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Old 01-01-2017, 03:32 PM   #1
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Default Mid-Air Collision in McKinney, TX

Three Killed in Midair Plane Collision Near McKinney | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Just found out that one of the victims of this crash was my first B-52 Aircraft Commander (Spanky) and his son. Great pilot, great mentor and friend. He will be missed. Blessings and God's comfort to his wife and remaining children.

Fly safe out there.
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Old 01-01-2017, 04:26 PM   #2
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Sheesh.... what happened? :-(
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Old 01-02-2017, 04:46 AM   #3
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Spanky was an awesome guy. Dedicated husband and father; a fantastic, generous friend. B-52 A/C, T-38 IP and U-2 pilot. I believe he was one of the last pilots selected for the SR-71 but the program was canceled before he had a chance to fly it. He had owned and flown that Luscombe for at least 20 years. There are just not enough words to describe how great a man he was....or how sad I am that he is gone.

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Old 01-02-2017, 11:25 AM   #4
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Rumor and unconfirmed source reporting on other forums suggest the Piper Cherokee variant (either fixed gear PA28 or Arrow, not yet confirmed) entered via midfield crosswind and presumably never saw the Luscombe. The collision apparently occurred as a result of the Cherokee overtaking the Luscombe while either in the turn towards downwind, or as established on downwind. Prop shredded the tail assembly, the loss of control impact therefore inevitable. The Cherokee supposedly flew for a while longer before crashing, others suggest its crash was also immediate with the damage to the prop and airframe.

Condolences to the victims. non-towered airfield ops require a lot of faith on accurate position reporting and vigilance for non-radio players, on the part of all participants. Lack of standardization and differences in equipment, particularly traffic awareness and radios, certainly can contribute to these kinds of accidents. No guarantees in life folks, all we can do is be good stewards in the pattern and practice accurate position reporting. Even with an electrical system one could be in the wrong frequency and not know it, so head on a swivel in an NTA pattern is a must.
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:52 PM   #5
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Wow, so very sad...The BUFF community was getting pretty small before I retired, but I don't recognize his picture nor his name/call sign. Looks like his last BUFF assignment was at Fairchild in 1994? My condolences to those who knew him, what a tragic loss...
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:48 PM   #6
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When did you leave the BUFF? Still there and loving it, but can't wait to start the next chapter in a year or so.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:19 PM   #7
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The pilot of that Luscombe was my good friend. I'd known him 19 years and had flown that Luscombe with him. We took a T-38 to Oshkosh a few years back. Aviation... all facets... was his passion. You always hear about guys that will do anything for you; guys that are always the bright spot in your day; guys with an eternally optimistic attitude. Spanky really was that guy. He was an amazing pilot. And an even better father and person. He always cared about his fellow man. He was so involved with his family and community.

After being a T-38 FAIP, a tour in the B-52, and a staff tour, Spanky applied for the SR-71 in 1997: they were hiring one... only one... pilot that year, from the hundreds of applicants. Spanky beat out everyone and was hired. He showed up at Edwards to start training, but four days later, Pres Clinton killed the SR program. Three days later, Spanky is at Beale to fly the U-2 interview flights. Five days later, he is hired to the U-2 Program and has to get a SecAF waiver for two PCS' in 2 weeks. He became my neighbor on base. When I first met him, I knew he was about 35, but he looked barely 21. I gave him his T-38 checkride on 23 Dec 1997. Friends ever since. He was the deployed U-2 squadron commander in Saudi before the war kicked off in 2003. I replaced him at the end of his tour.

He elected not to go the professional pilot route after retirement, but was always super active in GA, EAA, Boy Scouts, and teaching his kids about aviation. The fact that Tim perished too is just crushing.

So very tragic. He was loved by all that ever met him.

God bless you, Spanky.
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Old 01-04-2017, 03:15 PM   #8
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Sad to see.

I've noticed several other senior/retired mil aviators involved in GA accidents recently, and even more tragically family members were involved as well.

Please be careful with GA, it's the wild west out there for sure. A common theme when I was with a mil flying club was winged guys, used to jets or at least turbines, getting into trouble that pistons couldn't get them out of. We gave up on surplus T-34A/Bs after two or three guys crashed them in terrain they would have been able to climb out of in a T-34C.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:02 PM   #9
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How terrible. "Spanky" was after my time but it is always sad to see a "bro" leave us. RIP to all the victims.
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:04 PM   #10
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Recommend moving this to the SAFETY forum, as it belongs there.
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