Kee bird - what really happened ?

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Mats Furucrona

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Oct 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/15/96
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Yesterday i saw a documentary about the attempt to recover the B29 Kee
Bird which made an emergency landing on Greenland - sadly the attempt
ended in disaster as a fire started on the takeoff attempt destroying
the plane.. the documentary left some questions unanswered though..

Was it really realistic to believe that the B29 could be made airworthy
in just 4 weeks ? (as stated in the documentary)
The impression i got wasn't of a professional recovery attempt, ie
assembling the propeller hubs on the beach without shelter with just an
oily rag to protect the hub from the sand.. one flight mech observed
that sand had entered between one blade and the hub - i didn't see
anyone taking it apart and cleaning it.
When they where closed down by the coming winter they did'nt cover the
engines and other vital parts to protect them from adverse weather -
just left the plane standing on the beach..
Please correct me if i'm wrong, i would hate to believe that the B29 was
destroyed because of a less than professional recovery attempt..also i
feel sorry for the family of the aviation mechanic who died in
complications after surgery for internal bleeding..
/Mats


Anders Pettersson

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Oct 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/16/96
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Hi,

I did also see the documentary (which was shown in Swedish television
14th of oct) and I did about the same observations as the previous
poster. Too sad, really.

/Anders

Finn Jorgensen

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Oct 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/16/96
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Are you *really* sure about the sand ?

I mean, Greeland is more like ice and snow. This is not Hawaii...:-)

Please remember, before you critizise, that this was extremely difficult
in the cold and that they did not dispose of much time, for the same reason.
OK, they made an error with that APU that caught fire, but I'd say that
restoring a plane back into flying condition in such a short time after
that many years in the middle of nowhere is quite a good job.

Why didn't all those who, afterwards, say that they did a bad job
go up there to do the job themselves ? Too tough, I suppose.

Finn (waiting for french tv to transmit this documentary)
--
Finn Bo Jorgensen, E-Mail : Finn.jo...@irisa.fr
IFSIC, bureau D268, Universite de Rennes I, Campus de Beaulieu
35042 RENNES CEDEX, FRANCE Tel : (33) 2 99 84 72 01

Anders Pettersson

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Oct 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/16/96
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In article <542nbd$h...@news.irisa.fr>, jorg...@irisa.fr (Finn Jorgensen) writes:
> Are you *really* sure about the sand ?
>
> I mean, Greeland is more like ice and snow. This is not Hawaii...:-)


Yes, definately sand. They used a mud strip to fly in personnel and
equipment. I mean, you really saw at was a mud strip, the Karaboos (sp?)
(the plane they used for supply flights) landing gear sometimes was buried in mud/sand/dirt.


> Please remember, before you critizise, that this was extremely difficult
> in the cold and that they did not dispose of much time, for the same reason.
> OK, they made an error with that APU that caught fire, but I'd say that
> restoring a plane back into flying condition in such a short time after
> that many years in the middle of nowhere is quite a good job.
>

OK, I didn't mean to critize the job done. But rather the time schedule.
It didn't feel right that after the plane had been sitting there for
50 years they had to rush things through to get the job finished on time.
In my opinion the plane could very well had been left during the winter
(which also happened eventually) and continue work the next year.
They could for example have done all job except mounting new engines and
propellors, left it well covered during the winter and then returned
the next year to complete the job.

As it finally turned out they returned next year and was once AGAIN
forced to work under time pressure because they decided to use the
lake as a runway, a lake which soon would begin to melt.



> Why didn't all those who, afterwards, say that they did a bad job
> go up there to do the job themselves ? Too tough, I suppose.

Well, as always, It's easy to critizise afterwards and although moaning
about the thing I still think that it was amazing to do all that job in
those conditions in such a short time. And one thing to remember as you
point out, it's been laying there for 50 years and nobody seemed interested
to deal with it until these guys came along.

But it is just so damn typical, things like these happens when you are
in a hurry. And they wouldn't have been in such a hurry if the project
had been just a little bit more realistically planned.

