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Thread: B17 crash report...

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    Should Get Out More ZRX61's Avatar
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    Default B17 crash report...


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    Default Re: B17 crash report...

    In case that linee no workee, here's a link to the actual FAA report:

    https://www.regulations.gov/document...001-11089-1673

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    Default Re: B17 crash report...

    Could you C&P from the news article (not available outside the USA)?

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    Default Re: B17 crash report...

    The Federal Aviation Administration, citing safety concerns, has revoked the Collings Foundation’s permission to carry passengers aboard its historic aircraft, one of which crashed and burned at Bradley International Airport in October, killing seven.

    The World War II B-17G bomber Nine O Nine developed engine trouble shortly after takeoff from Bradley on Oct. 2 and crashed as the pilot tried to nurse the crippled aircraft back to the airport. Five passengers who paid $450 each to fly aboard the historic aircraft, the pilot and the co-pilot were killed in the resulting crash and fire.

    Four passengers and the flight’s crew chief survived, although some suffered serious burns.
    NTSB releases preliminary report about crash of B-17 at Bradley International Airport

    In a decision released Wednesday, Robert C. Carty, the FAA’s deputy executive director of flight service standards, found that there were problems with two of the aircraft’s four engines and that the Collings Foundation did not follow the requirements of its permission to operate the aircraft and carry passengers and “lacked a safety culture when operating the B-17G.”

    Collings spokesman Hunter Chaney did not respond to an email request for comment Wednesday evening.

    Collings, of Stow, Massachusetts, has operated a variety of historic aircraft for three decades and toured the country with what it called its “Wings of Freedom" tour. It has made dozens of stops in Connecticut over the years, including the stop at Bradley in the fall. The organization brought five World War II aircraft, including the B-17, a B-24J Liberator bomber, a P-51 Mustang fighter, a P-40 Warhawk fighter and a B-25 Mitchell bomber on Sept. 30 for several days of ground tours and morning and evening flights aboard the B-17 and B-24. Collings charged $450 for “living history flight experiences” on its bombers.
    Historic plane flights grounded while investigation continues into deadly B-17 bomber crash at Bradley International Airport

    The FAA decision revokes the permission Collings had obtained to offer flights for pay, and denies the organization’s request to extend that permission for the 10 aircraft it owns, including a B-17 it obtained to replace the one that crashed at Bradley.

    Less than two weeks after the crash at Bradley, the Collings Foundation appealed to its supporters to voice their support for its application to the FAA to be able to continue to carry passengers on its aircraft.

    The permission Collings operated under required it to comply with specific conditions, and the FAA found that it “was not fulfilling several requirements” or satisfying its policy of maintaining “a culture of safety.”

    The crew chief aboard the flight that crashed had not been trained for his role and told FAA investigators he was “unaware of basic information concerning operations.” Instead, he received on-the-job training, according to the decision.
    Ernest “Mac” McCauley, a veteran pilot who volunteers with the Collings Foundation, is shown in July working on one of the engines of the Collings Foundation B-17G Flying Fortress bomber at Spokane International Airport. The aircraft, with McCauley in the pilot's seat, crashed at Bradley International Airport in October, killing seven and injuring seven.
    Ernest “Mac” McCauley, a veteran pilot who volunteers with the Collings Foundation, is shown in July working on one of the engines of the Collings Foundation B-17G Flying Fortress bomber at Spokane International Airport. The aircraft, with McCauley in the pilot's seat, crashed at Bradley International Airport in October, killing seven and injuring seven.(Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

    Collings did not comply with its own “safety management system," the crew chief was not aware a safety and risk management program existed and Collings “failed to maintain and apply on a continuous basis a safety and risk management program that met or exceeded ... FAA policy."

    The FAA also found “notable maintenance discrepancies existed with the B-17G, yet the Collings director of maintenance signed inspection records — dated as recently as Sept. 23, 2019 — indicating no findings of discrepancies.” Collings’ maintenance director was Ernest McCauley, 75, who was the chief pilot the day of the crash.

    “Collings did not have a structure to ensure adequate oversight of his decisions to conduct passenger-carrying operations such as the October 2 flight," the FAA decision reads. “This indicates Collings lacked a safety culture when operating the B-17G.”
    NTSB investigating whether B-17 that crashed at Bradley International Airport Wednesday had engine trouble prior to takeoff

    An inspection of the bomber’s engines found problems significant enough to cause the FAA to question “whether the engines were inspected adequately and in accordance with the applicable maintenance requirements.”

    Specifically, the inspection found that magneto and ignition failures existed in the aircraft’s No. 4 engine. Magnetos, engine-driven electrical generators that produce voltage to fire the engine’s spark plugs, were not functioning properly. An attempt to jury rig one had left it inoperative, according to the report. A second magneto on the No. 4 engine, when tested, produced a weak or no spark to four of the nine cylinders it was supposed to fire.

