Seven people aboard a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress died on Wednesday when the WWII-era bomber crashed at Hartford’s Bradley International Airport shortly after takeoff and while attempting to return to the field. After sliding off the runway, the WWII-era bomber hit a deicing facility and burst into flames. In addition to the seven killed, six were injured, including one person on the ground.
Known as “Nine-O-Nine,” the B-17 is owned by the Collings Foundation, a non-profit group well known in aviation. It is dedicated to restoring and flying vintage aircraft. The B-17 that crashed was giving a tour ride as part of a gathering of vintage aircraft this week.
There were 13 people aboard, including three crewmembers.
On social media the pilot of the plane, Mac McCauley, is being remembered by friends far and wide. With more than 5,000 hours in type, McCauley was said to be the highest time B-17 pilot in history.
Shortly after takeoff the crew radioed the tower and mentioned that the plane’s Number Four engine needed attention. Witnesses on the ground reported that just before it crashed, one of the plane’s four propellers wasn’t turning.
The NTSB is investigating the tragic crash.