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Old July 17, 2017, 14:21   #1
J. Armstrong
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Bad season for Warbirds.

Mustang down, double fatal.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburb...717-story.html

Cause and details apparently not yet available.

This hits especially close to home for me as I had the pleasure of meeting Vlado briefly a few years ago. A real gentleman and seemed a genuine nice guy. Wife and three kids left behind. My heart goes out to the two victims and to their friends and families.

P51 "Velma" forced landed with extensive damage but fortunately no injuries in Duxford a week or so ago aftre an engine failure. "Toulouse Nuts" damaged, no injuries, in a taxi accident a few days ago. Spitfire very seriously damaged in takeoff accident in France coupla weeks ago as well, the very luck pilot escaped injury when it turned over on takeoff. Spits have no rollover protection.
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Old July 17, 2017, 14:32   #2
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I suspect engine failure. Prop blade in the picture isn't bent like it would be if the engine was turning on impact.
Article says the plane turned sharply then went down, possibly the big mistake of trying to turn back after engine failure.

2 lives.....dammit.
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Old July 17, 2017, 15:53   #3
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Old July 17, 2017, 16:29   #4
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I suspect engine failure. Prop blade in the picture isn't bent like it would be if the engine was turning on impact.
Article says the plane turned sharply then went down, possibly the big mistake of trying to turn back after engine failure.

2 lives.....dammit.
Valid observation on the prop blades. Vlado was an extremely high time Mustang pilot with a LOT of hours of aerobatic experience ( read; energy management ( so a turn with no power SHOULD have been well within his experience level ( that is, I would guess that he was acutely aware of the danger ), but some really great pilots have been caught out by just that mistake., so who knows ? Very likely some complicating factors at work, but as yet we can only guess. The fact that the destruction was so extreme and apparently pretty localized make me think very high speed impact, fairly vertical ? Damn, he seemed like such a nice guy during my brief chat with him, I just hate to hear of these things.

"Miss Velma" lost power after a low altitude formation pass at Dux, almost made it back but the pilot decided he couldn't "stretch the glide" and wisely opted for a dirt field. Unfortunately, the gear didn't have time to fully retract after that decision, greatly exacerbating the damage. No injuries, thankfully.
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Old July 17, 2017, 16:33   #5
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P 51's were flying at Geneseo, NY this past weekend, nothing like the snarl as they pass overhead.

Whatever killed this mustang, it was likely unavoidable. Pilot's time in types is amazing.

A F6F Hellcat also flew at Geneseo and this guy may have flown it in the past. Not many of them left to get certified in.
I am sure he loved the roar of R2800's open collector, ( no turbo) as much as the crowd did.
He died doing what he loved, and was old enough to go.
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Old July 17, 2017, 18:28   #6
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I've known Valdo and his family for over 30 years, a real gentleman, his was the P-51 maintenance advisor for NATA since 1994.
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Old July 17, 2017, 19:22   #7
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Tragic loss, the pilot, the passenger, the plane.
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Old July 18, 2017, 00:08   #8
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Fly those kind of birds for that many years and you got your ticket's worth at 64. Sorry for the gal and the plane. Dude's in Valhalla.

Wanna live to 90? Don't smoke, don't drink, avoid bacon, and loose women, and keep it under 20 mph on the ground. Not sure why you would want to live to 90 under those restrictions but whatever.
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Old July 18, 2017, 02:22   #9
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Mustang down, double fatal.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburb...717-story.html

Cause and details apparently not yet available.

This hits especially close to home for me as I had the pleasure of meeting Vlado briefly a few years ago. A real gentleman and seemed a genuine nice guy. Wife and three kids left behind. My heart goes out to the two victims and to their friends and families.

