Thursday, June 01, 2023

B-17s Grounded

Due to an FAA Airworthiness Directive regarding a major safety issue with the wing spar of the aircraft, All B-17s are grounded until the inspection AD is complied with.

Flying:  FAA Grounds B-17s Through Airworthiness Directive

The AD requires an inspection of the wing spar, the cost of which is estimated at $38,700.

There are 18 B-17s on the US registry, with currently 3 in flying condition at the time of the AD, including the Yankee Air Museum's Yankee Lady. Sadly its already noticed up on the website that it will not be flying for the 2023 season.

We may have come to the beginning of the end of seeing these historic beasts of freedom airborne in the skies above us.


Matthew W said...

The used to have a B-17 fly into the Aurora, IL airport and I saw this plane the day before she went down.
My house was always on the flight path for the B17's and I could get a get view and LOVED the sound:

drjim said...

Very sad to hear.

Eck! said...

B17 each engine has a TBO and at that time, overhaul...and that costs way more. I could not find a good estimate of
what one of those corncobs would cost to overhaul.

The reality is flying a 4 engine old airplane takes money, lots of money. So a $40K inspections is in the real
cheap range for what your flying.

Where it gets interesting is if it passes good. If it fails parts and labor will be significant.


Aaron said...

Matthew W: Losing Liberty Belle like that was rough and a terrible loss. Glad everyone on board made it out ok.

drjim: Yep, it may be the end of an era.

Eck!: It's not about the cost, though it matters as well. The inspection is just the start, and the repair if a problem is detected may not be feasible and we apparently have "lost" the technology for fabricating certain parts of the wing. The FAA has said further ADs are to follow.

Comrade Misfit said...

Yeah, I thought that this was going to happen.

Old NFO said...

Yep, it was just a matter of time, and probably the first of 'many' against WWII era aircraft...