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B-17G Flying Fortress "909"

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    Posted 1 year ago

    K45389
    (56 items)

    Boeing B-17g "909" had a rough career, and later it ended in tragedy. My first brush with this warbird was in 1987 when the aircraft visited the local airport for the annual airshow. On its final appearance that weekend most everyone in attendance watched as the 909 made the approach to land. After touching down a crosswind gust did not allow the pilot to settle the plane soon enough. Nearly halfway down the runway it was finally rolling, finishing the landing. However, the end of the runway was fast approaching and braking was not enough to stop the plane before reaching the end where a steep downhill slope was situated. The B-17g broke through the fence and went down into the valley, injuring a handful of paying riders. The plane was severely damaged. It took 3 years of work by airport resident Air Heritage Museum and others to get it back into flying condition. A day after the incident I went to the local camera shop where they also sold model airplane kits. I bought the 1/48 scale Monogram B-17G model, built it, painted and lettered it for the 909 and donated it to Air Heritage Museum. That was 34 years ago. The donation still resides in a glass covered display case there in the museum.. Several years ago the real 909 crashed after takeoff when 2 engines failed. Attempt to return to the runway came up short. The B-17 was destroyed and several paying riders and several crew members perished. Sad ending all around.

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    Comments

    1. fortapache fortapache, 1 year ago
      I've been on 909. Very sad indeed.
    2. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 1 year ago
      Those big radials don't fail easily. Do you have any info on the cause ? Almost had to be fuel starvation.
    3. K45389, 1 year ago
      Here is a YouTube video of an Aviation expert, a good one, that describes what the NTSB reported. This is part 1, there is also a part 2 you can look for too.

      https://youtu.be/G3dD98IqEUk

      If I remember right, maintenance, pilot errors were the main cause.
    4. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 1 year ago
      I am airframe & powerplant rated with inspection authorization and have an aircraft service business at the French airport here in St. Martin (business blown away in hurricane Irma), but still have the business lic.. LOL ! Watched both of these videos and it speaks my language. Boils down to sloppy maintenance that made me cringe. If the magnetos were sloppyly maintained, no wonder the engines gave trouble. I saw things that a shade tree mechanic wouldn't do on a car. When I sign off a plane, it is customary for me to go on the test flight or make it. I would tell pilots that I couldn't do that because I promised my mother that I would never fly in anything I worked on. Had to do it anyway ! Another joke I would use was to tell the owner that I had to be paid before the test flight and I would sign off the log books after the test flight. One advantage is that I don't have to get up and pee during the night like other men my age, as I developed a long range bladder flying small aircraft.
    5. BHIFOS BHIFOS, 1 year ago
      Love the "I would never fly in anything I worked on" joke!! :)
    6. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 1 year ago
      People like me keep those flying machines going. Think about that next time you fly. LOL !!!
    7. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 1 year ago
      Blunder is that the reason they have parachutes handy ;)
    8. K45389, 1 year ago
      I can't remember if it was the same year that the 909 ran off the runway at the local airshow or a year or two prior. But I used to go to the airport on the Friday to watch the incoming warbirds that were arriving for the weekend airshow. I always seen pilots walk over to the fence after they arrived and parked their plane. Each pilot would ask if anyone wanted a ride. Never seen any takers. One year I was ready. Pilot parked his T6 WW2 Trainer and he walked over to the fence like they do. He asked if anyone wanted to go up, $60.00. I came with $100. I was ready. But I couldn't get the nerve to go, I just sat there. Plane looked great, but how well is it maintained? How healthy is the pilot. So yeah, I chickened out. Now, if it was a
      2 seater P51 or a Corsair I may have spent that $60 and took the leap.
    9. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 1 year ago
      Don't know about "they", but why I keep one handy. Actually, I never had a plane go down because of maintenance. Known a few pilots I wouldn't fly with a 2nd time. had a lot of great times, especially island hopping.

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