The National Transportation Safety Board has issued its preliminary report on the crash of a vintage plane at Bradley Airport that killed seven people and injured seven others on the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 2.
The pilot, airline transport pilot and five passengers died when the 1944 Boeing B-17G crashed.
According to the NTSB report, an airport lineman at Bradley Airport had assisted the loadmaster as he added 160 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel to the plane that morning. It was the first plane to be filled with that type of fuel that day.
Shortly after takeoff, at 9:50 a.m., one of the pilots reported to air traffic control that he wanted to return to the airport because the plane had a “rough mag” on the number 4 engine, according to the NTSB.
The pilot was cleared to land on runway 6.
The plane hit approach lights around 1,000 feet before the runway and hit the ground about 500 feet before the runway, then it veered right off the runway before hitting vehicles and a deicing fluid tank, according to NTSB report. Most of the cabin, cockpit and right wing burst into flames.
The report goes on to say that there was no debris or water contamination in the fuel, there were no anomalies in the truck’s equipment or fuel supply and no other airplanes reported any anomalies.
The airplane had been issued a limited airworthiness certificate in 1944 and was equipped with passenger seats in 1995.
The NTSB said a review of the maintenance records revealed that the plane’s most recent annual inspection was completed on Jan. 16 and the most recent progressive inspection was on Sept. 23.