Dallas Airshow Tragedy

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If the maximum age is 39 and the average age entering flight school is 23 (from their web page), there must be a lot of pilots older than the plane they fly.
Didn't some of those older ones get transferred to the USFS and some State Forestry departments?

I know the Forest Service has some P-3s still in service.
Actually some private operators (Aero Union) picked them up. Some with disastrous results


The results of not completing a TCTO

I consider this lot of BS from self appointed "experts" regurgitated in the "we don't want to wait for the facts" media. I'd flown with the Confederate Air Force in the '50s and '60s when it was a lot looser and seat of the pants.

IMHO, the P-63 has better visibility from the important angles than most any WWII fighter. None of the cockpit framing was any worse in this situation. I'd ascribe the situation to a badly conceived performance, calling upon a narrow timing window to be in front of the crowd with no mention of practicing, and compounded by being very close to the ground.

I strongly question the Air Boss' judgement (and perhaps the promoter's) in calling for an oblique pass instead of a safer tail chase. Note that Blue Angels, T-Birds, et al only have their best solo pilots perform closing passes instead of the less dangerous formations ... no matter how close they fly. And most of all, they practice, practice, practice!!

I've flown Navy fighters in air combat maneuvering and gunnery, and these result in more loss of pilots and planes than carrier landing training ... and the military ACM and gunnery takes place at high altitudes.

A secondary factor is the pilot's familiarity with the aircraft. I don't know the P-63 pilot's experience, but most owners have demanding careers, with little time to fly, let alone practice air to air work. Add to that the cost of Avgas and maintaining a 70 y/o chunk of aluminum keeps their flight hours to a minimum.

I can predict that future flight displays will be more regulated and tame.
FYI, both planes in the accident happen to have been selected (prior) in this year's Commemorative Air Force Calendar.

Further to my previous post about the Battle of Britain memorial flight. When formed in 1957 it had one Hurricane, the last airworthy Hurricane in the RAF and one Spitfire. The Lancaster didn't become airworthy and part of the flight until 1973, although it had permission to fly in 1967. The BBMF now has 6 Spitfires, 2 Hurricanes, a Lancaster and a C-47. There are far more of these aircraft flying now than there were 40-50 years ago, which should be borne in mind when looking at accident stats.

Yes, but the BBMF have incredibly skilled, very high hours military pilots, who train relentlessly, and an incredibly tight display regime that would never tolerate planes on intersecting paths.
I just hope that in the pursuit of my bliss, whatever that is, I don't endanger others. I felt terrible for that B-17 crew, they were just flying on a steady course, enjoying the moment, and trusting that the other aircraft nearby would not fatally collide with them. I ride a motorcycle and I know that's dangerous - I'm okay taking that personal risk for myself, but I'd never forgive myself if through poor control of my motorcycle I killed not only myself, but other users of the road.

I suppose that's government restrictions and laws around speed limits, crash barrier design and use, seatbelts, air bags, crumple zones, back up cameras, daytime running lights and likely soon lane departure warnings.

My statement was made in the context of not finding our P-63 pilot at fault, and not adding my opinions one way or another to the raw nerves of his friends. It's been a few weeks now, so I will say that poor piloting is the least likely explanation. It's almost impossible. The investigation is 18-24 months after all, and this is not a simple car insurance fault-finding process. Comparisons lead to far too many logic problems.

Here is a recent article, and NOTE: THE HEADLINE IS CLICKBAIT, AND IS CONTRADICTED BY THE BODY OF TEXT, but there is some possibly new information so I'm including it in the thread for that reason.

The body of the article clearly states that according to "a source", there was indeed an altitude briefing.

What stands out is the assertions that -

- the Bomber group was assigned a higher altitude (1000ft) than the Fighter group (500ft) (and suggests this is unusual for an airshow?)
- there is data recorded from the B17 currently being analyzed that we're hearing may be pertinent
- the recorder on the P-63 was not functioning. (was anything else not functioning?)
Yes, but the BBMF have incredibly skilled, very high hours military pilots, who train relentlessly, and an incredibly tight display regime that would never tolerate planes on intersecting paths.
AFAK they are all RAF pilots but their displays especially those with the Lancaster rarely involve more than a fly past, the whole idea of the BBMF is to keep them flying so that many people can see them, not see fantastic displays of pilot skill and coordination.
This measurement wasn't altitude, it was horizontal distance from the crowd line.
I was going to say that. 1000ft is the normal circuit altitude.

From what I'm reading, it sounds like US airshows are run quite differently to what we do here in NZ. Our Display Director doesn't control what formations or any displays are doing. They run their practiced and briefed routine. Any deviation will likely result in a 'Knock it Off" call.

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