P51 "Velma" forced landed with extensive damage but fortunately no injuries in Duxford a week or so ago aftre an engine failure. "Toulouse Nuts" damaged, no injuries, in a taxi accident a few days ago. Spitfire very seriously damaged in takeoff accident in France coupla weeks ago as well, the very luck pilot escaped injury when it turned over on takeoff. Spits have no rollover protection.
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Tragic loss, the pilot, the passenger, the plane.
Indeed, this is sad news.
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Old July 18, 2017, 09:16   #10
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I wouldn't get on one of those.
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Old July 18, 2017, 09:29   #11
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I wouldn't get on one of those.
You don't know what you are missing. One of the most visceral, enjoyable, thrilling experiences of my life, not to mention the connection to history.

Hoping to do it again this winter.
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Old July 18, 2017, 09:45   #12
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Most of us would jump at the chance to ride with most any of those folks in them warbirds, That B-17 too! Even with old Chuck Yeager at the helm of that mustang!
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Old July 18, 2017, 09:57   #13
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I wouldn't get on one of those.
All good things come to a end,,, try to never be with a pilot when his time is up,,, they are OK most of the other times,,, like on the ground gettin' soused or chatting up a stew or a hi school cheer leader.
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Old July 18, 2017, 11:02   #14
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I'd get in one in a heartbeat. No one is getting out of this world alive and although the loss of the plane is tragic, I can't think of a more spectacular way to go.
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Old July 18, 2017, 14:21   #15
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I wouldn't get on one of those.

mebs if you think you'll die in bed, how can you get in one every night?
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Old July 18, 2017, 14:57   #16
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I subscribe to Air Classics magazine and they have a monthly column "For the Wreckord" which reports incidents/accidents involving vintage aircraft. Lots of wrecks and smoking holes that aren't reported in the mainstream media...it's painful to read.

On the positive side it seems that the FAA is pretty liberal on their policy toward classics, the tag and "paperwork" from a totaled warbird can be used to build one from parts.
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Old July 18, 2017, 15:38   #17
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Valid observation on the prop blades. Vlado was an extremely high time Mustang pilot with a LOT of hours of aerobatic experience ( read; energy management ( so a turn with no power SHOULD have been well within his experience level ( that is, I would guess that he was acutely aware of the danger ), but some really great pilots have been caught out by just that mistake., so who knows ? Very likely some complicating factors at work, but as yet we can only guess. The fact that the destruction was so extreme and apparently pretty localized make me think very high speed impact, fairly vertical ? Damn, he seemed like such a nice guy during my brief chat with him, I just hate to hear of these things.

"Miss Velma" lost power after a low altitude formation pass at Dux, almost made it back but the pilot decided he couldn't "stretch the glide" and wisely opted for a dirt field. Unfortunately, the gear didn't have time to fully retract after that decision, greatly exacerbating the damage. No injuries, thankfully.

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he fact that the destruction was so extreme and apparently pretty localized make me think very high speed impact, fairly vertical ?
High speed? Yes. Fairly vertical? No, look at the pressure dome on the prop hub, no damage to it. Fairly vertical it hits first & would likely be buried in the ground, not laying on the top of the ground as it is.
I suspect he lost the engine, tried to turn back & stalled it. Tried to get the nose down and get it flying but there is the killer, no altitude & the airspeed he gained putting the nose down made the impact violent enough where the plane disintegrated on impact.
The one prop blade standing straight up is not bent at all, that blade didn't impact anything and were the engine turning (running) at the time of impact, it would not be straight like that. The one next to it is bent forward, the engine was torn off the plane from the force of impact & the engine skidded backward bending that blade.
I should add, this is not any critique of that pilot. If < key word here....my thoughts on what happened are correct. I can understand that pilot giving into the temptation of trying to save the plane by turning back.
Truthfully a situation such as this is one of the worst in flying. You have seconds to decide whether or not to willingly write off the airplane via going straight ahead and finding something flat enough to perform essentially a controlled crash landing.
A cessna or something along those lines? Be willing to write that airframe off in a controlled crash landing in order to save your life or do not fly if the cost of that airframe is more than you can bear. There are more cessnas & so forth out there and new ones being made. Sacrifice the airplane if you have to, it's replaceable.
In this case we are talking about something entirely different, literally a living piece of history. Write that airplane off willingly in a crash landing and it is gone forever, there will be no replacing it.
The temptation to save an airplane and try to turn back in even something like a cessna is almost human nature, it is very difficult to resist that temptation.
In the case of a P-51, I can only imagine what it must be like to have to contemplate willingly writing off a piece of history forever. It must be an almost insurmountable temptation to try to save the plane.
If memory serves me correctly, it is the same type of situation that almost got Steve Hinton killed in Super Corsair. Bob Hoover literally had to order Hinton out of that plane given Hinton was so focused on saving the plane.
And that pilot being experienced as you say, its likely he thought he could make a difference and save the plane, so my thoughts here are not a criticism of him by any means. If I am right about what happened, I can understand his choice, especially when he has only seconds to assess the situation and make a decision.

