#1  
Old 10-02-2019, 10:08 AM
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B-17 crash in Connecticut


Multiple injuries reported after vintage plane crashes at Bradley International Airport

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A vintage plane crashed shortly before 10 a.m., bursting into flames and sending up a large plume of smoke that could be seen for miles. Sources say it crashed into a shed as it was trying to land.

The plane is a B-17, according to the Windsor Locks Fire Department.
The airport confirmed that the plane is a Collings Foundation World War II aircraft.
The aircraft was 'Nine-O-Nine'.
  #2  
Old 10-02-2019, 10:19 AM
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Another link

Bad news. I've been to that airport.

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 10-02-2019 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 10-02-2019, 10:27 AM
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I saw that they were in my area a couple weeks ago and I seriously considered booking a flight on that plane.

It's a sad loss of the plane and passengers. I wonder if they'll ever be able to figure out what caused it.
  #4  
Old 10-02-2019, 10:32 AM
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Update from 1010 WINS: At least two dead.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:01 AM
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My husband took a ride in that plane a couple years ago.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:10 AM
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I don't think 909 is coming back again this time. A sad loss of people and plane.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:13 AM
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CNN update

2 dead, 6 hospitalized, and a historical plane is gone.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:27 AM
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This is the terrible dilemma of continuing to fly historic aircraft: the proponents say people won't really understand these magnificent machines unless they can see, hear, feel, and even smell them in operation.

The museum curators point out that there won't be anything left to understand (or study) when (not if) they crash.

And of course, this doesn't even take into account the risk of injury and loss of life that we have seen in this unfortunate event.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
CNN update

2 dead, 6 hospitalized
The old planes aren't any more reliable now than when they were new. The ones left flying can only do so because of intense maintenance, far beyond what they got in the war. Those problems can't be fixed without losing authenticity, either.

Quote:
and a historical plane is gone.
FTR, this wasn't the "real" 9-0-9, but a later (non-historical, just old) plane that was repainted to look like it. Most of the surviving warbirds never made it overseas, or were built after the war.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
Another link

Bad news. I've been to that airport.
Horrible news. I've flown on that plane.
  #11  
Old 10-02-2019, 11:51 AM
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A friend just toured the plane last week in NH.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:59 AM
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Oh, man. That sucks!
  #13  
Old 10-02-2019, 12:11 PM
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Damn. I think that about a week ago I saw the very plane that crashed. It flew over my house when they were repositioning the Wings of Freedom tour from Portland, Maine, to Nashua, New Hampshire. The B-17 and the B-24 that flew over several minutes later were both a lot louder than I normally expect planes to be, which is what got me out of the house and looking up in time to see them. I considered driving over to Nashua to see them up close, but didn't make it over there. My dad flew at least 13 missions over Europe as a tail-gunner on a B-17 toward the end of the war.
  #14  
Old 10-02-2019, 01:24 PM
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My brother and I surprised our mom with a flight in Nine-O-Nine some years ago. It was the thrill of her life.

Very sad.
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Old 10-02-2019, 02:02 PM
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Up to five dead now. Plane evidently failed to gain altitude after take off and attempted to return to the airport to land. Multiple severely burned victims. 10 passengers, 3 crew on board. A witness claimed to see the #3 engine fail.
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Old 10-02-2019, 02:31 PM
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The "maintenance shed" they hit was a de-icing facility.
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Old 10-02-2019, 02:47 PM
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I would think a B-17 with no bomb load should be able to climb easily on three engines. If #3 failed, my guess is that it was only a partial factor.

I just went through a long list of non-combat crashes of B-17's, and could only find two crashes on takeoff in the airplane's history. Interestingly, one of them was flown by Gene Roddenberry. His crash involved an unspecified 'mechanical failure' and he aborted takeoff and ran off the end of the runway. No word if Scotty was demoted for the mechanical failure.

B-17's sure don't crash often. The last one was 'Liberty Belle' in 2011. Another one was destroyed in 1989 during the filming of 'Memphis Belle', and the next one before that in 1976. So that's three crashes in 43 years.

There are still roughly ten B-17's that are airworthy, along with another half dozen or so that are being restored to airworthy state. There are many more that are on display in various places.

