State police ID 7 injured, 7 killed in Bradley Airport crash

In a news conference Thursday afternoon, Connecticut State Police thanked the many agencies that responded to the B-17 crash at Bradley International Airport Wednesday and identified the victims involved.

News 12 Staff

Oct 3, 2019, 7:57 PM

Updated 1,745 days ago

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Crews will begin to document and move the wreckage of a B-17 crash Friday that killed seven people and injured seven others at Bradley International Airport in Hartford this week. 
In a news conference Thursday afternoon, Connecticut State Police thanked the many agencies that responded to the B-17 crash at Bradley International Airport Wednesday and identified the victims involved.
Those who are presumed deceased are as follows:
Pilot: Ernest McCauley, 75, of Long Beach, Calif.
Co-Pilot: Michael Foster, 71, of Jacksonville, Fla.
Gary Mazzone, 66, of Broad Brook, Conn.
James Roberts, 48, of Ludlow, Mass.
Robert Riddell, 59, of East Granby, Conn.
Robert Rubner, 64, of Tolland, Conn.
Those who are confirmed deceased are as follows:
David Broderick, 56, of West Springfield, Mass.
Those who are injured are as follows:
Flight Engineer: Mitchell Melton, 34, of Dalehart, Texas
Andy Barrett, 36, of South Hadley, Mass.
Linda Schmidt, 62, of Suffield, Conn.
Tom Schmidt, 62, of Suffield, Conn.
Joseph Huber, 48, of Tariffville, Conn.
James Traficante, 54, of Simsbury, Conn.
Andrew Sullivan, 28, of Enfield, Conn.
 
The B-17 bomber plane crashed as it attempted to return to the airport after its 9:45 a.m. takeoff Wednesday, according to state police. Seven people aboard the plane were killed, while six on the plane and one person on the ground were injured.
"Yesterday, a tragic event shocked and saddened all of us," said James C. Rovella, commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. "Yet there was a true team effort to respond to the scene and to try to save as many lives as possible. This is a small state in which our first responders act as one for the best interest of their fellow citizens. They have my thanks, as well as the gratitude from Connecticut citizens."
 
"As the investigation into the crash continues, we keep the families of those injured and killed in our thoughts and prayers," Commissioner Rovella added.
The NTSB says witnesses told them that work was done on the engines of the plane before takeoff Wednesday. They added that the plane was last inspected in January.
The NTSB says it has transcripts of flight audio, telling them the plane radioed the tower at 9:50 p.m., then crashed three minutes later into the deicing facility. 
Jennifer Homendy of the NTSB told reporters during a press conference Thursday that the pilot of the B-17, McCauley, had the highest experience and highest amount of flight time in a B17 than any other pilot in the U.S  
Homendy says NTSB officials examined the wreckage, received information that the plane had last been inspected in January, 2019 and are working to get more documents.  
She also says the NTSB requested training records of crew members, a transcript of flight audio, and obtained airport security video from the time of the crash. 
Fuel samples were taken from the right wing of the aircraft and an engine issue was dated with an engine.
Homendy says the B-17 plane made contact with approximately 30 approach lights as it came down. 
She says there are 16 registered Boeing B-17 planes in the U.S. and the planes have been involved in 21 accidents which resulted in 23 deaths since 1982. 
 
 
 
 


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