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MartinRex007

Crash of Bluebonnet Belle C47 Skytrain

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All survived!

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

The famed Bluebonnet Belle C47 Skytrain, which assisted in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and was an integral part of the Highland Lakes Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force, crashed Saturday morning, July 21, at Burnet Municipal Airport's Kate Craddock Field in Burnet while attempting to take off for an air show in Wisconsin.

Fourteen people were aboard the Belle, headed for the annual Oshkosh Air Show when the plane left the runway shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday and crashed before catching fire and eventually exploding. Miraculously, all 14 people aboard the craft survived the crash and made it out of the plane before the explosion.

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Yeah saw the video. Not sure if it's the effect of the camera, but the number 1 doesn't seem to be spinning all the fast. Plus it looks like they slid a little to the left side of the runway before going airborne. Whatever the case I'm glad everyone made it out. 

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It looks to me as if the external elevator gust lock is still installed. During take-off roll, the elevator can be seen with a slight "up" deflection as it passes the camera and is pushing the tail and tailgear into the ground causing dirt and dust to fly. At this point ,the elevator should be slightly in the "down" position until the tail lifts .  With a gust lock installed on a DC-3/C-47 , the elevator is in a slight "up" deflection. The gust lock is to be removed during the preflight walk-around, and all flight controls are to be cycled through complete deflection by aircrew prior to takeoff checklist.

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Wow, a gust lock? I know it's been the cause of accidents before, but still hard to imagine that of all the threats that an airman must consider to safely fly.... It can all come to an end because a single forgotten step in a preflight. 

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I'm glad that everyone survived the crash, saddened by the loss of yet another vintage aircraft. 

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22 hours ago, wwdavis said:

It looks to me as if the external elevator gust lock is still installed. During take-off roll, the elevator can be seen with a slight "up" deflection as it passes the camera and is pushing the tail and tailgear into the ground causing dirt and dust to fly. At this point ,the elevator should be slightly in the "down" position until the tail lifts .  With a gust lock installed on a DC-3/C-47 , the elevator is in a slight "up" deflection

Maybe. 🙂

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Two people weren't so lucky. One was taken to San Antonio with severe burns. Another was air-evacuated to a hospital in poor condition. The airfield  is not far from our house.

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