Wingwalker Amanda Franklin dies

Sad news: airshow stunt performer Amanda Franklin died on Friday, May 27th. She had been treated for injuries and burns sustained in a crash on March 12. Amanda and her husband Kyle were performing a wing-walking act when the engine of their Waco biplane caught fire. Amanda was able to get back in the cockpit and fasten her seatbelt but suffered severe injuries and burns in the crash. Our condolences go to her family.


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Blue Angels CO voluntarily steps down

Navy Commander Dave Koss, leader of the world-famous aerobatic team the Blue Angels, has voluntarily decided to step down after leading the formation in a dangerously low maneuver at an airshow in Lynchburg.

Koss said the maneuver was not in accordance with the Navy’s airborne standards and added: “This maneuver, combined with other instances of not meeting the airborne standard that makes the Blue Angels the exceptional organization that it is, led to my decision to step down”. Continue reading

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Kiwi veteran of Battle of Britain dies

Group Captain John Gard’ner passed away on May 6, 2011 in Tauranga, New Zealand. With his death, only three of the 95 New Zealand pilots who took part in the Battle of Britain are still alive. Gard’ner also fought during the Korean War, during which he was attached to a US Marine Corps squadron. Continue reading

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Bomber Command Veterans to raise funds for Memorial

The BBMF Lancaster in Flight. Photo by Andrew Dennes (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Veterans of the RAF’s Bomber Command will be campaigning to raise funds to build a national memorial for their 55,573 comrades who died during World War II. Permission to build the memorial in Green Park, Central London, has already been obtained, but the construction work will only begin when the £5 million total has been reached. To date, some $2M have already been raised.

Bomber Command suffered the highest losses of any service during World War II but veterans believe that, due to political correctness and post-war questioning of the area bombing tactic used by Bomber Command, their contribution to the war effort and victory has never been properly recognized.

Visit the Daily Telegraph’s article for more information and how to contribute to the Bomber Command Memorial.

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Conservation work on B-17 “Mary Alice” begins at IWM

The B-17 “Mary Alice” of the Imperial War Museum Duxford has been disassembled in order to transfer it to another building where it will undergo a 16-month conservation and restoration period.

Source (with pictures of the transfer)

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Declassified story of A-12 crash revealed

The National Geographic website has presented declassified material concerning a 1963 crash of a top-secret A-12. Due to the sensitive nature of the aircraft, a cover-up story had to be invented and the crash site thoroughly cleaned. The full story and pictures can be found on the National Geographic website.

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Tiger Moth crashes in Dorset (UK)

Tiger Moth XL716 carried the colours of the Royal Navy. (Photo by Simon Chapman (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

A man was killed and another gravely injured in the crash of their de Havilland Tiger Moth (XL716/G-AOIL) on May 15, 2011 near Witchampton, in Dorset. The exact cause of the accident is yet unknown, but eyewitnesses thought the aircraft was doing aerobatics and heard the engine quit shortly before the crash.


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Buchon flies again in Duxford

On May 6, 2011, the Hispano Aviación HA-1112 “Buchon” registered as G-AWHE made its first flight in the hands of John Romain. The aircraft was one of those used during the filming of the classic movie The Battle of Britain, and had not flown since. The first flight was succesful and flight testing will continue. It is expected that the Buchon will be present for the Flying Legends airshow at Duxford.

Click here for photos of G-AWHE.

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F4U-5NL first post-restoration flight

F-AZYS in its previous livery. (Photo Volalto (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0))

F4U-5NL BuNo 125541 (F-AZYS) flew its first post-restoration flight on May 5, 2011 with Achim Meier at the controls. The aircraft was previously in F4U-7 configuration and carried French Navy colours.

The restoration to its original configuration and colours was carried out by Meier Motors in Germany.

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Starfighters Inc. to receive five more F-104

Photo by TMWolf (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Florida-based Stafighters Inc. will be receiving five more Starfighters, which have been purchased from the italian AF and should arrive next month. This will bring the fleet to a total of 9 aircraft. The new F-104s are more recent than the ones already being used by Starfighters but importing them and making them ready for operations will still cost up to $1 million per airframe. Source

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90-year old Marine pilot returns to the cockpit

Burrel Sumner, USMC flight instructor and veteran from World War II and Korea, flew in a Stearman, the airplane that he learned to fly in 71 years ago. Source

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Beechraft Model 18 crashes in Florida

Photo D. Miller (CC BY 2.0)

A Beechcraft E18S (N18R) used for cargo transport crashed near some houses in Opa-Locka, FL shortly after take-off. The pilot was killed. Continue reading

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Dambuster raid reenacted in Canada

An Upkeep bomb, preserved in the Imperial War Museum (Photo Martin Richards (CC BY-SA 3.0))

The bomb that was used to destroy the Ruhr dams during the infamous 1943 Dambuster raids, known as the “Upkeep”, was recreated and tested in Canada. The Upkeep was designed by Barnes Wallis. The raid has been reenacted many times, notably by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster but, by a twist of fate, the bomb’s original design and calculations were lost in 1960 in a flood.  Continue reading

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Oldest Stearman back in the air

After crashing in September 2008 and being rebuilt by owner Larry Tobin, Stearman C3B s/n 004 took back to the air on May 1 at Felts Field in Spokane (WA),  thus reclaiming its title of oldest flying Stearman. More information and pictures on

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Two killed in another Yak-52 accident (UK)

Photo Geoff Collins

Two people were killed in the crash of their Yak-52 in Essex (UK) on 28 April 2011. The aircraft, which had been flying in formation with two other aircraft, appears to have hit some trees bordering a lake before crashing in the lake itself. The two people on board never exited the airplane, which rested under some 10 ft of water. Continue reading

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