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Warbird Alley's Warbird News page

Warbird Alley's
Warbird News

Here's the latest news from the warbird aircraft community.

We update this page regularly. Items are moved to the
News Archive after approximately six months.

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September 2016:

  • 5 September: A 1943 Boeing A75N1 (PT-17) Stearman, N52236 (s/n 75-4841) was seriously damaged in Atlanta, Texas, USA after it made a rough landing, bounced into the air, and returned for a second landing -- whereupon it struck a tree, then the roof of a small shed, and finally came to rest on a golf course. The pilot and passenger received minor injuries.

  • 15 September: A 1944 Supermarine Spitfire TR Mk IXc, G-LFIX (ML407) (The Grace Spitfire), suffered a landing accident at Sywell, Northamptonshire, UK. The pilot was not injured. Reports indicate that the aircraft tipped onto its nose during rollout, causing damage to the engine and propeller. [Local news>>]

  • 16 September: A 1956 deHavilland DH-115 Vampire T.55, N4861K (WD186) (Race #24) was seriously damaged after an off-airport forced landing in Reno, Nevada, USA, while participating in the National Championship Air Races. The pilot was not injured. Witnesses reported that part of the aircraft's Perspex canopy separated from the frame, followed by an engine failure. The pilot attempted several engine restarts, but was unable to restore power, and made a belly landing in rough scrub-land near the airport.

  • 23 September: A 1974 Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, N139AJ (c/n 330214) ("Race 8") ran off the end of of the runway during a landing in Hampton Roads, Virginia, USA, coming to rest in a swampy, wooded area. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft was severely damaged. [Local news story, with video>>]

  • 26 September: Great news for "Mossie" fans, as another deHavilland DH.98 Mosquito T Mk.III (ZK-FHC / TV959) made its first post restoration flight in Auckland, New Zealand. The restoration was carried out by AvSpecs, and the aircraft is expected to be eventually be delivered to its new owner, Paul Allen's Flying Heritage Collection in the USA. [Video>>]

  • 28 September: A 1954 North American T-28B Trojan, ZK-TGN (c/n 200-289), made a successful belly landing in Auckland, New Zealand, after the pilot reported that he could not extend the landing gear. The plane appeared to suffer minimal damage, and the pilot was not injured. [Video of the landing>>]

  • 28 September: "Friends of the Starfighter," a Norwegian preservation group, is pleased to announce the successful first post-restoration flight of their Canadair CF-104D Starfighter, "#637." The flight took place at Bodø, Norway. [Starfighter.no website>>]

  • 29 September: At least four warbirds, including two L-29 Delfins and two Yak-52s, were destroyed in a hangar fire in Geiteryggen, Norway. The collection belonged to the Russian Warbirds of Norway group. [Photos>>]

October 2016:

  • 1 October: A 1944 Culver PQ-14A Cadet, N4648, crashed into a bank building in Hickory, North Carolina, USA. The pilot was killed and the aircraft was destroyed. [Local news>>]

  • 2 October: A 1945 North American P-51D Mustang, G-MSTG (s/n 45-11518) ("Janie") crashed near Bungay, Norfolk, UK, at Hardwick Airfield, formerly RAF Hardwick. The aircraft's passenger was killed and the pilot is in critical condition. The aircraft was destroyed. [Local news>>]

  • 21 October: A Nanchang CJ-6A, N10EB (c/n 1532010), collided with another CJ-6 (registration unknown) and crashed during a formation flight near Waycross, Georgia. The pilot was killed. The other aircraft was damaged, but the pilot returned and landed safely. [Initial news report>>]

  • 25 October: Legendary fighter pilot, test pilot, airshow performer, and inspiration Robert A. "Bob" Hoover passed away at the age of 94. Bob was considered by many pilots to be the greatest pilot who ever lived. His exploits in the Army Air Corps and the US Air Force were worthy of the many books and movies that featured his life story. He will be sorely missed. [AOPA's tribute article>>]  [Information about the Celebration of Life Service on 18 November 2016>>]

  • 29 October: A landing gear door from a North American TB-215N Mitchell bomber, N25YR ("Yellow Rose"), fell off the aircraft and came to rest in the back yard of a house in Dallas, Texas, USA during the "Wings Over Dallas" airshow. The aircraft landed safely, and no one on the ground was injured. [Local news>>]

November 2016:

  • 15 November: A Ryan STA Special, VH-SQD (c/n 193), made an emergency landing alongside a freeway in Frankston, Victoria, Australia. The aircraft was heavily damaged, but the pilot escaped with only minor injuries. [News report>>]

