B17 crash at Dallas.

Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by FlightmechH3, Nov 12, 2022.

  1. Flying Keys

    Flying Keys Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Let’s say it was a FOD incident. What would have a one-second-prior-to-impact window gained the P-63? You also mention a pitch-down moment - let’s say that happened and was the cause of the collision. Back up that one second and remove the supposed FOD and pitch-down chain: by how much would the P-63 have cleared the B-17? A few feet? Would it still have been belly-up to the B-17? Would it have had to perform an evasive maneuver in that one second to safely clear the B-17? Would that maneuver have been part of the plan?

    I don’t think giving back that one second buys enough time to not make this a safety issue. The separation bubble was still violated and it doesn’t answer the sightline problem. If this was truly the case, it was still questionable planning and a hell of a lot of bad luck.
     
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  2. Flying Keys

    Flying Keys Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Heck, while we’re supposing - imagine if the P-63 had cleared the top of the B-17’s fuselage only to take out part of the right wing and engine(s). You might have ended up with a crippled bird rolling and yawing right into the crowd.
     
  3. drummer4468

    drummer4468 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm not positing that one second buys him time to react, but it seemed to my admittedly not-as-well-trained eyes that the abrupt pitch-down is what actually set him on the final collision course with the B-17 he otherwise would have cleared. A pitch-down caused by factors (like a suddenly broken plane) that made it impossible to save even if one or two seconds had been enough. I don’t know what the radio communications were like in those seconds, but I’d hypothesize that if the gearbox grenaded in a turn like that, it could be enough of an upset to preclude recovery or even radioing the emergency in time.

    Again, I'm neither trying to blindly argue my correctness based on a FB video I can't find, nor imply that it's the only contributing factor. Just entering it as a possibility pending any further evidence that comes out of the investigation. I saw a video with chunks of "something" either entering or exiting the prop area and feel that could be a significant and telling piece of info if other supporting evidence is found
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
  4. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good post, I watched Gryder on this and thought to myself WTF, this is a nightmare, if, what Gryder says is true. I'm just a private pilot, and I have no idea of how an air boss is supposed to work. Or an airshow pattern for something like this. So reading your post and others here, who have some inside info on how this is supposed to work really helps.

    The bottom line though, is we need an informed, honest evaluation of what happened here, hopefully the root cause can be found, and where the safety nets, or system fuses to stop a disaster like this failed here. That gives us something to fix. Otherwise shows like this will turn into static displays only, which would be a terrible loss.

    I do agree with a couple of Gryder's comments. The first is that we need to figure out how this went so wrong and fix it. I don't know if he is correct, but there is a correct answer or answers here, they need to be found and things fixed. The second is that there should never have been paying passengers on a flight like this. I'm not saying the passengers in any way affected this disaster, they just should not have been there. Even with the best plan and top notch pilots flying these missions, this flying in these shows is inherently more dangerous when they are performing than a single airplane going on a short sight seeing mission. The passengers shouldn't have been there, and probably had no idea of the increased risk of being in a plane performing these types of maneuvers.
     
  5. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Gryder is an idiot who has a soapbox. You really should stop watching him!

    There were no paying passengers on this flight. Not even sure where you came up with that.
     
  6. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route PoA Supporter

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    This is the problem with gryder. He spouts crap like he knows what he's talking about, but he has no clue. There were five crew on the b17, which is the normal crew compliment. Two pilots, flight engineer, two observers. The flight engineer is required to run the engines, and the observers watch the engines for problems from the back. Those five are on board every time it goes up.

    Dan is entertaining, and sometimes gets it right, but it's best to take his opinions with a salt mine.
     
  7. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bro do you even lift
    if you need gryder to point that out to you, then you are his niche market. please like and subscribe so you can get all your aviation news right from the best!


    truth


    also truth
     
  8. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    But, like, everyone is making that comment. That's literally not a reason to elevate anything else he says. What's worse, is that he appears to have some legit sources and could have double checked with them to make sure his statements were accurate, and he DID NOT do so, apparently, or didn't listen well to what they had to say, so that's a strike on him in my opinion. Dan is choosing to be a committee of one, and he needs to be accountable himself, too.
    There WERE NOT paying passengers on this flight, or on the previous flight. I literally took pictures of the TORA flight crew, and we know who and why each of the crew were on board this flight. Keep in mind that the CAF, in an effort to IMPROVE airshow safety, is now requiring "checkride" like stuff for airshows. You don't fly just as a sponsor or as a first or second tier pilot. Only "Senior Pilots" or pilots being observed by a Senior Pilot are supposed to be flying airshows. The fifth person on board the B-17 was a pilot, probably doing that safety requirement... see: https://www.rockymountainwingcaf.org/be-a-caf-pilot.html
    Let's be clear. There was clearly a mistake, or series of mistakes that probably could have been stopped at the briefing level, the FAA level, the airboss level, or the pilot level, but even the NTSB has less incentive to get that right than the pilots in the show. They are the most likely to die in event of an error. If the airboss ever runs another show, it's because the pilots trust him, and believe he'll keep them safe.

