Crash of a Boeing B-17G-30-BO Flying Fortress in Windsor Locks: 7 killed

Date & Time: Oct 2, 2019 at 0955 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N93012
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Windsor Locks - Windsor Locks
MSN:
7023
YOM:
1942
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
10
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
7
Circumstances:
On October 2, 2019, at 0953 eastern daylight time, a Boeing B-17G, N93012, owned and operated by the Collings Foundation, was destroyed during a precautionary landing and subsequent runway excursion at Bradley International Airport (BDL), Windsor Locks, Connecticut. The commercial pilot, airline transport pilot, and five passengers were fatally injured. The flight mechanic/loadmaster and four passengers were seriously injured, while one passenger and one person on the ground incurred minor injuries. The local commercial sightseeing flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, in accordance with a Living History Flight Experience exemption granted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed BDL at 0947. On the morning of the accident flight, an airport lineman at BDL assisted the loadmaster as he added 160 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel to the accident airplane. The lineman stated that the accident airplane was the first to be fueled with 100LL fuel that day. According to preliminary air traffic control (ATC) data provided by the FAA, shortly after takeoff, at 0950, one of the pilots reported to ATC that he wanted to return to the airport. At that time, the airplane was about 500 ft above ground level (agl) on the right crosswind leg of the airport traffic pattern for runway 6. The approach controller verified the request and asked if the pilot required any assistance, to which he replied no. The controller then asked for the reason for the return to the airport, and the pilot replied that the airplane had a "rough mag" on the No. 4 engine. The controller then instructed the pilot to fly a right downwind leg for runway 6 and confirmed that the flight needed an immediate landing. He subsequently cancelled the approach of another airplane and advised the pilot to proceed however necessary to runway 6. The approach controller instructed the pilot to contact the tower controller, which he did. The tower controller reported that the wind was calm and cleared the flight to land on runway 6. The pilot acknowledged the landing clearance; at that time, the airplane was about 300 ft agl on a midfield right downwind leg for runway 6. The tower controller asked about the airplane's progress to the runway and the pilot replied that they were "getting there" and on the right downwind leg. No further communications were received from the accident airplane. Witness statements and airport surveillance video confirmed that the airplane struck approach lights about 1,000 ft prior to the runway, then contacted the ground about 500 ft prior to the runway before reaching runway 6. It then veered right off the runway before colliding with vehicles and a deicing fluid tank about 1,100 ft right of the center of the runway threshold. The wreckage came to rest upright and the majority of the cabin, cockpit, and right wing were consumed by postimpact fire. The landing gear was extended and measurement of the left and right wing flap jackscrews corresponded to a flaps retracted setting. The flap remained attached to the right wing and the aileron was consumed by fire. The flap and aileron remained attached to the left wing and a section of flap was consumed by fire. The empennage, elevator, and rudder remained intact. Control continuity was confirmed from the elevator, rudder, elevator trim, and rudder trim from each respective control surface to the area in the cabin consumed by fire, and then forward to the cockpit controls. Elevator trim and rudder trim cables were pulled during impact and their preimpact position on their respective drum at the control surfaces could not be determined. The left wing aileron trim tab remained intact and its pushrod was connected but bent. The left aileron bellcrank separated from the wing, but the aileron cables remained attached to it and the aileron cable remained attached in cockpit. The Nos. 1 and 2 engines remained partially attached to the left wing and all three propeller blades remained attached to each engine. One propeller blade attached to engine No. 1 exhibited an 8-inch tip separation; the separated section traveled about 700 ft before coming to rest near an airport building. Another propeller blade on the No. 1 engine exhibited chordwise scratching and leading edge gouging. The third propeller blade was bent aft. The No. 2 engine propeller blades exhibited leading edge gouges and chordwise scratches. The No. 3 engine was recovered from the top of the deicing tank. One blade was impact damaged and near the feather position. The other two blades appeared in a position between low pitch and feather. One propeller blade exhibited a 5-inch tip separation and the separated tip sections were recovered from 100 ft and 700 ft from the main wreckage. The No. 4 engine was recovered from the deice building. All three propeller blades on the No. 4 engine appeared in the feather position. The wreckage was retained for further examination. A fuel sample was able to be recovered from one of the No 3. engine's two fuel tanks. The recovered sample had a visual appearance and smell consistent with 100LL aviation fuel and was absent of debris or water contamination. Following the accident, the fuel truck used to service the airplane was quarantined and subsequent testing revealed no anomalies of the truck's equipment or fuel supply. Additionally, none of the airplanes serviced with fuel from the truck before or after the accident airplane, including another airplane operated by the Collings Foundation, reported any anomalies. The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, instrument airplane, and held a type rating for the B-17. In addition, he held a mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on January 9, 2019. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 14,500 hours. The co-pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane, with type ratings for B-737, B-757, B-767, DC-10, and LR-Jet. In addition, he held a flight engineer certificate as well as a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on January 8, 2019. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 22,000 hours. The airplane was manufactured in 1944, issued a limited airworthiness certificate in 1994, and equipped with passenger seats in 1995. It was powered by four Wright R-1820-97, 1,200- horsepower engines, each equipped with a three-blade, constant-speed Hamilton Standard propeller. The airplane was maintained under an airworthiness inspection program, which incorporated an annual inspection, and 25-hour, 50-hour, 75-hour, and 100-hour progressive inspections. Review of maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on January 16, 2019. At that time, the airframe had accumulated about 11,120 total hours of operation. Engine Nos. 1, 2, and 3 had 0 hours since major overhaul at that time. Engine No. 4 had 838.2 hours since major overhaul at that time. The airplane's most recent progressive inspection, which was the 100-hour inspection, was completed on September 23, 2019. At that time, the airplane had been operated about 268 hours since the annual inspection. The recorded weather at BDL at 0951 included calm wind; 10 statute miles visibility; few clouds at 11,000 ft; few clouds at 14,000 ft; broken clouds at 18,000 ft; temperature 23°C; dew point 19°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.81 inches of mercury.

Crash of a Boeing B-17G-105-VE Flying Fortress in Aurora

Date & Time: Jun 13, 2011 at 0930 LT
Registration:
N390TH
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Aurora - Aurora
MSN:
8643
YOM:
1944
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On June 13, 2011, about 0947 central daylight time, a Boeing B-17G "Flying Fortress" airplane, N390TH, experienced an in-flight fire and performed an emergency landing near Oswego, Illinois. One passenger sustained a minor injury. The 3 crew members and 3 other passengers were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged as a result of a fire that ensued after it was on the ground. The aircraft was registered to and operated by The Liberty Foundation under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a repositioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Aurora Municipal Airport (ARR), Aurora, Illinois at 0938. The accident airplane departed ARR with a North American SNJ-4, N299FM, as a flight of two airplanes. About 6 minutes after takeoff, the pilot of the SNJ airplane informed the flight crew of the B-17 that they had an in-flight fire. The SNJ pilot subsequently advised the B-17 crew to execute an emergency landing to a field. The flight crew of the B-17 reported that they smelled smoke and were attempting to locate the source when they received the call from the pilot of the SNJ. They had already shut off the electrical generators in an effort to isolate the problem. Once they determined that the fire was on the left wing, they elected to shut down the number 2 engine and discharge the fire bottles. Following the advice from the SNJ pilot, the B-17 flight crew performed an emergency landing to a corn field about 8 miles southeast of ARR. The B-17 came to rest near the east end of the corn field. The crew and passengers exited the airplane as the fire persisted. Emergency crews responding to the airplane were hampered by muddy field conditions, and the fire ultimately consumed the fuselage and inboard portion of both wings.
Final Report:

Crash of a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress in Rochelle

Date & Time: Aug 5, 1976 at 0815 LT
Registration:
N4710C
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Cordele - Cordele
MSN:
8721
YOM:
1942
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
8205
Captain / Total hours on type:
245.00
Circumstances:
The crew departed Cordele-Crisp County Airport on a local crop control mission consisting of spraying forests. En route, one of the engine caught fire. The crew reduced his altitude and attempted an emergency landing. The airplane crash landed and came to rest in flames. While both occupants escaped uninjured, the aircraft was destroyed by fire.
Probable cause:
Fire in engine for undetermined reasons. The following findings were reported:
- Suspected or known aircraft damage,
- Fire started at or near carburetor.
Final Report:

Crash of a Boeing B-17G-105-VE Flying Fortress in the US

Date & Time: Jul 15, 1975
Registration:
N621L
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
MSN:
8683
YOM:
1942
Flight number:
Tanker 64
Crew on board:
0
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Crashed in unknown circumstances somewhere in the US in July 1975, exact date unknown. Crew fate unknown.

Crash of a Boeing B-17G-110-VE Flying Fortress in Eureka: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jul 12, 1973 at 1915 LT
Registration:
N620L
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Elko - Elko
MSN:
8749
YOM:
1942
Flight number:
Tanker 54
Location:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
11300
Captain / Total hours on type:
59.00
Circumstances:
The crew departed Elko Airport in the early evening on a fire fighting mission in the region of Eureka. While flying at low height, the pilot-in-command initiated a sharp turn when control was lost. The airplane crashed in a hilly terrain and was destroyed by impact forces and a post crash fire. Both pilots were killed.
Probable cause:
The pilot failed to obtain/maintain flying speed. The following factors were reported:
- Downdrafts, updrafts,
- Unfavorable wind conditions,
- Downwind,
- Low altitude steep turn downwind over down slope side of mountain,
- Dry run over fire line,
- Full load,
- Wind gusty.
Final Report: