B-17 "Nine-O-Nine" Crashes in Connecticut

The legendary airplane was operated by the Collings Foundation.

B-17 Nine-O-Nine bomber
The B-17 Nine-O-Nine was a popular attraction on tours to airshows and other events.Seamus Darragh/Pixabay

The Boeing B-17 Nine-O-Nine crashed at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, during a week of an airshow featuring vintage aircraft. The airplane was operated by The Collings Foundation.

The airport confirmed in a statement at 10:21 a.m. on Wednesday, October 2, that a Collings Foundation “World War II aircraft” had been involved in an accident, with active fire and rescues operations underway. A total of 13 people were on board the aircraft, three crew members and 10 passengers, with additional people in the maintenance building used for de-icing that was hit by the B-17. Fourteen patients were transported to local hospitals, according to updates from NBC News Connecticut. Fatalities had been reported at press time, with no further information, other than the fact both pilots had perished.

The accident happened during a visual landing attempt to Runway 6 at the airport, according to an FAA statement, about five minutes after takeoff. An air traffic control recording via LiveATC.net reveals that the crew asked for an immediate landing, and referenced the number 4 engine prior to discontinuing communications. The Collings Foundation has had five aircraft at the airport this week as part of its Nationwide Wings of Freedom Tour, with a B-25 Mitchell, a P-51 Mustang, a B-24 Liberator, and a P-40 Warhawk in addition to the B-17.

Update: The Connecticut State Police confirmed that a total of 16 people have been involved in the crash of Nine-O-Nine on the morning of October 3. Seven people have been confirmed dead, with nine treated at local hospitals. Two of those treated for injuries were first responders with the fire crew battling the post-crash fire. Two airport employees were inside the building at the time of impact.