Collings Foundation member remembers pilot killed in military plane crash at Bradley Airport

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WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — It was the flight of a lifetime for Andy Munson and his older brother, who had never flown in a vintage military plane before.

“You can see the look on my brother’s face,” Munson said as he watched a video of their flight in September.

“That’s a 10-year-old look on a 64-year-old guy,” he said.

They flew in the same B-17 bomber which was involved in Wednesday’s deadly crash at Bradley Aiport.

Munson, of Higganum, is a member of the Collings Foundation which owns the B-17.

“I’ve been following these planes around the country for almost 30 years,” said Munson.

Related: Collings Foundation to suspend flight operations, ‘Wings of Freedom Tour’ for rest of 2019 after deadly crash at Bradley Airport

He said his heart goes out to those who were on the ill-fated flight.

“For it to end like that is just horrifying,” said Munson. “Their dream come true turns into a nightmare.”

Munson has flown many times with pilot Ernest McCauley, who he calls Mac.

He had just seen him on Sept. 9 on that flight with his brother.

“Big smile like he always had,” said Munson. “Just a great great guy and so much experience.”

McCauley is among the six presumed deceased. One person has been confirmed dead and six others were killed when the plane went down at Bradley.

Related: Officials release names of those involved in B-17 plane crash at Bradley Airport

“I think you’re going to find out that he controlled it really well,” said Munson. “As well as anybody could have.”

He also had high praise for the Collings Foundation which he said has two priorities. First and foremost, safety and secondly, a passion for history.

“They’re determined to bring the history around to people as opposed to say museums that are in Washington D.C. or where ever,” said Munson.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the crash and reports work was being done on one or more of the engines before the plane took off.

Munson said safety checks are done before every flight.

“He would have gone through all those procedures, and I just got to think it just happened when it got off the ground,” said Munson.

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