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FAA says no passengers on Collings Foundation aircraft after deadly CT crash

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In a recent ruling, the Federal Aviation Administration revoked the Collings Foundation’s permission to have passengers aboard its aircraft after a deadly crash last October, citing various safety reasons. The ruling comes nearly six months after a World War II B-17 bomber Nine O Nine — owned by the Collings Foundation — crashed soon after taking off from Bradley International Airport on Oct. 2, 2019. (www.ctpost.com) Altro...

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zcolescott
If the link works, pretty damning article here:

https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-news-faa-says-collings-foundation-cannot-carry-passengers-20200325-twq2alj7i5gztllf6h4p22mjyi-story.html?fbclid=IwAR09KfGKQVS2xvEGO4e3nqhDglw7aKD1bmY2HoBCv00drYUw9iKOs3puE6M
rapidwolve
rapidwolve 2
Very damning report to the point that the FAA should revoke ALL licenses, order an inspection of every one of their craft by an outside company, and fine them up the backside. Stupid j-asses placing people's lives in crap equipment.
jbaugh3
john baugh 1
The captain and flight crew are responsible for each flight. It's up to them to cancel a flight.
jsteiner
Jeff Steiner 0
Clean link:

https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-news-faa-says-collings-foundation-cannot-carry-passengers-20200325-twq2alj7i5gztllf6h4p22mjyi-story.html
pthomas745
Pa Thomas 4
This is the end of the "Foundation."
jbaugh3
john baugh 1
Not necessarily. Maybe compare it to a PArt 135 Commercial aircraft charter company that has ten airplanes and there is a loss. I would suggest they park all airplanes, "stand down" cancel flight insurance and other cost-saving measures, and figure out where the ground level is and how they want to rebuild the organization. A flying museum,, a static museum, a private collection, etc.
Quirkyfrog
Probably? Time will tell. Sad...
gbatsche
george batsche 13
Read the FAA report.. Although some might argue that it was the FAA's responsibility to "monitor" them, it was, first and foremost, the operators responsibility to comply with required preventative and reactive maintenance requirements. As an aircraft owner, it is my responsibility to ensure that annual inspections, 100-hour inspections, SBs, ADs etc are completed--and not just because I am afraid that the FAA might "audit"me. It is because of my responsibility to myself and my passengers. All bucks stop with the pilot and crew.
Quirkyfrog
But the FAA *should* verify that carriers like them are following requirements and that their planes are air worthy. To not do that is dereliction of duty. The FAA is still suffering under sequestration, and likely political agenda meddling too.

But part of this is why would someone want to fly in a plane that old with an unknown record. I'd on some lever love to experience flying in a bomber, but damn, that is so potentially dangerous. I'm just sad for the families of the dead. So tragic.
unitcharlie
Steve Collier 4
Respectfully, Robert Cowling, I've flown on 909 more than a two dozen times in the past 20 or so years, I've never felt unsafe in 909 or any other warbird. This aircraft is old but, in my opinion, not unsafe. Why did I fly in this aircraft? Because I had a great uncle who was a waist gunner on B17. He started talking to me about his experiences flying over wartime Europe before they had escorts all the to Berlin. I felt his presence on every excursion into history... in fact, '909' isn't the only B17 I've been privileged to ride. FYI, there is potential danger in every endeavor, Hell a rock from Pluto could whizz from the sky and hit you... This tragic crash killed a friend of mine:in his hands '909' was a ballerina, the engines a Wagner Symphony, the smells a trip down memory lane... I have a bunch time as a flying crew chief on C-119F aircraft...
pthomas745
Pa Thomas 6
Would you have flown in it had you known that basically the company ignored the most basic maintenance? Would you fly your C119 knowing your mechanics were literally jury rigging parts with no inspections?
jmonroe
jmonroe 3
IF they had done a standard run up/mag check at the end of the runway, shouldn't they have gotten a drop that indicated an issue? The engines are a good, safe type and design but cleaning and gapping the plugs is an easy thing to do. Time consuming with all those cylinders but easy.
GraemeSmith
Graeme Smith 3
Another way to look at this is that the FAA are not renewing their permit pending the completion of the NTSB investigation - which is NOT COMPLETE.

Now some of the reasons given - which are from parts of a partially complete investigation - certainly don't look very good - but till all the evidence is in and till the jury has rendered a verdict - I'm not going to give the Foundation a "pass". But I'm not going to hang them either.

