The Liberty Belle’s Last Flight
The Liberty Belle B-17 Bomber, that I had spent years photographing each time it came into Spokane, crash landed near Chicago this morning. It burned in a field four miles southeast of Aurora Municipal Airport. The pilot had reported an engine fire so he brought it down in a cornfield near Highway 71 and Minkler Road. All seven people on board made it off the plane.
The Liberty Belle was built in 1944 and restored in 1992 for the Liberty Foundation [website is down as of 9:45 a.m.]. It toured the United States annually and once a year would land at Felts Field for a weekend of tour and flights. You would have seen it flying low, with gusto in 2010 and 2009. UPDATE: It was not the same one here during the first weekend of June. I can only describe the take-off of the plane as a roar and then you’re lifted into the sky.
From the look of the photo above, I can only assume the plane is a total loss. Hanging above my desk is one of the photos I took of the plane in 2009. Now when I look up, I’ll remember that it no longer exists. Below are photos I’ve taken of the plane over the past few years.