Pilot Okay After Modified T-6 Texan Crashes In North Carolina

posted in: Warbirds | 1
John Shell "Super 6" T-6 Texan
Photo source: Florida Metal/Airport-Data.com

Pilot John Shell is safe after his “Super 6” modified T-6 Texan crashed near Jamestown Rd. in Morganton, North Carolina around 4:45 PM EST. Tyler Woodard, who witnessed the crash, and another person were able to aid Mr. Shell in getting away from the aircraft following the crash and before it was engulfed in flames.

Shell received non-life-threatening injuries and has been taken to the hospital.

There is no word on what might have caused the aircraft to crash. However, WSOCTV reported that witnesses have said that they heard the aircraft sputtering before the crash.

We here at AirshowStuff are glad to hear that John was able to walk away safe from this incident.

Pilot Killed When Thai Gripen Crashes At Airshow For Children

posted in: Airshows, Military | 1
Royal Thai Air Force Gripen
Photo source: Saab.com

Royal Thai Air Force Squadron Leader Dilokrit Pattavee was killed today when his Saab JAS 35 Gripen impacted the ground following a flyby at Hat Yai in Songkhla Province, Thailand during a Children’s Day celebration. The aircraft appeared to lose control during a maneuver and flew into the ground away from spectators.

The Ministry of Defense is investigating the incident. Both Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-ocha and the RTAF Air Chief Marshal Jom Roongsawang have expressed condolences to the pilot’s family.

The airport was closed following the incident, diverting flights to Krabi airport with outbound flights delayed.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Sqn. Ldr. Dilokrit Pattavee.

Air Force Announces Report Findings On 2016 Thunderbird #6 Crash – Pilot Cleared

posted in: Jet Teams | 0

US Air Force Thunderbirds

The US Air Force says that the crash of Thunderbird #6 into a Colorado field earlier this year was caused by a throttle malfunction. The finding was part of the Accident Investigation Board report on the incident, announced today by Air Combat Command. The crash occurred shortly after a flyby of the United States Air Force Academy graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, CO on June 2nd.

Although speculation has been rampant that the F-16 Fighting Falcon ran out of fuel, ACC has stated that hundreds of pounds of fuel were removed from the wreckage. Instead, the investigation found that an issue with the throttle incorrectly caused the pilot, Major Alex Turner, to shut the engine off rather than setting it to idle power as intended. He was unable to restart the engine due to his low altitude and ejected safely after steering toward an empty field.

According to ACC, “after beginning landing procedures, the pilot inadvertently rotated the throttle, placing it into an engine cut-off position. Normally, this full rotation cannot occur unless a throttle trigger is affirmatively actuated or pressed. However, the throttle trigger was “stuck” in the “pressed” position. The accident investigation board observed debris accumulation in the throttle trigger, combined with wear on the trigger assembly.

Once the engine cut-off occurred, the aircraft immediately lost thrust. The pilot attempted engine restart procedures, but restart was impossible at the low altitude of the aircraft. The pilot safely delayed his ejection until he navigated the aircraft to a grass field.

The aircraft, valued at approximately $29 million, was destroyed. There was no known damage to civilian property. At the time of the accident, the pilot was a current and qualified air demonstration pilot, with more than 1,200 hours flying the F-16 and a total flight time of 1,447 hours. He resumed demonstrations with the team.”

The Thunderbirds were grounded for a little over two weeks following the crash. They returned to aerial demonstrations at the airshow in Ocean City, MD and successfully completed the remainder of their 2016 show season.

This crash was somewhat overshadowed by the fact that Blue Angel #6, Marine Captain Jeff Kuss, was killed when his aircraft crashed the same afternoon in Smyrna, TN. That crash was a separate and unrelated accident, and a report on it was released in September.

Chinese Demonstration Team Pilot Killed In Training Accident

posted in: Jet Teams | 2
Chinese J-10 Pilot Yu Xu
Source: CNN

Chinese military pilot Yu Xu was killed over the weekend after a problem during a training mission, Chinese media has reported. She was the one of the first female military pilots in the country and a member of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s “August 1st” aerobatic team. The team is the equivalent of the US Navy Blue angels and USAF Thunderbirds. Details on the incident are scarce, but reports indicate that there was a mid-air collision between at least two of the team’s J-10 fighter jets. Yu may have been struck by another aircraft after ejecting from her own. Authorities are investigating.

Our thoughts are with her family and friends.

Navy Releases Report From Blue Angel 6 Crash Investigation

posted in: Jet Teams, Popular Posts | 3

Captain Jeff Kuss - Blue Angel 6

The United States Navy has concluded their investigation into the fatal crash of a Blue Angel F/A-18 Hornet earlier this year in June, which killed Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss.

The publicly released JAGMAN report lists “pilot error” as the primary cause, stating that Capt. Kuss was too low (3,196 feet) and was flying too fast (184 knots) before entering the Split-S maneuver after takeoff. The maneuver is supposed to be initiated at an altitude of no less than 3,500 feet above the ground and with an optimum airspeed of 125 to 135 knots. No mechanical or maintenance issues were discovered by the investigation.

The report also gives numerous recommendations for ways to learn from the crash and improve safety, such as reviewing and implementing changes to the Blue Angel’s Standard Operation Procedures. The Split-S maneuver will not be performed in 2016 and will be reviewed before the 2017 season to potentially add extra safeguards. More specific training is urged for team members as well, including reviews of when to abort a maneuver.

In the report, Capt. Kuss’ was rightfully recognized for his exceptional Navy career and his passion for showcasing Naval aviation. Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker, Commander of Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet said “Capt. Kuss represented the best and brightest of Naval Aviation. His loss is devastating and felt across the Naval Aviation Community.” The investigation determined that Capt. Kuss died in the line of duty and not due to misconduct.

