All B-17s to be grounded?

On 15 April 2023 the Yankee Air Museum, owner of Boeing B-17G 44-85829, (N3193G) to most people known as ‘Yankee Lady’, announced that it has grounded the plane with immediate effect. According to their Facebook page recent inspections of other B-17s have revealed wing spar issues.

As a result a mandatory Airworthiness Directive (AD) is expected to be issued by the FAA in the next few weeks regarding the matter. This AD could be the result of what has been found on the Experimental Aircraft Association owned B-17G, 44-85740 (N5017N/‘Aluminum Overcast’), wing attach structure that caused it to be grounded in April 2021.

The directive of the FAA is forthcoming and operators have been notified to fly their B-17's to whatever location they wish before the AD becomes effective and the aircraft can't fly.

The measure will most likely not only affect the last airworthy US based B-17s ‘Ye Olde Pub’ (N3701G) and Sentimental Journey(N9323Z), but also the British ‘Sally B’ (G-BEDF).

Photo by Bill Scheuerman

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