B-17 crash at Bradley International Airport

What Happened

​On October 2, 2019, a Boeing B-17G, N93012, was destroyed when it impacted terrain short of runway 6 at Bradley International Airport (BDL), Windsor Locks, Connecticut. The commercial pilot, airline transport pilot, and five passengers were fatally injured; the crew chief/flight engineer and four passengers were seriously injured; and one passenger and one person on the ground sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated by the Collings Foundation as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 ​​​local commercial sightseeing flight.

Read the Final Report​.

What We Found

We ​determined the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot’s failure to properly manage the airplane’s configuration and airspeed after he shut down the No. 4 engine following its partial loss of power during the initial climb. Contributing to the accident was the pilot/maintenance director’s inadequate maintenance while the airplane was on tour, which resulted in the partial loss of power to the Nos. 3 and 4 engines; the Collings Foundation’s ineffective safety management system (SMS), which failed to identify and mitigate safety risks; and the Federal Aviation Administration’s inadequate oversight of the Collings Foundation’s SMS. ​