WW II bomber Liberty Belle forced to land, erupts in flames
OSWEGO, Ill. -- A World War II bomber made what appeared to be an emergency landing in a cornfield on Monday, and all seven people on board escaped before it was consumed by fire, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
"The plane departed the airport, noted an emergency, and the pilot made what appears to be an emergency landing, after which the plane was consumed by fire," FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said in an e-mail. None of the passengers was injured.
The accident occurred right after the plane, known as the "Liberty Belle," took off from the Aurora Municipal Airport and the plane landed in an Oswego cornfield outside Chicago, Cory said. The National Transportation Safety Board is now investigating the incident.
Jim Barry, who lives in a nearby subdivision, told the Chicago Tribune he heard a low-flying plane and looked to see it. The engine on the bomber's left wing was on fire, he said.
"Not a lot of flames, just more smoke than flames," Barry said.
The pilot reported a fire shortly after taking off, Sugar Grove Fire Chief Marty Kunkle said.
"He attempted to make a return to the airport, but couldn't make it so he put it down in a cornfield," Kunkel told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Firefighters from Oswego, Sugar Grove and Plainfield responded to the scene. Fire officials said they were having difficulty getting to the aircraft because of wet fields.
The B-17 Flying Fortress was made in 1944. Authorities say it is registered to the Liberty Foundation in Miami.
The Liberty Foundation, owner of the restored bomber, spends about $1 million a year flying the plane to about three dozen cities a year across the United States.
Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin has been a destination in each of the past four years, most recently last June and July. The bomber's website didn't list a local stop through the end of June this year.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Surge in small drones making airline pilots nervous
- Boston airport’s ‘naked man’ remains behind bars
- Obama’s immigration actions neglect business pleas
- Test vaccine to fight Ebola promising
- Fewer adults smoking, U.S. survey finds
- Ferguson testimony filled with variations
- Man who allegedly skipped out on $16K bill at Nemacolin caught
- Ferguson, Mo., grand jury to meet Monday, decide on possible indictment of police officer
- Locavore movement takes to deer hunting across country
- Bighorn sheep escapes Los Angeles Zoo
- Nevada speaker-elect steps down amid criticism