B-17 Flying Fortress crash
In this April 2, 2002, file photo, the Nine-O-Nine, a Collings Foundation B-17 Flying Fortress, flies over Thomasville, Ala., during its journey from Decatur, Ala., to Mobile, Ala. A B-17 vintage World War II-era bomber plane crashed Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, just outside New England's second-busiest airport, and a fire-and-rescue operation was underway, official said. Airport officials said the plane was associated with the Collings Foundation, an educational group that brought its "Wings of Freedom" vintage aircraft display to Bradley International Airport this week. (John David Mercer/Press-Register via AP, File)
Previous Post
Next Post

Reader Thundervoice writes . . .

Earlier this week, a B-17 Flying Fortress crashed in Connecticut, resulting in seven fatalities and six people injured. That particular plane was a historic war bird that traveled the country giving rides to individuals wanting to get some small sense of what it was like for members of the Greatest Generation who were part of the air war against Nazi Germany.

Twelve years ago, I rode in that very same plane. It was a thrilling experience and represented one of the first items I got to scratch off my bucket list. As a result of that connection and my lifelong interest in WWII military aircraft, I’ve been keeping up with the news on the crash.

B-17 Plane Crash Connecticut
This image taken from video provided by National Transportation Safety Board shows damage from a World War II-era B-17 bomber plane that crashed Wednesday at Bradley International Airport, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019 in Windsor Locks, Conn. The plane crashed and burned after experiencing mechanical trouble on takeoff Wednesday morning from Bradley International Airport. (NTSB via AP)

What does a WWII plane crash have to do with a guns? Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is the link.

A story on the crash included the following comments from the anti-Second Amendment Senator from the state where the crash occurred.

These aircraft are reminders about the greatness of the World War II generation; they are a great part of history” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. “Whether they are safe to fly is another question. And that’s the question that we need to ask before people board them for the experience of flying, which is a great experience. Until we know exactly what caused this crash, a major tragedy, whether it was a defect in the machine or some problem with maintenance or flying. There should be very serious scrutiny over these planes before they’re allowed back in the air.

I found myself asking why he needs to know the cause of the crash before taking action. Isn’t this the same Senator who moves immediately to restrict the Second Amendment after each mass shooting without waiting for facts or information?

Maybe he’s come to see the light. Maybe next time there’s high profile spree shooting, we can expect him to say, “We need to gather all the facts before we consider any legislation that would infringe on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.”

I won’t be holding my breath. This is just one more confirmation — as if any were needed — that facts don’t matter when trying to restrict our constitutional right to keep and bear arms.


Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Da Nang DICK can’t be trusted or believed,,, just a loudmouth looking for more attention…(should be impeached on a stolen valor crime)

  2. Blumenthal doesn’t need to look into anything. Aircraft professionals will deal with it better without his input. The organization that owned this plane and the man that was flying it both have excellent reputations.

      • Just go up to New England and look around, they’re EVERYWHERE.
        I saw the Dick B interview, his statement was that there was a possibility of a “defective part” on the plane. This total moron has no idea what he’s talking.
        Yeah Dick, that defective part that lasted for almost 80 years before it failed. He should have said worn/broken/uninspected/unmaintained/damaged…..ANYTHING but defective.
        “Defective” CLEARLY implies the part was originally manufactured/produced incorrectly.
        HEY Dick, words have meanings, learn them.

        • “Yeah Dick, that defective part that lasted for almost 80 years before it failed.”

          Likely not. The pilot reported needing to return to “blow out” the engine. At low power settings, those engines have a reputation of carbon fouling the spark plugs.

          It didn’t have 80 year-old spark plugs in it…

  3. I think Thundervoice misunderstood Danang Dick. Sounds like Dick wants to ground all old planes and then give it some scrutiny before allowing them to fly again. Sounds exactly like what I expect from a gun-grabber.

    • Comprehensive background checks on these planes before they can fly. Background checks fix everything don’t they ? You would think that these politicians would keep their mouths shut to keep people from realizing how ignorant they are. Government must be a halfway house for ignorant dummies.

    • That is SOP when an airplane goes down for unknown reasons. In the military aircraft grounding orders are sent out and all non essential flying ends until they determine a cause.

