WINDSOR Big news Friday that the Collings Foundation has grounded the vintage planes used in their Wings of Freedom tour.
The ill-fated B-17 flying fortress that crashed at Bradley Airport back in October was a part of their exhibit.
The move is temporary. It's an agreement with the FAA to suspend the living history flights while the Collings Foundation responds to the FAA's concerns about operations and procedures.
The vintage planes of the Collings Foundation traveling Wings of Freedom tour will not be taking passengers on flights.
Im a fan of history myself, said Joe Roberts, whos brother Jim was killed in the B-17 crash. I dont want to see the whole industry shut down. At the same time, I dont want to see what happened happen again.
The Collings Foundation told FOX61, We have agreed to a temporary stand down with our LHFE flights (living history flight exemption) as we work with the FAA thoroughly addressing questions regarding operations. We hope to have this resolved soon.
Nearly four months after the tragic crash that killed 13 people at Bradley Airport, a video tour of the B-17 remains on the Collings Foundation website. I can see where some people may have a tough time, especially for anyone who perished, said Roberts.
To completely take out all the information and the amazing long history of "Nine 0 Nine" would be a disservice to all the people, crew, pilots, support staff, volunteers, veterans and family members who have a personal connection to this extraordinary aircraft. We are all in deep mourning, said a spokesperson for the Collings Foundation.
Andy Munson of Higganum is a sponsor of the Collings Foundation. He says preserving history is important.
Like my family, its three generations that we have thrilled at what these airman did in World War II and we cant lose that and bringing it to the people, Munson said.
Joe Roberts has been driving his brother Jims old car now. He said the holidays were hard.
We stilldid the holidays, my brother wouldve wanted that. But its really setting in now that hes not coming back.Roberts said hes formed a bond with other victims' family members. Everybody has a big loss so in some ways it does provide support.
Right now, the Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom tour is in Venice, Florida. As of now, they have no plans to come back to Connecticut this year. The NTSB is still months away from issuing a final report into the crash.
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