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Galveston Gal crashes.


Jim Baker
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I am really torn with these accidents. It is great to see them fly, but at what point do we say enough is enough? At least Gal was (I believe) a Cavalier made Mustang, so it wasn't WWII. I worry about the P-61 when it flies at some point. Other aircraft met similar fates within the last 15 years or so.. Two P-38's, the B-26 Marauder, P-63, Mosquito, B-17, P-51's, Corsair, etc, etc etc......

 

I really believe that if an aircraft is the last of a kind, it should be permanently grounded.

 

-Ski

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I'm beginning to lean your way Ski. It's a shame to see these disappear as well as the tragedy of losing lives.

 

BTW, I think the Gal was built in '44.

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Johnny Signor

Such a shame , the loss of a beautiful aircraft and more so the loss of two lives, but these people are doing what they love, I agree thought that eventually all the "Rare" on of's should be put into museums , otherwise they may end up being lost forever .............................................

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While it's a very unforutnate event (sounded like it was giving a ride, can't imagine that going from probably one of the greatest moments of your life to the end), I can see some argument against them flying but mainly i sit on the other side of the fence.

 

The rate at which they are making these planes is pretty crazy, they are making almost 100% newly manufactured airplanes, with only a few minor parts that are original.

 

There are B-26s and P-61s in museums, so we can't really say they are the last of their kind. Flying? Well then fine, I see that point and might tend to agree......... But then why go to all the trouble of restoring it to flying condition?

 

There's alot of little Cessna crashes too, % wise it's probably about the same in terms of flight vs crashes (although I have no actual data on it).

 

Plus, the people that buy/restore these planes buy/restore them for the purpose of flying them. And if they have the money to shell out to do it, it's their choice on what they want to do, and I think most would want to go for a ride in it.

 

Heck, anyone of us could be in an accident on our way home from work today......of course we want to be smart and limit our chances, but it could happen. You just limit the chances and keep your fingers crossed :-)

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Another one struck off the list...and one of my countrymen dies having the trip of a lifetime. Tragic! :( These restored warbirds are maintained to a high standard...but at the end of the day they are 70 year old machines. However, until the FAA report is published, human error can't be ruled out.

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Another one struck off the list...and one of my countrymen dies having the trip of a lifetime. Tragic! :( These restored warbirds are maintained to a high standard...but at the end of the day they are 70 year old machines. However, until the FAA report is published, human error can't be ruled out.

 

 

It doesn't matter if they are meticulously taken care of. Things go wrong. I recall talking to two mechanics working on the Duxford Blenheim on one of my many visits when I was stationed in the UK back in the 1990's. That particular plane was restricted to 50 hours a year by its British registration. I was allowed to go behind the ropes when they found out I was a C-130 crew chief. Anyways, they went over that plane with a fine tooth comb and yet it made a gear-up landing the following season. I could only roll my eyes.

 

On the other hand, pilot quality and age has a definite impact on flying these aircraft. I recall with chagrin when the retired Air Chief Marshal flipped over Bf-109E Black 6 at Duxford. Why he was allowed to fly the aircraft I do not know, but that aircraft was like 95% original and he screwed that up.

 

How about Jeff Ethell and his loss in the P-38. Or, how about the B-26 Marauder stalled on approach that killed everybody on board. Or, how about the low level loop that resulted in a spin into the ground with the Mosquito. Or, how about ramming a Corsair with a Bearcat? Or,....... You get my drift.

 

The British were so concerned about the losses that they began a pilot farming program in the late 1990's to get younger, better qualified pilots flying warbirds instead of old, slower pilots who might be highly qualified, but lacked the sharpness required or more importantly, became COMPLACENT about flying in general.

 

Like us militaria collectors, I believe the owners of warbirds have a responsibility as curators of their charges and to preserve the history of what they own; unlike the pilot of the PV-2 Harpoon who took himself and seven other people out when he decided to buzz a lake and cartwheeled instead.

 

-Ski

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Just a couple of seasons ago I witnessed the mid-air collision between the P-51 and Skyraider at the annual "Flying Legends" airshow. Fortunately, there were no casualties. The aircraft clipped wings during the flypast. The P-51 spun in and happily its pilot had just enough altitude to bail out. As for the Skyraider....just a dent on its wingtip!

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That is tragic, let us not forget that aircraft are merely machines. They are vehicles which take us briefly into the air, but we do not own it.

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I heard the report on the radio as I'm a local and was sadden for the loss of the souls on board and for the aircraft. I've seen the Mustang roaring over head while on the beach.

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Patchcollector

If the plane was properly maintained,there is no problem in flying it.The planes' been flying for 70 years.Accidents happen.

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From my limited knowledge of aircraft, Mustangs are a dangerous aircraft to fly, if for no other reason their very powerful power plant.

 

I remember an aviation magazine article that described a rash of Mustang crashes in the 1960's at take off and landing where the aircraft ended up flipped over on their back. Apparently at a certain altitude and speed if the pilot suddenly increased power the very torque of the engine caused the aircraft to quickly rotate around the axis of the spinning propeller, putting the aircraft upside down. Pilots were immediately disoriented and did not have enough altitude to flip the aircraft back over again before it nosed into the ground.

 

Illustrating the article was one such aircraft with its landing gear fully extended.

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I agree. The original WW2 and older aircraft are too rare and valuable to risk flying, no matter how good the pilots. Ground them all to museums.

 

May take years and big bucks to restore a plane, only to have it destroyed forever in seconds.

 

Flying is risky business even in a brand new plane.

 

 

 

W

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Accidents happen, machines fail/breakdown.

 

A lot of planes were destroyed during WWII in training flights, but they didn't stop flying them.

 

Let's just keep in mind that the machines are just that, machines. There are plenty of static planes on display.

 

Two people lost their lives in this terrible accident, let us not forget that.

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I know this is completely callous, but people are replaceable, pieces of history are not. We humans all have a limited time on this Earth and when you are gone, you are gone. Unless you are Ramsese II and are in a museum, this is our fate regardless. We are not immortal and many more of us are on the way. However, when a true piece of history is destroyed, it is removed from the historical record; one that can benefit future generations through its very existence. I think we have to keep that in mind when dealing with aircraft. And, I know the same goes for Goodwood and the occasional historic race car destroyed there from year to year. Once a McLaren is destroyed, there is no replacing it.

 

-Ski

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I know this is completely callous, but people are replaceable, pieces of history are not.

 

 

I don’t agree with your statement about people being replaceable because I cannot replace anyone in my family. You cannot put a value on life. But I would like to talk about the historical aspect.

 

If you try to save one part of history then you destroy another part. If an old plane never flies again, then you cannot experience the sound of hearing a prop plane. The sound is one you never forget. You also lose the experience of seeing an old plane in the sky. Every time a plane goes overhead, I look up. You are replacing one thrill with another. Do you worry so much about one part of history that you forget about another part?

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I agree with Kat.

 

You know, there is nothing (in my humble opinion) on this planet that is worth more than a human life.

 

Teamski, I am going to have to disagree with you.

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