    Inspectors also found that all spark plugs required cleaning and that all of the electrode gaps were out of tolerance. Further engine inspection “indicated signs of detonation and associated damage," the decision reads.
    Owner of B-17 that crashed at Bradley asks public for help in renewing FAA exemption allowing it to charge for flights on historic aircraft

    An inspection of the No. 3 engine showed “all spark plug electrode gaps were out of tolerance, fouled, and revealed various signs of detonation." Inspection of the engine also revealed problems with the cylinders, according to the report.

    “As a result of these findings and other information, the FAA questions whether the engines were inspected adequately and in accordance with the applicable maintenance requirements,” the decision reads.

    On the day of the crash, the flight crew radioed the Bradley tower that it needed to return to the airport, according to a National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report issued about two weeks after the crash.
    Stories of devastating loss and heroism emerged from the B-17 bomber crash at Bradley International Airport

    “The controller then asked for the reason for the return to the airport, and the pilot replied that the airplane had a ‘rough mag’ on the No. 4 engine.” "Mag” is short for magneto.
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    The FAA said the discrepancies discovered during its inspection “indicate maintenance, or lack thereof, occurred in a manner contrary to maintaining the aircraft" in accordance with its general maintenance manual.

    An inspection of maintenance records “lack key information and, in some cases, indicate maintenance was either not performed at all or was performed in a manner contrary to ... requirements."

    Allowing the Collings Foundation to continue to carry passengers aboard its aircraft “would adversely affect safety,” according to the decision. The FAA continues to gather facts, the decision reads, “that indicate Collings lacked a commitment to safety [and] did not take seriously its safety management system program.”

    The NTSB has not completed its final investigative report into the crash of the Collings B-17 at Bradley.


    David Owens can be reached at dowens@courant.com.

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    Default Re: B17 crash report...

    Thanks.

    Have to wonder how many similar operations there are.

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    Default Re: B17 crash report...

    You can’t fuck about with plane engine maintenance!

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    Default Re: B17 crash report...

    Quote Originally Posted by ink ink View Post
    You can’t fuck about with plane engine maintenance!
    Indeed. Basics like spark plug gap and cleaning are fairly fundamental, particularly if you want to stay in the air.

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    Default Re: B17 crash report...

    You'd think being in it at the time would be motivating enough...

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    Default Re: B17 crash report...

    Quote Originally Posted by slowsider View Post
    You'd think being in it at the time would be motivating enough...
    IIRC there used to be a small light aircraft manufacturer on the Isle of Wight who always took one of the workshop staff on each maiden voyage.

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    Default Re: B17 crash report...

    Quote Originally Posted by Horse View Post
    Thanks.

    Have to wonder how many similar operations there are.
    I can think of one... Crash Another Fighter... They managed to kill two guys I worked with at Dx several years ago. But not the entire outfit is bad, they have a few outstanding mechanics. but with that said, I know one of their pilots who will end up in a smoking crater. Local FAA guy is surprised he ever makes it back to the airport.


    Quote Originally Posted by Horse View Post
    Indeed. Basics like spark plug gap and cleaning are fairly fundamental, particularly if you want to stay in the air.
    Wondering if the detonation evidence was caused by the pilot leaning out the mixture in an attempt to clean the plugs, or just save gas expense. "Lean of Peak" keeps a lot of mechanics in work. Bonanza owners are notorious for it.

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    Default Re: B17 crash report...

    Quote Originally Posted by ZRX61 View Post
    I know one of their pilots who will end up in a smoking crater. Local FAA guy is surprised he ever makes it back to the airport.
    There was an astonishing article (no longer online) written by two US pilots about gung-ho display pilots who put their (and others) lives at risk during displays. Even more surprising was that, after pointing out all of the failures, both authors died in air display crashes.

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    Default Re: B17 crash report...

    Quote Originally Posted by ZRX61 View Post
    Wondering if the detonation evidence was caused by the pilot leaning out the mixture in an attempt to clean the plugs, or just save gas expense. "Lean of Peak" keeps a lot of mechanics in work. Bonanza owners are notorious for it.
    I used to fly with a group, who'd needed a new engine in the past due to aggressive leaning. They'd moved from paying for dry hours to paying for wet hours in order to stop people trying to save 5 by over leaning. The flying order book was also ammended to prohibit leaning (at any altitude), which struck me as stupid and perhaps even fdangerous (and possibly not legal as it contravened the manufacturers POH).

    From the report - thanks for posting - it does read as though they were trying to operate an aged aeroplane on a bit of a shoestring (and a hope and a prayer).

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    Default Re: B17 crash report...

    Why do aero engines have a manual lean/rich control? Cars don't need them, beyond a choke for starting.

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    Default Re: B17 crash report...

    I suspect that cars would need them if they went up and down big enough hills !

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    Default Re: B17 crash report...

    Quote Originally Posted by cheb View Post
    Why do aero engines have a manual lean/rich control? Cars don't need them, beyond a choke for starting.
    Might that not be something to do with altitude?

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