Planning to get all the job done within a month is a tough time scedule
to start with, when you then encounter serious delays early in the project
you GOT TO reconsider things. By not doing this, they qualified for being
'not so serious'. The same thing might still have happened in the end but
then they at least would have given it their best shot, not the second best.

And of course, if they would have managed they had been celebrated as heroes,
rich heroes, since they knew that a piece of flying B-29 could be sold at a
very high price. That was what it was all about, an investment in a high risk
project which didn't pay off as expected, right ? Let's hope that they could
find another interesting project, a project that will have a successful ending.
Because we all want to have more of these old machines flying.

/Anders


Mary Shafer

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Oct 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/16/96
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I'd have to say that under the circumstances, the recovery team did
the best they could. The conditions are very harsh in Greenland and
the team, being volunteers with real jobs, had a limited amount of
time and resources that they could spend on this. I daresay they
didn't act in any way out of the norm for the conditions under which
the B-29 was operated in WW II. We've heard the stories of WW II
operational conditions, with Spam cans being used to patch bullet
holes and so on (chewing gum and baling wire, you know).

Had it all worked out OK, we would have taken it for granted and never
considered all the adverse conditions they were working under. When
things get down and dirty, when it isn't a sunny spring day with all
the time and supplies in the world to do a job with, sometimes things
happen that, in retrospect, look peculiar. The word "kludge" was not
coined because of a single incident, after all.

--
Mary Shafer NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA
SR-71 Flying Qualities Lead Engineer Of course I don't speak for NASA
sha...@ferhino.dfrc.nasa.gov DoD #362 KotFR
URL http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/People/Shafer/mary.html
For personal messages, please use sha...@ursa-major.spdcc.com

Scott

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Oct 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/16/96
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In article <SHAFER.96O...@ferhino.dfrf.nasa.gov> sha...@ferhino.dfrc.nasa.gov (Mary Shafer) writes:
>From: sha...@ferhino.dfrc.nasa.gov (Mary Shafer)
>Subject: Re: Kee bird - what really happened ?
>Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 15:39:00 GMT

>I'd have to say that under the circumstances, the recovery team did
>the best they could. The conditions are very harsh in Greenland and
>the team, being volunteers with real jobs, had a limited amount of
>time and resources that they could spend on this. I daresay they
>didn't act in any way out of the norm for the conditions under which
>the B-29 was operated in WW II. We've heard the stories of WW II
>operational conditions, with Spam cans being used to patch bullet
>holes and so on (chewing gum and baling wire, you know).

As someone that makes a living restoring WW2 aircraft I have to interject.
The majority of the work that was done on Kee Bird was nothing short of
amazing. I can tell you first hand that getting things up and running is a
monumental job even under the best of conditions. They did it under the worst.

But..... No matter how great the rest of the job was, wiring up that gas can
next to the APU was kinda stupid. Even more stupid was the flight engineer not
insisting that it be moved to somewhere safe. Postively idiotic is a pilot
doing high speed taxi runs on a bumpy frozen lake with a can of gas over a
running APU. All second guessing aside, it was a hair brained move on
everybodys part. Hell, I wouldn't even run my lawn mower like that. Everyone
is just lucky that it burned on the ground and not in the air.

I am really impressed with all work that went into getting the plane ready to
go. But, maybe next time they will do the WHOLE job right. I am sorry - that
plane burned because of the stupidity of those that were doing the recovery -
they are damn lucky to be alive.

Bill Garnett 842-0983 B1156 CHVPKB

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Oct 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/16/96
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For all you folks out there who have taken so much delight in berating Darryl
Greenameyer for risking his life and fortune in an attempt to recover the Kee
Bird...

I talked with a close friend of his at the Reno air races this year and
learned that Darryl has had to: store his unlimited racer project unfinished
in a warehouse; sell his home; and put his most beloved F9 Tigercat up for
sale to make ends meet. This on top of the loss of a close friend should be
enough for any of you.

If any of you had a clue you might be dangerous.

This is just the kind of thread that makes me drop out of this group for
months at a time.

Bill Garnett
bew...@chevron.com
P-51, Cadillac of the sky


Lou Haas

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Oct 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/17/96
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How much money did they piss away in the process, anybody know?

