform an aileron roll following a low pass of the runway in Georgetown, South Carolina, USA. The pilot was killed.

August 2013:

  • 8 August: A 1950 Grumman HU-16 Albatross, N44HQ (c/n G-99), sustained minor damage after striking a rock while taking off from Lake Mead, Nevada, USA.

  • 9 August: The world's last airworthy Fairey Gannet T5, N752XT (ex-XT752) has made its first post-restoration flight at New Richmond, Wisconsin, USA. [Website>>]

  • 17 August: A 1943 Interstate S-1B1 / L-6 Cadet, N46336, suffered the collapse of its landing gear on takeoff from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 18 August: A Messerschmitt Bf.109G-4, D-FWME ("Red 7"), made a wheels-up emergency landing in a field near Copenhagen, Denmark, after an engine failure during an airshow. The pilot was not injured. [Video of the incident>>]

  • 19 August: A 1943 Douglas DC-3 / C-47A Dakota, C-GWIR (s/n 42-32509) operated by Buffalo Airways, made a hard landing after an engine fire. The aircraft has just taken off when flames were seen coming from the right engine, prompting an immediate return to the airport. The aircraft clipped some trees and landed in a ditch short of the runway. None of the 24 people on board were injured.

  • 24 August: A Chance-Vought / Goodyear FG-1D Corsair, N773RD (Bu No. 92471) ("Marine's Dream"), suffered a prop strike after briefly nosing-over on landing at Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania, USA. The incident has been blamed on the wheel brakes locking up.

  • 31 August: A Cessna L-19E / Model 305 Birddog, N862, flipped onto its back while landing in Paris, Texas, USA. The pilot was not injured.

September 2013:

  • 2 September: A 1944 Cessna UC-78/T-50 Bobcat ("Bamboo Bomber"), N41759, crashed in poor weather near Kingsley, Pennsylvania, USA, killing the owner/pilots, a husband and wife who were returning home from a fly-in. The aircraft was missing for six days before the wreckage was located.

  • 7 September: A 1974 BAC Jet Provost Mk.5A, N78SH, went off the end of the runway during its landing roll at Broomfield, Colorado, USA. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured.

  • 10 September: A Boeing PT-27 Stearman, C-GKUE (FJ875), landed hard next to the runway shortly after takeoff in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada for unknown reasons. The pilot and passenger both received minor injuries.

  • 13 September: A Yakovlev Yak-3UM, F-AZZV, went off the end of a runway in Dijon, France during its landing roll. The aircraft suffered the collapse of its landing gear, but neither the pilot nor his passenger were injured.

  • 17 September: Notorious felon and aviation misfit David Riggs was killed in a non-warbird aircraft accident near Shenyang, China. He was apparently practicing for an upcoming airshow by performing a "water-skiing" stunt with his homebuilt Lancair 320 when the plane struck the water and broke up. Unfortunately, the accident also claimed the life of an 18-year old female translator, who was riding in the aircraft. Riggs' body was recovered several days after the accident. [Editor's note: Among other misadventures, Riggs was the pilot who buzzed the Santa Monica Pier with an L-39 jet in 2008, leading to the suspension of his pilot's certificate. His certificate was later suspended a second time for operating an "adventure-flight business" using L-39s, an endeavor that resulted in a fatal accident. He was also the director of an aerial movie shoot that resulted in yet another fatal L-39 accident.] [News report>>]

  • 22 September: A 1940 deHavilland DH-82A Tiger Moth, N9410 (s/n DE941), lost power and the pilot made a forced landing into some trees during an airshow at Old Rhinebeck, New York, USA. The aircraft was substantially damaged, but the pilot was not injured.

  • 23 September: A deHavilland DH-82A Tiger Moth, DH-RAY (s/n 3787), flipped on its back upon landing at a private airstrip near Woolgoolga, South Australia. The pilot was not injured.

 

 

 


Index
1998  |  1999  |  2000  |  2001  |  2002  |  2003  |  2004  |  2005
2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  |  2010  |  2011  |  2012  |  2013


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