    There are people on this board who have crashed planes and are still flying... It all depends on the how and the why it happened and I don't want to experience a world where a single mistake done without malice is enough to hang anyone, even if it was a bad mistake.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
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  9. Tools

    Tools Cleared for Takeoff

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    1. The CAF has an effective safety culture
    2. The CAF has an effective training program
    3. The air show was effectively planned
    4. The Air Boss was qualified, and provided adequate leadership
    5. The briefing was thorough and effective
    6. Participants executed the plan

    Not all of these things can be true. One of these things not true is an accident. Likely several of them are not true. Mishaps are a CHAIN of events.

    I don’t think this is controversial. So WHY were several of these things allowed to not be true? Complacency comes to mind… How attentive were major players in that brief? Look hard in the background and see if you can find them.

    Of course nothing went wrong on Friday, so the brief was effective?
     
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  10. jbDC9

    jbDC9 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There was no flying on Friday as the weather was crap.
     
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  11. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This is where I got the paying passenger thing from, I went back, and listened again, he talks about paying passengers flying in the B-17 at the show, then without a breath goes into having 5 people on the B-17. Honestly, after relistening, I don't know if he meant paying passengers on this fateful flight or not. Personally I'm ok with paying passengers going up in these airplanes on scenic flights. During performances, no, but I believe you guys over Gryder.

    Gryder fare paying passengers..png
     
  12. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Like and subscribe to you??? lol, I would probably do that. I was subscribed to Gryder when he first started videos about the AQP, or ACP, or whatever the f it is, which I thought was a good idea. Then he started with the Schtick, which does nothing for me, so I unsubscribed. He pops up occasionally and sometimes I click. Oh well. Internet.
     
  13. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Wikipedia says that the P-39 was operated by the US in the ETO... The Tuskegee Airmen flew them for a short time in North Africa, in fact. Sounds like the US never operated P-39s out of England, just in North Africa and Italy.

    "Flew them over Nazi Germany" would be a stretch, but the author could have conflated his father's P-39 activities in the Med with later missions in other aircraft.

    A non-airplane-nut probably wouldn't know the difference between a P-39 and a P-63; just of like an average person might confuse an RV-6A for a Grumman TR-2.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  14. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Yes, they give paying passengers rides at the airshows, but not during the performance. It's probably one of the best ways to raise money to keep these planes flying and it's amazing to see someone get their first warbird ride.

    The Collings Foundation crashed their B-17 while giving passenger rides. 7 people were killed, 6 seriously injured and people predicted the end of rides by paying passengers. The Collings Foundation was known to cut corners on safety for years. The FAA revoked their ability to carry passengers. "Investigators found substantial shortcomings in the foundation's safety practices: key personnel were ignorant of the organization's maintenance program and "basic information concerning operations." The left magneto for the No. 4 engine had been "jury rigged" with safety wire and was inoperative, while the right magneto produced a weak or no spark in four of the nine cylinders it was supposed to fire. All spark plugs on both the No. 3 and No. 4 engines had been gapped improperly. They needed cleaning, and evidence of detonation was found. The inspection of engine No. 3 also revealed problems with the cylinders."
     
  15. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    I think DG chose to play a bit fast and loose with what he knew and how he said that. There were some revenue flights, but they weren't flying formation, they weren't flying in front of the crowd. That said, it's not a secret that there was a Stearman in the vicinity of the accident as can be easily seen on the ADS-B stuff, and in some pictures, that I believe that was a PAX flight, definitely wasn't part of the fighters and bombers and was still rolling on the runway when the accident occurred - see my post in this thread... https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/community/threads/b17-crash-at-dallas.140574/page-6#post-3333413

    I mean, sure, but lets be real about human factors and these points, but you seem to be applying a standard of perfection that seems a bit unobtainable, to me.

