A World War II-era B-17 aircraft that crashed in Connecticut Wednesday morning is not the same plane that visited Keene's Dillant-Hopkins Airport in Swanzey over the weekend, according to the organization that owns the plane.
Courtney Hayes, a representative of the Wisconsin-based Experimental Aircraft Association, said in an email that the B-17 Aluminum Overcast, which was in Keene for tours and flights Friday through Sunday, will soon be in Hyannis, Mass., for the next stop on its national tour.
The Hartford Courant reported that the plane that crashed at about 10 a.m. Wednesday is owned by the Massachusetts-based Collings Foundation and was visiting Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks for the Wings of Freedom Tour.
"We are sorry to hear of the accident in Connecticut involving the Collings Foundation B-17. It is not EAA’s B-17 involved," Hayes said in the email. "We are still learning details about it, so we don’t know any information past what is being reported by the media."
Officials at Dillant-Hopkins Airport said in a Facebook post that the B-17 Aluminum Overcast had not yet left the Keene-owned airport as of 11 a.m.
"This was NOT the B17 that was featured here at our airport; however, it is just as unfortunate. Ours is still here fueling up as we speak," the post said.
A B-17 owned by the Collings Foundation did visit the airport as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour in 2017, according to a previous report in The Sentinel.
The Courant reports at least seven people died and seven were injured in the crash. The plane reportedly crashed into a small building as it was attempting to land and burst into flames, according to The Courant.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were on that flight and we will be forever grateful to the heroic efforts of the first responders at Bradley," the Collings Foundation said in a statement, according to the Courant. "The Collings Foundation flight team is fully cooperating with officials to determine the cause of the crash of the B-17 Flying Fortress and will comment further when details become known."