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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:04 pm 
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I just ordered another Nine-0-Nine polo shirt in addition to the one I already have. I'm a longtime supporter of Collings and I'm happy do do what little I can to further their mission.

Like everyone else, I'm gutted by this tragedy. I seriously hope it doesn't lead to restrictions on warbird flight experiences. I had the privilege of flying in Nine-0-Nine a few years ago (and also their B-24) and I treasure that experience. I've also flown in Aluminum Overcast, Liberty Belle, and Movie Memphis Belle. I love these aircraft and want to see their heritage maintained and celebrated for generations to come.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:54 am 
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marine air wrote:
It can’t be rebuilt. Honestly, they could take the insurance money and buy one out of a museum . One thought would be to take the insurance money and buy that B-24/LB30 project and build up a second B-24.
Nine o Nine received double jeopardy. One it smashed into the building and tanks at a high rate of speed , deforming the shape of the aircraft. 2) a truly massive fire. The Liberty Bell project has a lot more to go on and they have a second B-17 project recovered from the bush.


It would be a new-built not a rebuilt. All the tooling has been recreated to new-build b-17 air frames, so I dont see why a passionate group of people with money and time wont start the monumental task of (new)building the plane.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:09 am 
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menards wrote:
marine air wrote:
It can’t be rebuilt. Honestly, they could take the insurance money and buy one out of a museum . One thought would be to take the insurance money and buy that B-24/LB30 project and build up a second B-24.
Nine o Nine received double jeopardy. One it smashed into the building and tanks at a high rate of speed , deforming the shape of the aircraft. 2) a truly massive fire. The Liberty Bell project has a lot more to go on and they have a second B-17 project recovered from the bush.


It would be a new-built not a rebuilt. All the tooling has been recreated to new-build b-17 air frames, so I dont see why a passionate group of people with money and time wont start the monumental task of (new)building the plane.



The 909 will not be rebuilt at this time. The Collings foundation already has a flyable b-17g that was going to replace the 909 for well deserved maintenance. To put that type of dedication and financial commitment towards the 909 is not feasible when you already have a beautiful flying example b-17g. But I think we are getting ahead of ourselves with talking about restoration

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:57 am 
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Yeah, no way the 909 is going to be rebuilt, as there's almost nothing useable left.
But I am curious what'll be done with the surviving wing and tail, I assume they'll be sent to someplace where Collings will keep them stored? Any chance they might be put on display in their museum (depicting a combat shot down B-17)? Yeah, probably in bad taste if they did due to the loss of life, but the remains should be somewhere they can be seen...

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:24 am 
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I will say that I believe Nine O Nine will be rebuilt eventually. We are starting to see 17 projects eventually emerge that started with limited to hardly any original parts. I'm sure Collings could accomplish the task if they wanted to. I imagine they will continue on with the new B-17 and maybe some years down the road, they'll announce the rebuild project.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:20 pm 
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EstorilM wrote:
I think you're on the right track, perhaps minus the power addition any of the turbosuperchargers would contribute during sea level operations.

Generally speaking, aviation engines use forced induction to "see" sea level pressures at nearly all altitudes. Since these engines are already supercharged (as part of the core design, in the case/block) there really isn't much "boost" that can be applied to these things at sea level, at least not in these engines built for reliability and longevity over all-out air-racer style performance.

There are certain circuits in the carbs that have to be activated (kinda like opening the secondaries on a car carburetor) which can only happen at certain manifold pressures (and is critical for correct engine operation / air fuel ratios, doesn't really mean they need that much power).

I can pretty much tell you for a fact that these B-17s with disabled turbosuperchargers are still incredibly over-powered beasts in their current roles. Dropping the armor, bombs, oxygen systems, primitive avionics and radio/nav equipment, etc probably leaves these things about 10,000lbs under their original gross / MTOW but that's just a WILD guess on my part. I know our TBM is about 6,000lbs under its original gross wartime weight and that's for a single-engined carrier plane! :shock:

In any event, at sea level BDL sits at an altitude of 173' AMSL.. those engines will essentially be generating their rated horsepower regardless of modifications to the turbos (there may have been some slight boost settings used for takeoff, but at sea level that may require higher-octane fuels and certainly cuts the life of the engines somewhat). Again though - considering the weight of the plane, it's not even worth mentioning.


