Flights of historic planes grounded pending investigation

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A nonprofit foundation that operates short flights on World War II era aircraft for history buffs and aircraft enthusiasts has agreed to offer only ground tours while the Federal Aviation Administration continues an investigation into a deadly crash of one of its vintage planes.

The Collings Foundation stopped its annual Wings of Freedom nationwide tour at the request of the FAA while the agency reviews information submitted on the nonprofit's operations and procedures, The Hartford Courant reported Friday.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating what caused the Boeing B-17G to crash on Oct. 2 at Bradley International Airport in Hartford, killing seven of the 13 people aboard. The crash came after the plane encountered mechanical trouble on takeoff.

The vintage bomber, also known as a Flying Fortress, was one of the most celebrated Allied planes of World War II.

Collins Foundation spokesman Hunter Chaney said the revenue generated from the flights is an essential source of funding, and the nonprofit hopes to resume them.