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Fire Destroys Vintage Aircraft

by John M. White |  | 1 comment

On June30th a fire swept through a building containg 8 restored vintage aircraft and 6 vintage motorcycles, leaving nothing but rubble in its wake.  Everything in the building was completely destroyed in Mobile, Arizona. The fire department said it was a "devastaing loss" for the owner of these fine aircraft. Which brings me to the point of this post.  Fire is a dangerous thing, and has caused a lot of damage to aircraft over the years. For example, I was recalling tonight as I listened to an old Ricky Nelson song that he died in a DC-3 fire back in 1985 on New Years Eve. DC-3 Aircraft Fire A faulty cabin heater or an electrical short nearby was the most likely cause of the 1985 New Year's Eve fire that killed singer Rick Nelson and six others during a flight to Dallas, a federal investigation concluded yesterday. Rumors had it that Nelson was using a fire for drugs at the time of the accident, but the NTSB ruled that out. The board's final report on the fire and crash of the privately owned DC3, carrying Nelson, his fiance and five members of his band, said the seven passengers died from flames and smoke, not the impact. The pilot and copilot escaped through a cabin window after the crash. Fires are very dangerous on aircraft because you are in an enclosed space with a lot of highly flamable material everywhere. Add to that the difficulty of smoke and a fire is a pilot's worse nightmare.  For example, in June of 2008 a short circuit in an oxygen system caused a fire which burned a hole through the top of an ABX Air Boeing 767 aircraft. Fortunately no one was hurt in this incident. The fact is that none of us that fly have much experience with or training about inflight fire control, and it would probably be wise to learn more about it. To that end the FAA has released a training video on fighting inflight fires which hopefully will be available to general aviation pilots shortly. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 The danger? But danger is one of the attractions of flight. — Jean Conneau, 1911.

Comments (1)

  • oshkosh on June 24, 2019

    FAA sucks! They talk about fires, but what do they do? nothing. fire is only as dangerous as the design of the aircraft: the current airplanes are flying tombs, with highly combustible fuel all around the fuselage: under the fuselage, on the wings, the engines are mounted right on the wings.

    Burnelli had a great design, but the FAA and others shunned it. Burnelli aircraft isolates all the combustion sources from the fuselage (fuel tanks /engines are on the aft section of the aircraft and on isolated wings far from fuselage…

    Until FAA stops doing lip service and modify the existing aircraft (at a decent cost), fires in the air will often turn deadly and we will see more of these needless deaths unfortunately.

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