Bradley Airport

Senator Blumenthal Asks FAA to Review Exemptions for Vintage Planes After B-17 Crash

United States Senator Richard Blumenthal is asking the Federal Aviation Administration to review safety exemptions for vintage planes after the fatal crash of a B-17 bomber in Connecticut last week. 

Seven people died and several others were injured when the World War II era aircraft crashed just minutes after taking off at Bradley Airport last Wednesday. 

The B-17 bomber was known at one point as the "Flying Fortress" or the 909. It

was at the airport for the "Wings of Freedom Tour" sponsored by the Collings Foundation.

Blumenthal said he wants to know more about the exemption the FAA granted to the Collings Foundation.  

He also wants to know what safety regulations the plane had to go through.

“These planes are a profoundly significant part of our history and they should be revered and preserved but respected with adequate safety standards if they are going to be flown and that’s why a broader examination and investigation is absolutely necessary here,” Blumenthal said in a statement.

The Collings Foundation released a statement about the plane crash. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were on that flight and we will be forever grateful to the heroic efforts of the first responders at Bradley. 

“The Collings Foundation flight team is fully cooperating with officials to determine the cause of the crash of the B-17 Flying Fortress and will comment further when details become known. 

“In the wake of a tragic accident involving our B-17, the Collings Foundation is currently suspending its flight operations and the Wings of Freedom Tour for the remainder of the 2019 season. We are in the process of issuing refunds for those who had reserved flights through December.” 

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. A team arrived in Connecticut on Wednesday and said they expect to be here for a week to 10 days. 

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