B-29: The "Kee Bird" Disaster

USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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NDT

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I learned about the Kee Bird for the first time watching the NOVA episode. First, the mechanic DIES after getting so sick after working on the plane and then it BURNS TO THE GROUND!! That has to be the saddest thing I have ever watched on TV. I was expecting a happy ending like most shows.
 

CARNAC

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I learned about the Kee Bird for the first time watching the NOVA episode. First, the mechanic DIES after getting so sick after working on the plane and then it BURNS TO THE GROUND!! That has to be the saddest thing I have ever watched on TV. I was expecting a happy ending like most shows.
Saw the same one and felt the same way. All that work to burn to the ground.
 
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Yeah, it was the subject of a NOVA episode on PBS in the mid 1990s. (1995?) It took a lot of work ,parts, and money to get it flight ready. It had taken two seasons to resurrect and the original mechanic died after the first season's work! At the end of the second season of work, the pilot had gotten the landing gear free and was taxiing down the rough runway that had been built for the take off and the **** thing caught fire from fuel leaks in the fuselage that had not been addressed. The plane was a total loss.
 

gringeltaube

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Such a shame! Hard to believe that the only one fire extinguisher was in the back, inside the plane?
I guess they learned that even in the arctic you'd better have enough of them at hand, when playing with such expensive toys!?


BTW: I don't think I could have sat still there in a chair and simply watch all my pride burning into the ground...
 

Bill W

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I had looked at that as divine intervention...I believe that if Kee bird had gotten off the ground ( with crew ) something worse would have happened
 

54reo

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Why bring this one up? Post count low and need to boost it?

In the general aviation, and Warbird Community in particular, any mention of Darryl Greenamyer is a really bad thing due to the Kee Bird event.

This particular subject remains so sore to this day that any respectable member of the aviation community simply does not mention it; it is understood that all those involved in the community already know the event.

Thanks for this.
 

marchplumber

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Why bring this one up? Post count low and need to boost it?

In the general aviation, and Warbird Community in particular, any mention of Darryl Greenamyer is a really bad thing due to the Kee Bird event.

This particular subject remains so sore to this day that any respectable member of the aviation community simply does not mention it; it is understood that all those involved in the community already know the event.

Thanks for this.


Wow!

I would be willing to wager that Chappy wasn't being "intentionally" offensive to the aviation community. Not "everyone" knows about it.....so......
Appreciate you "informing" us...............
Sometimes, history is good to remember, it might help prevent it from occurring again.

Just my two cents......
 

NDT

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Did the "warbird community" have a better way to get the plane out of there that Darryl disregarded? We have all been there, when you are at the end of your rope, safety rules start to get disregarded.
 

USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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Why bring this one up? Post count low and need to boost it?
Quite simply: My posting had absolutely NOTHING to do with "post count". Instead, and quite benignly, this is a bit of MILITARY VEHICLE HISTORY that the larger percentage of our SS Membership most probably has never heard. Since most of the members are TRUCK ENTHUSIASTS, their exposure to any aviation history - Good, Bad, or Ugly - is both limited yet still appreciated.

In the general aviation, and Warbird Community in particular, any mention of Darryl Greenamyer is a really bad thing due to the Kee Bird event.
This particular subject remains so sore to this day that any respectable member of the aviation community simply does not mention it; it is understood that all those involved in the community already know the event.
Thanks for this.
I am presuming you to be referring to "in the AVIATION community" with that assertion. Again, this SS Website is for Military Vehicle Enthusiasts of ALL the various and assorted genre.

It is with the utmost respect that I empathize with your "soreness" over this historical event.

Those who have followed my personal history recorded in these Forums already know that I worked for Mitsubishi Aircraft International for about 7 years. I worked side by side with Japanese Engineers and Technicians from the parent corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Nagoya, Japan. It was Mitsubishi (Japan) that built the 10,000+ Zeros - some of which were the attackers of Pearl Harbor.
Was there cause for anyone - Americans or Japanese - within the now multi-national post-war Mitsubishi to be "sore" and to hold hurt, hatred, and resentment for either side's part in that war??? Of course there was.
Did we avoid engaging in discussions about the war with Japan? Absolutely NOT!!! Most of us were the baby-boomers of the post-war veterans - although we had a few older employees who had actually been IN that war as well! One particular engineer - he was part of the team that had interviewed me for the job - was a "nuclear mutant", his mother had him in her womb when Nagasaki was nuked. He stood more that 6' 2" tall and barely had mushroom-like stubs for thumbs. (I understand his feet were also deformed but I never saw them.) All were effects of RADIATION on him as a fetus. Might he have had any reason to "BE SORE" or harbor animosity toward his American counterparts??? NEVER. "Sam" as he was known in Texas was far stronger character than that.
In any situation, we can choose to take offense. Or we can take the higher road, see the facts from an open perspective, and most probably learn from it rather than repeat it.

