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B-17 "ALUMINUM OVERCAST" DAMAGED IN GEAR MALFUNCTION AT VAN NUYS

May 5, 2004 - The Experimental Aircraft Association's Boeing B-17 bomber "Aluminum Overcast," a World War II-era aircraft currently touring the West Coast, was damaged Wednesday when its landing gear collapsed following its safe arrival at the Van Nuys, Calif., airport.

The airplane had safely landed at Van Nuys at about 4:30 (Pacific time) and was completing its 4,000-foot landing roll when both main gear mechanisms collapsed. The airplane was estimated to be traveling approximately 30 miles per hour at the time and was about to turn off the runway. There were no injuries among the crew or passengers, and all persons aboard safely exited the airplane.

Late Wednesday evening, crews had raised and towed the aircraft from the Van Nuys runway. The extent of the damage is being assessed.

EAA's B-17 has been flying national tours since 1994, with thousands of people enjoying flights aboard the vintage aircraft and tens of thousands more touring the interior of the aircraft.

EAA has owned the airplane since 1981 and spent more than a decade restoring it to full flying condition.

The current B-17 tour began in April was traveling the West Coast and was due to return to EAA Headquarters in Oshkosh, Wis., in mid-July. 

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