Thanks for the follow up! Like I said, I know stationary diesel engines...apparently there are many similarities, but some major differences as well.

I did leave out the weight difference as well. I knew that there would be quite a bit (especially without a 8000lb bomb load on the racks). I wouldn't think the other "stuff" would add up to that much...but sounds like I was mistaken. I always assumed there was still plenty of power on tap even with disabled turbos (wouldn't make sense to disable them otherwise...just a recipe for disaster at that point).

Once again, thanks for the input!. I love learning new things from those who "do".


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:34 pm 
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The Colllings Foundation sent out an email to supporters this morning:

Quote:
Dear supporters,

Please join the Collings Foundation in our thoughts and prayers with those who were on the tragic flight of the B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine-O-Nine” on Wednesday, October 2nd. We will be forever grateful to the heroic efforts of the first responders at Bradley International Airport and the assistance of all local agencies in the days after the crash.

The Collings Foundation team has been and remains fully cooperative with officials to determine the cause of the crash and we will comment further when facts and details become available. We have suspended the Wings of Freedom Tour for the remainder of the 2019 season and the aircraft have returned to our winter maintenance base in Florida.

The mission of the Collings Foundation remains steadfast in the goal of making history come alive as we have for over 30 years. Since 1989, the Wings of Freedom Tour has touched the lives of millions, as we have made visits to over 3600 communities in that time. Tens of thousands have flown aboard our Living History Flight Experiences (LHFE) on the B-17, B-24, B-25, and A-1E and flight training on the TP-51C, TF-51D, and TP-40N. In the past week we have received many stories on how powerful and life-changing the tour has been for families and as we move forward, and we expect there are thousands more who have been touched by the Wings of Freedom Tour.

In the coming months, federal agencies will be reviewing the LHFE program for not only our organization, but many other organizations nationwide who continue to fly vintage aircraft as a part of their educational mission. As these reviews take place, we feel it is important for the voices of those impacted by the Wings of Freedom Tour over the years to be heard. We need to let federal agencies know that the LHFE program is important to you and other American citizens as an educational tool.

Please take a moment to add your comments to the current docket regarding the renewal of the Collings Foundation LHFE program with the FAA at the Federal Register. You may do so online at the following link:


https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=F ... 11089-0096


As you write your comment, please review the tips for submitting effective comments from Regulations.gov at https://www.regulations.gov/docs/Tips_F ... mments.pdf

Thank you for your support of our living history mission.

Best regards,
Rob Collings
Executive Director


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:34 pm 
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I just sent my public comment to the FAA, stating my experience riding on their aircraft and comparing it very favorably with my prior military experience in current military aircraft.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:48 pm 
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p51 wrote:
Yeah, no way the 909 is going to be rebuilt, as there's almost nothing useable left.
But I am curious what'll be done with the surviving wing and tail, I assume they'll be sent to someplace where Collings will keep them stored? Any chance they might be put on display in their museum (depicting a combat shot down B-17)? Yeah, probably in bad taste if they did due to the loss of life, but the remains should be somewhere they can be seen...


New England Air Museum is on the field.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:48 pm 
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I also left a comment. I noticed in the attached PDF listing the specific aircraft for exemption it notes B-25N N7946C 44-28938 as being added to the list. This is "Old Glory" which recently changed hands and moved to NY.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:13 pm 
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I have posted my comment in support of the Collings foundation

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:54 pm 
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Quote:
Dear supporters,

Please join the Collings Foundation in our thoughts and prayers with those who were on the tragic flight of the B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine-O-Nine” on Wednesday, October 2nd. We will be forever grateful to the heroic efforts of the first responders at Bradley International Airport and the assistance of all local agencies in the days after the crash.

The Collings Foundation team has been and remains fully cooperative with officials to determine the cause of the crash and we will comment further when facts and details become available. We have suspended the Wings of Freedom Tour for the remainder of the 2019 season and the aircraft have returned to our winter maintenance base in Florida.

