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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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April 2017:

  • 1 April: Several tenants at the Chino, California airport, including the Yanks Air Museum and Flying Tigers Aviation, have sued the Planes of Fame Air Museum in an effort to stop their annual airshow. Among other things, the plaintiffs allege that the airshow is unfair competition, is a nuisance, and causes a loss of business and trespassing. [More information>>]  [Sign the petition to stop the lawsuit>>]

  • 1 April: A 1944 North American SNJ-5 Texan, N29965 (c/n 90634), made a forced landing in a field near Punta Gorda, Florida, USA after an engine malfunction. The pilot was not injured, and the passenger suffered only a minor scratch on his arm. Damage to the aircraft is unknown. [Local news report>>]

  • 8 April: A 1949 North American T-6G Texan, N3167G (s/n 49-3272), ended up on its back after landing in Culpeper, Virginia, USA. Law enforcement officials said the aircraft ran off the side of the runway and overturned. Both the pilot and passenger were taken to local hospitals with undetermined injuries. The aircraft was substantially damaged. [News report>>]

  • 18 April: The National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, USA celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo. Retired LtCol. Dick Cole, the last surviving Raider, was in attendance. In addition to flyovers from two modern B-1 Lancer bombers, 11 vintage B-25 Mitchell bombers performed a formation flyover during the ceremony. [News report and videos>>]

  • 19 April: A North American SNJ-5 Texan, N7969C (s/n 42-84535), suffered a loss of directional control on landing in Van Nuys, California, USA. The aircraft ground-looped and ended up in the grass next to the runway. Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured. Damage to the airplane is unknown.

  • 23 April: Javier Arango, a noted collector, restorer, and pilot of vintage WWI aircraft, was killed in the crash of a replica Nieuport 28 fighter, N6190, near Paso Robles, California, USA. [Local news>>]  [2012 Air & Space magazine article: "Mr. Arango's Aeroplanes">>]

  • 23 April: A 1956 deHavilland DH-115/T.55 Vampire, N115DH (c/n 866), left the runway surface during a landing in Pontiac, Michigan, USA. Neither occupant was injured. Damage to the aircraft was reported as minor.

  • 25 April: Plaintiffs in a lawsuit to stop the annual Planes of Fame Airshow in Chino, California have dropped their suit, allowing the airshow to be held in May. However, they have indicated that they will continue to pursue their legal action against future airshows. [More details>>]

  • 27 April: A 1975 Nanchang CJ-6A, N192NG (c/n 3051217), crashed in remote, rugged terrain near Keene, California, USA, under unknown circumstances. The pilot was killed in the accident. [Local news report>>]

  • 29 April: A 1983 Yakovlev Yak-52, N132MD (c/n 833802), made a forced landing in a vineyard near Porterville, California, USA, after losing engine power. The pilot and passenger received relatively minor injuries, and the aircraft was substantially damaged. The aircraft was taking part in a formation training event at the time of the accident. [News report>>]

  • 30 April: A 1952 deHavilland Vampire T.11, G-VTII (WX507), while departing an airport near Wolverhampton, South Staffordshire, UK, caused extensive damage to the facility as its jet blast tore up large chunks of asphalt from the runway during its takeoff roll. The airport has announced that the runway will be closed for at least a month while repairs are made. Onlookers captured the event on video. [YouTube video>>]

May 2017:

  • 14 May: A deHavilland DH.82A Tiger Moth, ZS-BGL (c/n 84221), lost power and crashed after takeoff at Germiston, South Africa. Neither the pilot nor passenger were injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 21 May: A Yakovlev Yak-52, ZU-ULU (c/n 855813) crashed in open land near Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa. The aircraft was destroyed and the pilot was killed. [Local news>>]

  • 21 May: A 1958 Beechcraft T-34A Mentor, N55GF (s/n 58-11088), suffered the collapse of its nosegear during landing in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA. The pilot was not injured, and the aircraft sustained only minor damage. [News report>>]

  • 25 May: A Bell AH-1F Cobra helicopter, N11FX, struck a building with its rotor blades during a landing in Tyrolia, Austria. The pilot was not injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged. [News story>>] [Red Bulls AH-1 page>>]

  • 27 May: A 1963 deHavilland DH.110 Sea Vixen D.3, G-CVIX ("Foxy Lady" / XP924) made an emergency landing with its landing gear retracted at Yeovilton, Somerset, UK. The pilot jettisoned the canopy upon touchdown. He was uninjured in the incident. Damage to the aircraft appears to be minor. G-CVIX is the last airworthy Sea Vixen in the world. [Photos of the incident>>]

  • 30 May: A 1941 Boeing A75N1 Stearman, CF-VOB, crashed in mountainous terrain near Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada. The pilot was slightly injured, but managed to walk from the crash site to a nearby highway. The condition of the airplane is unknown. [News report>>]

June 2017:

  • 3 June: A 1943 Boeing B75N1 Stearman, N218DL (s/n 75-7389), flipped over during a landing in Williamson, Georgia, USA. The pilot was not injured. [News report>>]

  • 4 June: Chuck Lyford, one of the early participants in the National Air Races at Reno, Nevada in his P-51 Mustang called the "Bardahl Special," died in the crash of a vintage race car in Spokane, Washington, USA. Lyford was also a well-known adventurer, hydroplane racer, and storyteller. [News report>>]

  • 11 June: A 1944 Supermarine Spitfire PR.XIX, F-AJZS (PS890), flipped over during a takeoff attempt in Villette, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France. The pilot was extracted from the inverted aircraft with slight injuries. Two bystanders were reported to be injured by pieces of the propeller that were flung toward the crowd during the accident. The aircraft suffered substantial damage. [Local news and video of the incident>>]

  • 11 June: A 1953 Lockheed P2V-5F Neptune airtanker, N9855F (c/n 131445), had a failure of its right engine during a firefighting mission. The crew of three successfully recovered the aircraft to the aircraft's base in Prescott, Arizona, USA. [Local news>>]

  • 15 June: A 1974 Bell 47G2 helicopter, N90529, crashed in a field near Hastings, Minnesota, USA, while spraying insecticide. The pilot was slightly injured, and the aircraft was destroyed. [News report>>]

  • 17 June: A 1944 Supermarine LF-IXe Spitfire, G-CICK (NH314) ("Elizabeth"), suffered the collapse of its landing gear during a landing on a grass runway in Sywell, Northamptonshire, UK. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Damage to the aircraft appeared to be limited to the belly, propeller and engine. [News report and photos>>]

  • 19 June: A North American NA-68/P-64 replica (built from a T-6G Texan), F-AZHD, lost engine power and made an emergency landing in a field near Mont-près-Chambord, France. The pilot suffered only minor injuries. The aircraft was moderately damaged. [News report>>]

  • 28 June: "Belin Express," a rare P-51B Mustang, has departed Texas on a long journey to Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire, UK to participate in several flying events commemorating WWII. The aircraft is particularly known for an incident in 1944 when pilot Bill Overstreet flew it under the Eiffel Tower while chasing a German Bf-109. [Track the flight on GPS>>]

July 2017:

  • 1 July: A 1968 Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin, N12DN, landed with its landing gear retracted in Plainview, Texas, USA. The pilot was not injured. Damage to the aircraft appeared to be limited to a scraped belly. [News report>>]

  • 2 July: A 1951 North American T-28A Trojan, N9103F (s/n 51-7606) crashed in a cornfield near Moorhead, Minnesota, USA, under unknown circumstances. The pilot, noted warbird owner Mark Yaggie, was killed. The aircraft was mostly destroyed. [News report>>]

  • 4 July: A 1943 Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire VC, N5TF (s/n JG891), departed the paved runway during a landing in Marana, Arizona, USA. The pilot was not injured. Damage to the aircraft is unknown.

  • 8 July: A 1943 North American P-51B Mustang, N515ZB (s/n 43-24837) ("Miss Berlin"), had its canopy shatter and depart the airplane during a flying display at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, UK. The pilot safely landed the aircraft.

  • 9 July: A 1952 North American Harvard Mk. IV, C-FWLH (s/n CCF4-227), lost directional control and went off the side of the runway during a landing in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada, coming to rest inverted. The pilot and passenger suffered only minor injuries.  [News link>>]

  • 9 July: A 1944 North American P-51D Mustang, G-TFSI, (s/n 44-84847) ("Miss Velma"), made a forced landing in a field near Duxford, Cambridgeshire, UK, after losing engine power. The pilot was not injured, but the airplane sustained substantial damage. [BBC News report>>]

  • 16 July: A 1944 North American P-51D Mustang, N251PW, (s/n 44-72086, "Baby Duck"), crashed near Cummings, Kansas, USA, under unknown circumstances. The pilot and passenger were killed, and the aircraft was destroyed. [News link>>]  [Editor's note: It's tough to report on accidents, but it's especially hard when the pilot is a close friend and mentor. Vlado Lenoch was a hugely-influential warbird airshow performer, airshow competency examiner, Heritage Flight pilot, and a true gentleman. He was one of the kindest and most generous folks in the US warbird community. His loss leaves an enormous hole in the warbird community. His passenger, Bethany Root, was the manager of the airport where he flew an airshow the day before, and by all accounts she was an up-and-coming star herself. Our condolences to the families and friends of both of them. They will be greatly missed.]

The always-smiling Vlado Lenoch, after an airshow in the Mustang
he formerly owned, N2151D, "Moonbeam McSwine."
(Photo credit unknown.)

