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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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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, was inadvertently 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>>]

  • 6 February: A 1988 Nanchang CJ-6, VH-ALO (s/n 4532002), landed with its landing gear retracted near Connewarre, Victoria, Australia. The aircraft was substantially damaged, but the pilot was not injured.

  • 6 February: A 1986 Antonov An-2 Colt, RA-40204, operated by Light Air, crashed in a snow-covered field during a pipeline inspection flight near Saverovka, Russia. The two pilots and a representative of the oil company were killed. [News link>>]

  • 28 February: A 1943 North American SNJ-4, N694US (s/n 88-13627), made a gear-up landing in Lincoln, California, USA. The aircraft suffered relatively minor damage. The pilot was not injured.

March 2016:

  • 2 March: A 1946 Boeing A75N1 (PT-17) Stearman, N63555 (c/n 75-8014), operated by the Palm Springs Air Museum, was substantially damaged after losing engine power and crash-landing shortly after takeoff in Palm Springs, California, USA. Both occupants were injured, one seriously. [Local news report>>]

  • 11 March: A 1951 CCF/North American Harvard Mk. IV, N47217, ground-looped during landing and went into a ditch in Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 15 March: A 1945 Goodyear FG-1D Corsair, N209TW (c/n 3750), operated by the Texas Flying Legends Museum, accidentally taxied into the tail of the museum's 1941 Nakajima A6M2 Zero, N8280K, while the two aircraft were taxiing. Both aircraft were reported as substantially damaged, but are believed to be repairable.

  • 16 March: A 1983 Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros jet, N57XX, made a successful emergency landing on a remote un-paved access road in the Everglades, west of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, after reporting engine troubles. The pilot and passenger were not hurt, and the plane appears to be in perfect condition after the incident. [News report>>]

  • 19 March: Columbine II, a 1948 Lockheed VC-121 Constellation that served as President Dwight Eisenhower's "Air Force One" in the early 1950s, has made its first post-restoration flight in Marana, Arizona, USA, after a year-long restoration to flying status. The work was performed by teams from Dynamic Aviation in Virginia and the Mid America Flight Museum in Texas. The aircraft will be flown cross-country to Virginia in the near future, where a full restoration to its former glory will be completed.

  • 23 March: Columbine II, the newly-airworthy VC-121 that was the first "Air Force One," has arrived safely in Bridgewater, Virginia, USA. (See 19 March entry above).

  • 23 March: A 1942 North American AT-6A Texan, N7055D (c/n 78-7228) ("Scrap Iron"), crashed into the Columbia River near Astoria, Oregon, USA. Both the pilot and his passenger were killed. Sadly, the passenger was reported to be on a special flight to scatter the ashes of her husband.

  • 28 March: A 1943 North American AT-6C Harvard IIa, ZK-TVI (c/n 88-14178), suffered the collapse of its landing gear after veering off the runway in Wanaka, New Zealand. Neither occupant was injured. The aircraft was damaged, but is repairable. [News report>>]

April 2016:

  • 3 April: A 1940 Boeing PT-17/A75N1 Stearman, N501TT, lost directional control during a landing in Houston, Texas, USA. The aircraft ended up on its nose in a soft area near the runway. Neither occupant was injured.

  • 3 April: A deHavilland DH-82A Tiger Moth, VH-BJE (c/n A17-97), was substantially damaged after a landing accident in Rothwell, Queensland, Australia. The aircraft came to rest inverted. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured.

  • 7 April: A 1945 Douglas DC-3 Dakota, HK-2663, operated by Arall Columbia, suffered an engine failure after takeoff, made a forced landing, and was destroyed by fire near Puerto Gaitan, Columbia. Three occupants were injured.

  • 10 April: A Yakovlev Yak-52, operated by the DOSAAF Russia Aero Club, crashed near Kalachevo, Russia under unknown circumstances. Both occupants were killed. [News report>>]

  • 25 April: The EAA has announced that they will be celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the birth of Liaison aircraft, or L-Birds, at AirVenture this year. All owners of WWII-era "grasshoppers" in military markings are encouraged to bring the to Oshkosh in July. [Info link>>]

  • 28 April: A Boeing A75 Stearman, N17PY, landed hard after a loss of engine power in Osage City, Kansas, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 30 April: A 1947 Aeronca L-16A / 7BCM Grasshopper, N7620B (s/n 47-1009), operated by the Commemorative Air Force, made a forced landing in a field near Peachtree City, Georgia, USA, after losing power. Neither occupant was injured, and the aircraft appears to have sustained only minor damage. [News link>>]

May 2016:

  • 6 May: A 1984 Antonov AN-2 Colt, N82AN (s/n 43798), experienced an engine failure and landed in a small vacant field in Highland, California, USA, clipping a powerline and coming to rest upside down. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The aircraft, nicknamed "Big Panda," has been a featured performer in several Southern California airshows. [News/video link>>]

  • 10 May: A 1975 Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros, N439AT, departed the paved surface of the runway and came to rest in the grass during a landing in Tampa, Florida, USA. Neither the pilot nor passenger were injured.

  • 13 May: A 1943 Boeing B75N1 Stearman, N56200 (c/n 75-7813) ("Spirit of Artemis") was heavily damaged after crashing shortly after takeoff at Winslow, Arizona, USA. Neither the pilot nor passenger were injured. High density altitude and a partial power loss are blamed in the accident. The pilot, Tracey Curtis-Taylor, has been on a world tour, this section of which was commemorating the historic airmail routes from Seattle to Boston, as well as Boeing's 100th Anniversary.

  • 13 May: A 1941 deHavilland DH-82A Tiger Moth, C-AMCK (c/n 84641), made a forced landing in a field shortly after takeoff in Weston, Devon, UK. The pilot suffered leg and back injuries. The aircraft was substantially damaged. [News link>>]

  • 17 May: A 1942 North American AT-6 Texan, N3198G (c/n 84-7721), crashed on a road shortly after takeoff in Mesa, Arizona after an apparent engine failure. Both occupants were killed, and the aircraft was destroyed. It is believed the aircraft was one of two in a formation.

  • 20 May: The second fully-restored Boeing B-29 Superfortress in the world, known as "Doc," received its FAA Airworthiness Certificate, clearing it to fly in the near future. The only other airworthy B-29 is the Commemorative Air Force's "Fifi." [Doc's Friends website>>]


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