The mission of the Collings Foundation remains steadfast in the goal of making history come alive as we have for over 30 years. Since 1989, the Wings of Freedom Tour has touched the lives of millions, as we have made visits to over 3600 communities in that time. Tens of thousands have flown aboard our Living History Flight Experiences (LHFE) on the B-17, B-24, B-25, and A-1E and flight training on the TP-51C, TF-51D, and TP-40N. In the past week we have received many stories on how powerful and life-changing the tour has been for families and as we move forward, and we expect there are thousands more who have been touched by the Wings of Freedom Tour.

In the coming months, federal agencies will be reviewing the LHFE program for not only our organization, but many other organizations nationwide who continue to fly vintage aircraft as a part of their educational mission. As these reviews take place, we feel it is important for the voices of those impacted by the Wings of Freedom Tour over the years to be heard. We need to let federal agencies know that the LHFE program is important to you and other American citizens as an educational tool.

Please take a moment to add your comments to the current docket regarding the renewal of the Collings Foundation LHFE program with the FAA at the Federal Register. You may do so online at the following link:


https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=F ... 11089-0096


As you write your comment, please review the tips for submitting effective comments from Regulations.gov at https://www.regulations.gov/docs/Tips_F ... mments.pdf

Thank you for your support of our living history mission.

Best regards,
Rob Collings
Executive Director


Thank you for this info. Folks, it is of critical importance to show your support for the Collings foundation through positive input on the above mentioned link. The FAA passenger ride program which gives the Exemption to allow this to occur is in serious jeopardy. There is already a U.S. Senator calling for the possibility of ending it. It is entirely possible that one result of the aftermath of this accident is that the FAA will put a stop to ALL paying passenger warbird flights. Even if they don't end it, they could make the governing rules and regulations onerous, complex and impractical, such as maintaining the same standard that Commercial Airliners have to adhere to. That would make these flights, even for powerhouses such as the Collings foundation, completely uneconomical and impractical. Europe has already seen an end to most of their vintage flying due to making operators comply with EU airliner standards for some of their warbirds. It is not inconceivable that in the near future, an everyday, average U.S. citizen will no longer be able to buy a ride in any W.W.II fighter or bomber. Imagine not being able to ever ride in a Mustang, B-17, B-29 or any other W.W.II fighter or bomber, unless you personally know the owner/operator and they're giving you a free ride. The threat is real and could happen.

As with everything in politics, and this is no exception, "public perception" trumps reality. I have friends heavily involved in this and work with Congress, the FAA and the legislative process on this program and others. They tell me that the FAA weighs public opinion heavily and uses these on-line comments from the link above to help shape their policies and decision-making process. So it's very important to make your voice known on this to the FAA and your Congress persons.

One example of a very misleading piece of information that is now shaping public perception is the following statement from the NTSB and reported on nearly every news site:


"Since 1982, when the NTSB began tracking safety issues in the heritage flights, there have been a total of 21 accidents involving World War-II era bombers, resulting in 23 fatalities and one injury -- not counting the death toll last Tuesday, Homendy said.

Three of the previous accidents involved B-17G bombers of the same type that crashed at the Bradley airport, Homendy said. Currently, there are 16 B-17s registered to fly in the U.S., including the one that crashed in Connecticut, according to the NTSB."



A few things to note for those of you reading this, so you can refute this very misleading statement:

1) The statement uses the phrase, "heritage flights" to imply that the statistic quoted only applies to those type of flights. This is incorrect. The numbers quoted above apply to all flight operations, including fire-bombing and government contract aircraft utilized in much higher risk applications.

2) In order to compare "apples to apples", one must separate passenger paying "heritage flights" from high-risk missions such as fire-fighting and/or government contract work. Anyone can go to the NTSB website and find the following information. I have already done so and it breaks down to the following aircraft and fatalities:


B-17- 6 total deaths, all from fire-fighting missions. No reported deaths in non-firefighting flights in the history of NTSB on-line record keeping, which goes back to 1962. Prior to 1962 it is possible there may have been deaths, but it will take an extensive search of paper archives, that are not on-line, to find this information. Here is a direct link to all B-17 fatalities in the NTSB database:

https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.avia ... 39fbf11cbc

The above link shows 3 fatal crashes of the B-17, all of which were involved in fire-fighting missions.

Overall, no deaths in any B-17's on any "heritage flights".

B-24's / LB-30's - no reported deaths on any flights.

Overall, no deaths in any B-24's/LB-30's on any "heritage flights".

