The World War II bomber that crashed at Bradley International Airport near Hartford, Connecticut, almost two weeks ago, killing seven aboard, clipped landing lights and touched down well short of the runway before swerving into a de-icing fluid tank, the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday.
The pilot of the Boeing B-17G indicated only that he was having engine trouble – a "rough mag," he told controllers – in requesting to turn back to the airport Oct. 2 after takeoff on a sightseeing flight but never indicated other trouble, the NTSB's preliminary report shows.
When an airport tower controller asked the pilot about the progress of his return, he replied "getting there." Yet the B-17G, built in 1944, had only 500 feet of altitude at the time the pilot requested to turn back. The plane struck landing lights 1,000 feet short of Runway 6 and then touched down 500 feet short before wheeling to the right to strike vehicles and the de-icing tank.
While the report lays out detail about the crash of the plane dubbed the "Nine-O-Nine" and operated by the Collings Foundation, it does not pinpoint the cause of the accident.
The crash killed the pilot, co-pilot and five passengers. The only other member of the crew, the loadmaster, was seriously injured along with four passengers. In addition, one passenger and one person on the ground received minor injuries, the report states.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: B-17 crash: NTSB says plane crashed short of runaway