A B-17 World War II Bomber Crashes In Connecticut And Leaves 7 Dead

(WAB NEWS) – Seven people died after a B-17 World War II bomber crashed while attempting to land at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut, authorities said.

The seven people were on the plane, said James Rovella, commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, at a press conference Wednesday night.

Six other people on the plane survived. Rovella said he could not give the names of the victims because not all families have been notified.


Thirteen people in total, 10 passengers and three crew members, were on board when the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress crashed at the end of a runway, authorities said. A person on the ground was injured, Rovella said.

Two firefighters were aboard the plane, said Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company deputy chief Kevin Kowalski previously. Kowalski did not provide the names of the firefighters or details about his condition.

The aircraft has a civil registry and was not controlled by the Army at the time of the accident, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.

The pilot requested authorization to return to the airport

The B-17 waited a few minutes for the turbulence of an earlier aircraft to clear before it was given authorization for takeoff, according to the FAA air traffic control audio recorded by the LiveATC.net website.

But shortly after takeoff, the pilot told the air traffic control: "N93012 would like to return to the field."

"What is the reason to return?" Asked the controller.

"You have engine number 4. We would like to go back and turn it off," said another pilot on the plane.

A pilot said he needed to land immediately and the control tower diverted other planes that were about to land, the recording says.

After the B-17 crashed at the end of a track, a cloud of black smoke emerged from the scene.

Jennifer Homendy, of the National Transportation Safety Board, said the plane hit the instrument landing system posts and swerved to the right. He crossed a grassy area and then a taxiway and continued to a defrosting facility.

The state health department advised the public not to come in contact with the fire foam they may find on the Farmington River or its banks. He also advises against fishing in the river.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was using barriers to contain foam and filtered fuel in the airport stream.

Whose plane was it?

The plane belonged to the Collings Foundation, according to the airport's Twitter account.

An event called “Wings of Freedom Tour,” with the B-17 and other planes, was scheduled for Thursday, the foundation said on its website.

Attendees can pay for various experiences aboard the exhibited airplanes, including flying on them, according to the website.

The Collings Foundation said it is "forever grateful for the heroic efforts of emergency services in Bradley."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were on that flight," the foundation said in a statement to CNN.

"The Collings Foundation flight team is fully cooperating with the authorities to determine the cause of the B-17 Flying Fortress accident and will comment further when the details are known."

The foundation is a 40-year nonprofit educational organization that organizes and supports “events of 'living history' and the preservation, exhibition and interaction of historical artifacts that help Americans learn more about their heritage,” according to its site. Web.

Consider the Wings of Freedom Tour as a “main focus” of your efforts, says the site.

A Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress in a 1997 image. A similar plane crashed Wednesday in Connecticut.

While some 13,000 of these planes left the assembly line, only a handful of them continue to fly, usually for air shows and special events. These are the famous bombers who helped the Allies win World War II.

The airport is at Windsor Locks, about 24 miles north of Hartford. It reopened about three hours after the accident.

Holly Yan, Mirna Alsharif, Kristina Sgueglia, Phil Gast, Carma Hassan, Melanie Schuman, Evan Simko-Bednarski and Paul P. Murphy contributed to this report.