PB4Y- 6 total deaths, from 2 flights - both from fire-fighting missions. Here is the link:

https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.avia ... 4e66d3a392

Overall, no deaths in any PB4Y's on any "heritage flights".

B-29- no reported deaths on any flights.

Overall, no deaths in any B-29's on any "heritage flights".

B-25 - 8 total reported deaths. Here is the link:

https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.avia ... acdf0a478a

Breakdown is as follows:

1975 - 2 deaths, aircraft was on a drug-running flight. Marijuana was on board the aircraft.
1970 - 1 death, privately owned aircraft, no passengers on board.
1967 - 2 deaths, aircraft was on fire-bombing mission for BLM.
1966 - 3 deaths, aircraft never found - privately owned corporate aircraft.

Overall, no deaths in any B-25's on any "heritage flights".

Martin B-26 - 5 deaths, all on one flight. Aircraft was on a training/proficiency flight. No paying passengers onboard.

https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/Repor ... l&IType=FA

Overall, no deaths in any Martin B-26's on any "heritage flights".

Douglas A-26 - 7 deaths. Breakdown as follows:

Personal/Corporate - 5
Fire-bombing - 2

https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.avia ... 334c9fc40c

Overall, no deaths in any A-26's on any "heritage flights".

Douglas B-26 - 12 deaths. Breakdown as follows:

Commercial (unknown), but not "heritage flights": 7
Fire-Fighting: 5
Gov contract: 3

https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.avia ... fa5a61d79d

Overall, no deaths in any Douglas B-26's on any "heritage flights".

Grumman/Eastern Motors TBM/TBF Avenger - 5 total deaths, breakdown as follows:

https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.avia ... eb9c03d380

https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.avia ... 2b832feab5

Personal - 1
Crop-Dusting - 1
Fire-fighting - 3

Overall, no deaths in any TBM /TBF's on any "heritage flights".

Douglas SBD/A-24 Dauntless - 1 fatality on a personal flight

https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.avia ... 5b7baebcce

Overall, no deaths in any SBD/A-24's on any "heritage flights".

Curtiss SB2C/A-25 Helldiver - no reported deaths on any flights

Overall, no deaths in any SB2C/A-25's on any "heritage flights".

P-2V Neptune - 14 total deaths, all from fire-fighting missions. This aircraft is debatable to even include in the quoted statistic from above. Though the aircraft flew prior to the official end of W.W.II, it did not see service until post-war.

https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.avia ... 6caa186519

Overall, no deaths in any P-2V's on any "heritage flights".

3) I believe that the above covers just about every W.W.II bomber used or possibly used on a "heritage flight" in the past in the United States. I believe the information above to be correct, but someone please double check my work, so I can edit any mistakes I might have made. So, based on the above aircraft, we have the following stat's, all according to the on-line NTSB database:

Total deaths, all categories, all aircraft: 64
Total deaths, from fire-fighting/gov contract work: 41
Total deaths, other than above categories: 23
Total deaths, on "heritage flights": 0

Keep in mind that these above numbers are strictly from the on-line NTSB database, which goes back to 1962. These numbers, expectedly, don't agree with the NTSB statement above, which states they go back to 1982.

To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a fatality involved in any "heritage flight" for a W.W.II bomber in the United States. Up until the Collings accident, the industry has had a perfect safety record, with zero fatalities.

4) A lot of people don't understand the differences between the certification and the standards between various warbird aircraft. The only thing the general public needs to realize is that fire-fighting and gov contract aircraft are held to a much lesser standard than normal, Part 91, warbird "heritage flight" standards. Fire-fighting and gov contract aircraft are exempt from all U.S. government Code of Federal Regulations that apply to civil aircraft. Combining this with high risk flying in mountainous terrain, at high elevations while fighting fires and it's easy to understand why fire-fighting has a historically higher fatality rate than normal Part 91 warbird operations. "Heritage Flight" aircraft, under FAA Exemption, must adhere to basically Part 135 Commercial Standards. This is a much higher standard than just normal warbird operations. So, already, "Heritage Flight" operators, which included the Collings Foundation, have had to maintain and adhere to a much higher standard than the rest of General Aviation. Based on this, it is clear that the higher standard for "Heritage Flight" aircraft, operated under the Living History Flight Experience program, is working. If that weren't the case, we wouldn't see the above statistics that I pulled from the NTSB database.