  • 26 November: A 1942 Boeing PT-17 Stearman, N999WY (c/n 75-4623), suffered an engine failure and made a forced landing near Molo, Nakaru, Kenya. The aircraft came to rest inverted and was substantially damaged, but neither the pilot nor his passenger were injured. The father/daughter crew was participating in the "Crete to Cape" vintage air rally. [News link>>]

December 2016:

  • 10 December: A 1943 Hiller OH-23B Raven helicopter, N5776 (c/n 534), impacted the ground near Tynan, Texas, USA. The pilot was seriously injured, and the aircraft was heavily damaged. [Local news coverage>>]

  • 21 December: The long, glorious US military career of the McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom came to an end today at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, USA, as a flight of at least four QF-4s flew a ceremonial final flight. First flown 58 years ago, the F-4 successfully served in multiple roles and was generally beloved by its pilots, maintenance crews, and fans. In recent years, the only military operator in the US was the Air Force's 82nd Aerial Target Squadron, which operated them as manned and unmanned target drones. Only a single F-4 is owned and flown by a civilian organization, but a second one is under restoration to flying condition in California. [Link: "The Final Mission: The USAF's QF-4 Target Drones>>]

  • 30 December: A 1956 Hawker FB.10 Sea Fury, N254SF ("Sea Hawk"), suffered the collapse of its landing gear upon landing in Denver, Colorado, USA. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft's landing gear, left wingtip and propeller were damaged. This same aircraft was damaged in a similar accident in May of 2015. [Local news report>>]

January 2017:

  • 27 January: A 1947 Chance-Vought F4U-5N Corsair, VH-III (Bu.No. 124493), landed with its landing gear retracted at Maitland Aerodrome, Rutherford, NSW, Australia. Video footage shows the aircraft stopping quickly on the grass runway. The pilot was not injured, and damage to the aircraft appears to be minimal. Discussions about the cause of the incident center around a possible loss of hydraulic pressure. [Video of the incident>>]

  • 29 January: A UTVA 66, YU-DLL (c/n51102), made a forced landing in a field near Eschbronn-Mariazell, Germany after apparently running out of fuel, and was substantially damaged in the hard landing. The pilot suffered head and neck injuries. [News report>>]

February 2017:

  • 4 February: A 1942 deHavilland DH.82A Tiger Moth, G-ANSM (c/n 82909) made a forced landing in a field near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK. Damage to the airplane appears to be minor. There is conflicting information about injuries to the pilot.

  • 6 February: A modified North American T-6 Texan called a "Super-6," N426KS, crashed near Morganton, North Carolina, USA, after suffering engine problems. The owner/pilot was allegedly rescued from the fiery crash by two local residents. [Local news report>>]

  • 11 February: A Beechcraft T-34B Mentor, N18PS, left the paved surface of the runway while landing in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA. Neither the pilot nor passenger were injured, but the aircraft appears to have sustained damage to at least its landing gear, propeller, and engine. [Local report>>]

  • 14 February: A Yakovlev Yak-52, G-CBSS, made an emergency landing near Couvin, Belgium after an engine problem. The pilot suffered a broken leg, and the airplane was damaged beyond repair.

  • 16 February: A 1957 Beechcraft T-34A Mentor, N3434G, clipped trees and crashed at a private airfield near Vada, Georgia, USA. The owner/pilot was killed and the aircraft was substantially damaged. [Local news report>>]

  • 18 February: The Dixie Wing of the Commemorative Air Force is pleased to announce the first flight of their Bell P-63A Kingcobra in over 40 years, including 16 years of restoration. The aircraft, N191H (s/n 42-68941) was retired as a test aircraft and sold off the military roster in 1946, and is one of only four flyable P-63s in the world. [Dixie Wing P-63 article and photos>>]

  • 23 February: A 1976 Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, VH-KVZ, came to rest in the grass next to the runway with its nose gear and left main landing gear retracted at Bankstown Airport near Sydney, Australia. Reports differ on whether the aircraft was taking off or landing at the time. Neither the pilot nor passenger were injured. The aircraft appears to be mostly undamaged, but fire crews appeared to be cleaning up some spilled fuel from the incident. [Local news report>>]

March 2017:

  • 1 March: A deHavilland DH-82A Tiger Moth, ZK-BRM, struck an obstruction on takeoff near Blenheim, New Zealand, which apparently detached one of the main landing gear wheels. The aircraft then returned for a landing, which resulted in the aircraft coming to rest on its belly in a dry riverbed. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured [News report>>


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