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Yep. I had heard/seen reports indicating an approach from the north east. But Runway 6 is from the south west to north east. That means they landed short, veered right, crossed Taxiway Charlie and went into the de-icing facility to the south of Runway 60/240.

Juan Brown said they were directed to land on runway 6, which does run from SW to NE. In any case, the single engine failure by itself doesn't explain shorting the runway, but shorting the runway does go a long way to explain the right turn into the deicing facility.


I might be stretching the implication, but I inferred from the early NTSB briefing that they had found both main gear tires in the wreckage. That suggests that a main gear collapse did not precipitate the sharp turn to the right.

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It's like a trailer and for some reason they purposely didn't show the path along the ground. That said, they did show the skid marks the mains made before impacting the deicing facility. I do wonder if the earth and construction work played a role in the aircraft making the sharp turn to the right.

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They did normally land on grass fields, but I wonder to what extent those were smoothed in comparison to the approach apron of a conventional hard landing strip.

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They did normally land on grass fields, but I wonder to what extent those were smoothed in comparison to the approach apron of a conventional hard landing strip.

The B17 could take off and land from a grass field, so could the MiG21. But like the MiG21, the B17 much preferred and usually flew from and landed on concrete runways.

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21 landing on grass is war emergency level, with 3% airframe write-off and further 12% repairable damage expected. Takeoff was OKish, bumpy but OKish.

Edited by bojan
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Preliminary report issued on B-17 crash at Bradley that killed 7

Published October 15. 2019 4:46PM | Updated October 15. 2019 7:49PM

By Julia Bergman Day staff writer


A preliminary report released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board on the deadly crash of the B-17 Flying Fortress at Bradley International Airport on Oct. 2 indicates that all inspections and certificates were up to date, and that weather was likely not a factor in the crash.


The four-page report, which details what happened in the minutes before the plane crashed with 13 people on board, does not identify a cause. The NTSB will issue a final report, but that isn't expected for at least a year.


Shortly after takeoff, Ernest "Mac" McCauley, the pilot of the four-engine, propeller-driven plane, reported engine trouble. He told an air traffic controller that he wanted to return to Bradley because "the airplane had a 'rough mag' on the No. 4 engine."


The controller instructed McCauley to return and use runway 6. He canceled the approach of another airplane and "advised the pilot to proceed however necessary to runway 6," the report says.


When asked about the airplane's progress, McCauley said "they were 'getting there' and on the right downwind leg" – the last communication received from the aircraft.


The plane struck approach lights about 1,000 feet before the runway, then hit the ground about 500 feet from runway, before it veered right off the runway and collided with vehicles and a de-icing fluid tank, then burst into flames.


"The majority of the cabin, cockpit, and right wing were consumed by postimpact fire," the report says.


The 75-year-old McCauley, co-pilot Michael Foster, 71, and five passengers were killed. Four of the passengers and the flight mechanic were seriously injured, and one passenger and one person on the ground incurred minor injuries.


NTSB officials have recovered the wreckage, including all four of the plane's engines, for analysis. A fuel sample of the No 3. engine's two fuel tanks "was absent of debris or water contamination," the report says.


"Following the accident, the fuel truck used to service the airplane was quarantined and subsequent testing revealed no anomalies of the truck's equipment or fuel supply. Additionally, none of the airplanes serviced with fuel from the truck before or after the accident airplane, including another airplane operated by the Collings Foundation, reported any anomalies," the report says.


The plane was owned and operated by the Stow, Mass.-based Collings Foundation, which brings its vintage aircraft to local airports around the country for tours and offers flights for $450 per person. The foundation has suspended flight operations for the remainder of 2019.


The B-17 Flying Fortress, a 75-year-old aircraft, was flying under a "living history flight experience" exemption granted by the Federal Aviation Administration, allowing Collings to charge passengers for flights to cover the cost of maintaining and preserving its aircraft. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.[ambulance chasing attention whore], has asked the FAA for more details on the exemption and the various requirements involved.


The report says that the aircraft was maintained "under an airworthiness inspection program, which incorporated an annual inspection, and 25-hour, 50-hour, 75-hour, and 100-hour progressive inspections." The aircraft's most recent annual inspection was completed on Jan. 16.


McCauley was said to be one of the most experienced B-17 pilots in the country and had flown for Collings for 20 years. The NTSB report indicates he and the co-pilot had the proper certifications to operate the aircraft.





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