The B-17 Crash

From NAFI's Chair

The B-17 Crash

Aviation is a very tight knit community, with everyone, not just pilots, caring and supporting each other. When a disastrous event occurs, it reverberates throughout the industry, touching all of us. Last week's tragic crash of the Collings Foundation's B-17 in Connecticut, which left seven people dead and seven injured, is no exception. I am sure that every one of our hearts skipped a beat when the news flash came through. I know that we all have the deepest condolences for the family and friends of those that perished in the accident.

It is still far too early, both for emotional and for practical reasons to try to garner any lessons from this accident. The NTSB, FAA, and others will conduct their usual thorough investigation, determine the probable cause, and make recommendations. This will take time, as investigating an accident of this nature should. From those results we, as a community, will learn and apply lessons that, although it's small consolation, will be the best way to honor those that we have lost.

For the present, though, we instructors have a job to do. We will have students, friends, family, and associates who will, naturally, want answers. Humans don't like to have unanswered questions about tragedies, and quick theories, which are often quick guesses based on scant facts, become bandied about to fill the vacuum. Also, there are many people who will want to go to the extremes of banning all warbird or antique aircraft flying in the name of absolute safety.

Our job is to help those we know form a rational approach to understanding this tragedy, acknowledging that it will take time to understand what happened, that there will likely be risks that will have to be mitigated, so that knee-jerk solutions are not applied. And, when we have them, we pass those lessons on to others, as has been done since Montgolfier brothers first ascended in a balloon. That is our responsibility and privilege and how we honor those who have gone before us.


Bob Meder,
NAFI Board Chair
Share this post:

Comments on "The B-17 Crash"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment