Witnesses Describe Moments Before Plane Crashed at Bradley Airport

Authorities say seven people are dead after a World War II aircraft crashed minutes after takeoff at Bradley International Airport.

Seven people are dead and eight others injured a vintage plane crashed Wednesday morning at Bradley International Airport. Witnesses who saw and heard the moments leading up to the crash described the horrifying experience. 

"Minding my own business, waiting to get a load next thing I hear a plane, the engine was kind of rough, next thing I look and see the plane going down wind, turning pace on Runway 15,” Manny Rolon said.

Rolon said he never imagined being so close to a plane crash.

“Being a student pilot myself, I know when an engine sounds rough, so there was something maybe one of the engines and next thing I know unfortunately the plane,” he said.

The pilot-in-training said he watched as the plane began descending near one of the airport runways.

“ I think he was flying about 800 feet,” he said. "There were problems, there were really problems, you know because the engine was sounding rough."

Linda McGrath said she was gearing up for another day at her food stand when she saw the B-17 bomber getting closer to the ground.

"I heard it, I wanted to take a picture of it, I grabbed a picture of it and that's when everything kind of happened,” she said.

"I just saw after it hit and kind of gone done really low and I saw the smoke coming from beyond the building,” she continued. "I didn't know if it had really crashed, I didn't know what had happened….I'm kind of loss of words."

McGrath said her heart is heavy to know that some families are now grieving.

"It's very heartbreaking, especially when it's for a great foundation."

The plane involved is a Collings Foundation World War II aircraft, according to Bradley International Airport. Here is what we know about the plane.

Many witnesses expressed shock that something like this could happen at what they describe as the “quiet” airport, and offered their condolences to the families.

Contact Us