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

Date & Time: Oct 2, 2019 at 0953 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
Captain / Total flying hours:
14500
Captain / Total hours on type:
7300.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
22000
Copilot / Total hours on type:
23
Aircraft flight hours:
11388
Circumstances:
The vintage, former US military bomber airplane was on a tour that allowed members of the public to purchase an excursion aboard the airplane for an LHFE flight. The accident flight was the airplane’s first flight of the day. During the initial climb, one of the pilots retracted the landing gear, and the crew chief/flight engineer (referred to as the loadmaster) left the cockpit to inform the passengers that they could leave their seats and walk around the airplane. One of the pilots reported to air traffic control that the airplane needed to return to the airport because of a rough magneto. At that time, the airplane was at an altitude of about 600 ft above ground level (agl) on the right crosswind leg of the airport traffic pattern for runway 6. The approach controller asked the pilot if he needed any assistance, to which the pilot replied, “negative.” When the loadmaster returned to the cockpit, he realized that the airplane was no longer climbing, and the pilot, realizing the same, instructed the copilot to extend the landing gear, which he did. The loadmaster left the cockpit to instruct the passengers to return to their seats and fasten their seat belts. When the loadmaster returned again to the cockpit, the pilot stated that the No. 4 engine was losing power; the pilot then shut down that engine and feathered the propeller without any further coordination or discussion. When the airplane was at an altitude of about 400 ft agl, it was on a midfield right downwind leg for runway 6. Witness video showed that the landing gear had already been extended by that time, even though the airplane still had about 2.7 nautical miles to fly in the traffic pattern before reaching the runway 6 threshold. During final approach, the airplane struck the runway 6 approach lights in a right-wing-down attitude about 1,000 ft before the runway and then contacted the ground about 500 ft before the runway. After landing short of the runway, the airplane traveled onto the right edge of the runway threshold and continued to veer to the right. The airplane collided with vehicles and a deicing fluid tank before coming to rest upright about 940 ft to the right of the runway. A postcrash fire ensued. Both pilots and five passengers were killed and all six other occupants as well as one people on the ground were injured, five seriously.
Probable cause:
The pilot’s failure to properly manage the airplane’s configuration and airspeed after he shut down the No. 4 engine following its partial loss of power during the initial climb. Contributing to the accident was the pilot/maintenance director’s inadequate maintenance while the airplane was on tour, which resulted in the partial loss of power to the Nos. 3 and 4 engines; the Collings Foundation’s ineffective safety management system (SMS), which failed to identify and mitigate safety risks; and the Federal Aviation Administration’s inadequate oversight of the Collings Foundation’s SMS.
Final Report:

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

Date & Time: Jun 13, 2011 at 0947 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:
The weekend before the accident, a fuel leak was identified. The fuel leak was subsequently repaired, and a final inspection the morning of the accident flight reportedly did not reveal any evidence of a continued fuel leak. Shortly after takeoff, the flight crew noticed a faint odor in the cockpit and a small amount of smoke near the radio room. The flight crew immediately initiated a turn with the intention of returning to the departure airport. About that time, they received a radio call from the pilot of the accompanying airplane advising that there was a fire visible on the left wing. The accident pilot subsequently executed an emergency landing to a corn field. Emergency crews were hampered by the muddy field conditions, and the fire ultimately consumed significant portions airframe. In-flight photographs showed the presence of fire on the aft lower portion of the left wing between the inboard and outboard engines. Located in the same area of the fire were fuel tanks feeding the left-side engines. After landing, heavy fire conditions were present on the left side of the airplane, and the fire spread to the fuselage. A postaccident examination noted that the C-channel installed as part of the No. 1 main fuel tank repair earlier in the week was partially separated. During the examination, the tank was filled with a small amount of water, which then leaked from the aft section of the repair area in the vicinity of the partially separated channel. Metallurgical examination of the repair area revealed a longitudinal fatigue crack along the weld seam. The fatigue nature of the crack was consistent with a progressive failure along the fuel tank seam that existed before the accident flight and was separate from the damage sustained in the emergency landing and postlanding fire. The repair earlier in the week attempted to seal the leak but did not address the existing crack itself. In fact, the length of the crack observed at the time of the repair was about one-half the length of the crack noted during the postaccident examination, suggesting that the crack progressed rapidly during the course of the accident flight. Because the repaired fuel tank was positioned within the open wing structure, a fuel leak of significant volume would have readily vaporized, producing a flammable fuel vapor/air mixture. Although the exact ignition source could not be determined due to the fire damage, it is likely that the fuel vapor and liquid fuel encountered hot surfaces from nearby engine components, which initiated the in-flight fire.
Probable cause:
An inadequate repair of the fuel tank that allowed the fuel leak to continue, ultimately resulting in an inflight fire.
Final Report:

Crash of a Boeing B-17G-VE Flying Fortress at RAF Binbrook

Date & Time: Jul 25, 1989 at 1330 LT
Operator:
Registration:
F-BEEA
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Binbrook - Binbrook
MSN:
8552
YOM:
1944
Region:
Crew on board:
10
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
11179
Captain / Total hours on type:
2131.00
Circumstances:
During the takeoff roll, after about 100 yards, a slight swing to the left developed, which the commander (who was the handling pilot) corrected by partially retarding the power on engines n°3 and 4, and by the use of rudder. Full power was then re-applied on all engines, but the aircraft started to swing to the right. The pilot throttled back engine n°1 and 2, together with the application of rudder, but these actions were not immediately effective. The aircraft did not resume a straight course until it was on the grass to the right of the runway. Knowing that the B17 had been operated from grass runways, the commander elected to continue with the take-off. However, after some 400-500 yards the aircraft swung further to the right, by which time the speed was 90-95 mph. The commander then became aware that the aircraft's path was obstructed by a tree and a pile of gravel. The left wing tip struck the tree and the n°4 propeller struck the gravel. The aircraft yawed to the right, crossed a hollow in the ground and landed in a cornfield beyond. The fuselage broke in two and a fire erupted. All 10 occupants were rescued, among them five were injured, two seriously. The aircraft was totally destroyed by fire.
Probable cause:
The commander was subsequently unable to provide any explanation for the accident, although he suggested that the n°1 engine turbo-compressor may have been 'cutting in and out'. He also considered that the right wheel brake may not have been completely free. One eye witness, an engineer who was familiar with B17 aircraft, saw smoke emanating from the area of the n°3 engine at the start of the take-off. This led him to venture the opinion that this engine may have over-boosted and then suffered a power loss, thus causing the sequential left and right swings.
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
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: