Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine June/July 2021
EAA’s B-17 “Aluminum Overcast” arrived at Punta Gorda, Florida (KPGD) on its schedule of flying and selling rides. When the aircraft arrived, crew filled up the tanks (1700-gallon capacity) and parked it for the next day’s schedule of flying passengers. During the preflight inspection, it was noted that one of the wing fairings was loose and had screws missing. After removing the fairing for further inspection, a cracked wing attach point was found, allowing the wing to flex during flight and pop the screws on the fairing.
The aircraft was grounded and the crack was such that a fairy permit would not be issued by the FAA to fly it to a repair station. So, EAA began the process of blocking up the aircraft and removing its wings and trying to find replacement attach points.
The B-17 was recently serviced on the East Coast and the wings removed and reattached after inspection and service.
The airplane will be down for some time as repairs will take place in Punta Gorda when parts are located.
Therefore, EAA’s B-17 national tour is on hiatus for the time being. As additional information becomes available, it will be posted on the B17.org website.
Refunds are being made available for all pre-booked passengers for tour stops and for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh flights.