UPDATE: World War I Replica Aircraft Flips Over on Buchanan Field Runway – No Injuries Reported

February 23, 2014 14:10 pm · 28 comments


A World War I replica aircraft flipped over during a high-speed test at Buchanan Field Airport in Concord this afternoon, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.

The bi-plane, which was identified as a Fokker DVIIR, was engaged in a speed test on a taxiway when it flipped over at around 12:40 p.m., FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The pilot was the only person on board and was not injured, Gregor said.

The airplane was not intended for flight and was heavily damaged, Gregor said.

The plane has been turned upright and is currently being walked-off the runway.

photo credit: Contra Costa Fire Protection District

KenInConcord February 23, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Was this part of the process to get a home built replica plane certified for flight?

Lorelei February 23, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Flippin’ Fokker……….

itsme February 23, 2014 at 1:51 PM

A high speed test but not intended for flight? Why would they even be testing it for speed? Glad the pilot was not hurt.

Russ February 23, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Sources say Snoopy walked away unscathed………..

NSC February 23, 2014 at 1:52 PM

I Live on the Hill seen all the paramedics on scene didnt knoe if it was a drill that was taking place because its very rare for something too go wrong at the air port hope the pilot is well

Enfield303 February 23, 2014 at 1:57 PM


Craig Cannon-Photojournalist February 23, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Snoopy says it was The Red Barons Plane. He was Over Here Watching…..

Schmee February 23, 2014 at 2:27 PM

So the witness from the previous article didnt see it “on approach” and “just before landing” ??

Kirkwood February 23, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Construction of that airplane probably took hundreds of hours. What a shame it was damaged, it will likely be repaired and eventually fly.

ClayDen February 23, 2014 at 2:54 PM

@itsme and the rest of the uninformed

Before you fly any airplane, whether it is a small experimental/homebuilt or a Boeing 747, you must first do taxi tests to confirm that it behaves properly at the maximum speed you expect on the ground. There are different requirements depending on the type and intended use of the aircraft. For most “civilian” (non-military) certified aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of less than 12,500 pounds the requirements are specified in FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations) Part 23; for aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight above 12,500 pounds, the requirements are in FAR Part 25. Commuter category aircraft not exceeding a maximum takeoff weight of 19,000 pounds and with no more than 19 passenger seats are covered in Part 23. If you are interested in the details, the FARs are all available online at no charge.

Even if it were not required, it would be foolish to NOT perform high speed taxi testing before flying an airplane for the first time. BTW, the FARs are part of the Code of Federal Regulations, i.e., Federal Laws.

Craig Cannon-Photojournalist February 23, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Fail. It Looked Like They Really Worked on This. I will Send a Somewhat Good Photo After it was Righted. You’ll See, Not So Bad, but Who Am I To Say. Not an Aircraft Expert.

Just saying February 23, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Thought Snoopy flew a “Sopwith Camel”?

Just saying February 23, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Believe “The Red Barron” flew a Fokker DR-1 Tri-Plane

Snooze at Eleven February 23, 2014 at 3:26 PM

@ Schmeee #8

Claycord is to news as WWF is to sports.

ClayDen February 23, 2014 at 3:34 PM

I forgot to add that I feel very bad for the individual who invested hundreds of hours (or a few thousand) into building this airplane. At least he is apparently uninjured. Airplanes can be repaired.

Kirkwood February 23, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Also, I hope the pilot is a qualified “tail dragger” pilot. Handling aircraft with that landing gear configuration requires extra piloting skills. At least, today’s light winds were perfect for taxi tests.

ANON February 23, 2014 at 3:53 PM

” Glad the pilot was not hurt.”

This is the risk he takes & he does it willingly & for the glory/money

ClayDen February 23, 2014 at 4:26 PM

@ANON 17

I suspect you are very wrong and he did it primarily for the personal satisfaction.

CLR February 23, 2014 at 4:48 PM

I helped push the plane back to the hanger. The pilot is fine, no injuries. The plane has light damage, the pilot and the builder is a highly qualified pilot and amateur builder. Taxi testing is a regular part of the building process before flight testing.

Larry February 23, 2014 at 6:21 PM

I saw it taxi testing a couple of weeks ago.Sorry about the results.Cool looking old plane.

Sooth Sayer February 23, 2014 at 6:23 PM

I was at the driving range this afternoon and you’d think a 747 had crashed on landing…,10 cop cars, 3 ambulances, 4 fire trucks and an assortment of other emergency vehicles.

Wonder who is paying for all that?

J. February 23, 2014 at 6:59 PM

The Red Baron flew a Fokker Dr.I

Howard Hughes February 23, 2014 at 7:28 PM

Same thing happened to Me when I filmed parts of “Hell’s Angles” there.

Beacon February 24, 2014 at 7:16 AM

@Sooth Sayer – An appropriate response for what was probably called in as a plane crash.

What is interesting about the story is the the plane itself, not the “crash”. It was more of a “plane tip” than a plane crash. And the driver was uninjured and it sounds like there is only minor damage to the plane.

I’d like to know more about the plane, the builder, why it was built, etc. To me, this is the real story and it would be much more interesting than a plane tip.

Shiloh February 24, 2014 at 7:23 AM

@craig cannon: just wondering why you capitalize the first letter of every word? Is your phone set on the wrong mode maybe?

Reader of Tea Leaves February 24, 2014 at 1:59 PM

@beacon, perhaps the idiot who called it in should pay?

standard operating procedure for the public employee unions. Throw every possible resource at every minor incident. Someone faints in a restaurant and 2 fire trucks a paramedic ambulance and a cop car show up. A toy plane tips over and half the first responders in the County show up. $$$$$$OVERTIME$$$$$ 🙂

RunDogRun February 24, 2014 at 2:07 PM

@ 25 Shiloh
It’s a secret code, but none if us can
figure it out.

Brian Workman February 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM

When I was acquiring a Private Pilots License, to fly a J-3 Cub, a light tail dragger type plane, I almost did the same thing. While taxiing down the grass runway, it scared the daylights out of me, as the tail of the plane lifted up high! A light plane is at the whims of gusty turbulent air. Flying a light tail dragger takes more effort to master.

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