The Miss Velma situation was likely the right choice in that situation, and likely would have been the right choice in this situation. Anything flat, fwy, road, field, anything at all. Perhaps the plane gets wrote off but maybe it survives also or at the least is repairable.
It is entirely possible there are more factors involved, possibly the coolant lines going under the cockpit? I don't know too much about the mustang but know those coolant lines were involved in a couple fatal crashes.
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Old July 18, 2017, 15:52   #18
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I wouldn't get on one of those.
I figure there's a predetermined expiration date out there for me by the big Pilot in the sky, and when He say's my time is up it's up. Might as well be having fun when the time comes.

Haven't been in a warbird but have been up quite a few times in a friend's Pitts Biplane, the Ferrari of prop birds. To have the ability to design a roller coaster while riding in it at the same time cannot be compared to.
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Old July 18, 2017, 16:02   #19
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High speed? Yes. Fairly vertical? No, look at the pressure dome on the prop hub, no damage to it. Fairly vertical it hits first & would likely be buried in the ground, not laying on the top of the ground as it is.
I suspect he lost the engine, tried to turn back & stalled it. Tried to get the nose down and get it flying but there is the killer, no altitude & the airspeed he gained putting the nose down made the impact violent enough where the plane disintegrated on impact.
The one prop blade standing straight up is not bent at all, that blade didn't impact anything and were the engine turning (running) at the time of impact, it would not be straight like that. The one next to it is bent forward, the engine was torn off the plane from the force of impact & the engine skidded backward bending that blade.
I should add, this is not any critique of that pilot. If < key word here....my thoughts on what happened are correct. I can understand that pilot giving into the temptation of trying to save the plane by turning back.
Truthfully a situation such as this is one of the worst in flying. You have seconds to decide whether or not to willingly write off the airplane via going straight ahead and finding something flat enough to perform essentially a controlled crash landing.
A cessna or something along those lines? Be willing to write that airframe off in a controlled crash landing in order to save your life or do not fly if the cost of that airframe is more than you can bear. There are more cessnas & so forth out there and new ones being made. Sacrifice the airplane if you have to, it's replaceable.
In this case we are talking about something entirely different, literally a living piece of history. Write that airplane off willingly in a crash landing and it is gone forever, there will be no replacing it.
The temptation to save an airplane and try to turn back in even something like a cessna is almost human nature, it is very difficult to resist that temptation.
In the case of a P-51, I can only imagine what it must be like to have to contemplate willingly writing off a piece of history forever. It must be an almost insurmountable temptation to try to save the plane.
If memory serves me correctly, it is the same type of situation that almost got Steve Hinton killed in Super Corsair. Bob Hoover literally had to order Hinton out of that plane given Hinton was so focused on saving the plane.
And that pilot being experienced as you say, its likely he thought he could make a difference and save the plane, so my thoughts here are not a criticism of him by any means. If I am right about what happened, I can understand his choice, especially when he has only seconds to assess the situation and make a decision.