Anders Pettersson

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Oct 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/17/96
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Well, that's too bad for him. But he did it with his own will didn't he ??
It's like the stock market, you put in a lot of money at a calculated risk
and you know that there is no way to guarantee that you get the money back.
You could win, a lot, but could also loose it all. I can't really see why
a discussion like this would make you wanna drop out of the group. Defend
the restoration trial instead if you feel so much for it. BTW look at the
header "Kee bird - what really heppened ?", well that's what we are trying
to figure out. And as always when a tragedy like this happens we also try
to figure out how to avoid it the next time. And the answer in this case
seems to be to plan the whole damn operation a bit better.

/Anders


Paul Tomblin

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Oct 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/17/96
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In a previous article, bo...@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Lou Haas) said:
>How much money did they piss away in the process, anybody know?

Not enough to do a professional job, obviously.

--
Paul Tomblin, PP-ASEL _|_ Rochester Flying Club web page:
____/___\____ http://www.servtech.com/public/
___________[o0o]___________ ptomblin/rfc.html
ptom...@xcski.com O O O

Gary T. Craze

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Oct 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/17/96
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Good grief...I can't believe that this is being drug out again. Even
the headline of this topic ( "What Really Happened" ) is bogus.

This was hashed out over a year ago on here, and the consensus was that
Greenamyer and crew should be lauded for their super human efforts. I
won't waste time going into all the specifics, that's been done already.

The armchair quarterbacking will go on for years no doubt. But let me
see anyone else put up the amount of time and money (read sacrifice)
that these guys did, and I'd back you too.

It all boils down to economics, and Greenamyer planned the operation as
good as can be expected for the cash. A year ago all kinds of crazy
(read expensive) ideas were tossed around on here. But unless you've
got some government agency who wants to recover something at a loss for
historical sake alone (and there were NONE of these people I might add),
then the task of recovery goes to private restoration groups, who HAVE
to plan the operation fiscally.

'nuff said...

regards,
Gary
--

Gary T. Craze

Visit The Glass Cockpit at:
http://rampages.onramp.net/~gcraze/

Visit Compaq on the World Wide Web at:
http://www.compaq.com

Drop me an email at: gcr...@bangate.compaq.com

Compaq Computer Corp. Houston, TX
Technology Planning, Portable Division
|Comments are my own and do not reflect |
|those of Compaq Computer Corporation |

Anders Pettersson

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Oct 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/17/96
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In article <326630...@bangate.compaq.com>, "Gary T. Craze" <gcr...@bangate.compaq.com> writes:
>
> Good grief...I can't believe that this is being drug out again. Even
> the headline of this topic ( "What Really Happened" ) is bogus.
>

The reason it is 'dragged out' again is because it was shown on television
this week. So excuuuse me for commenting on something YOU already have
discussed enough. Everything isn't shown at tv at the same time over the
entire globe as you know.

/Anders


Pete Plassmann

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Oct 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/17/96
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This just adds reasons to include Darryl Greenameyer on my personal list
of heroes.

Mary Shafer

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Oct 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/17/96
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On Thu, 17 Oct 1996 12:01:50 GMT, ptom...@compass.xcski.com (Paul Tomblin) said:

P> In a previous article, bo...@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Lou Haas) said:
>How much money did they piss away in the process, anybody know?

P> Not enough to do a professional job, obviously.

Money and professionalism are not closely correlated.

Unprofessional people are just as unprofessional on a large budget
and professional people are still professional on a shoestring.

Throwing money on a project isn't a guarantee of success; I'd think
anyone with an interest in military aviation would have figured that
out by now. Examples are left to the readers to provide.

(Actually, there are times when I think too much money leads to
failure, but it's a second-order effect; projects with too much money
have high visibility and that gives too many people too much
investment in the project to ever step back and assess it
realistically. Aphorisms like "pouring money down a rathole" don't
come out of nowhere, after all.)

Mats Furucrona

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Oct 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/17/96
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Gary T. Craze <gcr...@bangate.compaq.com> wrote:

> Anders Pettersson wrote:
<large snip for brevity>


>
> Good grief...I can't believe that this is being drug out again. Even
> the headline of this topic ( "What Really Happened" ) is bogus.
>

> This was hashed out over a year ago on here, and the consensus was that
> Greenamyer and crew should be lauded for their super human efforts. I
> won't waste time going into all the specifics, that's been done already.

