Re: Firefly Loss

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cambridgeshire/3061391.stm here is a link Matt Gunsch, A&P,IA,Private Pilot
Riding member of the Arizona Precision Motorcycle Drill Team GWRRA,NRA,GOA
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From the footage that C4 News aired, it seems the pilot just ran out of airspace at the end of a manoevre.
Jimi
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Good grief... we're still whining about losing the Heinkel and we lose this!! The only question I have regarding warbirds and their owners is which will we run out of first: warbirds or rich guys?
--
Stephen Tontoni < snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com>

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Stephen: This bird was owned by the British Gov't.'s Royal Navy Historic Flight and not an individual. Hub
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I know the Brits really fly their artifacts; probably even more so than those in the US. Too bad really. I wasn't aware that this was a British Gov't owned bird; the government should be even stricter about use of these antiques.
Oh well. Another one bites the dust; too bad.

--
Stephen Tontoni < snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com>

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It depends on the group and the aircraft. In the documentary Gate Guardians about the BBMF, the Station Commander effectively said of the Lanc' "There is no replacement for that aircraft so nothing over 2G and no night flying." etc....
I was at Duxford and happened to see the Firefly doing this strange manoeuvre.
It was not long earlier that a mate and myself watching the display had been saying that you don't need to be so daring to show an aircraft off. If you want to do aerobatics, use a jet and trash that instead.
Richard.
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Richard Brooks wrote:

From what I saw on the news, it wasn't such an unusual manuver - a lower altitude loop. What seemed unusual was that the pilot tried to save te airplane (and himself) by initiating a reversal ro recover - at least that's what is looked like to me...after that the aircraft got essentially level and then pancaked into the ground.
I lost a friend in a similar incident in an F/A-18 a few years back - and he was practicing for an airshow. Same situation occured during an airshow in El Toro - nose above the horizon, but not enough room to get positive rate of climb. In both cases, the pilot rode the jet into the ground - the one at El Toro survived, my friend didn't.
As I've stated before, jet deomonstrations almost always include a slow speed, high AOA sequence because that is precisely he part os the flight envelope that a dogfight ends up in after about two to three turns. If the sponsor is trying to "sell" the aircraft (or impress the techno-scouts publicly) this sort of thing is going to be included in the routine.
--
- Rufus


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writes

IIRC, it looked similar to the way a Spitfire came to grief a few years ago (about the time we lost the Mosquito?): just ran out of air, hit the runway pretty much level and fireballed. The latter didn't seem to happen in the case of the Firefly, there seemed to be large portions of the wreck substantially intact, so it may be it can be restored as a static exhibit. Although having seen what they restored the Blenheim to flying condition after its 1982 crash, I wouldn't rule out ay least bits of it flying again. But that was a unique item, and IIRC there's another airworthy Firefly, albeit not in the U.K.

Regards,
--
Moramarth

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I thought the second restored Blenheim was a different aircraft?
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John

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You're right, I've been corrected elsewhere. I could only recall some small bits on a trailer at (IIRC) Greenham Common (in 1982?) with a sign saying they'd hoped to have it flying there, and that donations to putting it back in he air would be appreciated. When the second Blenheim flew, I thought they'd managed to do it.

Cheers,
--
Moramarth

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On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 00:30:28 +0100, Moramarth

That would have been the Rolls Royce Spitfire XIV - which has recently started to be rebuilt to flying condition again.

That was a second airframe.
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We see and hear people all the time and there's more and more of us born each minute! That plane will not be heard again. All this pseudo-religious "life is precious, people are precious" crap is boring. We ARE animals and it's great that we exist and nothing more than that, we have no 'right' to anything nor do we 'deserve' or 'not deserve' or assume that 'we are the shepherds and governers over all we survey' biblical crap.
A lot of us will miss the Firefly!
Richard.
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to
flew
pseudo-religious
and
exactly! 60 million people in the UK, 2 less doesnt bother me......sure miss the chance to see the Firefly tho.
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I have been accused of sounding callous before but when it comes down to it, I don't know those two guys. I'm sure they were stand up, terrific guys.
I do "know" the Firefly in the context that I really like the artifacts and want them kept intact where ever and however it is done. If they indeed were doing something at too low altitude, I guess they should not have been attempting.
My apologies to hurt feelings out there, but I will grieve and be angry for the loss of the aircraft, not the pilots flying it.
Regarding another's comment about not appreciating (paraphrasing wildly) Bomber Command's sacrifices if not for seeing the Lancaster fly over head... I don't buy that for a second. If anything it glorifies warfare to get kids interested who might eventually join up whatever service.
Actually I crawled around inside a non-airworthy B17F last year and got a first hand idea what it would be like to have to crawl into and out of the tail gunner's position. I got a very clear idea that these tail gunners had a very difficult egress back through the fuselage. THAT, more than seeing one fly over head, made me realize how vulnerable they were and what hazards they faced on a regular basis.
--
Stephen Tontoni < snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com>