  4. Ole Stolen Valor Sen. Richard Blumenthal is a waste of airspace,facts he can’t handle facts and could care less,it’s all about the agenda.

    That said the loss of yet another Big Beautiful Doll and there are so few left is the true shame along with those lost on board.

    Big Beautiful Doll



    from the nose


  5. Well there is a real far left push to ban flying and return to train use. No bullshit. It’s a big thing among the far left climate change green new deals types. It’s also huge in Europe with people “flight shaming” “fliers” on social media. And those that support the ban on flying proudly detailing all the trips the take via train, while checking their “flight privilege”. Yes it is that ridiculous. I wish I was making this up. If you don’t believe me hop on over the BBC news site and look for the articles under the travel, culture and future sections.

    • @Merle 0:
      I believe you without looking it up.

      Anyway, aviation (personified by the B17) was my first love, and I do not want to see aviation banned.

      HOWEVER: I do think there is a place in this world for short run intercity trains, high speed trains. For instance, If you need to go to Chicago from the Detroit area (where I live) and you can’t (or don’t want to) drive, you have to either fly or take a slow moving train for four hours to get there. If you fly, you have to deal with two very busy airports (far from city centers) and all the TSA bullshit that goes with them. So, yeah; there is a place for high speed trains that can take you from downtown to downtown in a hurry.

      On the other hand, why would anybody want to go to Chicago???

  6. That aircraft was in experimental category which does not allow for compensation. It was given a waiver to the regulations by the FAA so the owners could charge for rides.

    • The aircraft in flight keeps interest alive in aviation. The FAAs business is supporting aviation.

      Hence, the waiver…

  7. Typical.
    Kamala Harris immediately after Jussie Smollett hoax: “This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.”

    *Spongebob narrator voice* One week later…

    Kamala Harris: “Which tweet? What tweet?” Harris asked a reporter after one brought up the recent developments.

    “About saying that it is a modern day lynching,” the reporter said. Harris looked to her left for an unknown reason and laughed before facing the reporter again, who said, “Jussie Smollet.”

    “Um, uh, OK. So I will say this about that case,” Harris said. “I think the facts are still unfolding, and I’m very concerned about obviously the initial allegation that he made about what might have happened.

    “And it’s something we should all take seriously whenever anyone alleges that kind of behavior, but there should be an investigation,” Harris added. “And I think that once the investigation has concluded then we can all comment, but I’m not going to comment until I know the outcome of the investigation.”

    Oh now you need to wait on the facts before commenting. Got it.

  8. So, Connecticut. Here is a story of how Blumenthal stays in office:

    A few weeks ago, I was in a hotel bar near Hartford CT. I cannot carry in CT, so having a few drinks with my corporate hosts seemed a fine evening. After we did the usual talk about families and neighborhoods, one of my hosts started bashing Trump and his supporters. Then, my other host joined in, but adding Boris Johnson to the chopping block. I listened for a long time, occasionally pointing out that some of the news stories they had cited proved inaccurate.

    Before I tell you this next part, keep in mind this client is paying A LOT of money to my employer to have me on the ground. They specifically requested me because I have been effective for them.

    When my hosts started bashing Trump supporters as uneducated, blue-collar workers gullible enough to believe Trump would actually bring jobs back, I said to them “You know, I am a strong supporter of the President”. There was a moment of silence. I will not forget her look of horror as one of my hosts asked how I could support Trump.

    A risk to do so? Yes, but I knew our working relationship could handle it. My point is that these two highly educated directors in a global corporation were fully dependent upon CNN, MSNBS, and NPR for their information. They sought out no other news sources. They had no challenges to their worldview.

    That is why I believe evangelization, getting people to own and enjoy firearms, is critical. As people learn about guns and gun people, they will begin to see, at least in one topic of the mainstream news, that they are being lied to, especially by D’nang Dick.

    • I know what you mean there. I have had a couple far left members of my family absolutely break down because I voted for Trump. I like to respond to their hysterics with : “Jesus Christ, have you seen who’s against him?”