A year ago i didn't have acess to usenet and besides the documentary was
shown on swedish television this week so Kee Bird was all news to
me..never heard about it before
regards/Mats

Mats Furucrona

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Oct 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/17/96
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Anders Pettersson <eua...@eua.ericsson.se> wrote:

<snip>


>
> As it finally turned out they returned next year and was once AGAIN
> forced to work under time pressure because they decided to use the
> lake as a runway, a lake which soon would begin to melt.

That's just the point i was trying to make, it looked to me like they
had limited resources and time at their disposal and therefore gambled
on the premise that all it would take to get the a/c flying was new
engines, props and tires (the documentary doesn't mention any other
parts replaced (i assume that they did a thorough check on hydraulics,
electrics etc) apart from putting new fabric on some control surfaces


>
> > Why didn't all those who, afterwards, say that they did a bad job go up
> > there to do the job themselves ? Too tough, I suppose.
>
> Well, as always, It's easy to critizise afterwards and although moaning
> about the thing I still think that it was amazing to do all that job in
> those conditions in such a short time. And one thing to remember as you
> point out, it's been laying there for 50 years and nobody seemed
> interested to deal with it until these guys came along.
>

Yes and their effort should be applauded but i still don't understand
why they planned such a tight schedule and and tried to rush things BTW
i didn't quit get what happened with the APU when they tried to take
off, the narrator said that it came loose as the plane hit some large
snow ridges while taxiing to the makeshift runway causing the fire in
the tail section, when the pilot discovered it it was too late..
They also stated that the B29 didn't have nosewheel steering and would
have to be kept in a straight run by throttle control and side rudder..
i find it hard to believe that the B29 was designed that way or had the
nosewheel steering failed ? If one of the main wheels had got stuck in a
snowdrift or a hole it must have been very difficult to control the
aircraft..

/Mats


Paul Tomblin

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Oct 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/17/96
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In a previous article, sha...@ferhino.dfrc.nasa.gov (Mary Shafer) said:
>On Thu, 17 Oct 1996 12:01:50 GMT, ptom...@compass.xcski.com (Paul Tomblin) said:
>
>P> In a previous article, bo...@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Lou Haas) said:
>>How much money did they piss away in the process, anybody know?
>
>P> Not enough to do a professional job, obviously.
>
>Money and professionalism are not closely correlated.
>
>Unprofessional people are just as unprofessional on a large budget
>and professional people are still professional on a shoestring.

Yes, but the excuse I've heard time and time again for why they did all those
god-awful shortcuts and kluges (including the one that caused the fire) was
that they were running out of time and didn't have enough money to come back
the next year. That's the same excuse they gave for not just airlifting it
out to a nice warm hangar in Thule or where-ever where they could have done
the job right - no money.

So there is one less potential B-29 in the world, and some guy died, all
because Greenmeyer(sp?) had dollars in his eyes, but not in his pockets. If
he'd just left it on the ice until somebody with the capital to do it right
came along, the aviation community would have been that much better off, and
there would have been one less family crying at a graveside.

I just thank god that they didn't get it in the air, or a whole planeful of
them would probably have died - if not from the APU, then from some other
stupid kludge.

Brian Jones

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Oct 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/18/96
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In article <thuggi1.6...@uic.edu>, thu...@uic.edu (Scott) wrote:

> As someone that makes a living restoring WW2 aircraft I have to interject.
> The majority of the work that was done on Kee Bird was nothing short of
> amazing. I can tell you first hand that getting things up and running is a
> monumental job even under the best of conditions. They did it under the worst.
>
> But..... No matter how great the rest of the job was, wiring up that gas can
> next to the APU was kinda stupid. Even more stupid was the flight
engineer not
> insisting that it be moved to somewhere safe. Postively idiotic is a pilot
> doing high speed taxi runs on a bumpy frozen lake with a can of gas over a
> running APU. All second guessing aside, it was a hair brained move on
> everybodys part. Hell, I wouldn't even run my lawn mower like that. Everyone
> is just lucky that it burned on the ground and not in the air.
>
> I am really impressed with all work that went into getting the plane ready to
> go. But, maybe next time they will do the WHOLE job right. I am sorry - that
> plane burned because of the stupidity of those that were doing the recovery -
> they are damn lucky to be alive.

