Skip to comments.B-17 Down, All Escape
Posted on 06/13/2011 5:27:01 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants
The "Liberty Belle," a B-17 Flying Fortress operated by the Liberty Foundation of Florida, was destroyed by fire after the crew made an emergency landing in a cornfield in Illinois about 10 a.m. Monday morning. All seven people on board escaped without injury, according to the NTSB, but the airplane was a total loss. The B-17 had taken off from Aurora Municipal Airport near Oswego, Ill., and the pilot reported a fire on board shortly after takeoff. Several residents reported seeing the plane flying low with smoke and flames coming from it. "[The pilot] attempted to make a return to the airport, but couldn't make it so he put it down in a cornfield," local fire chief Marty Kunkel told the Beacon News. The field was about three to four miles southeast of the airport, the NTSB said.
(Excerpt) Read more at avweb.com ...
The B17 is still saving lives. A great aircraft.
...feel the sadness for all involved. The dedication and skill the people have to restore and maintain aircraft history for us all to enjoy.
Sad to lose a classic old bird like that.
Glad everyone got out safely.
Glad the crew escaped. What a tragic loss of a piece American history. After 25 combat missions over Europe in WWII she has to meet her fate in an Illinois cornfield. Very depressing.
“, but the airplane was a total loss.”
Every salvagable part will be saved and be useful for the remaining airworthy B-17s, looks like the engines are intact for the most part.
But its nice to know we got extra.
Good news, bad news...
She wasn’t the original Memphis Belle but was built in 1944.
I thought I knew the story of the Memphis Belle. Obviously not. Thanks for the info. Do you know what happened to the original?
Guess I need to pay a little closer attention. It wasn’t the Memphis Belle that crashed but the Liberty Belle. Never heard of that one. Still a sad loss.
I don’t know. I’ll be interested in finding out. My Uncle Bob flew 55 missions over Europe in a B-17F and -G.
One less flying B17. This wasn’t the Confederate Air Forces one is it?
This is kind of like that B29 that was stuck in an ice field since WWII. They brought all the parts and a film crew to document its restoration and their plans to fly it. During taxiing runs, apparently the fuel tank near the APU wasn’t bolted down or something and the plane burned to the ground. I don’t know if they were able to rescue the 4 engines they brought with them. A downer ending of the documentary.
Yes, glad the humans are ok. To bad about the machine.
I saw that one flying in Albuquerque a few years ago, but the tickets were all sold-out by the time I found out about it; I was hoping to get a ride in it some day.
Why are they still flying these old treasures? They should be preserved in museums not used to raise money and give people little thrill rides. It’s like pushing an old racehorse out on the fairgrounds to give pony rides. It’s demeaning.
My Uncle Jim piloted them over Europe. Never found out a single detail, however. I was too young to inquire and he just wanted to forget.
I rode on the Liberty Belle about 6 months ago - an incredible experience - will treasure the photos and video I took on the ride. As one of nine passengers, we were allowed to roam the entire AC after it was airborne. Video I took from the nose of the AC is awesome. Breaks my heart to see her in total ruin. So tragic, but so thankful all crew members were safe.