Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

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D_Conrad
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Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

Post by D_Conrad » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:47 pm

Daniel

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Re: Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

Post by twinflyer17 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:26 am

That's a shame. Hopefully other organizations who fly these old warbirds will take maintenance and the FAA's requirements seriously. I'm sure the pilot/maintenance director had decades of success maintaining aircraft in the same way, but it unfortunately only takes one failure and accident to show that poor maintenance can kill. It'll be interesting to see if the organization keeps all their aircraft or begins selling some or all off...I believe one of the core money makers needed to keep these aircraft flying is paid passenger rides.
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D_Conrad
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Re: Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

Post by D_Conrad » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:02 am

They used to come by my town every year. I'm sre that will stop, like you said no money in it. I read somewhere the money they got from rides mostly covered the operational costs of the aircraft. They recently acquired a replacement B-17 as well. I wonder too if it's a permanent ban or if they can get that permission back in the future.
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Re: Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

Post by 42swing » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:19 am

Very disturbing actually, that it was an avoidable maintenance issue. I would guess the other operators will review and renew their own efforts which is a good thing.

I wonder if they took up the lease on Memphis Belle that Geneseo released a couple months ago. The flight from Geneseo to Stowe wouldn't be far.
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Re: Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

Post by Wolfman » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:19 am

Doubt this means Collings will never be able get re-certified, Daniel, but it will be a long road to follow.
F.A.A will have them under their microscope if they appeal and the operation will have to perfect.
Mostly up to Collings.
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Re: Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

Post by D_Conrad » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:40 am

I wonder if that's something they will attempt or not. However I do agree it's very unfortunate it was preventable. Lazieness is never worth the loss of life or the loss of history. The B-17 they got was owned by the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in Oregon. Here's the link that talks about it

https://www.collingsfoundation.org/airc ... ortress-2/
Daniel

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Re: Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

Post by Ed Roberts » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:29 pm

Sadly, I don't think the Collings Foundation will be flying anything again. The wrongful death(s) litigation will last for years. Then, as pointed out, government scrutiny of all their aircraft will be brutal. Lastly, finding a new liability insurer will be next to impossible for the rate one would charge. I'm thankful I got a safe ride when I did.
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Re: Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

Post by Joe Gopan » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:34 pm

Scary, isn't it?
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Re: Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

Post by D_Conrad » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:41 pm

Ed Roberts wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:29 pm
Sadly, I don't think the Collings Foundation will be flying anything again. The wrongful death(s) litigation will last for years. Then, as pointed out, government scrutiny of all their aircraft will be brutal. Lastly, finding a new liability insurer will be next to impossible for the rate one would charge. I'm thankful I got a safe ride when I did.
Eddie
Not only that, but the public will be much more hesitant to fly with them again after their accident.
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Re: Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

Post by Ron D » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:29 pm

Some parts are hard to find for jeeps and they made a heck of a lot more jeeps than B-17's. I can imagine what it must be like for them to have to make anything they can't find and then get the FAA bureaucracy to certify it airworthy. Even keeping a Mustang or Corsair airworthy means you must be a millionaire plus to start with. I think maybe in the war-bird business if you have to ask what something costs, you couldn't afford it to start with.

And I believe the pilot was 75 years old? Pretty sure commercial passenger airlines retire pilots well before that. Flight engineer way over his head didn't help any. I thought they could fly on two engines with a light load, must be other factors involved. Too bad reading the final investigation report won't happen.

And then there's all them goofy folks hot about the carbon emissions that four big reciprocating engines put out......it won't be long before they come after flat-head motors too. Better enjoy them in the air and on the ground while we still can.
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Re: Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

Post by northcoastsailor » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:45 pm

This seems more common than one would hope. Lax maintenance and training occur in a number of other types of museums with technical equipment and only helps in driving up the insurance premiums.
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Re: Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

Post by Wolfman » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:00 am

Ron D ask was 75 too old to be a commercial pilot. No. Airline Transport Pilots ( ATP ) hit the upper limit at 65. Used to be 62 but that was bumped up a few years ago. Still requirements for ATP at any age, You have to pass a very extensive physical every 6 months and recurrent training.
Commercial pilots have to pass a physical every 12 months to stay current.
Gets complicated and not going into all the details.
As for flying on two engines.
The airplane will still fly on two but lose altitude. In this case, both engines on the same side either quit or lost some power. This created more problems. The aircraft would yaw or turn into the dead or weak engines. It would take a lot of rudder to hold the airplane straight but this would create more drag and loss of altitude. The airplane could circle into the running engines but if you needed to fly in a straight line to get to your destination, that won't work. Becomes a balancing act between power available and controlling the aircraft to get to where you want to be while still trying to maintain altitude. A real balancing act.
And then there is the landing. This is accomplished in a straight line. You may be able to circle to the touch down point but once on the ground, you need to track straight.
Once you reach the airport and make the approach. You need to slow down while still maintaining approach altitude. The slower you go, the less effective the rudder becomes to keep the aircraft straight. You to reduce power to maintain heading but now you lose altitude and airspeed. Around and around it goes.
The initial problem is only the beginning. The problems snowball and sometimes, very quickly.
Taking into account what I just said. On landing, this aircraft was not able to maintain heading or altitude. Came in short and veered right. The aircraft's ultimate demise was running off the runway and hitting the storage tanks.
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Re: Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

Post by clintm20 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:28 am

In this case, both engines on the same side either quit or lost some power. This created more problems. The aircraft would yaw or turn into the dead or weak engines. It would take a lot of rudder to hold the airplane straight but this would create more drag and loss of altitude. The airplane could circle into the running engines but if you needed to fly in a straight line to get to your destination, that won't work. Becomes a balancing act between power available and controlling the aircraft to get to where you want to be while still trying to maintain altitude. A real balancing act.
He also did a right downwind into the problem engines for some reason which did not help. I was shocked at the problems detailed in the report, very, very negligent if correct, pretty much as bad as it gets.
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Re: Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

Post by Joe Gopan » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:47 pm

They had quite a fleet of aircraft for their orientation rides.
Here's a few from memory.
B-17, B-24, B-25
P-40, P-51 C, P-51D
T-33, F-4D Phantom
A-4 Skyhawk
ME-262
Professional Aircraft maintenance was not new to Collings.
Last edited by Joe Gopan on Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Collings foundation no longer allowed to fly passengers

Post by lt.luke » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:55 pm

What Wolfman says is spot on. The bird didn’t have the altitude at start of problem set to perform the necessary corrections before...well....there was zero altitude.

It was horrifying to read about the maintenance “program” and “records keeping”.

The CAF will come out of this one well, I hope. I wonder if they will be inspected as a result?

I took my kids up in a Twin Beech last year at Wings Over Dallas. Pretty happy it wasn’t a Collings bird. And pretty happy it was. Smooth ride.


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