      • I intentionally do NOT speak to or willingly associate with certain members of my own family due to this very reason. Liberalism, especially the virulent Postmodern progressive version, is a mental disorder that distorts reasoning ability, moral judgement, and perceptions. It’s best met with silence, derision, or contempt.

        • I was going to give a family member a hard time after the 2016 election (in a lighthearted joking way). She’s a lifelong hardcore democrat. As soon as I brought it up, she literally teared up and said she didn’t want to talk about it.

      • It used to be, in my family, that we could discuss and disagree on policy. No more. It always devolves into ‘Orange man bad’. So, I don’t discuss. Instead I put on my best Carl Roger’s imitation and paraphrase back that which has been said. Not agreeing, just asking: “Did you mean…?”
        Keeps the peace…my siblings have short fuses.

        • “Orange is the New Black”!

          It’s the title of a show on Netflix but will be fun to say when I have a strategic opportunity the next time someone calls Trump “The Orange One” or any similar moniker in my presence.
          Trying to make sense of it politically would be nonsensical so it will be fun to see their face twist while working on it.

    • I often say if I believed everything the mainstream media said about Trump, I’d hate him too.

      Are they dishonest or are they extremely gullible? I don’t see many other options.

  9. I don’t get it. You’re sarcastically noting that the senator wants to get the facts before making a decision, in the case of this plane crash, but unlike his usual M.O. with firearms.

    However, from his statement, he is making a decision first. “There should be very serious scrutiny over these planes before they’re allowed back in the air”, he said. He’s deciding to ground these planes first, then scrutinize them. That’s the opposite of the headline’s suggestion, and that’s only if you buy into his “scrutinty” as being synonymous with fact finding.

    There has been no eye opening on his part. He’s just grandstanding because it crashed in CT. Had this happened in Montana or Oklahoma or some other red state, he either wouldn’t give a damn or he’d snidely remark that this is what happens to bitter conservatives clinging to their historical warplanes and religion.

    • Exactly. This is like saying “we don’t know what caused the shooting but we need to ban assault weapons until we find out.”

      Exact opposite of how the post is written.

    • Good point. Now that you mention it he’d probably say something of “these are weapons of war that don’t belong in our skies and should belong to private entities. We need positive plane control now to ban the sale of military aircraft to civilians.”

  10. Yeah I don’t think you read his comments correctly. He’s saying he wants to take action now and disallow flights, then find out what’s wrong before returning to normal.

  11. As a former resident of the failing state of Connecticut, I can tell you that Dick Blumenthal NEVER misses an opportunity to jump in front of a microphone to provide his viewpoint on anything that’s in the news. He does this regardless of whether his current office has any jurisdiction over the matter whatsoever. As state attorney general he left that office with a tangled mess of unfinished actions that his successor had to clean up. He has done the same thing as a US Senator. He’s a blowhard and an egomaniac. He has followed this transparent routine for years.

  12. Maybe the unnamed author of this article should look for some facts before making his own decisions. One of the facts he might want to investigate is his own inability to read simple English!

    Clearly whoever wrote this nonsense either didn’t read the senator’s statement or simply couldn’t comprehend simple English.

    Senator Blumenthal makes his opinion perfectly clear — his attitude towards WWII Warbirds is basically the same at his attitude towards guns: Ban them immediately then look for any facts.

    Look at the senator’s statement again, and this time actually READ the part where he says “There should be very serious scrutiny over these planes before they’re allowed back in the air.” So he wants them banned too, the only difference is that he admits that a ban on WWII Warbirds MIGHT be lifted later if there is enough proof they are safe.

  13. It’s a terrible loss. Seven people plus a great old warplane.

    The NTSB and the FAA have the duty to figure out what happened and if a fleet grounding of similar aircraft is called for. Directions from politicians is not a part of that.

    Senator Blumenthal is one of 13 senators on the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation and Space. Among the subcommittee’s area of responsibility is oversight of the NTSB. That means they hold hearings on agency performance, budgets, consider changes in laws within the committee’s mandate. They may even hold hearings on specific events after the fact.

    What is not a part of any Congressional committee’s job is the day to management of specific incidents as they are happening.

