The recent crash of a World War II B-17 plane underscores the serious risks associated with flying vintage military aircraft which were never intended for civilian tour flights. Managing Partner Mike Slack, who owns a vintage aircraft, spoke to USA Today, FOX News, KXAN and Military.com on these dangers.
In an interview with USA Today, Slack discusses that due to the age of the planes, they are at greater risk to have equipment failures and are not built to any crash standard. “For instance, they are likely to lack fuel-containment features that are standard in modern planes, such as bladders around tanks, automatic self-sealing and fracture-resistant fuel lines.”
Since the aircraft lacks modern flight safety features, the possibility of post-impact fires due to the fuel tank’s structure and design contributes to the biggest risk for passengers – crash-landing or off-airport landing, Slack told FOX News.
In his interview with Military.com, Slack points out that “these airplanes were designed to do one thing — deliver bombs and return” and are not a passenger-friendly aircraft. He adds that federal authorities should no longer allow vintage military aircraft to take passengers on heritage flights.
As reported by KXAN.com, Slack is currently representing a passenger who sustained severe burns in a vintage plane crash in July 2018 when a DC-3 – called the Bluebonnet Belle – veered off the runway and caught on fire at Burnet Municipal Airport.