    1. All safety culture is compromise. Pure safety is you don't fly, or get out of bed, but not getting out of bed is not an effective strategy and bears its own risks.
    2. Training is never perfect. Why? Because the perfect program could get a new student / participant, who has communication reception deficiencies, and that takes time to discover. The best any instructor do is communicate, assess the effectiveness of that communication, and have standards to assess failure.
    3. It could have been 100% effectively planned, for instance, and someone could have come bumbling into the airspace from the outside, or one or more parties got distracted, or any number of factors can affect a plan.
    4. There's a pretty small group of Air Boss folks. Its easy to criticize from our perspective, but he had the pilot's trust at least up until the accident.
    5. Basically the same as point 3.
    6. Here's the most likely breakdown.

    I'm most certainly NOT advocating that all of the above shouldn't be reviewed, but short of ending flying, there will always be weak links in the best of systems... mostly between individual pairs of ears.
    So, this, in bold, is where it gets into speculation. It's entirely possible that it was one single bad decision combined with an inability to recognize it as such in enough time to correct.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
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  16. skyking3286

    skyking3286 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The discussion is missing the real issue in the preflight briefing by the AirBoss, if it's true about what was said on the briefing recording. No vertical separation planned. No flight path briefing should be done without ground references. And IF there was a radio command to shift the formation during the flight, then that was improper given the proximity between the bomber pattern and the fighter pattern and the timing of the pass and the turn. That is where the discussion here needs to focus. A pre-show brief should include the local landmarks, safety lines, centerpoints, etc. etc. as well as emergency procedures and knock if off procedures in the box. One can never have too much information at a pre-airshow brief. So the video points out it can be the lack of pre-show planning or a simple mistake in the air and lack of situational awareness recovering from an overshoot of the turn. It's going to be interesting how the NTSB decides to land on the issues. At any rate, the resulting court actions by surviving family and others will probably end the show before the FAA does.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
  17. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    Where did you get any of this?
     
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  18. RyanShort1

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    If ANY of that was missing, then y'all need to be knocking the doors down on the FAA...
     
  19. skyking3286

    skyking3286 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just commenting on the video that was produced and thread drift. I walk away with it's either in the organization of display or in the hands of P63/B17. The reported/planned barbell flight pattern and the assigned altitudes just look off to me. Way too much happening when a simple oval would work. That would be an AirBoss issue in how the display was planned. I think complacency issue could very well be lurking too. I'm sure the NTSB will be sharpening pencils. The local FSDO is probably having a few closed door meetings too. Let's see what develops.
     
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  20. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    “The video”? There are probably 50 of ‘em, some made by people with worse credentials than my cat. Which video?
     
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  21. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Not trying to start or continue an argument. I only know what I can read about the KingCobra. In the article linked below, the paragraph just below the P63F picture indicates that none were flown by Americans in combat:

    https://wwiiafterwwii.wordpress.com/2016/11/24/p-63-kingcobra-post-wwii-service/
     
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  22. Ed Haywood

    Ed Haywood Pattern Altitude

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    It's 24.
     
  23. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    All I'm saying is that the guy may not have been lying. If he honestly doesn't know the difference between an Airacobra and a Kingcobra, it's an easy mistake to make. P-39 did operate in the AAF in the ETO, the P-63 did not.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  24. David Loftus

    David Loftus Filing Flight Plan

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    Best preliminary analysis
     
  25. jallen0

    jallen0 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This analysis was very well stated.
     
  26. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Except that some of us who were there, have explicitly contradicted things he said in this thread. :rolleyes: He just made too many presumptions.
     
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  27. Piperonca

    Piperonca Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Gryder or McSpadden, or both?
     
  28. Dave Theisen

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    Such as?
     
  29. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    I'm about to step in a plane for a day and a half. I don't really feel I have the time or desire to go make a point by point rebuttal of things that have already been said.
    McSpadden, but I also left my thoughts in the comments on Gryder's latest.
     
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  30. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I wasn’t trying to be a jerk, but that seemed like the best video on the subject I’ve seen.
     
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  31. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm a commercial pilot and I have no idea either. Gryder implies that one must be an airline pilot to be a good air boss, which simply isn't true. That'd be like saying you need to be an airline pilot to be a good air traffic controller. They're entirely different skill sets, with a small amount of knowledge that happens to be shared between them.

    There isn't anybody who wouldn't agree with that. Might as well say the sky is blue.

    There weren't any paying passengers. Gryder just doesn't even understand that a B-17 required more than two pilots. It's one of many things he gets wrong.