Absolutely on the button. If you can't do it right don't do it. Leave it
to somebody who can.

--
Email jo...@vi.rl.ac.uk (Brian Jones)

Gary T. Craze

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Oct 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/18/96
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Anders Pettersson wrote:
>
> In article <326630...@bangate.compaq.com>, "Gary T. Craze" <gcr...@bangate.compaq.com> writes:
> >
> > Good grief...I can't believe that this is being drug out again. Even
> > the headline of this topic ( "What Really Happened" ) is bogus.
> >
>
> The reason it is 'dragged out' again is because it was shown on television
> this week. So excuuuse me for commenting on something YOU already have
> discussed enough. Everything isn't shown at tv at the same time over the
> entire globe as you know.
>
> /Anders

Sorry, didn't bother to read your geographical heading. Any you're
right, it was shown in the U.S. multiple times about about a year ago.

I was commenting more on people's negative opinions on the Greenamyer
project, which I believed to be incorrect. Of course, I respect all
opinions.... ( I just don't have to like them !! <grin>

Charles K. Scott

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Oct 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/18/96
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In article <1996101520...@157-5.ppp.algonet.se>
fu...@algonet.se (Mats Furucrona) writes:

> Was it really realistic to believe that the B29 could be made airworthy
> in just 4 weeks ? (as stated in the documentary)
> The impression i got wasn't of a professional recovery attempt, ie
> assembling the propeller hubs on the beach without shelter with just an
> oily rag to protect the hub from the sand.. one flight mech observed
> that sand had entered between one blade and the hub - i didn't see
> anyone taking it apart and cleaning it.
> When they where closed down by the coming winter they did'nt cover the
> engines and other vital parts to protect them from adverse weather -
> just left the plane standing on the beach..
> Please correct me if i'm wrong, i would hate to believe that the B29 was
> destroyed because of a less than professional recovery attempt..also i
> feel sorry for the family of the aviation mechanic who died in
> complications after surgery for internal bleeding..
> /Mats

Hard to say. What do you suggest for the people to have done? Build a
hangar? Lots of money was just not available to throw around. Sure it
would have been nice to fly in lots of shelters or flown the props out
for a sanitary rebuild, but they had neither the time, equipment or
money to do that.

As to leaving the plane standing there for the winter, that's what it
did since it landed there in the 1950's without lots of damage. What's
one more winter after so many? The engines aren't going to be harmed.

As to why the airplane burned, there are several stories, we may never
know for sure. People say that the APU which is supposed to be running
during taxi and takeoff was being fueled by a jerry can of gas, wired
up with coat hangars and that during the taxi to the runway it tipped
over onto the APU. Others have said that this isn't true that the can
had a fuel line, it wasn't just an open can and that the vibration
yanked the fuel line off.

I'll repeat what a friend of mine stated. He couldn't believe that
they actually tried to taxi the thing to the runway instead of using
the bulldozer to pull it there. The tiny amount of ground clearance on
those huge props is scary.

But they did taxi, the "taxiway" such as it was, was very rough and
there was a LOT of vibration and a fire broke out in the aft fuselage.

In retrospect, could they have done it differently? Sure, but then so
could almost any endeavor. Please don't underestimate the adversity of
the conditions and location.

Corky Scott

David Lesher

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Oct 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/18/96
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sha...@ferhino.dfrc.nasa.gov (Mary Shafer) writes:


>Throwing money on a project isn't a guarantee of success; I'd think
>anyone with an interest in military aviation would have figured that
>out by now. Examples are left to the readers to provide.

>(Actually, there are times when I think too much money leads to
>failure, but it's a second-order effect; projects with too much money
>have high visibility and that gives too many people too much
>investment in the project to ever step back and assess it
>realistically. Aphorisms like "pouring money down a rathole" don't
>come out of nowhere, after all.)

