B-17 Bomber Bound For Indiana Crashes

Plane Headed To Indianapolis Crashes In Illinois Field

A B-17 bomber that dates to World War II crashed and burned in a cornfield outside Chicago on Monday as it was headed to Indiana for tour rides this weekend.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said aviation officials believe the seven people on board the plane escaped uninjured.

Cory said the plane took off from Aurora Municipal Airport on Monday morning and crashed about 20 minutes later in Oswego.

The pilot reported a fire shortly after taking off, said Sugar Grove Fire Chief Marty Kunkle.

"He attempted to make a return to the airport, but couldn't make it so he put it down in a cornfield," Kunkel said.

Firefighters from Oswego, Sugar Grove and Plainfield, Ill., responded to the crash. Fire officials said they had difficulty accessing the crash because of wet fields.

The vintage plane was made in 1944 and is known as the "Flying Fortress." Cory said it is registered to the Liberty Foundation in Miami.

"It's devastating to the foundation. I mean, we're all volunteer crews … so it's not like it's a job for us, it's a labor of love," said Keith Youngblood, a crewmember. "Just to see it gone, it's terrible, absolutely terrible."

The plane was to appear for a scheduled event at Indianapolis Regional Airport this weekend as part of a nationwide tour.