Friday, November 05, 2021

North American P-51C Mustang, N61429: Incident occurred November 04, 2021 and Accident occurred February 03, 2016

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

November 04, 2021:  Aircraft veered off Runway 9 on landing at Tallahassee International Airport (KTLH), Leon County, Florida. 

American Air Power Heritage Flying Museum

Date: 04-NOV-21
Time: 19:15:00Z
Regis#: N61429
Aircraft Model: P51C
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Activity: PERSONAL
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

November 04, 2021

November 04, 2021

The Tuskegee Airmen exhibit is still on after one of its P-51 Mustangs was involved in a minor crash at Tallahassee International Airport Thursday.

The pilot of the plane was not injured after he left the runway while landing.

While smaller planes could still come and go, all commercial air traffic in or out of Tallahassee was suspended for more than three hours while a crane was mobilized to remove the broken plane and clear the runway.

“It basically went off the runway and came to rest on the side of the runway. There appears to be some damage to the landing gear,” Deputy Director of Aviation Jim Durwin said. “It’s in one piece.”

He did not have an exact tally of how many flights into or out of Tallahassee were delayed but said by the time the airport closed, all had left or arrived. 

“Flights held where they were,” Durwin said. “One flight was diverted to Panama City.”

Durwin said airport officials have been in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board. He said the owners of the aircraft were working with federal officials and maintenance crews on repairing the plane as well as completing an investigation. 

Durwin said he was appreciative of first responders and airport staff who quickly cleared the runway and ensured safety.

One piece of good news is, the Rise Above Traveling Exhibit, will go on. It's an opportunity to learn and experience the story of the Tuskegee Airmen while being immersed in a theatrical experience. The exhibit runs through Saturday

“The Red Tails exhibit is still going on as planned,” Durwin said. “But that aircraft is not going to be there as part of the display.”

The exhibit includes a mobile "big" screen theater with a customized 53 -inch trailer with expandable sides that houses a 160-degree panoramic curved movie screen. It showcases a short original movie, "Rise Above," focusing on what the Tuskegee Airmen had to overcome to be allowed to fly and fight for their country during World War II.

Large groups are requested to register in advance by calling Elizabeth Hyman at 850-205-0393 or emailing The event is being held in the Flightline Group hangar located at 3256 Capital Circle, NW, at Tallahassee International Airport.

Tallahassee is the only city in America to host this event for more than 10 years and over 20,000 people have taken advantage of this experience. 

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

American Air Power Heritage Flying Museum

Location: Dallas, Texas
Accident Number: GAA16CA133
Date and Time: February 3, 2016, 11:00 Local 
Registration: N61429
Aircraft: North American P 51 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear not configured
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that he landed the airplane with the landing gear retracted, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage.

According to the pilot there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot further reported that this accident could have been prevented with a "higher degree" of diligence to checklists.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to extend the landing gear prior to landing, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage during landing.


Aircraft Gear extension and retract sys - Not used/operated
Personnel issues Use of checklist - Pilot
Personnel issues Task monitoring/vigilance - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing Landing gear not configured (Defining event)
Landing Abnormal runway contact
Landing Runway excursion

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial Age: 51, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: August 20, 2015
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: May 10, 2014
Flight Time: (Estimated) 1815 hours (Total, all aircraft), 187 hours (Total, this make and model), 5.8 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: North American 
Registration: N61429
Model/Series: P51C 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1942 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Limited (Special) 
Serial Number: 103-26199
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 10500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: ROLLS ROYCE
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: V-1650-7
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 1497 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRBD,658 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 16:50 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 314°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility:   10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 13 knots / 22 knots 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  / None
Wind Direction: 330°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.21 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C / -4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Dallas, TX (RBD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Dallas, TX (RBD)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 10:15 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 659 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 35
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3800 ft / 150 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop; Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 32.679443,-96.866111(est)

 February 3, 2016

 February 3, 2016

 February 3, 2016

 February 3, 2016

 February 3, 2016

 February 3, 2016

 February 3, 2016


  1. Can't believe how these organizations seem to let almost anyone fly these irreplaceable historic aircraft, so often with predictable results.....

  2. Genuinely surprised it wasn't the Crash Air Farce. Having photographed one of their crashes in Arizona, I've come to expect that of them. This guy's just as much of a moron.

  3. Two different mishaps involving the same airplane and same owner (CAF). The 2016 accident at KRBD in Dallas was simply failure of the pilot to extend the landing gear, which is inexcusable.

    The 2021 accident in Tallahassee APPEARS to be a collapse of the left landing gear for reasons which are unknown at this time. Old age / fatigue of the landing gear, side load due to inappropriate crosswind technique, gear failed to lock in the down position are all possibilities.

    In any case, this poor airplane is snake bit. Anyone who has followed its operational history with the CAF knows that it is beset with ongoing maintenance issues that are worse than those of the "average" warbird of that age. It needs to either be properly restored and maintained, or it needs to stop flying until it can be properly restored and maintained. The CAF is no longer short on funds - they act like they are and they're constantly asking for more money - but they're flush with cash and have competent mechanics. They need to evaluate their priorities vis a vis these extremely rare airplanes before someone gets hurt.

    1. Went to look up the fat with cash assertion and was impressed by substantial salaries paid to listed individuals during some years shown on CAF's publicly available charity IRS form 990 filings.

      The 2019 return is the most recent one available, so it's unknown from the form 990 filings how they are doing at the moment. Does seem like you are correct in believing there is no reason for maintenance to be underfunded, at least during those past years where returns show big pay to top executives:

    2. I photographed this airplane on the Sunday before the crash both during it's performance and also afterwards from the operations area (next to the runway). I believe it would be unfair to pin this on CAF or the aircraft being "snake bit" or to imply in any way that the gear wasn't being maintained. It DOES take a lot of money to maintain and simply fuel these aircraft, so it's unfair to whine about that. It was doing fine on Sunday before the accident. Could someone have made a mistake? Yeah, as could any one of us commenting.

  4. 500 ft GUMP Check...Gas, Undercarriage, Mixture, Pitch

    Always the final memory item, simple!!

  5. I was fortunate enough to get a ride in a two seat P-51D and the very smart and experienced pilot did an audible GUMPS check on downwind, base and final! If someone with his skills and having 3000 hours in a P-51 needs to check it 3 times, I think everyone should regardless of what you're flying!!

  6. On the "inexcusable" comment....did you ever once change lanes without signalling? Try to drive away with the parking brake on? What? You idiot!
    It's just the position of one control...I keep my mouth shut on gear up landings..I don't think anyone who has done it planned on it. I don't plan on it either. Gump, gump, myself, if necessary, to not sound silly. No 'mixture' in most things I fly now, but 'gump' is stuck in my head, and is welcome there. I hope it continues to work.

    1. Looked for the "inexcusable" comment and can't find it, but the accident pilot's handwritten Form 6120.1 safety recommendation in the 2016 gear up event says "This land event could have been prevented with a "higher degree of dilegents to checklists and memory checks"

      The Form 6120.1 report shows that the pilot recorded zero hours Mustang-type flight time during the previous 90 days.

      No matter how you define "inexcusable", not using the checklist after not having flown the type recently can't be compared to parking brake and turn signal management in an automobile.

    2. I make all callouts audible. I tell my passengers before we fly that I’m going to be doing a lot of talking to myself, and not to worry about my mental health.

    3. I personally know someone, a pro, who had a gear-up landing with, at the time, around 25,000 hrs. He's well beyond 30k now. Anything can happen to anyone at any time.

  7. of all planes to land gear up oh my