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I met Howard on a couple of occasions and he was a very conservative performer..and his aircraft were all in top shape. Rest in peace Howard.

I too am 77 and still flying and After many thousands of hours in nearly 90 different types of aircraft, I think that I can still teach you kids a thing or too about flying.


Thanks Barney. I work out at the gym next to a couple guys in their seventies. And without a doubt, they could kick the butts of the majority of keyboard punchers out there.

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The RAF has it right with their heritage flights. The DoD needs to buy back some of it's aircraft and have a unit based in Washington DC with the best of the best (read near retirement) pilots in the US Armed Forces and integrate select pilots of all services to fly these birds safely for spectators.

I'd love to see that. The closest thing we have right now are some of the USAF QF-4E's painted in historical colors and making appearances at a few select airshows. Even those will eventually be shot down. Sad.... but in these days of tight budgets, I just can't see this happening.

I really think the AF should try to keep a few historical jets flying. The prop warbirds will always be around, to one extent or another but hardly any individuals or groups have the means to keep an F-4 flying. Personally, I'd love to see an AF "Jet Heritage" flight with an F-4 an F-105 (I read somewhere that there was a mothballed Thud that someone was thinking about getting airworthy) and (if they can find any airworthy examples) a few century series jets.

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When the Lord calls our number, it doesn't matter what we're doing at the time, our number's up and we go to meet Him, regardless of how we get there.

If you really believe that then why do you look before crossing the road, bother with safety equipment, wear a seatbelt or get medical treatment when you get sick? It seems He likes to call the number of irresponsible folk a lot more often than safety conscious ones.

Like every government rule and regulation, decisions about health and safety standards for pilots are a measured calculations based (hopefully) upon proper scientific research and statistical analysis. Sure the pilots involved in all of these incident may older than the average, but might or might not have had anything to do with it. To conclusively state that it's the cause is a classic correlation and causation fallacy.

Accidents are a caused by a chain of shortcomings and failures, and also to blame an accident on just one is also plain wrong. It's undeniable that health, eyesight and reflexes degrade as you age, but that can be balanced against the knowledge and maturity that develops at the same time. A proper analysis of the causes of all of these terrible incidents is necessary before before we can conclusively states that age related degradation of health was a common cause, and even then it will only justify a re-examination of the health standards required for certification of ageing pilots before a decision can be made.


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77 isn't as old as it used to be, & there are lots of non-warbirds that require 'speed & reflexes when things go south'. Even at 77, I'm sure as many hours he had in the Bearcat & other warbirds, he was as good as they come.

77 years of age and flying warbirds... No offence here, but these machines require speed and reflexes when things go south.

Jorgen "Troll" Toll


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"Anything" more thAn 50 years, for civilians? I guess you're not aware of just how many civilian aircraft there are flying that are 50 years old. General Aviation is having a hard enough time as it is without your kind of help.

ugh, I'm so sorry about this.

I'm beginning to think it's time to ground anything more then 50 years old for civilians. It's time to relegate these birds to museums for the future to get to see. What's going to happen when we lose Fifi?

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A little more complex now. http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgFar.nsf/FARSBySectLookup/61.23

Nightiemission, I hate to disagree with you but pilots are not required to take a physical every year - the last time I looked, it was broken down this way:

Airline Transport Pilot (First Class Physical) Physical required each 6 Months

Commercial Pilot (Second Class Physical) Physical required each 2 years

Private pilot (Third Class Physical) Physical required each 3 years

Light Sport Pilot - No physical required (Only a valid drivers license is required)

Ultra Light Pilot - No certification of any type required (limited to flying a/c of a certain weight, airspeed and fuel cap.

At the current time the EAA, AOPA and the FAA are looking into the feasibility of making the third class license the same as the light sport category, medically self certified, and holding a valid drivers license. Aircraft to be limited to single engine, none complex (no constant speed props or retractable landing gears), max of 180 hp and max of pilot and 3 passengers.

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