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Going Direct: B-17 Crash Ignites Warbird Controversy

Photo by Everett Historical/Shutterstock

The crash last week of Boeing B-17 Nine-O-Nine that killed seven people, including both pilots, has sparked a reaction among both friends and foes of warbirds. In my piece last week about the unfortunate and, to be honest, largely ignorant commentary by non-experts on the crash, I laid out my views. In this case especially, we pilots need to just shut up and wait for the NTSB report, which will in all likelihood take a year to complete.

To be honest, it wasn’t the ignorance of the type and the skills it takes to fly the B-17 that set me off. Lord knows, my knowledge of that spectacular aircraft is scant. It was the fact that a number of commenters believed that they knew precisely what they would have done in that instance to save the day. And they actually said so online while still not knowing what happened. Do they have any idea how complex an aircraft the Flying Fortress is? I could go on but won’t.

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