AMEN......

I am familiar with some classified big-budget non-aviation engineering
jobs. The bigger the dollars, the more fingers in the pie; the
more fingers in it, the more it MUST work or SES level types have
to explain why not; so they throw MORE money at a weak idea.

Plus, the bigger the budget, the more wasted time on justifying what
is going on. This is the Dilbert Syndrome -- if your project is late,
add daily progress review sessions.

And then, since you are late anyhow, what's a few more megabux?

Of COURSE it is vital to The World as We Know It -- if it was not,
would the Deputy Undersecretary/ Assistant Director have told the Hill
it was? No way!

Public example - DIVAD or whatever the Sgt. York was.
--
A host is a host from coast to coast.................wb8foz@nrk.com
& no one will talk to a host that's close...........(v)301 56 LINUX
Unless the host (that isn't close).........................pob 1433
is busy, hung or dead........vr vr vr vr.................20915-1433

Paul Tomblin

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Oct 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/18/96
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In a previous article, Charles...@dartmouth.edu (Charles K. Scott) said:
>As to leaving the plane standing there for the winter, that's what it
>did since it landed there in the 1950's without lots of damage. What's
>one more winter after so many? The engines aren't going to be harmed.

EXACTLY! So if they didn't have the money and time to spend to do it right,
they should have damn well left it there for somebody who *did* have the time
and money.

Bill Garnett 842-0983 B1156 CHVPKB

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Oct 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/18/96
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In article (Paul Tomblin) writes:
> That's the same excuse
> they gave for not just airlifting it out to a nice warm hangar in Thule
> or where-ever where they could have done the job right - no money.
>
Since you are such an expert perhaps you would care to be specific about how
you would have "airlifted" a B-29 to a nice warn hanger in Thule. Please make
sure you cover
weather
weight
dimensions
fuel
aircraft required
governmental clearances
time frame
tools
soil conditions
water
food
clothing
housing
and anything else you might need.

My bet is you don't know anything about B-29s like how big they are or how
much they weigh or how big the pieces would be if you took one apart or what
tools would be required to do that or what kind of tools you would need, or
how you would fit it into what kind of aircraft or what kind of runway would
be required for that aircraft or even what the weather is like in Greenland.

Having followed Darryl's achievements in aviation for a long time, I have
nothing but respect for the man and his associates.

Brian Trosko

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Oct 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/18/96
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Bill Garnett 842-0983 B1156 CHVPKB <bew...@mailmaster.chvpkh.chevron.com> wrote:
: in a warehouse; sell his home; and put his most beloved F9 Tigercat up for
: sale to make ends meet. This on top of the loss of a close friend should be
: enough for any of you.

: This is just the kind of thread that makes me drop out of this group for
: months at a time.

Well, I can certainly sympathize with the man, but as the song goes you
pays your money and you takes your chances.

I have nothing but admiration for what it took to actually restore the
plane to working, flyable order. I also have nothing but disdain for the
negligence which led to the APU fire and destruction of the plane. I'm
sorry one guy died, and I sure wouldn't want to have to start selling
large chunks of my property to make ends meet, but my sympathies end
there.

If a guy walked into a casino, plunked 100,000 dollars down at a blackjack
table, hit on 19 and busted, should I feel sorry for him?

If Daryl didn't want to face the possibility of failure and its results,
he should've stayed where it was warm.


Brian "And, better him than me" Trosko

Steinar Bang

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Oct 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/19/96
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>>>>> "Gary T. Craze" <gcr...@bangate.compaq.com>:

> I was commenting more on people's negative opinions on the Greenamyer
> project, which I believed to be incorrect. Of course, I respect all
> opinions.... ( I just don't have to like them !! <grin>

Hum... yes, I caught part of that showing on swedish TV (get it on my
cable). What I reacted to wasn't their knowledge of the aircraft. It
was their approach to, and disregard for arctic conditions.

It sort of reminded me of the german foot tourist, my mother's cousin
brought, almost forcibly down from the mountain, when he was up one
last trip to look to his cabin for the winter.

