Connecticut B-17 Crash, 6 Dead, 7 Injured

 In Domestic

A Connecticut B-17 Crash on Wednesday closed Bradley International Airport as other flights had to be diverted. Six people are dead, seven survived. The plane, known as a Flying Fortress had a crew of 3, along with 10 passengers, and was on a “Wings of Freedom Tour” run by an organization that sells tours to the public. The B-17 is a WWII vintage bomber.

The Connecticut B-17 Crash

Just minutes after takeoff, the pilot requested to return to the airport. When asked why, he stated something was wrong with one of the engines and that they wanted to “blow it out.” As they attempted to land, the plane struck the instrument landing system posts, veered to the right off the runway, across the taxiway, and crashed into the deicing facility.

One man, an Air National Guard member, was on board and reportedly assisted other passengers get out of the burning aircraft.

According to the Hartford Courant,

A member of the Connecticut Air National Guard who was on board the burning plane was able to open a hatch without burning his hands because he had brought his military-issued, flame retardant flight gloves with him, the Guard said Thursday.

Using the gloves, he opened the hatch and allowed other passengers to get out, they said. The Air NationaL Guard didn’t name him in a news release but said he is the command chief for the 103rd Airlift Wing.

The chief was injured – sources said he suffered at least one broken arm and a broken collarbone in the crash – and was treated at Hartford Hospital. He was discharged later in the day, the Guard said.

The Guard did not release his name but said he is the command chief for the 103rd Airlift Wing and a trained As an aircrew member, he has training and experience in handling aircraft emergencies, the release said.

“The Connecticut National Guard is thankful that our Airman on board the aircraft is safe and I ask that you respect his and his family’s privacy as he recovers,” said Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, the Guard’s Adjutant General.

Among those who died are Robert Riddell, who had been posting photos all along.

Robert Riddell was genuinely excited to be flying in it.

One commenter on Facebook stated: “Like Rob, I’m a fellow warbird fan and Jeeper. Yesterday, I lost a brother that I’d never met. Godspeed and rest easy Rob.” Todd K

Another person identified as perishing in the crash was retired law enforcement officer Gary Mazzone. he retired from the Vernon Police Department at the rank of Captain. He then worked as a state police inspector, retiring from that job in  January of 2019. His law enforcement career spanned 42 years.

Two firefighters from the Simsbury Volunteer Fie Department were also on board the plane, and survived. They were treated at the hospital, but their conditions are unknown at this time. Some of the survivors were released by Wednesday night, others transferred to a burn hospital.

 

Featured photo: screenshot via Local news

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