b17 plane crash

NTSB Releases Information Into B17 Plane Crash at Bradley

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The National Transportation Safety Board has released information they’ve gathered in their ongoing investigation into the B17 plane crash that happened in Windsor Locks last year.

The WWII-era bomber crashed at Bradley International Airport in October of 2019. Seven people were killed and seven others were injured.

The information released by the National Transportation Safety Board Wednesday does not give a cause for the crash, but it shows the scope of their investigation.

In what resembles a court-docket, the NTSB docket includes summaries of interviews with survivors and witnesses, pictures of what was recovered from crash, and what parts of the plane were tested and examined afterwards.

“We release the information because we want to be as transparent as possible. We’re not hiding anything any facts, but we ask that the public allow our investigators, which are experts in this field, to really analyze the accident,” said NTSB spokesperson Eric Weiss.

Seven people were killed and others seriously injured when a vintage B17 plane crashed a Bradley International Airport one year ago.

So what’s next?

Weiss says their experts will analyze the facts they’ve gathered and come up with a probable cause, the underlying reasons and conditions for the crash, in the coming months.

He says the information released this week is summarized in the “group chairman’s factual reports.” The other posted information backs up those reports.

To get a better understanding of this part of the process, NBC Connecticut spoke to an aviation expert who says this is par for the course in an NTSB investigation.

Christine Negroni, aviation safety specialist and author of “The Crash Detectives,” says the NTSB is thorough because their goal is not to point blame, but to make sure something like this never happens again.

“Accident investigations have one purpose to find out what happens, so that similar accidents can be prevented, so they’re really not about finding blame,” said Negroni.

Plus, she says a lot of eyes are on this investigation, not just locally and it could impact how historic airplanes are preserved and flown in the future.

“There’s a lot of emotion and a lot of affection for historic aircraft and for what they do and what they say about us as Americans, what they say about history and technology and the flying of them has to be examined,” she said.

The NTSB does not have the authority to create regulations, rather they can share their findings with the FAA.

The company that operated the B17 flight, The Collings Foundation, told NBC Connecticut that they are not able to comment during the ongoing NTSB investigation.

The lawyer that represents the widow of Gary Mazzone, who was killed in the crash, told NBC Connecticut, “We anticipate a thorough review of this tragedy by the NTSB and releasing the facts discovered during the investigation will help ensure an open and transparent process and final report.”

The plane crashed at the end of Runway 6 while attempting to land, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. It had just taken off from Bradley Airport and was five minutes into the flight when it reported it had a problem and was not gaining altitude.

The plane struck a maintenance shed at the airport on its attempting landing, officials said.

The plane was at Bradley Airport for the "Wings of Freedom Tour," sponsored by the Collings Foundation. It was known at one point as the "Flying Fortress," or "the 909."

This plane was one of 18 B-17 actively flying in the United States, Sen. Richard Blumenthal said in a statement after the crash.

The NTSB released the video with our first look inside the plane crash scene in Windsor Locks at Bradley Airport. Investigators are currently surveying the crash site and investigating the cause.
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