As analysis of the landing incident that damaged EAA's B-17
Aluminum Overcast continues at Van Nuys Airport in California, EAA
officials are beginning to get a clearer picture as to exactly what
occurred after the airplane touched down safely on Wednesday, May
5. EAA reported earlier this week that recently obtained video
footage shows the entire incident from approach to touchdown, roll
out, and gear collapse.
"The video shows the whole landing sequence in great detail,"
said EAA Museum Director Adam Smith. "As had been reported by the
crew, the airplane executes a normal approach and the touchdown is
very smooth. As the landing roll out is completed, the tail wheel
is unlocked and a severe shimmy is evident right away. A couple of
seconds later, just as the airplane is beginning its turn to exit
the runway, the right main undercarriage collapses followed almost
immediately by the left."
Attention at this time is focused on the position of the landing
gear as the airplane touched down. Close scrutiny of the tape
indicates that the gear was not 100 percent fully extended on both
"On at least one side the downward travel of the gear appears to
have stopped slightly short of the normal position," Smith
Meanwhile, officials have a "reasonably good idea" of the
repairs that will be needed, and they are working out the best way
to go about making them. No timeline has been set for completion of
the aircraft inspection or ensuing repairs.