B-25 crash into the Empire State building.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Torch, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,289
    Likes Received:
    219
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Colorado
  2. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,485
    Likes Received:
    110
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    Back in the 70's or 80's there was a 2 hour TV drama made about this incident .
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,289
    Likes Received:
    219
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Colorado
    Yup,it's the anniversary today.........
     
  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    Definite loss of positiolnal awareness. It's like diving into 25 foot deep water with a 23 foot stump in it right where you jumed in.

    Too bad he wasn't flying at minimum safe enroute altitude at the time.
     
  5. BiffF15

    BiffF15 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    543
    Likes Received:
    316
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    USAF / Commercial Pilot
    Location:
    Florida
    I have a feeling that MSA wasn't around then, and the accepted practice was a little more big sky theory...

    Cheers,
    Biff
     
  6. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    Yah, I know. But if you are flying over New York City, why not be higher than the tallest obstacle? There is really no excuse other than pilot error.
     
  7. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,239
    Likes Received:
    413
    Trophy Points:
    83
    That would be my logic but from wiki the pilot was disorientated, I am not a pilot but it seems fog can make even experienced pilots do strange things.

    On Saturday, July 28, 1945, William Franklin Smith, Jr., was piloting a B-25 Mitchell bomber on a routine personnel transport mission from Bedford Army Air Field to Newark Airport.[3][4][5] Smith asked for clearance to land, but was advised of zero visibility.[6] Proceeding anyway, he became disoriented by the fog, and started turning right instead of left after passing the Chrysler Building.[7]
     
  8. BiffF15

    BiffF15 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    543
    Likes Received:
    316
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    USAF / Commercial Pilot
    Location:
    Florida
    Sounds like VFR operations in marginal weather by today's standards. I would be cautious using today's rule and standards applied against the aviation backdrop of 1945.

    Cheers,
    Biff
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    Every time I get in a fog I do strange things ... usually after some strong drink ... but I'd hate to wake up married in Las Vegas after a night of partying...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,627
    Likes Received:
    209
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Aviation QMS/SMS consultant
    Location:
    Blenheim
    That's the leans, it happens, it will put you in a spiral dive, but not cause you to fly straight and level lower than you should be.
     
  11. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,239
    Likes Received:
    413
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I remember seeing a programme about that, a pilot on a sightseeing flight (in the Antarctic I think) ended up with his planes wings almost vertical, I think from the little Ive read on the NY crash the pilot just lost track of where he was or perhaps which side of the Chrysler building he was passing. As I said Im not a pilot but I do know walkers even with a lot of experience get hopelessly lost in fog and make stupid decisions, sometimes ignoring roads they have walked across because it doesnt fit with their idea of where they think they are
     
  12. BiffF15

    BiffF15 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    543
    Likes Received:
    316
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    USAF / Commercial Pilot
    Location:
    Florida
    With me the fog starts after I've been drinking. Usually followed quickly by my becoming smarter, stronger, more attractive, more humorous, and sometimes invisible!

    Hell, I could be an F-22 pilot!

    Cheers,
    Biff
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,694
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    Beer goggles with the fog....interesting combination whilst driving a machine with a couple of thousand horses pulling you along.......
     
  14. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    When I got my pilot's license in 1983 we learned that if we can't see the ground, even as a VFR pilot, fly the artifical horizon, needle and ball. It ain't rocket science. I've been caught a couple of times and had no difficulty staying straight and level. We just turned around and went back where it was clear and then prodeeded to an alternate. Once it was a gradual decrease in visibility and I just made a 180 and flew back for 5 minutes and was fine.

    Even in WWII they had needle and ball and probably a horizon, so he should at LEAST have turned the correct direction. Today's standards may be different, but survival flying shouldn't be. It's one thing with a GPS and quite another entirely with only basic instuments. Basic instruments require you to be a bit ... shall we say conservative ... relative to today's instrumentation.

    Alaska bush pilots know that, with or without GPS. We learned it in Arizona, too.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,800
    Likes Received:
    519
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
    Can't imagine fog would be fun back then, not a huge surprise he got disorientated. Shame though.
     
  16. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,239
    Likes Received:
    413
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I think it was a case of true disorientation, from what I remember the pilot was flying in poor visibility with the visibility rapidly changing due to banks of fog. The pilot saw the chrysler building and therefore had a fix without realising or thinking that it was a symmetrical building so where he thought he was wasn't correct and he turned exactly where he shouldnt have.

    With the "miracles" of television and the internet even I am aware of visual effects on pilots that were not known in 1945. Accident investigations often reveal that pilots did the wrong things for the right reasons. I am sure the guy who crashed the plane didnt mean to, a tragic error.
     
  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,208
    Likes Received:
    791
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Keep in mind that during a wartime military environment, minimums are quite frequently pushed to the limit regardless of rules governing safety, all one has to do is thumb through some WW2 accident reports and this becomes quite evident. Additionally instrument flying 65 years ago could be a hazardous affair, especially when comparing the equipment of that day to modern IFR equipment.
     
  18. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,239
    Likes Received:
    413
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Thats what I had in mind Flyboy, not only were technical standards different but attitude to life was different. We take many more precautions to avoid a single crash today. It was only towards the end of the war that the massive number of crashes that wernt caused by military action were talked about and started to be investigated, many of them were simple navigation and "situational awareness"
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Maxrobot1

    Maxrobot1 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    18
    9:55 AM, Saturday, July 28, 1945 B-25D 43-0577 "Old John Feather Merchant" Pilot- Lt. Col. William Franklin Smith, Deputy C.O. 457th Bomb Gp (H), crew chief Ssg.Christopher Domitrovitch and passenger Avaition Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Albert Perna hit the Empire State Building's 79th floor on the North, or 34th St. side. Speed approx. 250 MPH.
    13 Dead, 26 injured.
    B-25D all metal finish. no armament.
     
  20. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    107
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Has there been any evidence to suggest that this event in some way inspired or provided information for the September 11 attacks?
     
Loading...

Share This Page