A B-Roll video has been released by NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) investigators surveying the scene at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut after the crash of B-17 “Nine-o-Nine”.
NTSB is currently investigating the crash of B-17 (N93012) “Nine-o-Nine” that crashed at the Bradley International Airport on October 2, 2019. Onboard were 13 people of which 7 were killed and 6 more wounded. Another person on the ground got severely burned on his hands and arms after trying to help the victims from the burning wreckage.
Names of the victims have been released. The fatalities were 75-year-old pilot Ernest McCauley and his 71-year-old co-pilot Michael Foster. The five passengers who were killed were David Broderick, 56, Gary Mazzone, 66, James Roberts, 48, Robert Riddell, 59, and Robert Rubner, 64.
Eric Whyte, who is one of the Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour pilots, wrote a tribute for veteran pilot Ernest (Mac) McCauley:
Today has been tough. I appreciate all the outreach of support.
As some of you know I am very lucky to be one of the Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour Pilots. Today we suffered a terrible tragedy and lost several amazing people. The pilot community is a close-knit group but an organization like this is even tighter. A couple of the people lost today were friends.
I have been at a loss on what to post. I’ve deleted several drafts already. I saw the last picture on my phone of 909 was taken a few days ago in Martha’s Vineyard. For those that knew Mac, you’ll understand the puppy in the picture. For those that never met him, he was a former NFL player, took pride in being a curmudgeon, liked to laugh at millennials but He had a soft spot for animals. Especially dogs. He would often sneak away from the tour and visit animal shelters to walk the dogs since being on the road he couldn’t have one of his own.
The other picture was taken a few weeks ago. I don’t remember what we were celebrating and it didn’t matter. Mac always held a “debriefing.” The crew would get together and discuss the day, vent, etc Mac’s flavor of choice was Bud Light Lime. As a craft beer guy, I thought it was crazy. Let’s say it’s an acquired taste. Mac, at the recommendation of one of our pilots, started to add Lime-A-Rita to it and the “Mac-a-Rita” was born. It was those nights after we got done flying that the crew became a “flying family.”
While on tour several of us would leave the hotel early and ride with Mac in the morning because that meant a Starbucks Run. What his taste in beer lacked his taste in coffee was spot on. We both shared the same favorite flavor – Komodo Dragon. He and I had a friendly banter about who’s airplane was better. He was a B-17 guy I was a B-24. I’d also him if he wanted to fly the 24 with me and he would joke “I don’t want to fly the B-24, I might just learn to like it”
As a very experienced pilot and mechanic, I often picked his brain about the airplanes and he was happy to help. As long as you brought his tools back.
I regret I never took a picture of us flying together. Mac had a “no selfies in the cockpit” rule. One story we laughed about, The first time I flew with him I couldn’t get the parking brake to release. We had all 4 running, clearance to taxi, and no matter what I couldn’t get the parking brake off. Mac looked over and laughed and said “you know we aren’t going anywhere until you get that figured out”
Both of us were laughing as I finally got it to release (it was operator error)
Blue Skies and tailwinds guys. It was an honor to fly with you. The SPF ratio is pretty low tonight…..
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