    He implied that there were paying passengers on the accident flight because there were more than two people aboard. You need more than two people to fly a B-17. Like they said after the accident, normal crew on them is 4-5, there were 5 *crew* aboard.
     
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  32. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    Well, just because McSpadden speaks with (almost insufferably rehearsed) decorum and Gryder doesn't, does not sway me to consider McSpadden's conjectures inherently more credible. What I know is that one of these boobtoob heroes alleges to have listened to the briefing, and asserts there was a principal outright absence of element deconfliction plan in the brief. Maybe I missed it, but I don't think McSpadden said he had been privy to the briefing audio. Which makes his long-winded rabbit hole about multiple/dissimilar track-lines/showlines potato, immaterial chaff.

    Is Gryder mistaken in his hearing of the brief? Is he outright lying about the contents of the brief? Cool, let's hash that out. But to stipulate he's lying because he's a clown? Nope, that's a "hard pass for me dawg".

    I don't want to drift away from the question of that briefing. Line item which I find much more compelling to the fallout of this accident than the regurgitation of basic rejoin academics I got from tHuNderbIrD oNe. :rolleyes:
     
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  33. RyanShort1

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    Not to mention I don't think there was any intent to "rejoin" or whatever. It was two separate formations that were merged by a miniscule, but monumental deadly error. Keep in mind, I doubt DG has privy to ALL of the briefing. It is true that there are often side briefings, such as the L's and O's side briefing I was part of at Wings Over Houston. It's very plausible that the main briefing, say for the Blue Angels - they're not going to talk through their whole show in front of everyone, it'll be more like, you'll be starting at X time, clouds are adequate so you'll be doing your high show... we didn't hear the nitty gritty at all. I lean towards this being a spur of the moment mistake, that was accepted by both flight leads but in particular of the fighter flight - because they assumed that there was adequate separation to accomplish what they were being asked to do. Lack of pushback from pilots in a briefing COULD be a culture problem, or it could be that they were all comfortable with what was said, because it seemed safe based on their prior experience.

    There are a bunch of variables in this accident that all went perfectly wrong. If the fighters had maintained echelon right instead of transitioning to trail, this wouldn't have happened. If they'd maintained altitude, been 3 seconds ahead, bombers had been 3 seconds slower, etc... it would have only taken a tiny variable to keep this from going wrong, but my takeaway is that the margins need to be a LOT bigger when bringing separate formations onto the same show line so that it doesn't become a matter of seconds. I'd imagine Craig, being a professional, would be the first to take responsibility for not seeing Texas Raiders, but he shouldn't have been in a position as #3 in the fighter flight where collision avoidance was necessary.

    Also, to Dan's point about the Air Boss not being qualified - I think he's off on that. Those pilots wouldn't have accepted his being a "boss" with authority to say when they take off, when to make turns, what altitudes, etc... if there wasn't a level of trust in his orchestration ability. Complacency, or getting lax with separation standards, or whatever happened is not a function of inexperience, or lack of qualification, but experience and asking for too much, because you think you can. You can't have it both ways. I'd argue the same is probably true for the FAA. This air boss has always done OK, so we don't need to look at this in closer detail. Accidents happen to people of all levels of experience and checks and balances are good for government, and they are good for us as pilots, too.

    For all the "culture" accusations, I think this is going to come down to a bad mistake by some good folks, compounded by a complacency because it had worked pretty well for a long time. If anything, the way I see it, the bad weather the day before, small crowd, low aircraft turnout, all might have contributed to unspoken pressure to bring the fighters down lower for a longer string of aircraft and better views for the crowd, which took out the safety margin of the altitude separation. The air boss, at the end of the day, was trying to put on a good SHOW for the audience, and that's the ultimate pressure, especially when all you are doing is relatively boring flybys.

    There's a significant irony in that I know, from hearing various conversations at Redbird, that CAF HQ had tried so hard over the previous years to make this a safe show, by not having jet teams, hardly any acro - just the biplane single ship act and the P-51C acro, which is relatively tame and would have been next after this set, and had mainly just the racetrack or dogbone flybys in a serious attempt to keep the show safe.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2022
  34. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Wouldn’t be the first time he’s done that. He’s not as bad about that as Air Wagner used to be, be he does have a record of it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
  35. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    He’s doing that with almost all of his newer videos. It’s a tactic to get people to watch right away and avoid videos being taken down. He made an announcement about that a while back.
     
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  36. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    Saves embarrassment when the findings of legitimate investigations come out and prove him wrong.
     
