Report: Pilot Error Caused 2019 Vintage Bomber Crash At Bradley Airport
A report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has ruled that a pilot error led to the crash of a World War II-era bomber plane at Bradley International Airport in 2019. The crash killed seven people, including the pilot, and wounded six others.
The NTSB said the four-engine, propeller-driven B-17G Flying Fortress bomber’s landing gear was extended too early. That slowed the plane during the landing and caused it to crash into one of the airport’s maintenance buildings. The 77-year-old bomber took flight during a traveling vintage aircraft show on Oct. 2, 2019.
NTSB also said there was a power loss in two of the four engines during the flight due to “inadequate maintenance" that contributed to the crash.
In a statement, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to implement the recommendations made in the NTSB report, which include the enhanced safety measures for flights on historical planes.
“The NTSB accident report reveals a series of failures on the part of Collings’ staff and reinforces my call for the FAA to tighten its regulations and oversight,” Blumenthal said. “As highlighted by this report, present FAA regulations defer to the airplane’s owner on safety compliance, failing to provide even the most basic oversight of how closely the airplane owner is complying with FAA regulations.”
After the crash, the Collings Foundation, the owner of the plane, suspended its flights and tour for the rest of the year. In March 2020, Collings Foundation’s permission to carry passengers aboard it’s vintage planes was revoked by the FAA because of safety concerns following the crash.