In the hours and days following the crash, countless people expressed their sadness over the loss of Blue Angel 6 and shared their stories of how he touched their lives. Capt. Kuss memory will forever live in the lives of the children and people he connected with during his time with the Blue Angels.

Red Bull Pilot Hannes Arch Dies In Helicopter Accident

posted in: Aerobatics | 1
Hannes Arch - Red Bull Air Race
Photo Credit: Red Bull Air Race

Red Bull Air Race pilot Hannes Arch died last night in a helicopter crash in the mountains of his native Austria. Few details are available at this time, but the Red Bull Air Race Facebook page posted this tribute:

It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of our long-time, close friend Hannes Arch in a private helicopter flight at Carinthia, Austria.

Hannes has been a Red Bull Athlete for over 25 years. The world mainly knew Hannes as an amazingly successful Red Bull Air Race pilot. This was only one of the ways in which his spirit found expression. In younger days he was ranked as one of the world’s leading mountaineers and climbers and was one of the first aerobatic paragliders.

We will miss his warmth, sense of fun and boundless energy. To his family and many other friends, we extend our deepest sympathy.

Hannes was actively competing in the Red Bull Air Race series this year, and holds third place in the 2016 rankings. There are two more races on the 2016 schedule, both in the United States. Both events are expected to go on as planned despite this tremendous loss.

Pilot Killed In Crash At Airshow Of The Cascades

posted in: Aerobatics, Miscellaneous | 5
Marcus Paine
Photo Credit: Marcus Paine’s Facebook Page

Pilot Marcus Paine was killed today when his Stearman biplane crashed during a performance at the Airshow of the Cascades in Madras, Oregon. He was the only person on board and no one on the ground was injured. Paine was reportedly performing aerobatics when he hit the ground. The remainder of the airshow was canceled following the crash, and the show was not scheduled to be held on Sunday.

A brief bio, from the Airshow of the Cascades website:

Marcus Paine brings the thrill of aerobatic flight from his hometown of Anchorage, where he has lived for more than 40 years. Raised on a homestead in Rabbit Creek, Marc has been a pilot for over 20 years and is a skilled instructor – teaching pilots of all skill levels new ways of thinking about the principals of flight. He is also a distinguished graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and a former U.S. Army Special Forces Officer, Airborne Ranger, and Jumpmaster. He commanded a combat dive A Team and worked projects throughout the Middle East and South America. He’ll be thrilling our audience with his 450 Stearman!

Martin Mars Stars In AirVenture Lineup, Recovers From Damage

posted in: Airshows, Warbirds | 2

Martin Mars - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

The famous Martin Mars water bomber was one of the main attractions at EAA AirVenture this year, but it did not survive the show unscathed. The aircraft, which performed in the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday airshows, suffered a bird strike to one of its four engines on Friday. In the ensuing landing on Lake Winnebago, it hit a rock that tore a basketball-sized hole in the flying boat’s hull. The damage forced the plane to miss its planned Saturday airshow appearance, but after extensive pumping and some repair work, it was able to fly home and did so on Tuesday, August 2nd.

Martin Mars - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016
Pumping underway to keep the Martin Mars afloat

The “Hawaii Mars II”, the aircraft showcased at AirVenture, is the lone flying example remaining of the type. Only seven aircraft were built in the 1930’s and 1940’s, with with most destroyed or scrapped long ago. She is owned by Coulson Flying Tankers in British Columbia, and has been used to fight wild fires in the region. A second intact Mars, named “Phillipine Mars”, is also owned by Coulson but does not currently fly. Phillipine Mars is painted in the colors she wore during her service in the US Navy as a long range patrol aircraft. There was previously a deal in place to send her to the National Museum of Naval Aviation, but it fell through and Coulson Flying Tankers is currently seeking a buyer for both aircraft as they are no longer being tasked with firefighting duties.

Martin Mars - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016Martin Mars - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

You can check out the stunning performance of the Martin Mars during AirVenture in our video:

Bearfeat Aerobatics Pilot Randy Harris And Passenger Killed In Crash Near Vance AFB

posted in: Aerobatics | 1

Randy Harris - Bearfeat Aerobatics

Aerobatic pilot Randy Harris, who performed under the label of “Bearfeat Aerobatics”, was killed yesterday when his Skybolt biplane went down near Vance AFB in Oklahoma. His passenger, identified as USAF T-38 instructor pilot 1st Lt. Dale Bryan Shillington, was also killed in the crash. The aircraft was reportedly flying aerobatics when it went out of control and crashed in a field.

Harris was set to perform at the Vance AFB 75th anniversary open house and airshow this weekend, and was giving media rides in advance of the show. Following the crash, the base announced that the show will go on with added tributes to the pilots.

Our thoughts are with the families and friends of both men.

Pilot Killed In Crash At 2016 Cold Lake Airshow

posted in: Airshows, Warbirds | 3
Pilot Bruce Evans
Photo via LinkedIn

Pilot Bruce “Frac” Evans was killed today when his T-28 Trojan crashed while he was performing at the Cold Lake Airshow in Alberta, Canada. The performance was a solo routine and no other performers or spectators were involved. According to the airshow’s website, Bruce was a Geologist and warbird enthusiast with an Airline Transport Pilot Licence, a T-28 Endorsement, and a low level aerobatic clearance to 250’. Throughout his career Bruce accumulated over 4,100 hours of flight time.

The crash happened around 2pm. Witnesses report that the T-28 was performing low level aerobatics when it impacted the ground while in a dive. The remainder of the show was canceled following the incident.

Our thoughts are with Bruce’s family and friends.

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