    When Senators talk like they are in charge of the bureaucracy, it’s kinda’ like taking on airs, perhaps a hint of stolen valor. It should be noted that Blumenthal has been accused of stolen valor, sort of, remarking that he served in Vietnam. It is true he rose to the rank of Sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve. For six hard years he risked it all in the Washington, D.C., and Connecticut theaters of operations.

    He was never in Vietnam, but hey, DC and Conneciicut was close enough.

  14. Thundervoice:

    In your effort to score a point for us pro-gunners, you sunk to the left’s tactic of distorting statements. Either that or you completely missed the man’s intent. Please reread the statement you’re attempting to report on.

  15. The senator and the plane have something in common. The senator is a Vietnam era veteran who never served in Vietnam and the plane was a WW II era B-17 that despite the claim here never flew a WW-II mission in Europe or the Pacific. While the senator has sometimes exaggerated his military experience, the owners of the plane intentionally gave it the identity of another B-17 with an outstanding combat record.

    While the senator said banning all WW II bombers should wait for the investigation, the plane was registered and certified and its pilots were licenced. To date the Supreme Court has found that the second amendment guarantees the right of a licensed individual to own a registered handgun kept in the home for self-defense. Rational folks favor treating guns like vehicles.

    • Not seeing your point here. Commemorative aircraft routinely wear the colors and markings of noteworthy units and specific planes. Just as human re-enactors where uniforms and insignias and medals of a time they did not live thru, it is a thing done to honor those who did. Nothing wrong in either example, be it machine or human.

      And there is nothing rational about treating guns as we do cars. The societal burden of automobiles is vastly larger than any attributable to firearms. There is no Constitutional right of automobile ownership or operation. There most certainly is for firearms. We do not issue licenses to use pen and paper in free speech, or register those who would deliver us the news each day.

    • re: Dick S____er, you must be a New Yorker in that you refer to LICENSED individuals with
      REGISTERED hand guns kept IN THE HOME for self defense. We have more rights than THAT !

    • re: Dick S____er, you must be a New Yorker in that you refer to LICENSED individuals with
      REGISTERED hand guns kept IN THE HOME for self defense. We have more rights than THAT ! Dear God that’s why I left Connecticut.

    • “To date the Supreme Court has found that the second amendment guarantees the right of a licensed individual to own a registered handgun kept in the home for self-defense. Rational folks favor treating guns like vehicles.”

      The Heller decisions have nothing to do with licensing nor registration and there is nothing “rational” about conflating guns and vehicles in a legal sense.

  16. Civilian aircraft must be inspected often to maintain the “Airworthiness Certificate”, an annual inspection, and so on. Done correctly the plane never gets old.

  17. Here’s what we do. Place Dick Blumenthal and Chuck Schumer opposite each other equidistant from a TV camera. The resulting crash will be deadlier that the crash of this airplane.

  18. senator monkey-mouth, better known as bloomer,has no personal knowledge of any combat ,here or in viet-nam, his combat in the trenches occur in the bars and night-clubs in the biggest crap-holes in the nation , with his girlfriends the notorious whisky-mary of californica and washington d.c.nasty pe-lousy, he has very good track record for jumping off the dock about anything military, any loud noise and he is off and running to the nearest c.n.n. mic. so as not to let any accident or crash go un punished..HE IS A BLOW-HARD THAT HAS BEEN IN D.C. FOR WAY TOO LONG.

  19. NTSB is predictable in that they always work “Pilot error” into the causes. The plane was de-armored, lightly loaded. The report so far is that only one engine failed. The other 3 should easily have been able to get all back to the field.
    Wrong fuel or water in the fuel? Low fuel?

    • “NTSB is predictable in that they always work “Pilot error” into the causes.”

      No, they don’t. You should try reading them on a regular basis to see that.

      “The plane was de-armored, lightly loaded. The report so far is that only one engine failed. The other 3 should easily have been able to get all back to the field.”


