NTSB Identification: CEN11FA383
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 13, 2011 in Oswego, IL
Aircraft: BOEING B-17G, registration: N390TH
Injuries: 1 Minor,6 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On June 13, 2011, about 0947 central daylight time, a Boeing B-17G "Flying Fortress" airplane, N390TH, experienced an in-flight fire and performed an emergency landing near Oswego, Illinois. One passenger sustained a minor injury. The 3 crew members and 3 other passengers were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged as a result of a fire that ensued after it was on the ground. The aircraft was registered to and operated by The Liberty Foundation under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a repositioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Aurora Municipal Airport (ARR), Aurora, Illinois at 0938.
The accident airplane departed ARR with a North American SNJ-4, N299FM, as a flight of two airplanes. About 6 minutes after takeoff, the pilot of the SNJ airplane informed the flight crew of the B-17 that they had an in-flight fire. The SNJ pilot subsequently advised the B-17 crew to execute an emergency landing to a field.
The flight crew of the B-17 reported that they smelled smoke and were attempting to locate the source when they received the call from the pilot of the SNJ. They had already shut off the electrical generators in an effort to isolate the problem. Once they determined that the fire was on the left wing, they elected to shut down the number 2 engine and discharge the fire bottles. Following the advice from the SNJ pilot, the B-17 flight crew performed an emergency landing to a corn field about 8 miles southeast of ARR.
The B-17 came to rest near the east end of the corn field. The crew and passengers exited the airplane as the fire persisted. Emergency crews responding to the airplane were hampered by muddy field conditions, and the fire ultimately consumed the fuselage and inboard portion of both wings.
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