The Miss Velma situation was likely the right choice in that situation, and likely would have been the right choice in this situation. Anything flat, fwy, road, field, anything at all. Perhaps the plane gets wrote off but maybe it survives also or at the least is repairable.
It is entirely possible there are more factors involved, possibly the coolant lines going under the cockpit? I don't know too much about the mustang but know those coolant lines were involved in a couple fatal crashes.
Valid point about the prop dome, also the a/c apparently went through the trees a bit off to the side of the impact area. Interestingly, back to your point about the straight prop blade, that may not be a definitive clue as at least one of the prop blades from the "Galloping Ghost" crash at Reno was amazingly recovered straight. I agree though that it is likely a good clue supporting engine failure.

I think you mean Kevin Eldridge and not Steve Hinton ? Kevin is the gent who had the R4360 in a converted F4U catch fire at Reno. He did seem to take a long time to unass the a/c, although I suspect from the videos that he was at least initially not aware of how bad the fire was.Hoover had a much better viewpoint and if he told Kevin to get out, he was sure right. IIRC Kevin suffered some serious injuries from hitting the tail. Steve nearly bought the farm when his P51 lost an engine during a race. Never heard a full analysis of that event, but from the pix, the next biggest piece of the bird after the engine looked like the pilots seat. Steve was incredibly luck ( in addition to skilled ) that day !

I absolutely agree that none of the amateur ( in my case ! ) sleuthing is at all intended as a criticism of Vlado's actions. I know a lot of the warbird community frowns on speculation, but let's face it, it is hard not to wonder what went wrong and deprived us of two respected pilots and a vintage fighter. In motorcycle road racing, the dust wasn't even setttled before everyone in the pits was trying to assess what went south. Sometimes including the rider

ETA; Apparently more info coming out indicates the a/c did in fact impact at "a very steep angle".
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Old July 18, 2017, 16:03   #20
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I figure there's a predetermined expiration date out there for me by the big Pilot in the sky, and when He say's my time is up it's up. Might as well be having fun when the time comes.
Amen, brother
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Old July 18, 2017, 16:15   #21
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I figure there's a predetermined expiration date out there for me by the big Pilot in the sky, and when He say's my time is up it's up. Might as well be having fun when the time comes.

Haven't been in a warbird but have been up quite a few times in a friend's Pitts Biplane, the Ferrari of prop birds. To have the ability to design a roller coaster while riding in it at the same time cannot be compared to.
My mental picture of Mebs is of a guy in a Batman suit hanging from his heels at night in a bat cave,,, full of redheaded chix.
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Old July 19, 2017, 05:19   #22
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I actually sleep on the floor.

I like R2800s and R3350s, but vintage planes are out of reach for me. My participation is limited to being a spectator.

If I go in my old hot-rod, I own it, drive it, work on it, and make all the decisions about it. For example, I decide which 7-11 I drive to and get a slurpee.

Maybe old machines have a soul. Sometimes they just decide they've had enough and quit for the day.
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Old July 19, 2017, 07:20   #23
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Maybe old machines have a soul. Sometimes they just decide they've had enough and quit for the day.
You know, I like this
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Old July 19, 2017, 07:45   #24
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I have had over the years two close friends that lost their life in warbirds. One in a beautiful P-38 one in a F8F Bearcat. The loss of life is horrible and total destruction of aircraft likewise. Neither can be replaced.

The F8F was a photo aircraft so was it a F8F2P for someone who might know.
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Old July 19, 2017, 10:30   #25
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a correction, Kevin jumped out in AZ and i watched Steve crash at Reno and saw him in the hospital 2 days later, i was crewing for Bob Love and standing in my friend John Crocker's pit.
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Old July 19, 2017, 17:42   #26
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My Dad was big into the Oskosh event years ago, used to be all sorts of Vintage craft you could catch a ride in for actually rather cheap and he sent me up in a bunch as a kid ranging from a P38 and a Mustang to Ford Tri Motors.

Thing is even with constant maintaince these things are damn long in the tooth, most of the pilots are getting well up there too
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Old July 19, 2017, 19:12   #27
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My Dad was big into the Oskosh event years ago, used to be all sorts of Vintage craft you could catch a ride in for actually rather cheap and he sent me up in a bunch as a kid ranging from a P38 and a Mustang to Ford Tri Motors.

