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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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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 on a levee in the Everglades, west of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, after reporting engine troubles. The pilot and passenger were not injured, and the plane appeared 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 their aircraft 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>>]

  • 20 May: A 1941 Boeing B75 Stearman, N61445 (c/n 75-1335), operated by an air museum, suffered a loss of directional control and came to rest inverted after landing in El Cajon, California, USA. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 27 May: A 1945 Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, N1435B, c/n 44-90447, ("Jacky's Revenge"), operated by the American Airpower Museum, ditched into the Hudson River near Edgewater, New Jersey, USA after an apparent engine failure. Well-known warbird and airshow pilot Bill Gordon was lost in the accident, and a rescue swimmer was reportedly injured during the initial rescue attempt. Before the accident, the aircraft had been flying just north of New York City on a photo mission to promote an upcoming airshow. The aircraft was recovered from the water in excellent condition, testament to the pilot's skill in ditching it. [Our condolences to Bill's family, friends, and the museum communities he was involved with. --Ed.]

June 2016:

  • 5 June: A 1942 deHavilland DH-82A Tiger Moth, G-ANMY (c/n 85466), crashed into some parked cars shortly after takeoff near Reading, Berkshire, UK, during a charity event. The pilots suffered minor injuries, and the occupant of the car was airlifted by helicopter to the hospital with more serious injures. [News link>>]

  • 18 June: A 1942 Westland Lysander Mk. IIIA, C-GCWL (c/n 1202), operated by the Canadian Warplane Heritage organization, suffered a loss of power and made a forced landing in a field near Cayuga, Ontario, Canada. The two occupants were not injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 20 June: A 1942 North American T-6D Texan, N150U (s/n 42-44629), crashed near Henly, Missouri, USA, coming to rest in a wooded area. Both the pilot and passenger were injured and airlifted to the hospital in serious condition. [Local news>>]

  • 23 June: A previous plan for the Coulson Group to donate one of two remaining Martin JRM Mars aircraft to the National Naval Aviation Museum in Florida has fallen through. CEO Wayne Coulson somewhat confusingly stated that, due to concern that there would be a "change in government" in the USA after the elections this fall, the aircraft would not be sent to Pensacola at this time. He did state that if other groups were interested in the aircraft, they could acquire it. [News link>>]

  • 25 June: A North American SNJ-5, N7980C, went off the runway after landing in Jackson, Michigan, USA. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft appeared to suffer the collapse of its right landing gear during the incident. [Local news>>]

  • 25 June: A 1943 Fairchild M-62A (PT-19), N50426 (s/n T43-5197), went off the runway and nosed-over during landing at Camarillo, California, USA. The pilot and passenger were not injured.

  • 25 June: Bizarrely, a short time after the above incident, a second Fairchild M-62A (PT-19) -- N641BP -- went off the runway during takeoff in Camarillo due to a tire separating from its wheel. The aircraft nosed-over and suffered damage to its propeller, engine, and cowl. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured.

  • 28 June: After a six-year restoration, the last flying Douglas B-26K/A-26A, "Special Kay," will be rolled out and its engines started on July 9th in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, for the veterans who flew and maintained the airplanes during the Vietnam War. More information is available at the airplane's website or on its Facebook page.

July 2016:

  • 2 July: A deHavilland DH-82A Tiger Moth, VH-ARU, made an emergency landing on a rocky beach near Funnel Bay, Queensland, Australia, after experiencing engine troubles. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged. [Local news>>]

  • 8 July: A Yakovlev Yak-52, G-YAKB, crashed in a field near Dinton, Wiltshire, UK. One occupant was killed, and the other sustained leg injuries. [Local news>>]

  • 9 July: A 1939 Naval Aircraft Factory N3N-3 biplane, N2219, made a forced landing in farm field near Stanchfield, Minnesota, USA, after a loss of engine power. The aircraft was substantially damaged, but neither occupant was injured. [Local news>>]

  • 10 July: A 1969 BAC 167 Strikemaster jet, N72445, landed in Missoula, Montana, USA after suffering a loss of its canopy and a rapid decompression while in cruise flight. The two occupants were not injured during the incident.