This tourist had planned to walk the length of the Norwegian/Swedish
border on foot, without proper equipment, in late, late autumn.


- Steinar

Lou Haas

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Oct 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/20/96
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I beg to differ! He screwed himself and others out of a shitload
of money which he can never recoup at his age. Reminds me of a
neighbor who sold his house too to buy a Western Auto franchise.
You guessed it: house and Western Auto franchise kaputt, too old
to make another fortune, end of story!

Bruce Barr

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Oct 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/20/96
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On Fri, 18 Oct 1996 22:48:07 GMT, ptom...@compass.xcski.com (Paul
Tomblin) wrote:


>EXACTLY! So if they didn't have the money and time to spend to do it right,
>they should have damn well left it there for somebody who *did* have the time
>and money.
>
>
>--
>Paul Tomblin, PP-ASEL _|_ Rochester Flying Club web page:
> ____/___\____ http://www.servtech.com/public/
> ___________[o0o]___________ ptomblin/rfc.html
>ptom...@xcski.com O O O

Unfortunately, the Warbird restoration biz has no
supermillinaires/billionaires who feel like spending gobs of money to
save part of our history. Bill Gates, are you listening?? Aaron
Spelling?? $100 million for a house?? Give me a fucking break.

Colonel Bruce Barr Confederate Air Force

Alan K. Sumrall

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Oct 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/20/96
to

I assume Mr. Greenameyer is one of the type A personalities that we
can either love or hate but rarely something in between. These
personalities can be found in all walks of life...they are the doers of
great deeds and/or the cause of great disasters...but, unlike most of us
they make life interesting. Greenameyer has the guts to do and has done
what most of us can only dream about...he lost the gamble on the Kee
Bird but had he succeeded he would have been a hero.
If it weren't like men like Greenameyer who at least try, we
wouldn't have a warbird heritage today. Most of us do nothing to
support the "industry" due to other priorities and limited resources.
The attempt to capture the Kee-bird was a tribute to free-enterprize and
adventure with the risks with commensurate reward that type-A's love so
much. The loss of Kee-bird, in the broad perspective was no great loss
(it wasn't doning any good where it was), but had it been regained and
brought home then it would have been a gain for all of us.
Was Lindbergh (a comparable type to Greenameyer), a genius, a hero,
or a fool? Maybe a little bit of both. Were Wooster/Davis and
Nuggesser/Coli less the heros because they failed? They are forgotten
today while Lindbergh is the legend. Had Lindbergh fallen asleep or his
single engine failed and he crashed in the Atlantic he would be unknown
today. Had he failed many would have decried his attempt as silly.
To me, like a lot of the Warbird crowd, especially the racers,
Greenameyer is a swashbuckler of sorts...he is what he is. He isn't a
politician but a gambler. Murphy's law got him on Kee-bird because the
attempt wasn't thorough enough (but perhaps he was as thorough as time
and conditions permited)...but who could have even gotten as far as
Greenameyer? He rolled the dice this time and lost (along with others)
but at least they tried, just as those have tried to bring home the
Swamp Ghost but have failed. At least they tryed.
I can't criticize someone for trying and failing...I can only shrug
my shoulder and say, better luck next time. There are still airplanes to
find and recover.
Go get 'em Daryl, if not for yourself, for us. You make life
extremely interesting and put color into many otherwise drab lives.

Al Sumrall

Gord Beaman

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Oct 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/21/96
to

>Al Sumrall

<nothing snipped>

I totally agree with you Al, very well said.
--
Gord Beaman
PEI, Canada.


Gary T. Craze

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Oct 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/21/96
to


This about exactly summarizes the feelings I have, but had trouble
putting to words. Many thanks Al......

rgds,

Gatt

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Oct 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/21/96
to

When I watched the show I remembered the restoration based on an article
I had read during the interim between summers--back when things were
going well. So when I watched the show, I had the notion that they ol'
bird had made it. I remember dropping my cup of coffee at the end of
the show. I had to go for a walk.

The reason I say this is because even when I was under the impression
that the bomber ended up coming home safe, it still seemed like a stupid
idea. Maybe that adds objectivity to my belief.

