B17 Nine-O-Nine crash in CT - 2019-10-02

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USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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Sorry for the gap in updating, I was traveling and doing a few photo jobs and time got away from me but I did want to share a couple articles from the Hartford Courant.

First off, the Nine-o-Nine's flight engineer/mechanic was released from the hospital today! This is great news and as he is one of us, I'm sure everyone here will keep him in their thoughts and prayers.

https://www.courant.com/breaking-news/hc-br-bradley-b-17-crash-mitchell-melton-released-from-hospital-20191009-lapaprst4fb5tmga2thspnrjd4-story.html

I found a Facebook fundraiser that was set-up by his family to aid in his medical expenses, I'll post a link but if this is not allowed, Admins please remove or let me know and I'll edit my post. I am in no way involved with this fundraiser, I'm simply passing the information along to like minded people.

https://www.facebook.com/donate/772931286494235/10158367614599714/


Secondly, I sounds like there were some real heroic efforts by passengers and bystanders after the plane went down. I found an article highlighting a few of the stories.

https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-br-viz-bradley-world-war-ii-plane-crash-stories-20191006-uh22wuhmwzfudla7jk5fhhfc2a-story.html
Unfortunately the links to the COURANT are behind a PAY-WALL for those of us who have clicked more than 4 times for previous articles.

Thanks for sharing the gist of the stories though.
 

85CUCVtom

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I fixed the post with the pay wall links. I left the links but posted the text of the articles with credit to the source. I also split my post in two- once I posted the text of the articles, it got really lengthy.

Secondly, I sounds like there were some real heroic efforts by passengers and bystanders after the plane went down. I found an article highlighting a few of the stories.

https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-br-viz-bradley-world-war-ii-plane-crash-stories-20191006-uh22wuhmwzfudla7jk5fhhfc2a-story.html

"Stories of devastating loss and heroism emerged from the B-17 bomber crash at Bradley International Airport"

By Kathleen McWilliams, Hartford Courant, OCT 06, 2019, 6:00 AM

An East Granby woman watched as her husband’s “bucket-list” vintage airplane flight erupted into a fireball. Seconds later, an injured Simsbury volunteer firefighter and Air National Guardsman aboard the doomed aircraft donned his military-issued, flame retardant flight gloves and threw open an escape hatch for survivors.

And a Winsted construction worker at the airport helped free workers from a burning building after the fiery crash. Stories of devastating loss, selflessness and heroism emerged after Wednesday’s fatal crash of a B-17 World War II-era bomber at Bradley International Airport. Amid the chaos and tragedy of the crash that killed seven people, bystanders and passengers alike sprang into action, likely saving the lives of the plane’s six survivors.

State troopers who interviewed survivors said that employees at the airport ran to the burning plane to help passengers get out. A construction worker helped apply tourniquets to injured passengers, and a passenger pushed through the pain of broken bones to help others onboard escape the burning aircraft.

While seven lives were lost, these acts of heroism kept others alive.

Here are some of their stories:

The Construction Worker

Robert Bullock, a construction worker on a job at Bradley International Airport, rushed to aid workers trapped inside a shed near the site of a deadly B-17 bomber crash Wednesday. Robert Bullock was back to work on a construction job at Bradley International Airport on Thursday, but the deadly crash was still very much on his mind. Bullock had been mixing concrete near the airport’s de-icing shed when he heard a massive boom. He looked up, and about 200 feet away, the plane and the front half of the canvas-covered shed were engulfed in flames.

Bullock, with years of experience as a volunteer firefighter, said he instinctively knew what he had to do. He ran to make sure none of his coworkers were in two office trailers nearby.

That’s when he heard a voice coming from inside the rear portion of the shed.

“I heard someone hollering, ‘Help, help, I’m dying. Somebody help me. Get me out of here’ numerous times,” Bullock, of Winsted, recalled in an interview at the airport. “And I jumped the fence to attempt to get him out of the building that was on fire.” Bullock grabbed a pocketknife and started cutting into the canvas. Two workers were able to get out of the building “a little bit further from where I was cutting.” Bullock turned to leave when he noticed a man and a woman lying on the ground about 40 feet from the plane, “all bloodied and whatnot.”

He stayed with them until medical personnel arrived on the scene and helped to apply a tourniquet. He said the man and woman had escaped the plane, but he didn’t know their story.

“I just kept them talking so they didn’t pass out,” he said.

The Firefighter

When the plane crashed, 54-year-old James Traficante, a five-year member of the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Department and a chief master sergeant in the Connecticut Air National Guard, was able to open the plane’s hatch and help pull out a few passengers.

A spokesman for the National Guard said Traficante had brought his military-issued, flame retardant flight gloves with him, which allowed him to handle the flame-scorched metal.

Traficante was injured — sources said he suffered at least one broken arm and a broken collarbone in the crash — and was treated at Hartford Hospital. He was discharged later in the day, the Guard said. As an aircrew member, Traficante has training and experience in handling aircraft emergencies, the news release said. Traficante’s heroic act was honored by Gov. Ned Lamont on Friday during a speech at a labor convention at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

“This guy’s arm was mangled, and he kicked out the door, and he pulled one or two folks out of there who wouldn’t otherwise be with us today,” Lamont said. “That’s where I saw that the Connecticut family is sticking together.”