Waiting on full NTSB report.
Mikey69
Mike Rakestraw 2
I'm a retired electrical engineer, spent a while designing, installing & flight testing non flight critical electronics, during this time I was exposed to a Safety culture that required me to re-think some of my design methods, in the long run most everything that surprised me was actually common sense.
Even the culture in my auto enthusiasts group would never condone ignoring ignition issues.
I doubt that the safety culture in Collings has always been this way, and we are all aware of the financial challenges of operating this type of organization, I am hopeful that the Collings Foundation can recover but this may be the beginning of the end.
jbsimms
James Simms 2
Too bad
amentor
a mentor 2
Most disturbing findings given the equipment and interest in it.
pilot62
Scott Campbell 4
I flew her near Chicago a few years back and never questioned my safety. In fact for a few short minutes, (not even close to reality) I felt what it must of been like to trust your life on a machine. For a moment after we leveled off I crawled into to the nose gunner position, and watched the green Illinois farmland go by trying to imagine what it must have felt like flying to battle, at an age younger than my son is now, ... can grown men cry over aircraft or machine? ... this one can. RIP PAX & CREW
M20ExecDriver
M20ExecDriver 2
"Hey, we had the tail shot full of holes, two engines out and hydraulic fluid and gas leaking all over the place and we still got her home".

The WW2 bombing mission return flight culture was alive and well.
markaharris
Mark Harris 2
Surely grounds for some sort of legal action there. The aircraft should never have been allowed to leave the ground in that condition.
ba151
Bruce Atkinson 1
From a distance,and without all the information, could it be that a lot of responsibilities were handled by one, not so young person? Before I even read the caption under the picture of the elderly gentleman who was the pilot and the person responsible for maintenance, standing on the very top step of a ladder working on an engine, I thought to myself,it looked pretty risky. It sounds like the engine issues could have been discovered and some easily corrected, if an honest maintenance schedule was maintained. Nevertheless, a very sad ending on many levels.
linbb
linbb 1
Went on one web site that is AV Web I think, some dumb comments about the engines used on it like that type are only used on bomber aircraft. I understand what the problem was and the FAA is in charge of monitoring them. They did not it would have been very easy to find problems in there paperwork it seems. Was easy to find the cause of engine failure have worked on annuals of light AC way back when. Mags and wiring were always top priority on every inspection due to how vital they are and fuel system also. Problems existed that should have shown up during run ups easy to detect also. This will really hurt all warbirds everywhere not just them. Rode in FIFI sat across from the flight engineer, watched every movement, saw him detect in flight a slightly rough engine without any instrument indication and fix it.
brentleew
brent watson 1
The elderly gentleman standing on the top of a ladder: (either 6' or 8' AGL) doing engine maintenance is rather dangerous and concerning. I'm 65 and have good balance, but would never do that!!!. Not a good image of safety at all!
rapidwolve
rapidwolve -1
That is how you have to do maintenance on these old birds. And, unfortunately, that "elderly" gentleman on the ladder was Mac McCauley, also the P.I.T. on the flight that crashed.
brentleew
brent watson 3
I don't think you "have" to do it that way, Mac chose that way because it seemed easiest and he may not have had enough help.
I know Mac was loved by many, but I think he violated the old or bold rule.
rapidwolve
rapidwolve -1
How else would you do it? They are not low to the ground, cannot get a lift positioned properly in front due to props. It's more unsafe leaning out over a lift's railing, than standing on a ladder. Having worked on older craft, sometimes the only way is on a ladder, when working at the front of the engine
ba151
Bruce Atkinson 2
Scaffolding would be much better.
rapidwolve
rapidwolve -1
Again where you have to position the scaffolding means reaching out over the rails, and sometimes working on those birds meant reaching in behind the prop. If the prop is removed, then yes scaffolding and/or a bucket lift would work best.
ba151
Bruce Atkinson 2
Standing on top of a step ladder isn't as stable as using scaffolding. Or at least have someone hold the ladder.
rapidwolve
rapidwolve -1
May not be as stable, but sometimes has to be done. I do agree with holding the ladder but since we cannot see the whole picture, it's possible it was tied off, like I use to do, or someone was at the base.
wewal52
wewal52 0
A taller step ladder would seem appropriate. I have a 14 foot tall stepladder. The top step is at 12 feet and there is a bar to lean against at the 14 foot level. The design promotes safe ladder use, while allowing a six foot person to reach items 18 feet AGL. Get the right tool for the job at hand.
rapidwolve
rapidwolve 1
If you used a taller step ladder, you would need to turn it sideways to lean into the engine. That is also unsafe as it could kick out sideways.
I have used stepladders on old birds liek these and sometimes you have to top step it. Ladder tied off at bottom and if I feel like falling forward, catch the prop to re-balance.
Seeing as I have worked on old birds like these, sometimes you have to bend the "old or bold" rules. I am done commenting.
pilot62
Scott Campbell 1
BTW the best pilot in the world, with the most current hours in a B-17 was flying it. And when I flew with him, he was nothing but professional - and not a word spoken(outside of crew and comms) until he was out of the plane. He listened but never responded.
ltrc365
robert cook -2
I recall that right after the incident at a press conference. I believe it was the Governor of Connecticut said all these old planes should be grounded. Go figure! Gee,did some one else say political meddling.

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