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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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Warbird Digest

April 2021:

  • 3 April: A US Federal judge issued a ruling that supported an FAA cease-and-desist letter involving a company who was providing warbird flight instruction without a required exemption called a Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA). The court's ruling seems to suggest that unrated trainees in a warbird (even if they own the aircraft) are essentially "paying passengers," making the flight instruction a commercial operation that should be operating under Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. This is an extremely troubling ruling, as it could lead to most warbird flight schools being unable to operate. [More information>>

  • 14 April: A 1959 Hawker Hunter Mk.58, N331AX, operated by a defense contractor, departed the runway after landing at Yuma MCAS, Yuma, Arizona, USA. The pilot was not injured, and it is unknown if the aircraft sustained damage.

  • 17 April: The pilot of a a 1945 Grumman TBM-3 Avenger, N108Q (c/n 4093), was forced to ditch the aircraft in the Atlantic Ocean, just offshore from Cocoa Beach, Florida, USA, after an apparent loss of engine power. The aircraft, operated by the Valliant Air Command, was flying in the Cocoa Beach Airshow. The ditching, although perilously close to some swimmers, appeared to be performed perfectly, and the pilot was unhurt.  [Video of the incident>>]

  • 21 April: A 1941 Vultee BT-13A Valiant, N53331 (s/n 41-1381), crashed into an airport hangar during a touch-and-go in Camas, Washington, USA. The instructor pilot in the back seat was killed, and the student pilot in the front was injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged. [News Link>>]

  • 23 April: Infamous former air racing personality Bill Whittington, who raced various warbirds at Reno in the 1970s and 1980s, and also owned/operated numerous vintage aircraft, died in the crash of his Swearingen Merlin IIIB in Arizona, USA. He was 71. He and his brother Don were well-known in both auto racing and air racing circles. Both also participated in drug smuggling schemes that landed them in prison in the 1980s and 2000s. Their Griffon-powered P-51 Mustang Precious Metal once achieved a qualifying speed of 453 MPH, the highest recorded qualifying speed at that time. [Autoweek article>>]

  • 26 April: A 1936 Boeing B75N1 Stearman, N56760 (c/n 36-0018), operated by the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, departed the paved runway and ended up inverted during a landing in Denver, Colorado, USA. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged.

  • 28 April: A Hawker Sea Fury T Mk.20, G-RNHF (VX-281), crashed during an attempted forced landing near RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset, UK. The aircraft was destroyed, and both occupants suffered minor injuries. The aircraft was the same Sea Fury that was damaged in a similar incident in 2014 at RNAS Culdrose, and underwent a 3-1/2 year restoration. [News link>>]

May 2021:

  • 4 May: An Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin, N129MR, made an emergency gear-up landing in Hollister, California, USA, after a landing gear malfunction. The pilot reportedly circled the airport for a while, attempting to lower the gear, before performing a successful belly landing. The plane suffered minor damage, and the pilot was not injured. [News link>>]

  • 25 May: A Dassault Mirage F.1 N567EM, operated by a civilian defense contractor, crashed into a residential neighborhood near Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The pilot had reported a "flap problem." He ejected out of the ejection envelope, and was killed. [Local news>>]

June 2021:

  • 20 June: A 1954 North American T-28B Trojan, OE-ESA, operated by the Flying Bulls, crashed near Jickovice, Czech Republic. One of the two occupants was killed, and the other suffered serious injuries. The aircraft was destroyed. [Local news report>>]

  • 24 June: A 1982 Yakovlev Yak-52, N2208Z, lost engine power and the pilot was forced to ditch the aircraft in the Pacific Ocean near Waianae, Hawaii, USA. The pilot was not injured. [Local news>>]

July 2021:

  • 4 July: A 1960 Focke-Wulf P-149D, N9145 (s/n 167), crashed during an approach to an airport in Killeen, Texas, USA. The pilot was killed and the aircraft was destroyed. [Local news report>>]

  • 4 July: A 1943 Boeing A75N1 Stearman, N429AB, lost engine power and made a forced landing in tall grass near Elbe, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. The aircraft sustained substantial damage, but the two occupants were not injured. [News link>>]

  • 5 July: A 1965 Nanchang CJ-6A, C-GYAC (c/n 1232028), was involved in a fatal incident in Saint-Espirit, Quebec, Canada. During a landing attempt, the aircraft struck a person operating a lawn tractor along the edge of the runway, and the person was killed. The aircraft sustained damage to its right wing, [News link>>]

  • 8 July: The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a new interpretation of guidance regarding training in aircraft licensed in the Experimental, Limited and Primary categories. The interpretation would add extra, onerous steps for anyone who wants to train in a warbird, even if the trainee owns the airplane. The warbird and homebuilt communities claim this radical change will disincentivize safety by causing unneeded bureaucracy and paperwork, and by causing processing delays that will lead to delayed training. [More information>>]

