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Mon, May 17, 2004

B-17 Update: Video Helping Officials Understand Incident

Search Continues In Landing Gear Collapse

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 sides.

"On at least one side the downward travel of the gear appears to have stopped slightly short of the normal position," Smith said.

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.

FMI: www.b17.org/support

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