Boeing Stearman Vintage Aircraft at KDCA

john1027

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On June 8th, eight 1940s-era Boeing Stearman PT17 biplanes were scheduled to land at Washington National Airport (KDCA). The planes have open two-seat cockpits and were built between 1938 and 1943. They were used primarily to train World War II pilots, and after the war ended were converted to crop-dusters. Their landing was scheduled to publicize the premier of the Smithsonian Museum’s new 3D IMAX film, The Legends of Flight. The event got plenty of publicity, but not exactly how it was planned out.

Unfortunately, one of the eight planes flipped over after touching down probably due to a cross wind, a not so uncommon event in the early days of flight. The pilot and his passenger, a reporter for The Washington Post luckily escaped injury. The crash closed the longest of the two airport’s runways for about two hours, as a crane had to be dispatched to lift the plane from the runway. It was the first time that so many vintage aircraft had been allowed to land at KDCA since the events of 9-11.

The seven undamaged planes were staged in front of the old airport terminal. The historic terminal originally opened for business on June 16, 1941. It has been preserved and is designated as a historic landmark.

Here is a link to The Washington Post reporter’s video account, which includes footage of the approach to the runway and the crash itself.

Dr. Gridlock - NTSB investigating plane crash at DCA

E-P2 & 14-42 & 20mm
(note: I didn't take the last photo of the plane hanging on a cable; shot with Nikon D90)
(note: B&W conversions via Silver Efex Pro)

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BBW

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John you've taken some really nice shots with that new camera of yours! Beautiful colors, great exposures... And as much as I do really love those colors, and I do, there's something quite lovely and appropriate about your two black and white versions. Perhaps you'll give us a few more renditions when you have the time. Very nice work - and thank goodness no one was hurt!
 

john1027

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Alexandria, VA USA
Thank you all for the kind words. No one was hurt except maybe the pilot's pride. That aircraft costs about $150k and can be repaired as the damage was fairly minor also. Finding the spare parts to do the repair is the hard part.
 

Brian S

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Apr 11, 2009
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My Father learned to fly in one of those. I heard about the accident on the radio.

This Saturday- Udvar Hazy is setting up 50 aircraft outside, should be interesting. I plan on being there.
 

Streetshooter

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Dec 15, 2009
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Phila, Pa USA
John,
Great stuff as always. I have to say tho', the Color belongs to those beauts...
I love B&W but well....the color is right...
Thanks for posting and also the video....
Don
 

john1027

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
305
Location
Alexandria, VA USA
My Father learned to fly in one of those. I heard about the accident on the radio.

This Saturday- Udvar Hazy is setting up 50 aircraft outside, should be interesting. I plan on being there.
That should be great, and based on what I seen of your photos, you should have some great images when it is over. The weather is supposed to be fair but hot.
 

john1027

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
305
Location
Alexandria, VA USA
John,
Great stuff as always. I have to say tho', the Color belongs to those beauts...
I love B&W but well....the color is right...
Thanks for posting and also the video....
Don
Thank for the encouragement, and I am trying. The color on the aircraft was spectacular just like a fine race car. On my computer in Aperture and on SmugMug, they are even more vivid. I always seem to lose some of luster that when I upload here. I need to figure that out at some point.

I was playing with the b&w just to try and put them back in time in front of the historic terminal which hasn't changed since WWII, but you are right, the color rendition is better.
 

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