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B-17 Crash at Bradley, Looks like a total loss sadly.

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An NTSB board member, possibly probably misquoted by the press, said the plane experienced "...elevation..." problems within five minutes after takeoff.

The last report I've seen indicates seven confirmed dead.

There were three crew aboard (one a "flight attendant") and ten paying passengers.  Paid joyrides in vintage aircraft are fairly common here.  Mutley and I took one in a Ford Trimotor a couple of summers ago.  They are typically owned and operated by organizations dedicated to restoring and preserving historic aircraft, as was the case with the B-17.

It sounds like a runway excursion occurred during the landing, leading to collision with a building, then fire.  It's unstated whether the earlier in-flight problem contributed in any way to the loss of control while landing.  With an in-flight issue prompting an early return, the pucker meter must already have been deep in the yellow.

The fire damage is dramatic.  Airborne photos seem to indicate the empennage and one wing are separated and relatively undamaged - the rest is unrecognizable as even being an aircraft, much less a B-17.


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You can bet your life that bodies such as the FAA and CAA will yet again be looking at the continued use of vintage aircraft by enthusiasts. In this country many are no longer allowed to carry fare paying passengers. However it seems several operators have got around that by carrying extra "crew" who are welcome to "donate" a "financial incentive" to keep the aircraft flying! Certainly the Airshow scene changed dramatically in the UK after the Shoreham Crash.  Let's face it, the various governments can't make money out of non-commercial aircraft so they'd be quite happy to see all the vintage warbirds grounded and GAs in general even more tightly controlled. 

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