What really happened on air legend Col. Mike McCoy's last flight

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Diana Fountain Cunningham

Sacramento, CA

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#61
Mar 14, 2012
 
I was a student a Lakeside Elementary School on the day Colonial McCoy stayed with his plane and became a hero. My class saw the whole thing.I would not be here today had he made any other decision.
Diana Fountain Cunningham

Sacramento, CA

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#62
Mar 14, 2012
 
Sorry the school was Lake Silver Elementary.

“JUSTICE DENIED, AGAIN!!!”

Level 8

Since: Mar 10

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#63
Mar 17, 2012
 

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It is very interesting to read all these historical accounts.

I don't think McCoy's reputation has been tarnished. Landing the plane where he did certainly makes him a hero.

I for one had never heard of him before.

Boeing bears the blame for these deaths. The military has a history of blaming pilots for Boeing's faulty designs. We all know how and why Boeing gets military contracts. Nothing has changed.
silly

Allentown, PA

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#64
Nov 18, 2012
 
Lynda Woodroffe wrote:
Captain Jack wrote:‘I would have preferred that the Orlando Sentinel let Colonel McCoy and his surviving family members and all the rest of us continue with the original explanation of his death. I find it toally devoid of good judgement and good manners to destroy a man's reputation needlessly.’
Captain Jack, I don’t think this article strips Colonel McCoy of his honours. He, like my father, was a victim of faulty design, something they should have been able to avoid; they were not test pilots. The article describes how the aircraft was too powerful for its appendages. Surely Boeing should be held accountable for this?
How many men died in 1957? Forty.
How many died in this plane over the 15 years that the B-47 was being ‘trialled’? Over 400.
Many, many families have suffered at the hands of Boeing’s callous disregard for the military personnel and as far as I know not one has been compensated. For my part, I know only too well how my mother suffered from the loss of her husband and provider, just as my brother and I also missed his love and protection for all of our lives. Not a day has gone by over the last 50 years when I have not felt the loss of my father.
That the facts of this disaster have at last been laid open is right and correct. Boeing created a killer machine and we should be compensated.
My father was one who died in 1957, when the B-47 he was in exploded.
silly

Allentown, PA

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#65
Nov 18, 2012
 
Sally
M Smith

Springfield, PA

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#66
Feb 4, 2013
 
I was at Lee Junior High watching the airplane in a left bank. It literally exploded and two balls of fire plummeted to earth hitting in a field across from where Lee Rd intersects with 441. I remember it vividly. I later became a military pilot! Who knows the real cause--none of us were in the cockpit. It might have had a mechanical problem that McCoy saw and was trying to get, over open land. That area in 1957 was nothing more than cow pastures, armadillos, rattlesnakes, and palmettoes!
Charles Jones

Lake Park, GA

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#67
Jun 3, 2013
 
On that day, I was marching in the Boone High School Band on our high school football field. We were practicing for a half-time show no doubt. I saw McCoy's B-47 fly over, make a turn and suddenly burst into explosive flames. Until the explosion, it did not appear that the plane was in trouble. The turn seemed right and good. We (the band) watched as the plane fell from the air and out of our sight, only to later hear the news of where the wreckage fell. I believe McCoy was a hero, making the best of a bad situation. I believe the story of an engine failure described above fits the scene very well. He saved many lives doing his last minute best.
Col Gunz

Woodbridge, VA

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#68
Oct 31, 2013
 
Chuck wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree with you. The Slantinel just couldn't help it. Gotta trash the dead pilot to sell more ads. The Air Force never really knew what happened and they couldn't ask the crew. I saw the plane as a kid on the playground at Lake Silver. It appears that he did get it out over the dairy property and died doing it.
I later flew fighters for the Navy. I don't know much about newpspapers but I do know that pilots don't make the errors in judgement that he is accused of. The excessive speed that the Slantinel talks about can occur for a number of other reasons, some of which can be from a pilot trying to correct for a plane malfunction.
The paper does a great disservice to the community and families of the deceased in repeating speculative propaganda that was produced to continue hiding the design problems of the craft.
Then again.....smearing good guys does sell ads, doesn't it?
Pilots do indeed make catastrophic errors similar to this. I doubt the flight credentials of anyone who says otherwise.
Eric Linquist