  • 10 July: A 1972 Bell OH-58A Kiowa helicopter, N588MP (c/n 72-21432), impacted a field near Waddell, Arizona, USA just north of Luke AFB, during an aerial application flight. The pilot sustained life-threatening injuries, but is expected to survive.

  • 11 July: A British newspaper is reporting that the pilot of a Hawker Hunter that crashed at Shoreham, West Sussex, UK last summer could face criminal charges for negligent manslaughter. The accident, which killed 11 people on the ground, was the second-worst airshow accident in UK history. Such legal actions are not unprecedented, but are extremely rare. [Telegraph article>>]

  • 17 July: "Doc," a Boeing B-29 Superfortress, made its debut flight in Wichita, Kansas, USA, effectively doubling the number of airworthy B-29s in the world. Our congratulations to all the volunteers and benefactors who made this huge project possible. [Doc's Friends website>>]

  • 17 July: A 1954 North American T-28B Trojan, C-GKKD (s/n 138364), crashed while performing aerobatics during an airshow at Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada. The pilot, Bruce Evans, was killed. [Article: Flying with the Professor >>]

  • 17 July: A Boeing A75 Stearman, N4558N (c/n 75-8457), made a forced landing in a field near St. James, Missouri, USA. The two occupants received minor injuries. The full extent of damage to the airplane is unknown.

  • 18 July: A Piper L-18C Super Cub, G-AXLZ (s/n 18-2052), crashed at Shoreham, West Sussex, UK. Both occupants were injured, and the aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 25 July: A Yakovlev Yak-11, N5940, was mostly consumed by fire after landing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The pilot was seriously burned, and died less than a week later. He was apparently enroute from his home base in Pennsylvania to Oshkosh, Wisconsin at the time of the accident. [Local news report>>]

  • 26 July: A 1944 Douglas A-26B Invader, N99420, s/n 44-34104, ("Silver Dragon"), suffered a failure of its nose landing gear at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. During a landing approach, the crew heard an unusual "pop" while extending the landing gear, failed to get a safe gear indication, and executed a go-around. They spent some time analyzing the situation, and decided to land. Upon landing, the nose gear immediately collapsed. The aircraft slid on its nose and came to rest. All five occupants evacuated safely. The aircraft's nose, propellers and engines were substantially damaged. [Video of the incident>>]

  • 27 July: A long-dormant North American P-64, N840, once flown regularly by EAA Founder and President Paul Poberezny has taken to the skies once again. Until recently, it had been a static display aircraft in the EAA Museum in Oshkosh, WIisconsin, USA.

  • 29 July: A Martin JRM-3 Mars, C-FLYL (s/n 9267) ("Hawaii Mars") had just finished scooping water on Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin, USA, in preparation for a demonstration at the nearby EAA AirVenture event when an engine warning light illuminated. The crew opted to land the aircraft back to the lake to check the engine. After landing, the aircraft struck an unknown underwater object, which punched at least one 3-inch hole in its hull. A local fire department helped pump some of the water our the aircraft, then it was flown a short distance to the EAA Seaplane Base, where it was repaired over the next three days. [Local news article>>]

  • 31 July: The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released an accident report on the 4 July 2014 P-51 Mustang crash that killed a trainee pilot and his flight instructor in Durango, Colorado, USA. Among other findings, the NTSB reported that the trainee-pilot's blood was over the legal limit for THC, the active compound in marijuana. [NTSB Report CEN14FA339>>]

August 2016:

  • 18 August: A 1970 Douglas TA-4K Skyhawk, N140EM (Bu.No. 157914), operated by a government contractor, crashed adjacent to Nellis AFB, Nevada, USA after an unspecified inflight emergency. The aircraft was flying in an adversary role in support of Red Flag exercises. The pilot ejected and suffered no serious injuries. [Local news report>>]

  • 19 August: A Fairchild M-62A (PT-19), N641BP, lost engine power and made a forced landing in a field of crops near Camarillo, California, USA. Neither occupant was injured, and the aircraft sustained only minor damage. This aircraft was involved in an accident less than two months ago. (See 25 June entry.)

