7 Survive WWII Bomber Plane Crash in Chicago

by nph | June 13th, 2011

B-17 Bomber airplane crash outside Chicago

B-17 Bomber airplane crash outside Chicago

June 13, 2011

Seven people survived after a B-17 bomber dating back to WWII crash-landed in a cornfield in the far western suburbs of Chicago on Monday morning.

All seven people aboard the vintage plane survived, said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory. Only one person was injured and treated at Rush-Copley Medical Center.

The plane departed Monday morning from Aurora Municipal Airport and crashed 20 minutes later near Highway 71 and Minkler Road in Oswego. Its intended destination was the Indianapolis Regional Airport, from which it was scheduled to give flights to the public during the Father’s Day weekend.

Sugar Grove Fire Chief Marty Kunkle told CBS that shortly after take-off the B-17’s pilot called in reporting an on-board fire and that he attempted a return to the airport but was unable to make it.

“I noticed that [the plane] was a little too low and was kind of coming down, and then I noticed flames coming out underneath its left wing,” witness Kevin Potts told WBBM-TV. “It’s just an amazing job by this pilot, and thank God that, apparently, everyone walked away.”

The plane, which is nicknamed the “Flying Fortress,” was built in 1944. It continued to burn after crashing, requiring fire crews from three surrounding towns.

Owned by the Liberty Foundation, the plane “had been maintained meticulously,” said Liberty Founder Don Brooks. “We almost never have problems with it. We don’t know what happened to it other than there was a fire.”

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Do you think that vintage planes are safe to fly?

If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, contact the aviation accident lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy.

Photo courtesy of WGN-TV