  • 10 July: A 1942 North American NA-81 Harvard II, C-FRWN, experienced a groundloop during landing in Geneseo, New York, USA. The pilot was not injured, and the aircraft suffered only minor damage. [Fan video of the incident>>]

  • 11 July: A 1958 Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star, N94484 (c/n 58-0491), parked at the Chico Air Museum in Chico, California, USA was damaged when a student driver stepped on the accelerator pedal instead of the brake pedal, crashing the car into the aircraft's tail section. The aircraft sustained serious damage. No one was injured in the incident. [News report>>]

  • 15 July: A 1950 deHavilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk, N47YC, was substantially damaged after a forced landing near Lebanon, Tennessee, USA. The pilot suffered minor injuries. [News link>>]

  • 15 July: A Noordyun AT-16ND Harvand II, G-CORS, suffered the collapse of its main landing gear upon landing in Castle Donnington, Derbyshire, UK. Neither occupant was injured. [News link>>]

  • 18 July: A Morane-Saulnier MS-505 Criquet (3/4-scale Storch replica), SP-YRZ (c/n 263), was substantially damaged after an engine failure and forced landing near Bajdy, Podkarpackie, Poland. Neither occupant was injured. [News link>>]

  • 22 July: A 1941 Boeing E75 (PT-13D) Stearman, N51CF (s/n 75-5604), flipped over in a field after striking a fence on approach to the airport in Baraboo, Wisconsin, USA. The aircraft was substantially damaged, but neither occupant was injured. [News link>>]

  • 24 July: Noted warbird pilot Dale "Snort" Snodgrass was killed in the crash of his 1977 SIAI Marchetti SM-1019B, N28U, at Lewiston, Idaho, USA, under unknown circumstances. [Local news>>Ed. Note: Our condolences to Snort's family and friends.

  • 24 July: A Boeing N2S-1 Stearman, N61603, c/n 75-1016, ended up on its nose after landing at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA in strong crosswinds. The pilot was not injured, and the aircraft appeared to have sustained damage to its engine, prop and both wingtips. [Video of the incident>>]

  • 28 July: A 1942 Boeing B75N1 Stearman, N1720B (c/n 75-6017), crashed into trees under unknown circumstances near Lexington, Kentucky, USA. One occupant reported minor injuries in the accident.

August 2021:

  • 4 August: A 1946 North American T-6G Texan, N7197C (s/n 49-2897), crashed in a wooded area near Starkville, Mississippi, USA. The pilot and his grandson were killed. [Local news report>>]

  • 9 August: A 1954 North American T-28B Trojan, F-AYGK (Formerly N281CM), suffered a mechanical malfunction and the pilot was forced to perform a gear-up landing at Haguenau, France. The pilot was not injured. [News link>>

  • 12 August: A 1958 North American T-28B Trojan, N392W, was substantially damaged during a gear-up landing in Puyallup, Washington, USA. The pilot was not injured. [Local news>>]

  • 13 August: A deHavilland DH.82A Tiger Moth, G-AXBW, was being hand-propped when it started and moved forward with only a non-rated passenger on board. The aircraft struck another Tiger Moth, G-AXXV, damaging both. The incident occurred at Bossington Estate, Hamphire, UK.

  • 14 August: A Piper L-4B Grasshopper, believed to be N55926, crashed under unknown circumstances at Saint Pardoux-et-Vielvec, near Belvés, France. The pilot sustained minor injuries, and the plane was substantially damaged.

  • 20 August: A Boeing NSS-4 Stearman, N68427 (s/n 75-5008), collided with, and landed on top of, a Cessna aircraft at an airfield at Honiton, Devon, UK. The pilot of the Stearman suffered non-life threatening injuries. [Local news>>]

  • 20 August: A North American SNJ-2 Texan, N52900, crashed after losing engine power shortly after takeoff in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA. The aircraft was the Number #3 aircraft of the Geico Skytypers team. The pilot was killed, and the plane was destroyed. [News link>>]

September 2021:

  • 4 September: A 1943 Boeing A75N1 Stearman, N707TJ, lost engine power and landed in the sea just offshore from Bournemouth, Dorset, UK, during a two-airplane flying display. Both the pilot and a wingwalker who was aboard were rescued; both sustained minor injuries when the plane flipped on its back as it ditched. The aircraft had not been recovered from the water as of this writing. [News link>>]

  • 14 September: A 1952 Beechcraft 3TM Expeditor (D18), G-BKGL (c/n CA-164), crashed in Lisolotto, Corsica Island, France. Two of the thee occupants were injured. The aircraft was destroyed by fire.

  • 17 September: A 1940 Boeing A75 Stearman, N19BB (s/n 40-1736), crashed near Delta, Colorado, USA. The pilot was killed and the aircraft was substantially damaged. [News link>>]


We sometimes get this question: "Hey! Why don't you update this page immediately when there's warbird news?"

Our answer is that we think news reporting should be as scrupulously accurate
as possible (as opposed to as fast as possible). So we often take
some time to research news items and get the facts
correct. We hope you understand our position.
Thank you for visiting our news page!


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