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Warbird Alley's Warbird News page

Warbird Alley's
Warbird News

Here's the latest news from the warbird aircraft community.

We update this page regularly. Items are moved to the
News Archive after approximately six months.

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August 2015:

  • 1 August: A 1944 Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXc, G-BRRA (MK912), suffered a loss of power after takeoff from Biggin Hill, UK. The aircraft was heavily damaged in the ensuing forced landing. The pilot reported a shoulder injury, but is expected to make a full recovery. [ITV news report>>] [Telegraph news report>>]

  • 1 August: A 1962 Folland Gnat jet, (believed to be G-TIMM / XP504 / XS111), operated by the UK's Gnat Display Team / Heritage Aircraft Trust, crashed during a two-ship aerial display at a car festival in Tarporley, Cheshire, UK. The pilot was killed. [News coverage>>]

  • 6 August: A 1942 Ryan ST-3KR / PT-22 Recruit, N48701 (c/n 2101), was substantially damaged when it struck a mowing vehicle upon landing in Hollister, California, USA. The driver of the ground vehicle was killed. The aircraft was substantially damaged, and both the pilot and passenger were injured. [News report>>]

  • 8 August: A Fieseler Fi 156 Storch (Morane Saulnier 505 Criquet), F-AZDA (c/n 226), was substantially damaged after a crash-landing in a field near Chambery, France. The pilot suffered only minor injuries.

  • 14 August: A 1951 North American T-28A Trojan, N14124 (c/n 51-3693), was heavily damaged during a forced landing after losing power shortly after takeoff from Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA. The pilot and passenger both suffered injuries. [News report>>]

  • 17 August: A 1943 Boeing B75N1 Stearman biplane, N56200 (c/n 75-7813), collided with a parked helicopter while taxiing at Goodwood Aerodrome, Chichester, West Sussex, UK, sustaining minor damage. The pilot was not injured. [News report and photos>>]

  • 20 August: A Stinson L-5E Sentinel suffered the collapse of its left main landing gear while landing at Tucson, Arizona, USA. The pilot was not injured, but the aircraft sustained substantial damage. [News report>>]

  • 22 August: A Hawker Hunter T.7, G-BXFI (WV372), crashed during an airshow performance at Shoreham, West Sussex, UK. Tragically, at least 11 people were killed and at least 15 were injured when the airplane failed to complete a cloverleaf maneuver and struck cars on a busy 4-lane road. The pilot was pulled from the fiery crash and is currently in a medically-induced coma. [News and video of the accident >>] [Note: A fund has been started to benefit those affected by the tragedy. See Shoreham Air Show Fund>>]

September 2015:

  • 1 September: A Beech T-34 Mentor, N134Y, landed gear-up in Jacksonville, Florida, USA. The pilot was not injured, and the aircraft reportedly suffered minor damage.

  • 5 September: A Yakovlev Yak-52, SE-LXO, crashed into a lake in Varmland, Sweden after striking a power line. The aircraft was recovered at the bottom of the lake by divers. Both occupants were killed.

  • 6 September: A Yakovlev Yak-9UM, VX-YIX (s/n 0470409), ended up on its back after landing at Tybabb Airport, Victoria, Australia. Soft soil next to the runway was suggested as a cause of the incident. The pilot escaped injury.

  • 6 September: The organizers of a 20-Spitfire flypast over central London, UK, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, have announced that the event will be canceled due to the high cost of liability insurance. [Details>>]

  • 7 September: A 1943 Supermarine Spitfire TR.9, MJ772 (D-FMKN) suffered a loss of engine power and an off airport landing in a field near Woodchurch, Kent, UK. The aircraft was badly damaged, but pilot Rob Davies escaped injury.

  • 8 September: A modified North American P-51 Mustang, N6WJ, ("Precious Metal / Race 38") sustained heavy damage from a fire while taxiing out for takeoff in Marianna, Florida, USA. Pilot Thom Richard was not injured. The specialized race aircraft is the world's only Rolls-Royce Griffon-powered P-51, and was on its way to the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada. [More>>]

  • 12 September: A 1983 Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros jet, N139RT, crashed while maneuvering during an air display in Oneida, Tennessee, USA. The pilot was killed.