I assure you. No offense was intended. None should be assumed.

Wow!

I would be willing to wager that Chappy wasn't being "intentionally" offensive to the aviation community. Not "everyone" knows about it.....so......
Appreciate you "informing" us...............
Sometimes, history is good to remember, it might help prevent it from occurring again.

Just my two cents......
Yes, mp, you're perception was spot-on.

I too appreciate being now informed that some in the aviation community look at the Kee Bird's loss as a SNAFU of the most exemplary kind. I also felt angst (as a former aviation engineer) when I learned the history. Just as I did not erase the factual history of WWII from any further discussion, I will not stick my head in the sand and ignore the lessons to be learned. By sharing this, and having open, honest, and respectful discussion we can together learn in a manner once suggested by Albert Einstein.....
(Paraphrased)
"The same intelligence used to create the problem CANNOT be used to correct it."

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Aussie Bloke

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G'day everyone,....


I first saw that Documentary about the Kee Bird over a year ago,...

My father being an aircraft engineer I was around big airframes more than most kids.
I guess that's where I got my love of flying and interest in planes.

So when I saw this I shed a tear at the ending and all that hard work and effort that went into getting it to the point of moving under its own power considering the state it was
in.

Even being on this side of the screen while watching it I wondered why they just didn't throw buckets of snow on the fire,..?
You think of these things while in your hart you are praying for the plane to be saved,....

I guess this time we lost.

I always feel bad at the loss of a good/great aircraft.
And I certainly feel for those who put in all the time and hard work only to watch it go up in smoke.

If we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.



Aussie.
 

jasonjc

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It's the little things that will bite you in the a$$. They didn't miss a main fuel line or some flight controls. It was a portable generator and fuel can in the back of the plane. My point is try to think about the little simple things if not...... Well anything can happen.
 

vtdeucedriver

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G'day everyone,....


I first saw that Documentary about the Kee Bird over a year ago,...

My father being an aircraft engineer I was around big airframes more than most kids.
I guess that's where I got my love of flying and interest in planes.

So when I saw this I shed a tear at the ending and all that hard work and effort that went into getting it to the point of moving under its own power considering the state it was
in.

Even being on this side of the screen while watching it I wondered why they just didn't throw buckets of snow on the fire,..?
You think of these things while in your hart you are praying for the plane to be saved,....

I guess this time we lost.

I always feel bad at the loss of a good/great aircraft.
And I certainly feel for those who put in all the time and hard work only to watch it go up in smoke.

If we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.



Aussie.
Shovels of wet snow will not put out a Magnesium fire.
 

vtdeucedriver

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Oh I do love a good "Kee Bird" thread.
Whoever it was that posted about Daryell's name in the community, he is right. He has not been heard from since. What could have got "Kee Bird" out is DEEP POCKETS and have done it right. Paul Allen for one would have stepped up if she were still sitting there in her original state. He would have built a temporary structure and a true fitting runway for the B-29 if he wanted it. The airplane was lost because of a cut corner and allowing the APU to be gravity fed so it could run (The APU has to run to work the Landing gear so it has to run)
Daryell borrowed parts and money to fun this adventure of his and many of his debits are still OUTSTANDING today. A family friend has a $ 28,000 dollar salvage right on his propeller parts that were loaned to fly out Kee Bird. I am sure there are many other pieces of paper still out there waiting for the day someone to salvage whats left and claim what is still theirs. Well that is if the country allows anyone to go back if its under agreement that they pick up all the garbage they left (fuel drums & equipment) that litters the land where they performed the work. Yep, valiant effort but a short cut lost a treasure and ruined a name in Aviation.
 
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