Thing is even with constant maintaince these things are damn long in the tooth, most of the pilots are getting well up there too
Well, I guess someone lent you their P38, since none of them that I know of are two seaters. Mayby something different ?
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Old July 20, 2017, 23:08   #28
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My father (a B17 Driver during the European festivities) said a good pilot knows when to hang up his wings.

He also said "Airplanes will kill you".

There is also a very old and well used saying: "There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots".

My condolences on the loss of life and aircraft.
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Old July 20, 2017, 23:21   #29
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When the Erickson collection was in Medford, OR the owner (Jack) was climbing out in his P-51, had an engine failure, he was able to get turned back around and brought it in deadstick....he said that it shook the plane so hard that he went to put the gear down but the vibration had caused it to drop and lock. The Merlin had a hole in the side of the block that I could (and did) put my fist through. He had the engine on display for a while, passed it to Shirley Laird in North Bend, OR...Not sure what happened to it after Shirley died. It may be with Jack's collection in Madras.

He lost a couple others from his collection. A P-38, a Delfin and an F4U that Art Vance was flying. I understand that Art overspun the supercharger on takeoff and spun a bearing causing the magnesium casing to light off. My friend Ted was in the Spitfire and saw the Corsair hit the ground in a ball of fire just as Art's chute opened and went into the trees. He suffered some burns on his forearms...never saw Ted climb into a warbird without wearing Nomex after that....

I hate to see the loss of these old birds...and worse the loss of a fine pilot but IMO it is better than relegating them to being grounded in a static display.
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Old July 20, 2017, 23:34   #30
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I wouldn't get on one of those.
Me neither. I wouldn't get on one either.
Trying to hold on to something in a 300 mph wind'd be tough.
I'd certainly get IN on, though.

Lots of Mustangs flying these days. Many fly every week. There's bound to be an accident or two on occasion.
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Old July 20, 2017, 23:40   #31
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My father (a B17 Driver during the European festivities) said a good pilot knows when to hang up his wings.

He also said "Airplanes will kill you".

There is also a very old and well used saying: "There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots".

My condolences on the loss of life and aircraft.
Airplanes don't generally kill.
Stupid people doing stupid things in airplanes kill stupid people.
But yes, on occasion, just like with a car, mechanical stuff breaks. If you're hotrodding in a Mustang, that also usually means little altitude and lots of power on, which means little time to sort out a problem before you spread it out.

I'm not into that hotrodding stuff. I'm a true freightdog, nothing more or less. High enough to be economical, and as little power as needed to be efficient.

We don't know what happened, but they said he was steeply nose down and fast. Judging by the wreckage, he was moving right along. I'm not sure I'd buy engine failure. Angering in usually is either catastrophic airframe failure or pilot incapacitation.
In Reno, it was both. Trim tab separation caused a violent pitch change put the pilot on the floor of the cockpit, probably passed out or dead.
Look at the still pics. He ain't visible in the bubble. He was flat on the floor.
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Old July 21, 2017, 01:48   #32
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Well, I guess someone lent you their P38, since none of them that I know of are two seaters. Mayby something different ?
Nope, both the P38 trainer and night fighter variants were 2 seaters Armstrong
not sure what that example was though
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Old July 21, 2017, 06:50   #33
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Nope, both the P38 trainer and night fighter variants were 2 seaters Armstrong
not sure what that example was though
Wrong - there was never a two seat P38 trainer other than possibly a prototype. The night fighter M never reached production, and no example survived the test phase. There were also prototypes that put a "bombardier" in a plexi nose which also proved impractical. On a few test occasions Lockheed crammed a tech in behind the pilot but it was found to be totally impractical.

