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When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:30 am 
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It showed a corsair on fire and the pilot bailed out, engine fire. Looks like he could have landed it.
Anyone know any details about this? What engine and cause etc.
Must have been one of the aerodex jobs huh?
I think it was the Phoenix 500 air race.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:39 am 
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Is it this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc3InHWB1es

That was Chino Kid Kevin Eldridge bailing out of R-4360-powered "Super Corsair" racer (Not an F2G, but a re-engined F4U-1).

Fire was quite out of control. He also injured himself quite severely during the bailout.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:38 am 
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Looks like he held on as long as he could! I'm glad he got out when he did.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:22 pm 
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Please see this thread for a discussion on the subject:

http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=26342


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:40 pm 
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Quote:
Please see this thread for a discussion on the subject:

http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/p ... hp?t=26342


I think this thread got locked.

Anyway, i was watching the video footage, and it showed the fire starting, getting worse, then going out again for a second. Then the flame started again, and the guy bailed out.

I notice as the pilotless plane headed for the ground in a dive the fire actually went out. So perhaps if the pilot would have dove the plane , he would've extinguished the fire.

Then he could've entered the landing pattern and touched down. Anyway, that's a possibility.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:38 pm 
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A2C wrote:
I notice as the pilotless plane headed for the ground in a dive the fire actually went out. So perhaps if the pilot would have dove the plane , he would've extinguished the fire.
Or maybe you just couldn't see it. Unfortunately diving the plane gives away precious altitude, and if the fire had only gotten worse it may have been too late to bail out. I thihk you may have seen too many bad aviation movies where they dive to blow out the fire. Usually adding more oxygen to a fire makes it worse. Maybe the dive made it hotter so it didnt smoke as much?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:49 pm 
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Yeah that is it.
It looks like the fire was not near the plane. And almost like from the exhaust stack(s). And looks like the engine was still running. First thing he should have shut off the fuel.

I just read a linked story and the fellow flying it explained what happened.
He didn't even know it was on fire.
I would think all race planes would have a manual fuel and oil shutoff valve if not then by now. It looked and sounded like a cylinder blowing fuel.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:02 pm 
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Fire prevention, extinguishing and containment is somewhat of a black art in the aerospace industry. To certify an aircraft for these things requires a significant amount of engineering and testing. Considering the 1982 timeframe the aircraft was built I think it was up to the level of expectations for the time. How many other unlimited racers have had as significant a fire before or since?

Dago Red and the Pond Racer both also had in-flight fires. In the Pond Racer incident, the pilot had significant smoke inhalation which may have impaired his ability to land the aircraft safely.

It is very easy to second guess all this after the fact. I sure wouldn't want to be the person in the cockpit to make the decision and have a bunch of guys that weren't there telling me what I should have done 15 years later. The bottom line with the Corsair is that the safety pilot told him to get out more than once. There's no time to argue in a situation like that.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:28 pm 
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bdk wrote:
Fire prevention, extinguishing and containment is somewhat of a black art in the aerospace industry. To certify an aircraft for these things requires a significant amount of engineering and testing. Considering the 1982 timeframe the aircraft was built I think it was up to the level of expectations for the time. How many other unlimited racers have had as significant a fire before or since?

Dago Red and the Pond Racer both also had in-flight fires. In the Pond Racer incident, the pilot had significant smoke inhalation which may have impaired his ability to land the aircraft safely.

It is very easy to second guess all this after the fact. I sure wouldn't want to be the person in the cockpit to make the decision and have a bunch of guys that weren't there telling me what I should have done 15 years later. The bottom line with the Corsair is that the safety pilot told him to get out more than once. There's no time to argue in a situation like that.


And as you know Brandon, the safety pilot was the owner of the airplane. Before oil fires go out on their own, they typically ignite another part of the airframe or the intense heat they generate compromises integral parts of the structure causing mass failures. The scary part in the Corsair is, you have that big fuel tank between the pilot and the object on fire. To the nay-sayers I say, thanks but no thanks, Steve Hinton made the right call in protecting his friends (Kevin Eldridge) life.

John


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:37 pm 
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If the saftey pilot was flying in a plane, then he/she couldn't hear what was happening. And people from the ground could not see the origin of the flames, too far away. I have first hand experience with flames that long from a Wasp Major. It could be caused by a carburetor problem, and if it is the High T engine a dropped mag could also cause it. First thing to do in any fire situation is to eliminate the fuel.
Those flames on that plane were not originating behind the engine and the fuel was more flamable than just oil, so most of it was gasoline.
Well from my old cessna days I would have not had anyother choice (since no one has parachutes in a general aviation small plane) other than getting it down as fast as I could, and would have shut the fuel off first. At first engine noise and being in such flat land area, I would have shut it down fast, especailly knowing what could happen if it decided to blow. I was in a situation years back a machine was on fire, and everyone at the job said let it burn get away from it. Well I was on it with a wrench removing the steel floor plates, flames all around me. And yeah with just dirt I put the fire out. I must be too stupid to fear fire.
Anyone know if it was a High T engine and where the exhaust stack was?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:57 pm 
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The exhaust exited from both sides as well as the bottom in individual stacks. Maybe 5 stacks on each side and 4 on the bottom? It was a custom system without collectors.

I believe the engine source was a C-124 overhaul out of a can that had been modified. I remember the thrust bearing retainer had to be tack welded in place to keep it from spinning and seizing (something Frank Sanders discovered). Cylinders were replaced periodically, etc.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:03 pm 
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BDK, Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the fire a Magnesium fire? As in the engine case was actually burning? If that is the case, there is no puting it out unless you can rig an engine extinguisher with PKP.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:07 pm 
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Here is a pretty detailed article on the incident. The safety pilot was Robbie Patterson with Bob Hoover in the back seat.

http://www.warbirdaeropress.com/articles/bail_out.html

The fire was enormous -- I don't think anybody who was there ever doubted the decision to bail out of that airplane...

Note Kevin in the upper right of the third photograph.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:37 pm 
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Well its not a High T, much newer engine. Getting all kinds of conflicting stories on this deal. In Graham Whites book, it says the cause was a rod failure and hinting to it being a 20 old overhaul and bearings needing replating etc., so did they find enough parts to figure it out? I bet when it hit the ground it caused all kinds of failures. Was the prop stopped when he bailed out? Its still very strange, the noise it made, the tv show had a much better video clip and much better sound. On the big flashes of flame it popped, almost exactly like what some call back fire but is really after fire in exhaust, always caused by excess fuel in the exhaust system, like as a kid turning off the ignition and coasting down a hill then turning it back on and boom and blowing up the mufflers. If the original smoke stream was caused by a master rod failure, it should not have ran long enough to try the climb, and create all the flames and pops. If it was a master rod let go then it could have locked it or made some major noise.
I think I also read someplace they thought it was the impeller drive gears let go. So are they just guessing what happened? Does the FAA get in on any race crash investigations?

I think that is a bad idea for the exhaust system. Adds a bunch of extra heat rejection area for under the covers, and helps heat the rear cyls more. Cuts some under the cover airflow too.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:09 am 
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TV show was "Destroyed in seconds"...saw it the other night.

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