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An F6F belonging to Planes of Fame went down on I-40 near Monterey, Tennessee, a couple of days ago, The pilot, Art Vance, was killed.
In article ,
Larry Cauble wrote:
An F6F belonging to Planes of Fame went down on I-40 near Monterey,
Tennessee, a couple of days ago, The pilot, Art Vance, was killed.
Anyone know the condition of the airplane (or see a photo).
There are not too many flyable Hellcats left, and the loss of
any one of them is tragic (not to mention the even more tragic
loss of the pilot).
John A. Weeks III 952-432-2708
Newave Communications http://www.johnweeks.com
This reminds me of a story from Coonts's "Cannibal Queen" of an old
Hellcat lost. I think the owner was a farmer from Willamette, or maybe
the plane was lost in Willammette. But I'm pretty sure it was lost at
an airshow. Does anybody know any details of this accident?
this might be the incedent...found in my old
Sebastopol racing pilot Vance killed in Tennessee crash
Sonoma County Air Show stalwart was flying vintage WWII fighter when it
went down in bad weather
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
By DEREK J. MOORE
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Pilot Arthur Vance flies a P-51 Mustang on a low approach at the
Healdsburg Airport during an Aug. 19 photo shoot to promote the Pacific
Coast Air Museum's annual show.
Sebastopol's Arthur Vance was so good at flying fast and low that
pilots at some of the nation's premier air races had to get his
approval before they could enter.
Known as a "race boss" to some and an aviation ace to others, Vance,
64, was killed Saturday when the rare World War II fighter he was
flying crashed on a Tennessee freeway.
The retired Federal Express pilot and father of two was ferrying a 1944
Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter from Knoxville, Tenn., to an air show in
Little Rock, Ark.
Authorities said the plane crashed in bad weather after striking power
lines near the small town of Cookeville, about 60 miles west of
Knoxville. The crash caused a power outage and snarled traffic for
News of the crash had traveled by Monday through Sonoma County's
close-knit fraternity of pilots and plane enthusiasts. They remembered
Vance as a stalwart at the Sonoma County Air Show, as well as an
instructor and plane builder.
Flying runs in the family. Vance's father flew for Pan Am and his son,
Dan, is a pilot for American Airlines, according to friends.
The family declined comment Monday.
"It's a tremendous loss to the aviation community," said Walt Smith,
regional coordinator for the Federal Aviation Administration. "In my
book, he was a professional. Above all, I'm shocked that this
Federal aviation authorities continued their investigation Monday into
the crash, which occurred after Vance had taken off Saturday afternoon
from an airport in Knoxville.
Investigators are looking into the possibility that Vance was flying
too low and struck cables connecting power poles along the freeway,
according to an aviation source who has direct knowledge of the
Aviation experts say pilots sometimes fly low to avoid bad weather.
Known as "scud running," the practice carries obvious risks.
Eyewitnesses told the Monterey, Tenn., Herald-Citizen that they saw the
Hellcat flying about 60 feet above the ground before it struck the
In other circumstances, such low altitude flying was fairly routine for
Vance, who was a leading player in air racing's unlimited class, the
fastest, most dangerous kind of racing.
Among other things, Vance counseled other pilots how to pass other
planes at speeds of 450 mph while flying at about 40 feet above the
In addition to being race boss at the Reno National Championship Air
Races, Vance also was tapped to help resurrect races in Tunica, Miss.,
last summer. On Monday, organizers of both races dedicated a memorial
to Vance on their Web sites.
Vance's abilities were so admired that curators at the Planes of Flame
Museum in Chino entrusted him with their prized Hellcat, a legendary
World War II Navy fighter.
Vance was a volunteer at the museum and on several occasions had flown
the blue and white plane to air shows around the country.
There are only a half-dozen of the planes still in existence, said Mark
Foster, the museum's vice president and general manager. He said
similar planes have gone for $2 million at auction.
"We lost a good friend of the museum and a historic aircraft all at one
time," Foster said. "That's really hard."
In Sonoma County, Vance was lauded for his efforts with the Sonoma
County Air Show, where he was a familiar presence in "Speedball Alice,"
his P51 Mustang. Vance led the World War II fly-by every year.
"It's a huge loss to the air show and war bird communities," said Dave
Pinsky, executive director of the Pacific Coast Air Museum.
Daryl Bond, who owns a P51 and shared a hangar with Vance, recalled
fond times when the two men worked on planes together.
"He was a fantastic guy, one of the best pilots I knew," Bond said.
Vance is survived by his wife, Judy, and two children.
FAA Preliminary Accident Report
Regis#: 4994V Make/Model: F6F Description: GRUMMAN F6F-5
Date: 10/08/2005 Time: 2103
Event Type: Accident Highest Injury: Fatal Mid Air: N
City: MONTEREY State: TN Country: US
ACFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE ONE PERSON ON BOARD WAS
FATALLY INJURED AND THE ACFT WAS DESTROYED, ON INTERSTATE 40,
INJURY DATA Total Fatal: 1
# Crew: 1 Fat: 1 Ser: 0 Min: 0
# Pass: 0 Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0
# Grnd: Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0
WEATHER: NOT REPORTED
Departed: Dep Date: Dep. Time:
Destination: Flt Plan: Wx
Last Radio Cont:
FAA FSDO: NASHVILLE, TN (SO03) Entry date:
FMI: www.tnairmuseum.com, www.ntsb.gov
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