Did you listen to the recording?What’s up with ATC? Sheesh. Pilots say they need a return to the field, the first question should not be “what’s wrong, why do you want to come back?”
If a plane that size and age is requesting a return to field, it’s unlikely they are coming because they forgot the milk and eggs at the airport. Why not say, ok you wanna come back, turn this heading, that altitude. And once the guy seems to be headed back, then ask the reason for the return.
From what I have read this afternoon, the pilot, (Ernest McCauley) had been flying this plane for 21 years and had logged 7,300 hours on her. Seems like plenty of experience to me.Disagree. Carrying 10+ passengers, i want better trained crews. Not people quoting loopholes.
Just the small clip released yesterday, where he asks for a return, ATC asks reason, and pilot responds engine #4 problem and to pop it in the ground.
I only posted what I could find thus far on the net, which often is not exactly accurate. It seems like he had more than enough experience and time on the B-17. From what I have read, everyone loved and respected him and he really enjoyed flying this plane and being a part of the team of Warbird pilots for Collings. I saw some photos of him working on one of the engines as well and some short interviews. I am so very sorry that you lost a friend and co-worker. Must be so painful for all of you at Collings.We all called him Mac. I can tell you that Mac had considerably more time than that in the 17. He was hands down the highest time B-17 driver in history.
I wasn't sure if I was a better pilot than my father when he was 70. He's now 76 and I'm worried about his driving. The issue of age will always spark some spirited conversations.But that said, I wouldn't fly with him today because of age. That's the elephant in the room, that no one wants to mention.
Probably in a somewhat similar way to which it worked in WWII when the Capt had ~50 hours, the Co had ~35 hours, and the FE was fresh off the farm with a few days of "gauges differences training" so he could differentiate the airplane dials from those of the tractor.Checking the FAA database. Pilot was B-17 rated. Co pilot not but held an ATP. Flight Engineer is a student pilot/mechanic. How can that work?
B-17s? Were two pilot in the firefighting days. Just like the Dougs, the and the PB4Ys. Some of the twin engine fire bombers were single pilot, like the Invader, the F7F and the current S-2s. At least the B-17s I saw sitting on alert and launching for fires out of PRC, MZJ and FFZ, always had a pilot and co-pilot onboard.Required crew is one. These airplanes were flown single pilot during their firefighting days.
The FE isn’t a required position either.
Nothing out of the ordinary.
They were called the twenty minuters.....Probably in a somewhat similar way to which it worked in WWII when the Capt had ~50 hours, the Co had ~35 hours, and the FE was fresh off the farm with a few days of "gauges differences training" so he could differentiate the airplane dials from those of the tractor.
Isn’t there an FAA exemption allowing some of the warbirds that are certificated in the Experimental category, to carry passengers?Who says they’re not typed? You’re arguing with somebody that knows this operation well and everybody involved. If he says they were appropriately rated, then they were appropriately rated.
PFEs were professional FEs, those guys who were A&Ps and got their FE ticket and flew as such, never going to move up to the front seats. SOs, or Second Officers, were pilots with FE tickets who sat the FE position and were awaiting the move to FO at some point. Airlines used both. I think Doug even remembers some of the last PFEs at SJI.I am not sure the B-17 has a required crew that included the F.E. to fly. I do know that in the days of the old piston liners at TWA at least, F.E. positions were filled by mechanics primarily and other than F.E. rating I am not sure how many of them had pilots licenses.
I flew with him in the 17 a couple months ago, and I would have again. I am super ageist too, but Mac was sharp. Not to say this won’t end up as pilot error, it most likely will be.He was the pilot who flew with me a decade ago.
Incredibly nice guy, and in the time I spent talking with him, it was obvious how much he loved the airplane and flying it.
But that said, I wouldn't fly with him today because of age. That's the elephant in the room, that no one wants to mention.
Agreed. Generally speaking, it seems so many pilots are hesitant to use the “E word”. Have heard ATC sometimes have to drag it out of them.We get requests to come back to the field all the time for various non-emergencies. If you need to return to the field because of an emergency, declare an emergency.