Runway 6 reopened following deadly B-17 crash, de-icing facility significantly damaged


WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP)- It’s been five days since a World War II B-17 bomber crashed at Bradley International Airport killing seven people.

Bradley International Airport told 22News the runway where the deadly plane crash took place, is back open and all flights are operating on schedule.

The vintage WWII-era B-17 bomber crashed into a de-icing facility on Runway 6 Wednesday morning, after turning back because of engine trouble five minutes after taking off. Seven people were killed, including two western Massachusetts residents. The deadly crash has many people questioning the safety of vintage aircraft.

“It’s crazy. First of all, why was that plane in service and how safe are the planes,” Treyvaun Hyatt of Washington D.C. said, “Safety should be everyone’s priority right now.”

The B-17 tried to make an emergency landing on Runway 6 when it skidded off the runway during an emergency landing attempt and crashed into a de-icing facility. The fiery crash forced the airport to shut down the runway.

“How can they make these planes any safer?” asked Treyvaun Hyatt from Washington, D.C. “That’s my biggest concern right now about that.”

There have been 21 crashes that killed 23 people, involving World War II-era bombers in the last 37 years. The NTSB plans to release a preliminary report on the crash at Bradley by the end of the week.

Bradley reopened Runway 6 on Friday, so all flights have been operating on schedule again. The NTSB has crews there trying to figure out what went wrong with the plane.

Connecticut Airport Authority Executive Director Kevin Dillon sent 22News the following statement:

“We are still evaluating the damage to our de-icing facility. However our de-icing operation does not fully depend on the de-icing facility and despite the damage, the airport is capable to de-ice aircraft if necessary.”

Connecticut Airport Authority Executive Director Kevin Dillon

The NTSB said they’ll need at least a year to determine the cause of the crash.

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