Shortly after takeoff on October 2, 2019, on a day with calm winds and good visibility, the pilot of a vintage B-17 plane told air traffic control (ATC) at Bradley International Airport that he wanted to return to the airport because there was a "rough mag" on the No. 4 engine. That indication of engine trouble appears in a preliminary report on the crash that occurred in Windsor Locks, Connecticut moments after that communication – an incident that claimed the lives of the commercial pilot, airline transport pilot, and five passengers. The flight mechanic/loadmaster and four passengers were seriously injured, while one passenger and one person on the ground incurred minor injuries.
The plane was set to conduct a local commercial sightseeing flight in accordance with a Living History Flight Experience exemption granted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).