I fully support continued flying of WWII aircraft, except in the case of sole surviving birds. As long as there are some in storage or on display, why not fly the airworthy ones? Flying them helps keep them airworthy, for one thing. And there's nothing like seeing an old WWII bird flying over.

Last edited by Sam Stone; 10-02-2019 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 10-02-2019, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commasense View Post

The museum curators point out that there won't be anything left to understand (or study) when (not if) they crash.
No one need worry on that account. There are many non-flying ones in museums.
  #19  
Old 10-02-2019, 04:37 PM
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This is just awful. There's no words.
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Old 10-02-2019, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Nawth Chucka View Post
This is just awful. There's no words.
I hate when these aircraft are destroyed. Still, this crash wasn't as devastating as the loos of the B-29 'Kee Bird'. When the documentary came out, I could barely watch it because I knew how it would end.
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Old 10-02-2019, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
No one need worry on that account. There are many non-flying ones in museums.
Curators might dispute the definition of "many" and tell you that, because of variations in manufacturing, and the extant planes' differing histories, the destruction of any given aircraft can be a significant loss to history.
  #22  
Old 10-02-2019, 06:44 PM
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There are times I'd like to see Germany the way my father did... through a Norden bombsight on a B-17F.
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Old 10-02-2019, 07:18 PM
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I saw the posting, I had to wait to find out that indeed the person I went to high school with that does old warbirds in Western NY was not involved nor were any of his birds.

my sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased, and prayers to those of the still living. Burns are hellish to recover from.
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
Up to five dead now. Plane evidently failed to gain altitude after take off and attempted to return to the airport to land. Multiple severely burned victims. 10 passengers, 3 crew on board. A witness claimed to see the #3 engine fail.
The audio from the crew referred to #4 engine. they wanted to return and "blow it out".
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:22 PM
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The audio from the crew referred to #4 engine. they wanted to return and "blow it out".
I have no idea what that could mean. Running roughly? Bad magneto? No idea either about the aviation qualifications of the witness.

For those who've flown aircraft like this, how many engines can go bad with a (presumably) mild fuel load, and only 2,000 ish pounds of payload, and still maintain positive climb rate and remain above stall speed? Two? Three?!
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Old 10-02-2019, 10:51 PM
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The ones left flying can only do so because of intense maintenance, far beyond what they got in the war.
Well, they needed - and received - fairly intense maintenance during their military service too.

Indeed, I'm not sure I could nominate any military aircraft as a valid exception.
  #27  
Old 10-02-2019, 11:17 PM
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If you believe what you read on Reddit (and I’m shaky in that one), the cause of the engine issues was that the plane was mistakenly fueled with Jet-A.

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Source is someone close to the operation who I would prefer to not name at the moment. Fuel contamination also fits with the flaming out of both # 3&4 engines.

Last edited by Pork Rind; 10-02-2019 at 11:21 PM.
  #28  
Old 10-02-2019, 11:22 PM
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There is a concern going around on aviation boards, that the aircraft was mistakenly fuelled, at least partially, with Jet-A, and not the 115 octane aviation gasoline it should have been fuelled with. As there would be residual gasoline in the lines leading from the fuel tanks to the engines, it is conceivable the engines may have run normally up to, and through taking off. Only to experience successive engine failure as the Jet-A made up more and more of the fuel reaching the engines.

Death toll is now 7. I understand there is another critical patient.

Ninja'd, as you can see.

Last edited by Gray Ghost; 10-02-2019 at 11:23 PM.
  #29  
Old 10-02-2019, 11:23 PM
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And this...


