The aviation world lost another iconic World War II era bomber today when the B-17 “Liberty Belle” made an off airport landing in a field near Aurora Municipal Airport (KAAR) in Illinois. According to preliminary reports, there were seven people on board the aircraft and all escaped with either no or minor injuries. The aircraft was consumed by a post landing fire and is considered a total loss.
According to an article on the Chicago Tribune’s website, the aircraft departed Aurora Municipal Airport around 9:30 a.m. this morning and crashed about 20 minutes later. An eyewitness on the ground reported the outboard engine on the left wing was producing mostly smoke and some flames shortly before the aircraft touched down in a cornfield adjacent to Highway 71.