I bring up all of this to help dispel bad information circulating out there right now, including the above quoted statement from the NTSB. The public, unfortunately, is not educated on this subject and automatically jump on the bandwagon to assume that giving rides in W.W.II bombers is unsafe. The statistics suggest otherwise. I urge everybody to do your own research and help sway public opinion on our side of continuing these important operations. According to my friends, we are in serious jeopardy of this program ending. Please sign the above link in support of the Collings foundation and help the warbird cause.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:23 pm 
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Hamilton H-37500 wrote:
The Colllings Foundation sent out an email to supporters this morning:

Quote:
Dear supporters,

Please join the Collings Foundation in our thoughts and prayers with those who were on the tragic flight of the B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine-O-Nine” on Wednesday, October 2nd. We will be forever grateful to the heroic efforts of the first responders at Bradley International Airport and the assistance of all local agencies in the days after the crash.

The Collings Foundation team has been and remains fully cooperative with officials to determine the cause of the crash and we will comment further when facts and details become available. We have suspended the Wings of Freedom Tour for the remainder of the 2019 season and the aircraft have returned to our winter maintenance base in Florida.

The mission of the Collings Foundation remains steadfast in the goal of making history come alive as we have for over 30 years. Since 1989, the Wings of Freedom Tour has touched the lives of millions, as we have made visits to over 3600 communities in that time. Tens of thousands have flown aboard our Living History Flight Experiences (LHFE) on the B-17, B-24, B-25, and A-1E and flight training on the TP-51C, TF-51D, and TP-40N. In the past week we have received many stories on how powerful and life-changing the tour has been for families and as we move forward, and we expect there are thousands more who have been touched by the Wings of Freedom Tour.

In the coming months, federal agencies will be reviewing the LHFE program for not only our organization, but many other organizations nationwide who continue to fly vintage aircraft as a part of their educational mission. As these reviews take place, we feel it is important for the voices of those impacted by the Wings of Freedom Tour over the years to be heard. We need to let federal agencies know that the LHFE program is important to you and other American citizens as an educational tool.

Please take a moment to add your comments to the current docket regarding the renewal of the Collings Foundation LHFE program with the FAA at the Federal Register. You may do so online at the following link:


https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=F ... 11089-0096


As you write your comment, please review the tips for submitting effective comments from Regulations.gov at https://www.regulations.gov/docs/Tips_F ... mments.pdf

Thank you for your support of our living history mission.

Best regards,
Rob Collings
Executive Director


This should be under its own thread alone so that others can easily find it

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:34 pm 
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p51 wrote:
But I am curious what'll be done with the surviving wing and tail, I assume they'll be sent to someplace where Collings will keep them stored? Any chance they might be put on display in their museum (depicting a combat shot down B-17)? Yeah, probably in bad taste if they did due to the loss of life, but the remains should be somewhere they can be seen...

Assuming the aircraft was insured, the wreckage will be the property of the insurance company once the NTSB releases it. It is up to them to dispose of. Once it is declared a total loss, it is no longer CF's property unless they opt to buy it back.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:58 am 
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eze240 wrote:
Coming from a fueling background, if the aircraft was not fitted with reduced size fuel caps, it could well fit the Hoover nozzle for Jet A in it.... I seriously doubt that scenario, due to the fact that someone would have noted the Jet placards on the truck, etc.....
There is another possibility.....it's remotely possible that the truck itself could have been filled improperly with Jet.... The trucks come in a variety of sizes and shapes, if they use a "bottom" type fill system for both AV gas and Jet, it is possible that a poorly trained/inexperienced operator could mix it up, I don't recall off hand if there was a difference in size of such fill nozzles for both fuel types...however, the nozzles are the same size for Jet for filling the truck and connecting to the aircraft....
There's also the possibility that it both types of fuel are "top" loaded, using an overhead hose system, etc... An inexperienced operator could mix up the loading of the truck from this direction as well...

Exactly what I was thinking, the truck. And those type of mistakes can happen. I have done similar things when I was a kid.
Only it was an octane mix up while fueling a plane. The real test is what fuel is in the carburetors.


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