B-17 Nine-O-Nine Crash

[Updated] Seven Dead After Collings Foundation B-17 Nine-O-Nine Crash

By Dario Leone
Oct 2 2019
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There were 13 people on board Collings Foundation B-17 Nine-O-Nine Crash, two pilots, one attendant, and 10 passengers. Another person on the ground was injured when the plane slid off the runway and slammed into a building used to house the airport’s deicing equipment.

As reported on Oct. 2, 2019 the Collings Foundation B-17 Nine-O-Nine crashed shortly after takeoff. According to NBC News the Flying Fortress erupted into flames and killed people on board at Bradley International Airport, just outside of Hartford, Connecticut.

“There were fatalities,” State Police Commissioner James Rovella told reporters, while not specifying exactly how many were killed. “Victims are very difficult to identify, we don’t want to make a mistake.”

Seven people onboard the aircraft were killed, James Rovella, commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, said at a news conference Wednesday evening.

Six people on the plane survived. Rovella said he couldn’t give names of the victims because not every family has been notified.

The World War II-era bomber took off at 9:45 a.m. before reporting five minutes later that it was having difficulties, authorities said.

“We observed that the aircraft was not gaining altitude,” Connecticut Airport Authority Executive Director Kevin Dillon said.

Officials said that the B-17 tried to return to the airport when it crashed at 9:54 a.m., officials said.

There were 13 people on board the aircraft, two pilots, one attendant, and 10 passengers. Another person on the ground was injured when the plane slid off the runway and slammed into a building used to house the airport’s deicing equipment, officials said.

Witness Brian Hamer, who lives Norton, Massachusetts, was less than a mile away from the airport when he spotted the B-17 flying low overhead.

At least Five Dead After Collings Foundation B-17 Nine-O-Nine Crash

Hamer saw smoke coming out the back of the craft and heard one engine sputter.

“Then we heard all the rumbling and the thunder, and all the smoke comes up and we kind of figured it wasn’t good,” Hamer said.

Hartford Hospital received six patients from the crash, three were initially listed in critical condition, two in moderate condition and one with just minor injuries, doctors there said.

One of the injured, who survived, is a member of the Connecticut Air National Guard, a rep for the service told NBC New York.

Bradley — in Windsor Locks, about 15 miles north of Hartford — is hosting Wings of Freedom airshow this week.

Many planes in the Wings of Freedom show are owned by Collings Foundation. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were on that flight and we will be forever grateful to the heroic efforts of the first responders at Bradley,” the foundation said in a statement.

“The Collings Foundation flight team is fully cooperating with officials to determine the cause of the crash of the B-17 Flying Fortress and will comment further when details become known.”

Photo credit: News12

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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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  1. planenutz says:

    My Grandfather piloted B-17’s out of England in WWII and barely made it home. This May I was driving around Orange County CA and noticed what I later realized was a Mitchell B-25 above me and knew the vintage planes were in town. I hurried over to John Wayne and the Lyon Air Museum to check everything out. I got out on the tarmac and crawled through “Nine-O-Nine” taking some time to look out over the runways at John Wayne from behind the pilot’s seat. Alas I had to go home before they fired the old girl up and took her to the skies which I regretted. Later that day as I was riding around Santa Ana with my partner on our bicycles I heard a distinct rumble behind me and overhead and KNEW it had to be Nine-O-Nine. I looked up just to see that beautiful bird rumble right overhead and thank my dear ole Gramps for letting me see her in all her glory. What I haven’t said is when I was at the museum earlier I called my brother and after an emotional conversation we both agreed that we would go up in the B-17 when it came around to the Marana AZ airport the next time. Tragically, it wasn’t meant to be. May those who perished rest in peace with the souls of all who perished aboard the “flying fortress” fighting for our freedom and way of life. Goodbye Nine-O-Nine you made us proud.

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