      The engine that was reported to have failed was the number 4 engine. That makes it one of 2 engines mounted furthest away from the fuselage. When it failed, that caused a very dangerous condition to develop for a multi-engine aircraft, asymmetric thrust. At low landing speeds, it’s easy to lose control and veer off the runway, and at this point, it looks like that happend…

      • Been reading NTSB reports for >50 years. If you disagree with my opinion on them, show a little maturity in your criticism please.

      • You might want to read up on the WWII airwar. B-17s came home in much worse shape than flying on 3 engines. If asymmetric thrust was the cause of the crash than it was ultimately pilot error that was the cause.

        • CONTRIBUTING, probably.

          There’s a *reason* they don’t practice engine-out drills on an aircraft like that. It destroys aircraft and kills pilots…

        • Non sequitor. The aircraft was safely landed under worse conditions.

          This is 2019. They have simulators available for that.

    • kind of hairy watching one of these start up…smoky exhaust and a guy with a fire extinguisher moving from engine to engine….

  20. Many good comments. If I want to fly in a WW II plane isn’t that my right in a free country. What does he say about a WW I plane or replica.
    Hey Dick, go have intercourse with yourself.

  21. Well, imagine that, there is a plane at this plane crash, like every other plane crash in the history of plane crashes, except one.

    • got a chance to go on board the “movie Belle” while it was being worked on…since we also had one crash here…although it was later repaired and reflown…local guys have acquired a rep for being able to refurbish these warbirds….amazed at just how thin that skin was…a 20 mm would cut right through it!…makes you realize just how vulnerable these guys were up there…..

      • Indeed.

        When I was kid, I occasionally was able to hang around with a bunch of older guys who had flown in ETO in B-17’s and 24’s. In the 70’s, most of these guys were now in their later 50’s, and almost every one of them was going or already deaf, and needed hearing aids. Back then, hearing aids were this transistor-radio-sized pack you had in your pocket, with wires running up to the ear buds.

        I once asked why even the officers up front in the bombers were deaf, and said (being a dumb-assed kid) that I could see how the gunners were so frequently deaf, as firing a M-2 without hearing protection had to really beat your ears in. But I couldn’t understand why so many pilots/co-pilots on B-17’s were so deaf. Then one gruff old co-pilot explained it to me:

        “Put a twin .50 gun into the engineer’s position, just behind the pilot’s deck. Bring those .50’s down to level to fire at a German fighter doing a head-on attack on the formation. Where are those muzzles? They’re just a couple of feet above your head, on the other side of a layer of aluminum a bit thicker than the aluminum foil in your momma’s kitchen. The Krauts loved the head-on attack until we had fighters with us. That’s why we’re deaf, kid.”

        First time I got to crawl through a ’17, I was up on the pilot’s deck, and I reached up and tapped the inside of the skin. Couldn’t have been thicker than 16 gauge aluminum, and it might have even been 18 gauge. And yes, the muzzle of the twin .50’s from the engineer’s position would have been a couple of feet above and maybe about two feet behind the position of the pilots’ ears. Until the B-17-G variant, the engineer’s position was really the only good defense against the head-on fighter attacks, and a couple of guys from the ETO told me of times in their bombers that the waist gunners would be bringing up ammo belts to the engineer’s position to keep that position fed. The ball turret gunner sometimes got a piece of the fighters as they’d go under the bombers, but it was only the engineer’s turret that could make a fighter break off.

        Those of us who have been behind a M-2 when it has been firing – imagine what it was like to have two of them behind and above you while you’re trying to fly a plane under attack.

        Those guys paid with their blood, and paid with their imprisonment by the Nazis, and paid for the rest of their lives with health problems for the air war over Europe. They were all volunteers, and oozed white privilege out of their very pores.

        • Guns and jet engines. My pop is half-deaf from years of being a few feet from screaming Allison T56 turboprop engines…

  22. Poor Dickie must live in a bubble and not even read his own budget. We have the FAA and the NTSB. The best in the world at accident investigation and we pay for them. It is a shame that seven people died, but the aircraft was a 77 year old war vet. Normally these old birds are better kept up then they were when the Army flew them. Until the PROFESSIONALS figure out what happened Dickie needs to get off his soap box and do what he’s paid to do. (I’m not only a firearms instructor, I have a private pilot’s license w/ instrument rating)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here