The aviation history community had such a rare, pristine, precious
opportunity. I have seen the wreckage of a B-17E brought out here to
the Tillamook hangar from Greenland. It can be done. It seems to me
that the plane should have been disassembled and flown or floated to
some nice sunny spot in Florida or Texas or somewhere where the notion
of flying a wreck could have been undertaken with less hazard.

Granted, Greenmeyer is broke. That is tragic, and I felt some of his
loss watching him see his dream sink in the ice. The fact is, though,
one other person is dead and a priceless element of history is gone
forever. Maybe it would have cost more to truck in to a hangar. It's
hard to weigh that cost against somebody who died because he tried too
hard to get the bird running by winterfall. Funding can be found.
Relics and lives cannot be replaced.

I applaud Greenmeyer (and his crew!) for such a momentous endeavor, but
even before I knew the outcome it had all the trappings of Hollywood
movie script. Somehow, though, there had to be less risk, less drama
involved. Greenmeyer has lost his fortune. He's done more with warbirds
than I ever will so I have a hard time sympathizing with that. The
experience alone is irrevokable. Friends and love ones greive a dead,
dedicated enthusiast, and the worldwide aviation community greives the
senseless loss of yet another unique treasure.

Somehow, "at least he tried" doesn't fix any of that.

Chris Gattman
Portland, Oregon

Paul Tomblin

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Oct 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/21/96
to

In a previous article, "Alan K. Sumrall" <a...@livingston.net> said:
>much. The loss of Kee-bird, in the broad perspective was no great loss
>(it wasn't doning any good where it was), but had it been regained and

Well, there is where I will always disagree with the majority of you. A B-29
sitting on the ice in Greenland is like an archeological site. Far better in
my mind to let it sit until it can be "dug" properly, than to ruin it by
attempting a rush job. The world's supply of B-29s is pretty damn small, and
thanks to this half-assed rush job, it just got smaller by one.

But then I suppose you probably support the people who snuck onto a friend of
mine's farm in the middle of the night, dug up a thousands of year old indian
midden with a bulldozer looking for sellable relics, and destroyed a valuable
archeological site. After all, "it wasn't doning[sic] any good where it was".

Bill Garnett

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Oct 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/21/96
to

> >As to leaving the plane standing there for the winter, that's what it
> >did since it landed there in the 1950's without lots of damage.
> >What's one more winter after so many? The engines aren't going to
> >be harmed.
>
Really!? Then why did they change them out at the outset of this expedition?

Jim Dincau

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Oct 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/22/96
to

ptom...@compass.xcski.com (Paul Tomblin) wrote:
>

> Well, there is where I will always disagree with the majority of you. A B-29
> sitting on the ice in Greenland is like an archeological site. Far better in
> my mind to let it sit until it can be "dug" properly, than to ruin it by
> attempting a rush job. The world's supply of B-29s is pretty damn small, and
> thanks to this half-assed rush job, it just got smaller by one.
>
> But then I suppose you probably support the people who snuck onto a friend of
> mine's farm in the middle of the night, dug up a thousands of year old indian
> midden with a bulldozer looking for sellable relics, and destroyed a valuable
> archeological site. After all, "it wasn't doning[sic] any good where it was".

There is absolutely no comparison, the origin, history, purpose and
utility of the B-29 is fully documented in print and film. There is
no 'archeolgy' required merely a little research. To compare it with
attempting to achieve the same insight into the history of a pre
historic people is nonesense.


Don Stuart

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Oct 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/22/96
to

Does anyone have any information about the Russian Yak-28 which
crashed in the Havel lake in Berlin in April 1966?

I'm interested mainly in the cause. There were several rumours at the
time and a number of press articles have recently appeared speculating
on various aspects of the incident.

E-mail me if you have any useful info


Rob de Bie

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Oct 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/22/96
to

In article <84600616...@donstu.demon.co.uk>,
dst...@donstu.demon.co.uk says...

I have heard that this aircraft took off from Eberswalde-Finow (or Finow
for short). The crew ejected soon after take-off, but the plane flew on
to crash in West-Berlin. That's all I've heard, and I have no documents
to prove it.

Rob


TheWright1

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Oct 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/24/96