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Fire destroys classic airplane

June 15, 2011, 01:05 pm

After an emergency landing, the B-17 Liberty Belle burst into flames and was completely destroyed this week, according to the Experimental Aircraft Association. The plane, owned by the Liberty Foundation, suffered an in-flight fire shortly after takeoff.

The seven people onboard were able to escape safely before the plane was completely engulfed in flames. This near death experience may serve to show the need for anyone involved in general aviation to invest in pilot's life insurance.

"The Pilot in command was a good friend of ours, John Hess who is a Delta Captain. Co-pilot is retired Delta pilot. They experienced an in-flight fire, John landed in a field allowing everyone to exit the aircraft without injury. The field was not accessible by fire equipment, so they had to stand back and watch it burn," said EAA Warbirds director Connie Brown.

Once the plane was on the ground, reports indicate that the vessel cracked in half following an explosion. The plane was headed to Indianapolis Regional Airport for a Father's Day weekend tour, the EAA reports. The plane had been grounded just a few weeks prior to the crash and it was unknown at the time if the fire was directly related to the earlier problems.

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