In any event, I'm willing to be proven wrong, since I'm not a Lightning fan, but this is one I'd have to see some documentation on. I'll get the WIX brain trust working on it.
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Old July 21, 2017, 07:03   #34
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Airplanes don't generally kill.
Stupid people doing stupid things in airplanes kill stupid people.
But yes, on occasion, just like with a car, mechanical stuff breaks. If you're hotrodding in a Mustang, that also usually means little altitude and lots of power on, which means little time to sort out a problem before you spread it out.

I'm not into that hotrodding stuff. I'm a true freightdog, nothing more or less. High enough to be economical, and as little power as needed to be efficient.

We don't know what happened, but they said he was steeply nose down and fast. Judging by the wreckage, he was moving right along. I'm not sure I'd buy engine failure. Angering in usually is either catastrophic airframe failure or pilot incapacitation.
In Reno, it was both. Trim tab separation caused a violent pitch change put the pilot on the floor of the cockpit, probably passed out or dead.
Look at the still pics. He ain't visible in the bubble. He was flat on the floor.
Yep, the "Galloping Ghost" pulled a near instantaneous 14+ G's as I read the report. Not much left afterwards, yet one of the prop blades was recovered basically still straight. A similar failure had occurred some years before ( I forget to whom ) and the pilot reported one second all was well, next thing he woke up something like 10,000 higher. Pure luck, and he was able to regain control.

The crash sure doesn't look like a botched off-field landing or a stall spin - the more I look, the more it seems to me she was moving real fast at impact, I'm thinking !! Damn shame in any event. Vlado was a real gentleman and there are too few of them in the world these days.
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Old July 21, 2017, 08:34   #35
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My Dad was big into the Oskosh event years ago, used to be all sorts of Vintage craft you could catch a ride in for actually rather cheap and he sent me up in a bunch as a kid ranging from a P38 and a Mustang to Ford Tri Motors.

Thing is even with constant maintaince these things are damn long in the tooth, most of the pilots are getting well up there too

Well, I'll step up to the plate and admit I was wrong . The POF P38 and a couple others have a very small jump seat and sometimes fly rides..

http://warbirdinformationexchange.or...p?f=3&t=65544I

I owe RSS a beer, and envy him the experience
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Old July 21, 2017, 09:18   #36
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Well, I'll step up to the plate and admit I was wrong . The POF P38 and a couple others have a very small jump seat and sometimes fly rides..

http://warbirdinformationexchange.or...p?f=3&t=65544I

I owe RSS a beer, and envy him the experience
Man we are all cool
Dad was all big into the EAA thing, tried to foster my interest bribing me with vintage aircraft rides.
Sadly it never did make all that great of an impression on me as a youngster.

Used to be a mess of aircraft selling rides at Airshows, not quite so much these days and the current ticket costs are pretty steep particularly on the Warbirds.
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Old July 21, 2017, 09:43   #37
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Used to be a mess of aircraft selling rides at Airshows, not quite so much these days and the current ticket costs are pretty steep particularly on the Warbirds.
That's no kidding....the prices are usually pretty darned steep...but so it the cost of operation. There is a local guy selling coastal tours in a restored PT17, $200 for 20 mins...I used to occasionally catch a ride on these for free. Admittedly a couple times it was in the hopper of the crop dusters I was working on


I grew up in aviation, dad was an Air Traffic Controller, had his ATP and had been a radio operator on a B 29/C 46/C 119 in the Air Force. Have a deep love of aviation but couldn't justify the cost of flying myself.
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Old July 21, 2017, 10:07   #38
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That's no kidding....the prices are usually pretty darned steep...but so it the cost of operation. There is a local guy selling coastal tours in a restored PT17, $200 for 20 mins...I used to occasionally catch a ride on these for free. Admittedly a couple times it was in the hopper of the crop dusters I was working on


I grew up in aviation, dad was an Air Traffic Controller, had his ATP and had been a radio operator on a B 29/C 46/C 119 in the Air Force. Have a deep love of aviation but couldn't justify the cost of flying myself.
Well the Ford Tri Motor flights at Oshkosh are still pretty reasonable if you are an EAA member.

