Aluminum Overcast's Bounce ... Back?
We told you last week about damage suffered when the EAA's B-17 "Aluminum Overcast" belly-flopped after folding its mains on a landing May 5 at the Van Nuys, Calif., airport. Now you can see what happened. Video obtained by KCBS-TV in Los Angeles shows that the B-17 went down hard when both of its mains gave way after what seemed to be an uneventful landing roll. The EAA's Dick Knapinski tells AVweb the plane's 2004 plans, including the "Salute to Veterans" tour, have been put on indefinite hold. Knapinski says the extent of damage still isn't known, but the goal is to get the WWII-era plane in such shape that it can be ferried back to Oshkosh for repairs. Knapinski says Aluminum Overcast showed no sign of gear problems in the first month of its tour, and during the off-season of December through early March, it went through its annual tip-to-stern check. Knapinski says the outpouring of support shows just how popular the old warhorse is. Hundreds of calls and e-mails have flooded in from EAA chapters offering to travel to Van Nuys to help, West Coast avionics shops offering free repairs, and warbird buffs offering monetary donations. The B-17 is insured, but Knapinski says any cash donations are welcome and will be used to ensure that Aluminum Overcast, one of just twelve B-17s currently flying in the world, continues to do so.