B-17 bomber landed 500 feet short of runway before deadly crash

A Boeing B-17 dubbed the Nine-O-Nine crashed October 2, killing seven people. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI

Oct. 15 (UPI) — A World War II-era bomber that crashed earlier this month — killing seven people — struck approach lights before landing 500 feet short of a Connecticut runway, federal investigators revealed Tuesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board said the pilot of the Boeing B-17, known as a Flying Fortress, asked air-traffic controllers to return to Bradley International Airport shortly after takeoff Oct. 2 because the plane had a “rough mag” in one of the engines.

The plane, dubbed the Nine-O-Nine, returned toward runway 6 at the airport and struck the lights about 1,000 feet before the runway. Prior to impact, the pilot told air-traffic controllers the plane was “getting there.”

The plane then landed about 500 feet before the runway before veering to the right and striking vehicles, including a de-icing vehicle. The NTSB said the majority of the plane’s cabin, cockpit and right wing were consumed by fire after the crash.

The report, though, didn’t reveal the cause of the crash.

The pilot, co-pilot and five passengers died. An attendant, six passengers and a person on the ground were injured.

The plane was owned by the Collings Foundation, which brought five of its restored planes to a World War II-era air show at the airport. The B-17 involved in the crash, built in 1944, is one of 18 remaining and registered to fly in the United States.


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