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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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November 2014:

  • 8 November: A 1968 Nanchang CJ-6A, N6315T (c/n 2332045), suffered the collapse of its nose gear on landing in Lakeland, Florida, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 9 November: A 1943 deHavilland DH-82A Tiger Moth, VH-IVN, ended up on its nose after landing at McKay, Queensland, Australia. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured.

  • 13 November: Art Nalls, owner and pilot of the world's only civilian-owned BAe Harrier VTOL jet, has announced that he has acquired a second Harrier from the UK -- this one a two-place T.8 trainer. Nalls plans to use the new Harrier for flight training and proficiency flights, as well as airshows.

  • 14 November: A deHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10, VH-RVY (c/n C1/0472), crashed shortly after takeoff near Maitland, New South Wales, Australia. Both occupants sustained serious injuries and the aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 15 November: A 1945 deHavilland DH-82A Tiger Moth, N28681 (c/n 86530), crashed shortly after takeoff in Williamson, Georgia, USA. Both occupants were injured, and the aircraft appeared to be totally destroyed.

  • 18 November: The purchasers of Connie Edwards' collection of Hispano Buchon fighters, Swiss-based Boschung Global, Ltd. has announced that they will restore all six of the rare Merlin-powered variants of the famous Messerschmitt Bf-109, with at least two being restored to flying condition. The "Edwards Messerschmitts" were stars of the 1968 movie "Battle of Britain," and had been stored in Edwards' hangar in Texas for many decades.

  • 20 November: After more than a decade of restoration, The Aircraft Restoration Company's Bristol Blenheim Mk.I, G-BPIV, has successfully completed its first test flight. [Details and photos>>]

  • 23 November: The Yankee Air Museum in Detroit, Michigan, USA has announced that it is changing its name to the "National Museum of Aviation and Technology at Historic Willow Run." An exciting part of the change is that the museum will soon be occupying part of the huge Willow Run bomber plant building, where thousands of B-24 Liberator bombers were produced during WWII. [More information>>]

December 2014:

  • 2 December: A 1968 Nanchang CJ-6, N4350D (c/n 2232013), lost power shortly after takeoff in Mesa, Arizona, USA and crashed into several obstructions during a forced landing. The pilot and passenger were not injured -- an astonishing outcome, considering that both of the aircraft's wings were ripped off, and that the aircraft came to rest inverted next to a large fuel tank and several trailers. [News report>>]

  • 6 December: A 1952 deHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk, N833WP (s/n C1/0714), went off the runway and struck a sign during landing in Chino, California, USA. The pilot and passenger were not injured.

  • 6 December: A 1964 Fouga CM-170 Magister, N300FM (s/n 494), made a forced landing on an 1800-foot long private airfield near Lake Havasu City, Arizona, USA, after the pilot apparently ran out of fuel. The aircraft was very heavily damaged, with the fuselage breaking into two pieces. Miraculously, the pilot was not injured.

  • 13 December: Evergreen Vintage Aircraft, a for-profit organization that owns approximately 25 of the aircraft on display at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, USA, has filed for bankruptcy. The museum claims that its operation is financially sustainable, so it its hoped that the museum will remain in operation. Evergreen is home to more than 180 aircraft and significant artifacts, including the massive Hughes H-4 Hercules flying boat. [News report>>]

  • 26 December: A 1943 Douglas DC-3A, N43XX (c/n 11665), experienced an engine fire during landing in Riverside, California, USA. The aircraft sustained minor damage.

January 2015:

  • 10 January: A 1951 deHavilland DHC-2 / L-20A Beaver, N4794C (s/n 51-16545), suffered the collapse of its landing gear on landing in Juneau, Alaska, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 18 January: A 1984 Yakovlev Yak-52, N124YK (c/n 844804), suffered the collapse of its nose landing gear on landing at Torrance, California, USA. Damage was minor, and the pilot escaped injury.

  • 22 January: The owners of the famed "Proud Bird" restaurant adjacent to the Los Angeles International Airport have announced that they have secured a 20-year lease with the airport that will allow them to remain in business. Nearly $5.9 million in improvements will also be made to the building and the aircraft exhibits. The Proud Bird is noted for displaying a large collection of vintage aircraft and realistic mockups, along with hundreds of rare and historic aviation photos. The restaurant had been embroiled in a rent dispute since September 2013, and had previously announced that it would be closing. [More>>]

  • 27 January: Col. Jack Wilhite (USAF, Ret.), noted owner/pilot of the world's only flying two-seat MiG-17 fighter, unexpectedly passed at the age of 86. A former F-80, F-84, F-86 and F-100 pilot, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and numerous other awards and decorations during his military career. He continued to fly his MiG-17 in airshows and special events right up until his passing. His charity work and generosity were notable aspects of his outgoing personality. [Editor's Note: We wish to pass along our condolences to Jack's friends and family. He was one of our heroes, and he will be missed.] [Amateur documentary video of Col. Wilhite>>]

Col. Jack Wilhite. (Photo source unknown.)

  • 30 January: Collector/pilot Kermit Weeks' Fantasy of Flight attraction, which closed to the public last year, has re-opened its doors on a limited basis as an aviation museum. The Lakeland, Florida-based facility contains a large collection of vintage aircraft. [News coverage>>]

March 2015:

  • 3 March: A 1941 deHavilland DH-82A Tiger Moth, I-GATO (c/n 85253), crashed in a field near Nervesa della Battaglia (Battle Ground), Italy. Both the pilot and passenger were injured, and the plane was substantially damaged. Photos show that the aircraft appeared to hit the only tree in a rather large field. [Newspaper report>>]

  • 5 March: A 1942 Ryan ST3KR (PT-22) Recruit, N53178, lost engine power and made a heavy forced landing on the fairway of a golf course in Venice, California, adjacent to the Santa Monica Airport. The pilot, veteran actor and pilot/owner Harrison Ford, was injured in the accident, but is expected to recover. [Local idiotic news report>>]

  • 10 March: A deHavilland DH-82A Tiger Moth, ZK-BMY (s/n DHNZ101), ended up on its nose during landing at Tauranga, New Zealand. The pilot and passenger escaped injury, and the aircraft appeared to suffer relatively minor damage. [News report>>]

  • 11 March: A 1992 BAe Hawk Mk. 67 (T-59) jet, N506XX (c/n 386/6K011), operated by a civilian defense contractor, veered off the runway on takeoff at MCAS Yuma, Arizona, USA, impacting a nearby government vehicle and catching fire. A U.S. Marine inside the vehicle was killed. The two pilots were examined at the hospital and released. [Local news report>>]

  • 12 March: A 1943 Boeing A75N1 / PT-17 Stearman, N7772J (s/n 75-8175), nosed-over during landing in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, USA. The pilot, who was not injured, reported that a wingtip caught a snow bank during the roll-out.

  • 23 March: "Doc," the Boeing B-29 Superfortress that was restored over the past 15 years after being rescued from certain doom on a California bombing range, was rolled out of its hangar for the first time in Wichita, Kansas, USA. Doc will become only the second airworthy B-29 in the world when it makes its first post-restoration flight sometime later this year. [Rollout video>>]

April 2015:

  • 3 April: A Flug Werk FW-190A8/N replica, ZK-RFR, suffered the collapse of one of its main landing gear after the failure of one of its brakes during landing in Blenheim, New Zealand. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged. [Local news story>>]

  • 3 April: A Yakovlev Yak-52, N555GD, crashed in a field in a rural farm area near Lebanon, Indiana, USA. The aircraft and its pilot were subsequently missing for more than a week, and were located on 12 April. [Local news story>>] [Editor's note: Owner/pilot Glenn Foy was a friend of ours. He will be missed.]

  • 6 April: A 1945 Vickers Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk. XVIII, G-BUOS (SM845), was damaged by fire in an unspecified incident at Humberside Airport, North Lincolnshire, UK. No one was injured in the incident, and damage to the aircraft is unknown.  [Local news story>>]

  • 23 April: The Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul, Illinois, USA has announced that it will be closing at the end of the year due to funding issues. The museum is located on the historic, former Chanute Air Force Base, which was a maintenance training center for much of its life. [Local news.>>]

  • 23 April: A 1947 North American L-17/NA-145 Navion, N947SH, landed gear-up and slid off the side of the runway in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 24 April: The team working to restore the first "Air Force One," a 1948 Lockheed VC-121A Constellation called "Columbine II" (s/n 48-0610), has announced that they will be purchasing the aircraft in June, and returning it to fully airworthy condition. Dynamic Aviation of Bridgewater, Virginia, USA plans to eventually fly the aircraft to many airshows and display it during various history events.

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