  • 24 July: A 1972 BAC 167 Strikemaster Mk. 80, N605GV, crashed shortly after takeoff in Henderson, Nevada, USA. The aircraft was mostly destroyed by fire after coming to rest in an open desert area, but the pilot managed to escape injury. [News report>>]

  • 25 July: A 1956 Hawker FB.60 Sea Fury, N254SF, lost engine power and the pilot made an emergency landing in a field near Breckenridge, Texas, USA. The pilot, noted warbird restorer Nelson Ezell, was critically injured. His passenger escaped the crash largely unhurt. The aircraft broke in half and was substantially damaged. [Local news report>>] [Editor's Note: Our best wishes to Nelson for a quick recovery!]

August 2017:

  • 12 August: A 1943 North American SNJ-4/Texan, N243CC, suffered a loss of directional control and came to rest inverted during a landing in Ashland, Ohio, USA. The pilot and passenger were reported to have suffered only minor injuries. [News report>>]

  • 15 August: A 1941 Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina, PH-PBY ("Karel Doorman") was forced to make an emergency landing with its nose landing gear retracted in Leylstad, Netherlands. The crew was unable to extend the nose gear by either normal or emergency means, and made a textbook mains-only landing. The crew of 3 and 15 passengers onboard all escaped injury. PH-PBY is the world's oldest flying Catalina. [Local news report>>]  [Video of the incident>>]

  • 18 August: A 1944 Boeing E75 Stearman, N4859N, ground-looped on landing in Centerville, Tennessee, USA. The aircraft was substantially damaged, but neither the pilot nor passenger were injured. [News report>>]

  • 22 August: The pilot of a Hawker Hunter jet, operated by a civilian defense contractor, ejected from the aircraft approximately 100 miles off the coast of San Diego, California, USA, while participating in a Navy training exercise. Coast Guard and Navy assets assisted in the rescue of the pilot. His condition is unknown at this time. [Local news report>>]

  • 23 August: The Royal Air Force has temporarily grounded several of its historic display aircraft as a precautionary measure, after concerns about their Merlin engines. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's four Spitfires, two Hurricanes, and a Lancaster bomber were grounded because of a technical fault found in one of the Hurricanes. Other non-Merlin powered BBMF aircraft will continue to fly. [More information and news>>]

  • 26 August: A deHavilland DH.82a Tiger Moth (registration unknown) crashed at an airfield near Shaftesbury, Dorset, UK, killing both the pilot and passenger. [Local news>>]

September 2017:

  • 1 September: A 1969 Antonov An-2T "Colt" biplane, RA-35171 (c/n 1G113-10), crashed while maneuvering at an airshow at Chornoye Airport, Moscow Oblast, Russia. The aircraft performed a barrel roll, then appeared to attempt a steeply-banked repositioning turn at low altitude, whereupon the aircraft's left wing struck the ground. Both occupants were killed, and the aircraft was destroyed by the impact and a post-crash fire. [Video of the accident>> Warning: May be upsetting to some people.]

  • 3 September: A Boeing A75N1 Stearman, N52813 (s/n 75-394), came to rest inverted after landing on a grass airfield in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. One of the two occupants was treated for minor injuries. [News report>>]

  • 4 September: A Boeing PT-17 Stearman, N75753 (s/n 75-3521), suffered a loss of engine power shortly after takeoff and made a forced landing in a dry river bed in Santa Paula, California, USA. Neither of the occupants was injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged. [Local news>>]

  • 23 September: Two North American P-51D Mustangs, G-BIXL ("Miss Helen") and G-SHWN ("The Shark"), made emergency landings at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, UK, after a mid-collision during a Battle of Britain display. The two fighters were performing a rejoin maneuver on a B-17 Flying Fortress, "Memphis Belle," when they made contact. Damage to the horizontal stabilizer of one aircraft and the propeller of the other was noted. [Video of the incident>>]

  • 24 September: A 1980 Scottish Aviation Bulldog, G-BXHB (c/n BH120/408), made an emergency landing in a field near Embleton, Northumberland, UK, for unknown reasons. The pilot was not injured. [Local news report>>]

October 2017:

  • 6 October: A 1946 Bell P-63F Kingcobra, N6763 (c/n 296-E1-1R), made an emergency landing at a small airport in Midland, Texas, USA, after suffering the failure of a fuel selector valve. The aircraft was damaged, but the pilot was not injured. [News report>>]

  • 8 October: A 1984 Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros, N580LL, crashed in a field near Vernon, Texas, USA, killing the pilot. Witnesses reported that the aircraft had made a low pass and a climb before striking the ground. [News report>>]

  • 8 October: A Yakovlev Yak-52, RA-1765G, crashed under unknown circumstances near Pyatigorskiy, Stavropol Territory, Russia. Both occupants were killed. [Local report>>]

  • 9 October: A Nanchang CJ-6, N8NW, made a forced landing in desert terrain near a construction zone in Buckeye, Arizona, USA for undetermined reasons. Both occupants were taken to a local hospital with non life-threatening injuries. [Local news report>>]

  • 12 October: A 1951 deHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10, N323WG (c/n C1-0395), ground-looped and left the runway surface upon landing in Cedartown, Georgia, USA. Neither occupant was injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged by fire.



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