Two pilots among 7 killed in B-17 crash in Connecticut

Two pilots among 7 killed in B-17 crash in Connecticut

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Jessica Hill) (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The two pilots of a B-17 bomber that crashed at a Connecticut airport were among seven people killed in the fiery wreck, officials said Thursday.

The pilot was Ernest McCauley, 75, of Long Beach, California, and the co-pilot was Michael Foster, 71, of Jacksonville, Florida, according to the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. The flight engineer Mitchell Melton, 34, of Dalhart, Texas, survived with injuries.

The plane crashed and burned after experiencing mechanical trouble on takeoff Wednesday morning from Bradley International Airport. Some of the survivors were critically injured.

Also among those killed was Gary Mazzone, 60, of East Windsor, who was a history and military buff, according to his son, Daniel Mazzone. He didn’t know of his father’s plans to ride the B-17, he said, but knew why he would be interested.

“I think he just wanted to see what it was like to be in the back of a B-17,” Daniel Mazzone said. “He loved World War II. He loved people who served this country in any capacity.”

Mazzone, a father of three children and two stepdaughters, retired in January as a prosecutor’s office inspector and previously was a Vernon police officer for 22 years.

“We’re all very sad ... and we’re very sad for his family,” Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane said. “He was a good investigator. He was a good inspector. And he was a very good and helpful colleague.”

The wife of Robert Riddell, an insurance company analyst from East Granby, Connecticut, said in a Facebook post that her husband was among those killed. Robert Riddell had posted a photo from inside the plane just before takeoff.

“Words cannot express how devastated I am. Rob was the best person I’ve ever known. ... I will miss him beyond words can ever express. He loved his children more than anyone could know and the new grandson was the apple of his eye,” Debra Riddell wrote.

The other passengers killed in the flight were James Roberts, 48, of Ludlow, Massachusetts; David Broderick, 56, of West Springfield, Massachusetts; and Robert Rubner, 64, of Tolland, Connecticut.

Five other passengers on the plane were injured along with Andrew Sullivan, 28, an airport employee who was on the ground near the site of the accident.

Bridgeport Hospital officials said that one survivor who arrived in serious condition was upgraded Thursday to fair condition, and that two others there were still in fair condition. All three suffered burns and broken bones.

One patient injured in the crash remained at Hartford Hospital, officials said.

An airman with the Connecticut National Guard who was aboard a B-17 bomber that crashed at an airport helped other passengers escape the flames by using his fire-resistant gloves to open a hatch, officials said Thursday.

The airman has training in handling emergencies on aircraft and had brought his military-issued gloves on the flight, according to the Guard. The airman was treated at a hospital and has been recovering at home. His name was not released.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragic accident,” said Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, adjutant general of the Connecticut National Guard.

The retired, civilian-registered plane was associated with the Collings Foundation, an educational group that brought its Wings of Freedom vintage aircraft display to the airport this week, officials said.

The vintage bomber _ also known as a Flying Fortress, one of the most celebrated Allied planes of World War II _ was used to take history buffs and aircraft enthusiasts on short flights, during which they could get up and walk around the loud and windy interior.

The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team to investigate.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Tough Draw premieres Sage Kimzey profile

    Tough Draw premieres Sage Kimzey profile

    Monday, December 9 2019 8:14 PM EST2019-12-10 01:14:32 GMT

    Five-time bull riding world champion, Sage Kimzey, take a look back at his 2018 PRCA Las Vegas ride as he shoot for his 6th world title.

    Five-time bull riding world champion, Sage Kimzey, take a look back at his 2018 PRCA Las Vegas ride as he shoot for his 6th world title.

  • Orphan mountain lion cub ‘feistier every day’ at Oakland Zoo

    Orphan mountain lion cub ‘feistier every day’ at Oakland Zoo

    Monday, December 9 2019 5:28 PM EST2019-12-09 22:28:51 GMT
    AP Photo (Oakland Zoo)AP Photo (Oakland Zoo)
    AP Photo (Oakland Zoo)AP Photo (Oakland Zoo)

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — An ailing mountain lion cub rescued last month along with two siblings that died is recovering at the Oakland Zoo and has found a permanent home in Texas, zoo officials said Monday.

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — An ailing mountain lion cub rescued last month along with two siblings that died is recovering at the Oakland Zoo and has found a permanent home in Texas, zoo officials said Monday.

  • Ice bucket challenge inspiration Pete Frates dies at 34

    Ice bucket challenge inspiration Pete Frates dies at 34

    Monday, December 9 2019 5:24 PM EST2019-12-09 22:24:04 GMT
    (AP Photo/Bill Sikes, File)(AP Photo/Bill Sikes, File)
    (AP Photo/Bill Sikes, File)(AP Photo/Bill Sikes, File)
    BOSTON (AP) — Pete Frates, a former college baseball player whose battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease helped inspire the ALS ice bucket challenge that has raised more than $200 million worldwide, died Monday. He was 34. Frates died peacefully, surrounded by his family, they said in a statement. “A natural born leader and the ultimate teammate, Pete was a role model for all, especially young athletes, who looked up to him for his bravery and unwavering positive spirit ...
    BOSTON (AP) — Pete Frates, a former college baseball player whose battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease helped inspire the ALS ice bucket challenge that has raised more than $200 million worldwide, died Monday. He was 34. Frates died peacefully, surrounded by his family, they said in a statement. “A natural born leader and the ultimate teammate, Pete was a role model for all, especially young athletes, who looked up to him for his bravery and unwavering positive spirit ...
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 Frankly and RFDTV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service , and Ad Choices .