  37. midwestpa24

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    Just saw this posted on FB

    - NTSB issues into the November 12, 2022, collision between a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress (N7227C) and a Bell P-63F Kingcobra (N6763), that occurred during a fly-by at the Wings Over Dallas Airshow at the Dallas Executive Airport (RBD/KRBD), Dallas, Texas:
    On November 12, 2022, about 1322 central standard time, a Boeing B-17G airplane, N7227C and a Bell P-63F airplane, N6763, collided in midair at the Dallas Executive Airport (RBD), Dallas, Texas. A post impact fire ensued. The pilot, co-pilot, and three crewmembers onboard the B-17G and the pilot of the P-63F were all fatally injured. There were no ground injuries reported. Both airplanes were operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 in the Wings Over Dallas Airshow.
    The P-63F was number 3 of a three-ship formation of historic fighter airplanes and the B-17G was lead of a five-ship formation of historic bomber airplanes.
    According to the recorded audio for the airshow radio transmissions and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data, the air boss directed both formations to maneuver southwest of the runway before returning to the flying display area, which was the designated performance area. He directed the fighter formation to transition to a trail formation, fly in front of the bomber formation, and proceed near the 500 ft show line. The bombers were directed to fly down the 1,000 ft show line. The 500 ft show line and 1,000 ft show line were 500 ft and 1,000 ft respectively from the airshow viewing line behind which the audience viewed the airshow.
    There were no altitude deconflictions briefed before the flight or while the airplanes were in the air. When the fighter formation approached the flying display area, the P-63F was in a left bank and it collided with the left side of the B-17G, just aft of the wing section.
    Both airplanes broke up in flight and impacted terrain in a grassy area on airport property south of the approach end of runway 31. A fire ignited in the wing center section of the B-17G as it descended to the ground. The B-17G exploded upon ground impact
    The debris field was generally aligned on a magnetic heading of 320°. Documentation of the accident site found all major flight control components for both airplanes located in the debris field.
    Both airplanes were equipped with ADS-B. An Avidyne IFD540 unit from the B-17G and a Garmin GPSMAP 496 unit from the P-63F were recovered and submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board Vehicle Recorders Laboratory. The IFD-540 contained position information relevant to the accident; however, the GPSMAP 496 did not record any information for the accident flight.
    The wreckage of both airplanes was retained for further examination.

    I would say based on this, the airboss directed the fighters to fly in front of the bombers. Either the fighter was late, or the bomber was early, and the airboss didn't see the conflict. The P-63, padlocked on and trying to trail his leader, may have never expected nor saw the bomber in time.

    Link to preliminary:

    https://data.ntsb.gov/carol-repgen/api/Aviation/ReportMain/GenerateNewestReport/106276/pdf
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
  38. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Well, that pretty much tracks, except assigning “late” or “early” may or may not have also been based on timing calls. Personally, from where we were watching, it looked like a fairly reasonable spacing maneuver by the fighters. Any earlier and they would have had to bank even tighter, and hearing now that the fighters were cleared to the 500’ line and the bombers to the 1000’ line that makes even more sense that the P-63 was still in a banked turn for another 500’ and the B-17 was also in a shallow bank probably making the last alignment with the 1000’ line. Craig was probably going to roll out right on that 500’ line behind the P-51C. If I recall correctly, spacing into trail from echelon isn’t an exact science, and there was probably a bit of elasticity needed as #3 would be looking to see what kind of gap was needed to match #1 and #2 and I suspect that the P-63’s performance might be just a tad different than the P-51s, so a slight lag followed by an adjustment isn’t hard to imagine.

    If it was just a timing misjudgment, I can’t imagine how frustrating and horrific that would be to deal with, because I am confident all of those pilots and the airboss were at least shallow level friends, if not outright family.
     
  39. Flying Keys

    Flying Keys Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It is a horrible outcome for all, but, respectfully, it cannot be “just a timing misjudgment,” as the prelim points to several layers of deconfliction that were not present. Had they been, it would have prevented simple timing misjudgments into becoming the loss of six lives and two vintage aircraft.
     
    Spring Ford likes this.
  40. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    I agree with you mostly. There should have been multiple layers of deconfliction. However the final straw was what appears to be a dependence on spacing by timing (or laterally) that was expected, but did not happen. The air boss ordered the fighters to cross in front of the bombers. The only separation at that point is time. What surprises me, and maybe I'm reading something into this that isn't there, is that this act isn't choregraphed in advance, versus the airboss ordering individual elements around at will.