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Julian Hales wrote:

Plonk.
--
- Rufus


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--snippage--

Julian, I understand where you care coming from. I think you may be stating your position not as tactfully as you could.
But we can look at it this way: had we known these pilots, we'd have been directly involved and be grieving their loss. And oh yeah, darn shame about the plane too. Since we don't know them, we don't have that connection.
Had either of those pilots died of natural causes or in a car crash last week, we wouldn't even know about nor would we be discussing their deaths here.
Obviously the connection is around the aircraft for many of us, rather than around the pilots flying them.
That being said, it sounds like this discussion is getting too hot between certain personalities. I'd suggest toning it down a bit; other wise lines of communication will simply close.
--
Stephen Tontoni < snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com>

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Stephen Tontoni wrote
<snip>

I agree, Stephen.
<PLONK> :-)
RobG (the Aussie one) PLEAE NOTE THE SMILEY FACE!
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time
far,
I think they would like to see it repaired as it would be a memorial for them. I am sure that the last thing a pilot of a preserved aircraft wants to do is damage it.
The whole episode was shocking and very sad for all concerned!
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in article berfcs$489$ snipped-for-privacy@news7.svr.pol.co.uk, Richard Brooks at snipped-for-privacy@kdbanglia.freeserve.co.uk wrote on 13/7/03 12:25 pm:

I will miss the a/c, i will miss the sound of it beating up the airfield and beating up Westland BUT I still think that the loss of an a/c if pritty insignificant to the loss of two aircrew.
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What a very curious argument--our works are more important than we are? Well, I guess that's just another scrap of unusual thinking that in time may evolve into yet another religion. I can't wait.
I suppose there are thousands of people, who as they become aware of the loss of the Firefly, will frown, shake their heads, perhaps mutter an imprecation, and then go back to the paper and the coffee, forgetting about it until and unless it comes up in conversation with other aficionados of warbirds. The loved ones of those killed are impacted far more deeply,and whether 45,000 or 4.5 billion people die on a given day, if it's someone you're fond of, the impact is vastly more unpleasant.
As far as flying these machines, and how they are flown, yes, private property rights should be respected, yes, museums occasionally catch fire or otherwise lose valuable exhibits, yes, warbirds can be maintained to very high technical standards, and yes, it is statistically plausible (though unproven) that more people catch a glimpse of warbird if it is flown frequently than if it sits in a static setting. Nothing, nothing, nothing lasts forever, except possibly some of these threads, However...
In the absence of specific actuarial evidence to the contrary (folks assert a lot of things here; they prove very little,) it is my belief that flying warbirds dramatically increases the risk that said warbirds will be destroyed or damaged, and that risk is greater if the warbird is flown in manuvers that are more typical of combat flying than simply straight and level flypasts, or Point A to Point B flights. If they keep flying, we are going to lose them.
So what?
It's just stuff. Fascinating stuff, to be sure. Stuff I love getting close to and daydreaming about. Stuff to consider building. But just stuff. Warbirds are the fifty-year-old cabernets of aviation. They need to be enjoyed, even if the enjoyment consumes them. I think they'll get consumed more efficiently if they aren't flown much, or maybe even at all, but as far as the private warbirds are concerned, it ain't my call and I'm not going to lose even one wink over it. However, I fully ascribe to the notion that the NASM aircraft ought not be flown at all, ever, and that goes for anything else the U.S. government holds as exhibits. The Boeing 307 fiasco tells me all I need to know about flying 'our' warbirds.
Mark Schynert
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