Vintage plane in fatal Connecticut crash involved in previous incidents


WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WPRI) — Investigators Thursday will continue gathering evidence from Wednesday’s deadly plane crash at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut.

The plane, a World War II-era Boeing B-17, was carrying 10 passengers on a flight part of the Wings of Freedom tour, which covers 110 cities across the country. The plane was one of about 10 in the country considered to be airworthy.

During a typical tour stop – one of which was in Quonset last month – five WWII-era planes are on display. Spectators can look inside or – with a donation to the Collings Foundation – take a short flight.

The plane was built in 1944, making it 75 years old, and has reportedly had issues in the past.

The Collings Foundation website reveals the B-17 crashed near an airshow in Pittsburgh in 1987 after rolling off the end of the runway. The plane allegedly smashed through a chain-link fence and went down into a ravine.

There were injuries in the crash, but no fatalities.

There are also reports of another minor incident with the B-17 during a tour stop in Nebraska in 1995. At that time, part of the plane’s landing gear would not lock in place and it only touched down on one wheel during an emergency landing.

At a briefing Wednesday, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the agency would look into the flight hours, including its most recent trips and when it was last fueled.

The preliminary report will be issued within 10 days, but a full investigation will take a year to a year and a half, according to the NTSB.

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