Oviedo, FL

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#69
Nov 1, 2013
 
Here's what everyone should know about the world-class piloting skills of Colonel Michal N. W. McCoy. After World War II broke, Colonel McCoy joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941 and served as a ferry pilot and instructor. He trained Canadian pilots in the old Hudson Bomber until 1942 at which time he transferred as a captain to the U.S. Army Air Corps. At this time, McCoy arguably had logged more flight hours than any pilot in the world. In June of 1945 while serving with the 315th Bomb Wing on Guam, Colonel McCoy flew 22 missions in B29 "Stratofortresses" " over Japan.

After the war. Colonel McCoy made the first successful Japan-to-Washington, D.C, nonstop flight in the 'Fluffy Fuzz,' a B-29. In 1950 he pioneered a 42-hour B-50 flight from the United States to Hawaii and back non-stop, proving the feasibility of an around the world flight in a bomber. He was project officer on the first around the world non-stop flight successfully completed by a B-50 bomber, the Lucky Lady I.

Colonel McCoy enjoyed the distinction of being the dean of Strategic Air Command’s B-47 "Stratojet"
commanders. When the United States Air Force made its decision to equip SAC with the B-47, it was
Colonel McCoy who took delivery of the first "combat type" B-47. He was commander of the first B-47 wing, the 306th Bombardment Wing at MacDill Air Force Base, near Tampa, Florida. Within two years he had formed, trained to combat-readiness, and led his original B-47 wing, the 306th, on the first successful rotation of a SAC jet bomber force to Fairford, England from MacDill. He and his team broke all existing speed
records on the trip over and when they returned, broke them again. On their initial rotation Colonel McCoy solidified SAC's position as a Global Force utilizing jet aircraft.

To assure that the B-47 would assume a truly intercontinental stature, he was instrumental in pioneering and developing the present system of aerial refueling now in use throughout the Air Force. His list of personal decorations included Legion of Merit. Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Air Medal.

Humans are fallible, yes, but this is not the resume of a show-off or of a pilot prone to making in-flight errors during air shows in which he routinely participated. Given the track records of corporate cover-ups, cronyism and corruption, it's hard not to suspect the dubious defects record that led to an inordinate share of B-47 crashes back in the day.

While the B-47's reliability and serviceability were regarded as good overall, there was a major problem with poor avionics reliability, normal in this environment given the vacuum tube technology at the time, and the need to place some equipment outside the pressurized crew compartment. Much work was done to improve avionics reliability, but they remained problematic throughout the B-47's operational life.

Starting in 1950, several models of the B-47 included a fuel tank inerting system, in which dry ice was sublimed into carbon dioxide vapor while the fuel pumps operated or while the in-flight refueling system was in use. The carbon dioxide was then pumped into the fuel tanks and the rest of the fuel system, ensuring that the amount of oxygen in the fuel system was low, reducing the probability of an explosion. Ten carbon dioxide tanks and heaters were involved. The system was implemented largely to reduce risks from static electricity discharges occurring during in-flight refueling.

Strategic Air Command B-47 Stratojet bombers, the world's first swept-wing bomber, had initial mission profiles that included the loft bombing of nuclear weapons. As the training for this imposes repeated high stress on the aircraft, the airframe lifetime would have been severely limited by metal fatigue, and this maneuver was later eliminated.

I will post B-47 crash info next.
Randy Tetzner

Coeur D Alene, ID

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#71
Thursday Mar 20
 
My dad Roger was a B-47 pilot was a member of the B-47 thousand hour club before he went to B-52's. He only said it was like a sports car. His class mate Leonard Theis died in a mid-air collision of B-47's in 1963. I am surprised he never mentioned the danger of this aircraft.

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