‘This doesn’t bode well’

As the plane took off, family members exchanged final messages with the plane’s passengers.
Robert Ridell texted his wife Debra: “This doesn’t bode well, the pilot shut off the engine and has left his seat,” as he waited for the B-17 to take off. She reassured him that crews were working on getting the engines working.By the time the flight took off, 40 minutes behind schedule, Ridell had posted a photo of the cockpit of the plane’s interior to Facebook.

“I told him I loved him,” Debra Ridell said in an interview. “They started to taxi away, and everything appeared to be OK.”
Debra Ridell said she watched as the plane skirted around from the south to approach the runway.
“A few seconds later I heard a very loud noise and saw a fireball and smoke,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it had crashed.
His wedding band was found in the wreckage — a small consolation for his grieving family, said Jessica Darling, his stepdaughter.
Rob Ridell loved history, his wife said.

For their honeymoon, the Riddells traveled to Hawaii so Rob could visit Pearl Harbor, his wife said. For a 60th birthday celebration, they planned a trip to Normandy, so that Rob could view the beaches where Allied soldiers stormed ashore on D-Day to begin to wrest control of Europe from the Nazis. The trip aboard the B-17 was on his bucket list, and Debra Riddell was at Bradley to capture video of the special experience.

“This was something he really wanted to do,” she said.

 
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marchplumber

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Thank you very much for the articles and continued updates!! Such a tragedy!! God does shine through in the actions of the people that responded and helped the injured!
 

BigRig379

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Just throwing this out there. 100LL has a circular nozzle. Jet fuel uses an oval shaped nozzle that is so wide you can’t stick it in the fuel inlet of an airplane requiring 100LL. It’s easier to put gas in a jet than the other way around.


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85CUCVtom

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Just throwing this out there. 100LL has a circular nozzle. Jet fuel uses an oval shaped nozzle that is so wide you can’t stick it in the fuel inlet of an airplane requiring 100LL. It’s easier to put gas in a jet than the other way around.


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So similar to diesel vs. gasoline nozzles, one is bigger than the other.

That was one of the speculations I heard getting kicked around. I didn’t think it made sense though. Aside from the nozzles, correct me if I’m wrong, aren’t all the tanks plumbed together and balanced between the left and right side of the aircraft?

If this is the case, in theory, if one of the tanks was filled with jet fuel, wouldn’t all the engine be affected not just one engine?


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BigRig379

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The tanks have a crossfeed on them so each engine is running off it’s own tank unless the crossfeed valve is opened.


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85CUCVtom

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The tanks have a crossfeed on them so each engine is running off it’s own tank unless the crossfeed valve is opened.


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I gotcha. That makes more sense. Still though, I would think fuel issues show up during the warm up and run up?

Thanks for clarifying


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BigRig379

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I believe jet fuel is about .5 lbs heavier so it should go to the bottom. On the ground with warmup taxi and Runup your looking about 50 gallons used


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Sephirothq

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according to the report it doesn't sound like a fuel problem unless I am missing something. It did sound like there were no flaps deployed, so maybe they stalled early?
 

BigRig379

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If you have an engine out the last thing you want to do is increase drag. You have to have the gear down that also creates drag.


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USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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While it is our human nature to speculate and hypothesize, we should remain cautious in our grasping for answers. The NTSB investigators have the physical and recorded evidence and are analyzing the forensics of this devastating crash.

One indicative fact reveled in the preliminary findings was that the pilot(s) reported a "MAG PROBLEM" in the #4 engine.

REMEMBER: This is a PRELIMINARY REPORT from the NTSB.

For clarity, I find it poignant that the investigators included in this preliminary report that the PILOT(s) reported the MAG problem... and they stated it EARLY in the report.

The mag, or magneto, is key to producing spark for the spark plugs. When the mag malfunctions, the engine misfires, backfires, coughs and wheezes. The engine "looses power" - which manifests as reduced horsepower, reduced rpm, and or the engine completely stops generating rotational forces to drive it's attached propeller.

Since the pilot(s) had first-hand observations of instrumentation, audible inputs and sensory inputs of increasing vibrations through the airframe, their words will be given high value in the evidence gathered.

Early speculation in this thread may have raised reasonable points of concern, we now seem to know that fuel may have been disqualified as causation.
 

Jericho

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lets let them complete the report. I did the Engine portion of many crashes, they know what they have already, they have the clues, BUT They only get one chance to state it right
 

cucvmule

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Thanks frank8003

I have to add that there are ready clues that have been surmised in the preliminary report. Now they have to figure out why?

Many hours will be spent finding the reasons.

Lets be respectful of speculation until the investigation has run its course.

Remember the Spirit of the Souls that went to experience what Airmen and Pilots have done in peace and war.
 

frank8003

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WINDSOR LOCKS, CT (WFSB) -- A special ceremony was held on Wednesday [11132019] to honor the airport staff who helped with rescue efforts following the tragic B-17 plane crash last month

Back on Oct. 2, that B-17 crashed into a de-icing facility at the airport, killing seven people, and injuring six others.
On Wednesday, state officials had the chance to recognize those who jumped into action to pull victims from the burning wreckage.


“I'm told that you were there within two minutes, I was told you had the fire out within five minutes, and I know that you saved lives,” Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The investigation into what brought down that B-17 is still underway.
View attachment N93012 B17.pdf
 
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