  • 19 August: Ed Maloney, the esteemed founder of the Chino, California-based Planes of Fame Museum, and one of the fathers of the modern warbird community, passed away at the age of 88. He was responsible for saving more than 200 WWII aircraft from destruction, and restoring dozens of them to flyable condition. [Flying magazine article>>]

  • 21 August: A Northrop N-9MB Flying Wing, N9MB, suffered the collapse of its nose landing gear upon landing in Chino, California, USA. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft is the only one of its type.

  • 24 August: A Siai-Marchetti SF-260, N16FD, was substantially damaged after losing directional control and crashing into a hangar during takeoff in Fullerton, California, USA. The two people onboard suffered minor injuries. [Local news and photo>>]

  • 25 August: A Yakovlev Yak-11, N111YK (c/n 172521), crashed on its first post-restoration test flight in Speyer, Germany. The pilot, an experienced airline Captain and vintage aircraft pilot, was killed. He reported problems with the airplane shortly after takeoff, and did not make it back to the airport.

  • 27 August: A 1941 Boeing A75N1 (PT-17) Stearman, N999PP (s/n 75-2389) crashed while performing aerobatics during at an airshow in Madras, Oregon, USA. The pilot, performer Marcus Paine, was killed. [Local news report>>]

September 2016:

  • 5 September: A 1943 Boeing A75N1 (PT-17) Stearman, N52236 (s/n 75-4841) was seriously damaged in Atlanta, Texas, USA after it made a rough landing, bounced into the air, and returned for a second landing -- whereupon it struck a tree, then the roof of a small shed, and finally came to rest on a golf course. The pilot and passenger received minor injuries.

  • 15 September: A 1944 Supermarine Spitfire TR Mk IXc, G-LFIX (ML407) (The Grace Spitfire), suffered a landing accident at Sywell, Northamptonshire, UK. The pilot was not injured. Reports indicate that the aircraft tipped onto its nose during rollout, causing damage to the engine and propeller. [Local news>>]

  • 16 September: A 1956 deHavilland DH-115 Vampire T.55, N4861K (WD186) (Race #24) was seriously damaged after an off-airport forced landing in Reno, Nevada, USA, while participating in the National Championship Air Races. The pilot was not injured. Witnesses reported that part of the aircraft's Perspex canopy separated from the frame, followed by an engine failure. The pilot attempted several engine restarts, but was unable to restore power, and made a belly landing in rough scrub-land near the airport.

  • 23 September: A 1974 Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, N139AJ (c/n 330214) ("Race 8") ran off the end of of the runway during a landing in Hampton Roads, Virginia, USA, coming to rest in a swampy, wooded area. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft appears to be destroyed. [Local news story, with video>>]

  • 26 September: Great news for "Mossie" fans, as another deHavilland DH.98 Mosquito T Mk.III (ZK-FHC / TV959) made its first post restoration flight in Auckland, New Zealand. The restoration was carried out by AvSpecs, and the aircraft is expected to be eventually be delivered to its new owner, Paul Allen's Flying Heritage Collection in the USA. [Video>>]

  • 28 September: A 1954 North American T-28B Trojan, ZK-TGN (c/n 200-289), made a successful belly landing in Auckland, New Zealand, after the pilot reported that he could not extend the landing gear. The plane appeared to suffer minimal damage, and the pilot was not injured. [Video of the landing>>]

  • 28 September: "Friends of the Starfighter," a Norwegian preservation group, is pleased to announce the successful first post-restoration flight of their Canadair CF-104D Starfighter, "#637." The flight took place at BodÝ, Norway. [Starfighter.no website>>]

 

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