Skip to content

“In August 1987, while performing at an airshow in western Pennsylvania, “Nine-O-Nine” was caught by a severe crosswind moments after touchdown. The right wing lifted in the air, finally coming down too far down the runway. Despite the efforts of her crew, she rolled off the end of the runway, crashed through a chain link fence, sheared off a power pole and roared down a 100-foot ravine to a thundering stop. The landing gear sheared off, the chin turret was smashed and pushed into the nose; the Plexiglas nose was shattered; bomb bay doors, fuselage, fuselage, ball turret, wing and nacelles all took a tremendous beating. Engines and propellers were also torn form their mounts. Fortunately, there were no fatalities to the crew or riders although there were injuries.”


The NTSB has issued its final report on the Boeing B-17 known as Nine-O-Nine that crashed at Bradley International Airport in October of 2019, killing seven and injuring another seven, including one person on the ground. The aircraft, a four-engine bomber operated by the non-profit Collings Foundation, had just departed from KBDL when the plane lost partial power on one of its right-side engines. Shortly thereafter, the second engine on the right side also lost partial power. On attempting to return to the field to land, the pilot in command, who was also the director of maintenance for the Foundation, wasn’t able to get the plane back to the runway. It hit short of the active runway, crossed that runway, a taxiway and continued to a deicing facility where it crashed and came to rest, becoming engulfed in flames almost immediately. In issuing its statement of probable cause, the NTSB said that the crash was caused by a combination of faulty maintenance practices, the pilot’s lowering of the gear before he had the runway made and the FAA’s lax oversight of the Collings Foundation’s Safety Management System (SMS).

NINE-O-NINE PICTURED BELOW IN 1987: “With nacelles from the famed B-17 “Shoo Shoo Baby,” thousands of volunteer hours at Air Heritage Aircraft Restoration Inc., support from the residents of Chippewa Township, PA, and donations from individuals and corporations, the B-17 was made whole again.”

Read more on Wikipedia.

Back To Top