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I work at Collins Aerospace (formerly Hamilton Sunstrand) across the street from Bradley. I saw the plume of smoke around 10:30. It smelled like diesel. It still smelled like diesel in the area when I left work around 5.
  #30  
Old 10-03-2019, 01:23 AM
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That makes more sense than losing the airplane from a single inboard engine failure.
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:30 AM
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Many years ago, my mother's cousin, a private pilot, crashed his small plane on take off in Israel after the airport mistakenly filled his tanks with jet fuel instead of avgas. He and his passengers survived, but the plane was totaled.
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Pork Rind View Post
If you believe what you read on Reddit (and Im shaky in that one), the cause of the engine issues was that the plane was mistakenly fueled with Jet-A.
While that's certainly possible, planes like that tend to have a crew watching over it. It would take knowledge of the plane to fuel it.
  #33  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:45 PM
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Isn't there a label by the fuel tank that says something like "115 OCTANE GASOLINE ONLY'?
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:48 PM
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There was on the B-17 I took a tour of. Lots of airplanes have that sort of cautionary labeling, but misfueling accidents still happen.
  #35  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:57 PM
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CBS news said the plane hit approach lights 1000 feet out and they still haven't found the cockpit.
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Old 10-03-2019, 10:47 PM
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based on the videos it looks like the plane made a circle back back to runway 6 but was 600 ft down and 1000 feet to the right of the beginning of the runway. It hit the buildings in line with Hamilton Rd.

If he hit the landing instrument station then he was not lined up with the runway and may have been trying for the taxiway. At any rate, he was so close to the ground at that point that he could no longer turn left. He was probably on a 080 heading.
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Old 10-03-2019, 10:55 PM
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I doubt any airport fuel guy could possibly put Jet A into a WW2 aircraft with 4 large
round motors, besides I thought that the Hoover Nozzle made it impossible.
  #38  
Old 10-04-2019, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
There is a concern going around on aviation boards, that the aircraft was mistakenly fuelled, at least partially, with Jet-A, and not the 115 octane aviation gasoline it should have been fuelled with. As there would be residual gasoline in the lines leading from the fuel tanks to the engines, it is conceivable the engines may have run normally up to, and through taking off. Only to experience successive engine failure as the Jet-A made up more and more of the fuel reaching the engines.
Absent any other information, this seems unlikely. This B-17 engine/fuel system schematic shows pumps feeding the carburetors, along with return lines going back to the tanks. This suggests that there is constant circulation of fuel through the lines to/from the engines; if this is correct, then whatever the fuel blend was in the tanks, it would have reached the engine within a few seconds after startup.

Even if this is wrong - if there was in fact no circulation of fuel to/from the engine - ISTM the tank blend still would have reached the engine fairly quickly. They were operating at a high power setting for a good five minutes before trouble was reported. The engines were rated at 895 kW each; at full output, I estimate they would each burn about 6.5 liters of fuel per minute. How big might the fuel line from the tank to the engine have been? 1.5cm ID, 3m long? That's only 5.3 liters of fuel, so unless the fuel line is a lot fatter/longer, it would have been receiving the tank mixture in less than a minute after running up to takeoff power (this also disregards any lengthy startup/taxi time).
  #39  
Old 10-05-2019, 06:23 PM
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This YouTube video offers comments about the B-17 crash. Starting around the 1-minute mark is this quote: "[The NTSB] mentioned that they did sump the fuel from one of the remaining wing fuel tanks, and they found 100-octane fuel - the correct fuel for that aircraft."

Note that "100-octane fuel" here means 100 LL*, the only type of Avgas in any sort of widespread use today. The B-17's engines probably used 115-octane fuel back in the day, but they would have long since been adapted to use 100 LL.


* LL = "low lead" - which is rather misleading as it contains about 4 times the lead of leaded regular auto gas.
  #40  
Old 10-15-2019, 02:46 PM
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A preliminary NTSB report on the fatal October 2 crash of a vintage Boeing B17 Flying Fortress in Connecticut includes evidence that the aircraft may have had trouble with more than one of its four engines.

Quote:
Some details in the report suggest the crew may have been trying to cope with trouble in two engines, not just one. Propellers attached to the No. 3 and No. 4 engines were found with blades in the feathered or partially feathered positions...

A fuel sample recovered from one of two fuel tanks supplying the No. 3 engine was found to be free of contamination, the report states. There is no mention of fuel testing or contamination that might have affected any of the other engines.
  #41  
Old 10-18-2019, 04:52 PM
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FWIW, the Lone Star Flight Museum's B-17 just rumbled overhead. Probably something to do with the air show going on this weekend. They are loud, and big multi engine piston props sound like nothing else in the sky.

I had thought they might have been grounded because of the Connecticut accident. Guess not.
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:53 PM
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I wonder what the climb performance is on 2 engines. Clearly the base leg didn't go well. Given the path of the flight it looks like the pilot was cutting it short to make the runway.
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