Had family that flew dusters in the dakotas, one Uncle taught me to fly one, well just barely. Truth be told it wasn't my thing. Landing always scared me a bit.
Color me Chicken
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Old July 21, 2017, 10:27   #39
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Well the Ford Tri Motor flights at Oshkosh are still pretty reasonable if you are an EAA member.

Had family that flew dusters in the dakotas, one Uncle taught me to fly one, well just barely. Truth be told it wasn't my thing. Landing always scared me a bit.
Color me Chicken
Big heavy taildraggers....Never landed one but I do understand they can be quite a handful
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Old July 21, 2017, 10:57   #40
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Big heavy taildraggers....Never landed one but I do understand they can be quite a handful
Right you are and I learned on a rather uneven Grass strip out at the farm
Far less than ideal landing conditions
Soured me on the experience somewhat
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Old July 21, 2017, 11:41   #41
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RSS reminds me of the time when I was a kid, went to visit some relatives in Ohio. At the time Island Airlines was flying two Ford 4AT trimotors on regular service to an island in the lake. Mail, supplies, kids to and from the mainland schools. Anyway, Dad got us tickets just for fun. The flight back was empty so the pilot let me come to the cockpit and fly left seat for a little while. Lemme tell ya, that was one 10 year pld who was in heaven for weeks !

Eventually they crashed both Fords. Kermit Weeks bought at least one of them and is restoring it. Can't wait to see it done !!!
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Old July 21, 2017, 15:49   #42
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I lost my very good friend 3 weeks ago in a plane crash near Winache Wa. He taught me to fly and was like an uncle to me. He was 70 yrs old. He flew Hueys in Vietnam. We don't know what happened but he was a child of God. I'll ask him when I see him there.... Rebel Wallace....my friend and brother......
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Old July 21, 2017, 17:33   #43
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Yep, the "Galloping Ghost" pulled a near instantaneous 14+ G's as I read the report. Not much left afterwards, yet one of the prop blades was recovered basically still straight. A similar failure had occurred some years before ( I forget to whom ) and the pilot reported one second all was well, next thing he woke up something like 10,000 higher. Pure luck, and he was able to regain control.
Bob Hannah wasn't it? He was in the `51 Delbert Williams used to race when it happened? I've forgotten the name of the plane but I think it was the same P-51. Same thing that happened to the Ghost but as you said didn't go in.
I don't recall they ever figured out what caused it? Other than the cumulative stress of running 70+ year old airframes at those speeds.
It is hard to believe they got a complete prop blade from the Ghost. You'd think seeing the impact they wouldn't get anything bigger than confetti from that.
I couldn't recall for certain who was in Super Corsair when it caught fire.
I'd thought it was Hinton but evidently it was another pilot.
I do recall Hinton crashing in a `51.....Dago Red was the plane I think? He was either very good and / or very lucky, he hit real hard.


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The crash sure doesn't look like a botched off-field landing or a stall spin - the more I look, the more it seems to me she was moving real fast at impact, I'm thinking !! Damn shame in any event. Vlado was a real gentleman and there are too few of them in the world these days.
I don't know the pilot but take your word as to who he was as an individual.
That along with what I expressed before is why I won't question his choice, if my thoughts turn out to be correct. It is entirely possible I am completely wrong but my initial thought is he tried to turn back, stalled, thought he had enough altitude and ran out of sky. The result being all he did was accelerate to a higher impact speed.
It is something of a productive activity to speculate or question why a given accident happens. It is a very hard truth but still a truth, a LOT of lessons regarding flight safety have been learned at a horribly dear cost.
Perhaps he did make the classic mistake of trying to turn back, which simply reinforces the lesson.......never do it.
It is possible there are a combination of things which went wrong, at which case it'd be good to know and learn from, hopefully the knowledge gained will save a life next time. A scant comfort coming at the cost of 2 lives but at least it might save another life somewhere down the line.
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Old July 21, 2017, 17:47   #44
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Wrong - there was never a two seat P38 trainer other than possibly a prototype. The night fighter M never reached production, and no example survived the test phase. There were also prototypes that put a "bombardier" in a plexi nose which also proved impractical. On a few test occasions Lockheed crammed a tech in behind the pilot but it was found to be totally impractical.

