Vintage WW Two bomber crashes, burns in Illinois cornfield

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 14, 2011 2:14 AM
Vintage WW Two bomber crashes, burns in Illinois cornfield

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A vintage World War Two bomber crashed in a sodden cornfield about 40 miles east of Chicago on Monday shortly after takeoff, officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said.

All seven people on board the B-17 Flying Fortress escaped without injury, FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said.

The pilot of the aircraft, which was built in 1944 and in town for a salute to veterans, reported a fire on board shortly after leaving the Aurora Municipal Airport at 9:30 a.m.

He was trying to return to the facility when he went down in a cornfield about four miles southeast of the airport.

Fire crews were unable to get their equipment close to the burning plane, however, because the field was too wet.

Nick Weber, a firefighter with the Sugar Grove Fire Protection District, said teams were still out on the call nearly two-and-a-half hours later.

The FAA said it was investigating the accident.

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Jerry Norton)