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2015 The Doublestar Group


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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May 2015:

  • 7 May: The 1945 Avro Lancaster (PA474 / "Thumper") operated by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) suffered in inflight engine fire while flying over Lincolnshire, UK, but landed safely at its home base, RAF Coningsby. [News story>>]

  • 8 May: A Bell UH-1B Iroquois/Huey helicopter, N46969 (c/n 63-8548), crashed during logging operations in Orient, Washington, USA. The pilot reported minor injuries.

  • 10 May: A 1940 Naval Aircraft Factory N3N-3, N44970, experienced the collapse of its landing gear during landing at Chandler, Arizona, USA. The pilot was not injured.

  • 16 May: A Yakovlev Yak-18T, N36YK (c/n 0535A), suffered the collapse of its landing gear during landing at Camarillo, California, USA. Minor damage to the aircraft was reported, and neither occupant of the aircraft was injured.

  • 20 May: A Boeing PT-17 Stearman, N55528, went off the runway and flipped over during landing in Williamson, Georgia, USA. The aircraft was substantially damaged, and both occupants received minor injures.

  • 24 May: A 1940 Hawker Hurricane Mk IIc, F-AZXR (P3351), suffered a landing mishap in Darois, France, resulting in the aircraft coming to rest on its nose. The pilot was not injured.

  • 25 May: A 1956 Hawker FB.10 Sea Fury, N254SF ("Sea Hawk"), departed the edge of the runway during landing in Denver, Colorado, USA, collapsing the landing gear and doing significant, but repairable, damage. The pilot was not injured.

  • 25 May: A Yakovlev Yak-52, N124FS (c/n 811614), crashed under unknown circumstances in a field near Syracuse, Kansas, USA. The pilot was killed.

  • 28 May: A 1984 Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros jet, N6175C (c/n 432942), struck a high-tension power cable while in flight near De Beque Canyon, Colorado, USA. The power cable snapped, fell to the ground, and damaged the windshields of several cars and a truck traveling on Interstate 70. The pilot burned off excess fuel and landed at Grand Junction, Colorado. Substantial damage to the aircraft's wing and tail was reported.

June 2015:

  • 8 June: A 1983 Yakovlev Yak-52, N5979X (c/n 833010), suffered the collapse of its right main landing gear while taxiing at New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA. Neither the pilot nor passenger were injured.

  • 11 June: A 1944 Beechcraft RC-45J Expeditor, N585PB (c/n 029585), veered off the runway and struck two runway signs in Everett, Washington, USA. No one was injured, but the aircraft suffered substantial damage.

  • 21 June: A 1993 Yakovlev Yak-18T, N189AK (c/n 10-33) made a forced landing in a field near Laurel, Montana. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft sustained unknown damage.

  • 22 June: A Short S312 Tucano T Mk.1, N206PZ, crashed near Ventucopa, California, USA, apparently during maneuvering flight. The pilot, award-winning film composer James Horner, was killed. The crash started a brush fire that burned approximately one acre of land.

  • 29 June: A Consolidated Vultee PBY-6A Catalina flying boat, N85U (c/n 64041), which was being used in the filming of a movie near Orange Beach, Alabama, USA, began taking on water. The crew attempted to intentionally beach the aircraft, but this effort was only partially successful. The aircraft remained in the shallow water near the shore for several days, after which a crane-assisted rescue was attempted. Unfortunately, the aircraft's hull broke in two during this operation. [Local news story>>]

July 2015:

  • 2 July: A 1941 Boeing PT-17 Stearman, N44SN (c/n 75-2763), made a forced landing in a field near Louis, Kansas, USA. The pilot was not injured, and the aircraft suffered unknown damage.

  • 4 July: A 1947 Aeronca 7BCM/L-16 Grasshopper, N10497, crashed near Portland, Texas, USA, along the shore of Corpus Christi Bay. Both the pilot and his passenger were killed, and the aircraft was destroyed. The aircraft was seen flying low along the shoreline before the accident.

  • 5 July: A 1941 Meyers OTW-160 biplane, N26476 (c/n 29), force-landed in a field near Mount Vernon, Ohio, USA. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured.

  • 10 July: At least three Supermarine Spitfires and three Hawker Hurricanes took part in a ceremonial flypast over London, UK, in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The vintage aircraft, operated by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF), were joined by at least four Eurofighter Typhoon jets. [BBC news report>>]

  • 25 July: A 1943 Boeing PT-17/B75N1 Stearman, N5820V (c/n 75-7728), flipped over on landing at Shelter Island, New York, USA. The pilot was not injured.

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>>]

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