Flipped Stearman at DCA: Take a chill pill

stearman_flip.JPGWhile it’s important to get to the bottom of most if not all aircraft accidents, the prang by a Stearman A75 (N27WE) at Reagan National airport yesterday maybe shouldn’t have drawn as much attention as it did, all things being considered.

NTSB was quick to dispatch its “A team” to the incident, given that the media (including my excellent colleagues at Flight) was not only watching, but was involved in the event. Thank goodness no one was hurt.

Let’s get real though. 

A quick look at NTSB records (searching on “Stearman” in the Word String field) shows that Stearman’s nose-over, and nose-over, and nose-over. Of the accidents the board has investigated since 2005, there have been six Stearman nose-overs by my count, and that’s not including a nose-over in Salina, Kansas on Sunday, according to FAA preliminary incident reports.

Let’s investigate these lightweight prangs, especially when important sounding Washington Post journos like Ashley Halsey III are on board, but let’s keep the A-team reserved for safety problems that might affect a bit larger portion of the population, yeah?


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