In any event, I'm willing to be proven wrong, since I'm not a Lightning fan, but this is one I'd have to see some documentation on. I'll get the WIX brain trust working on it.
j, there were several night fighters built, but very, very few. They shoehorned in a radar operator behind the pilot and gave him his own extended bubble.
it looked stupid, but apparently was somewhat successful.
The big issue was that the rear seat guy had to be pretty much a midget to fit...
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Old July 21, 2017, 18:02   #45
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Stewart Dawson is an acquaintance of mine, and he owns Spirit of Texas and generally flies Rare Bear these days.
Of course he was there.
He saw Galloping Ghost go vertical and he told me that when they all talked about it afterwards, agreed upon scuttlebutt cause was a catastrophic failure of the stabilizer.
High speed stills show a missing trim tab and no pilot, so the poor guy was probably already dead.

The media painted a picture of the crew of the Ghost being a bunch of cowboys performing unauthorized mods, etc, etc., but anyone who knows racing knows you do what you can do within your budget to gain any advantage you can.

He points out that Rare Bear, by it's very nature is a horrible airplane to fly, uncomfortable, prone to overheat, and absolutely useless to do anything other than what they built it to do: Go really fast around a closed course for the number of required laps, then land and shut down.
Anything else, it sucks at and will leave you stuck in a field or on a road somewhere with a cooked engine.
it's a racer. Period.
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Old July 21, 2017, 18:04   #46
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RSS reminds me of the time when I was a kid, went to visit some relatives in Ohio. At the time Island Airlines was flying two Ford 4AT trimotors on regular service to an island in the lake. Mail, supplies, kids to and from the mainland schools. Anyway, Dad got us tickets just for fun. The flight back was empty so the pilot let me come to the cockpit and fly left seat for a little while. Lemme tell ya, that was one 10 year pld who was in heaven for weeks !

Eventually they crashed both Fords. Kermit Weeks bought at least one of them and is restoring it. Can't wait to see it done !!!
I'd give my left nut for a day to fly a Ford. I think it would humble me for a bit until I figured out it's game.
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Old July 21, 2017, 18:12   #47
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I'm sure at a loss with Vlado's crash. To bite who might be the highest time Mustang pilot in the world, it must have just been his time to check out.
I bet he'd love how he went, but if he's a true airplane nut he wishes he didn't kill a Mustang.


RSS, did your family have Agwagons? those things were amazing. I never played with one much, just a couple hours. My spray time was in Pawnees, a totally acceptable glider tug

But for a nice handling taildragger, nothing beats a 185 on wheels with a Robertson kit. It's one of life's great pleasures. After that, the Otter was a lump, and the 46 a trash truck.

MedicMike, if your Dad crewed the 46, I'd love to talk to him. I belong to a group of clowns who flew them and it's always good to touch base with old 46 drivers or crew. I never had the pleasure of flying them in Government service, but we ran them long and hard hauling diesel, Jet-A and general freight.
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Old July 21, 2017, 18:18   #48
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in the last year I've had 3 friends gear up in T-6s, they are OK and 2 friends die Valdo and Mark Yaggie in a T-28, don't have a count on how many since I started flying warbirds in 1968.
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Old July 21, 2017, 21:24   #49
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Everyone thinks a T-28 is a mild trainer. The one I flew in was everything but. It was one real serious performer. Not Mustang fast, but it had some serious power and performance.
Not your daddy's T-6.
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Old July 21, 2017, 22:12   #50
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Everyone thinks a T-28 is a mild trainer. The one I flew in was everything but. It was one real serious performer. Not Mustang fast, but it had some serious power and performance.
Not your daddy's T-6.
Knew a guy out of Medford that had one....lost power on takeoff.....ended up a quadriplegic and died a few years later of complications. They are just waiting to bite you in the ass.....
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