  • 15 September: The 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain was marked in the UK with a massive flypast of Hurricanes, Spitfires and Blenheims. The aircraft flew over several towns and airfields that played a role in the legendary 1940 battle. [News and video>>]

  • 17 September: A 1970 McDonnell-Douglas A-4N Skyhawk, C-FGZT, operated under civilian contract by Discovery Air Defense Services, suffered the collapse of its nose landing gear upon landing in Mesa, Arizona, USA. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged. [News and photos>>]

  • 18 September: The restoration crew of "Doc," the newly-restored Boeing B-29 Superfortress that will be only the second airworthy B-29 in existence, successfully fired up all four of the bomber's engines for the first time. The aircraft's first flight is planned by the end of the year, following taxi tests and extensive systems checks. [Video of the event>>]

  • 25 September: After 56 years in service, the North American/Rockwell T-2 Buckeye retired from service with the U.S. Navy. The final three aircraft served at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

  • 25 September: A 1944 Curtiss C-46 Commando cargo plane, C-GTXW, operated by Buffalo Airways, lost engine power while enroute, and made a gear-up emergency landing at Deline, North West Territories, Canada. None of the four crewmembers on board were injured.

October 2015:

  • The aviation community is celebrating and mourning the final flights of Avro Vulcan XH558. The magnificent 1960's-era delta-winged bomber is slated to be retired on 11 October after its most recent eight-year flying stint in the UK. Prior to this period, the aircraft had been dormant for 14 years. It was returned to flying status by the generosity of several large sponsoring corporations and thousands of public donors. In recent years, corporate support from key technical organizations has waned, resulting in the grounding. XH558 is expected to remain on "taxi" status so it can be displayed on the ground at its future home at Doncaster, South Yorkshire, UK. [Vulcan to the Sky Trust>>]

  • 6 October: A 1941 Hawker (CCF) Hurricane XIIA, N54FH (c/n CCF/R32007), suffered a tire failure during landing in Everett, Washington, USA. The propeller struck the runway, resulting in damage to at least the prop and engine. The incident was captured on video here.

  • 7 October: The world's oldest flyable jet aircraft, a North American F-86A Sabre, N48178 (s/n 48-178) is back in the air after making its first flight in the USA in more than two decades. Until last summer, the Sabre had been actively flown in the UK by the Golden Apple Trust, and was a popular aircraft on the airshow display circuit. The first two test flights were performed in Rockford, Illinois, USA.

  • 15 October: A BAC 167 Strikemaster, ZK-BAC (c/n 342), landed with its landing gear retracted at Napier, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, after the gear failed to extend normally. The aircraft appeared to suffer minimal damage. [News report>>]

  • 28 October: Vulcan XH558, the last airworthy Avro Vulcan bomber, made its final flight -- a short repositioning flight into its permanent home at Doncaster, UK. As was reported earlier (see above), the public's response to the final flights of XH558 has been overwhelming. [BBC News story>>]

December 2015:

  • 6 December: A 1993 Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros, N39AY (Race #39, Blue Merlin) crashed shortly after takeoff at Apple Valley, California, USA, killing well-known air-race and aerobatic pilot Mike Mangold and a passenger. Witnesses reported long flames coming from the exhaust before the aircraft impacted the ground next to the runway. [News link>>]

  • 28 December: A 1941 deHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth, VH-UZB (c/n DHA291), crashed shortly after takeoff in Norwell, Queensland, Australia during a commercial sightseeing flight. The passenger was killed, and the pilot was seriously injured. The pilot made headlines in 2013 when he became the youngest pilot ever to make a solo, around-the-world flight. [News story>>]

January 2016:

  • 3 January: A 1970 SIAI-Marchetti SF.260, VH-ZKC, landed with its landing gear retracted at Parafield, South Australia. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft suffered damage to its propeller, engine, and belly.

  • 4 January: A 1983 Aerostar/Yakovlev Yak-52, N912EB (s/n832912), crashed in rural Bonneville County, Idaho, USA, killing both the owner/pilot and a teenage family friend who was also a pilot. The aircraft had been flying in the vicinity of two other airplanes containing members of the victims' families. [Local news link>>]

  • 13 January: The Reno Air Racing Association announced that they made a profit for last year's event, an unexpected surprise. They also announced that NBC Sports will air a one-hour TV special about air racing on 27 March.  [Local news>>]

  • 20 January: A 1976 Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros, N439DH (c/n 630707), operated by Redstar AIrshows / Patriots Jet Team, made a gear-up landing in Byron, California, USA. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured. The circumstances behind the incident are not known.

February 2016:

  • 3 February: A 1942 North American P-51C Mustang, N61429 ("Tuskegee Airmen"), operated by the Commemorative Air Force, landed gear-up at Dallas Executive Airport, In Dallas, Texas, USA. The pilot was uninjured, and the CAF has announced they will begin repairing the aircraft immediately. [Local news story and video>>]

  • 5 February: A 1944 North American P-51D Mustang, N551JP (c/n 44-85634) ("Big Beautiful Doll"), crashed under unknown circumstances near Maricopa, Arizona, USA. The pilot and a passenger were killed, and the aircraft was totally destroyed. [News link>>]

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