After suffering a technical failure, a North American B-25 Mitchell bomber dating from the Second World War had to attempt an emergency landing in an open field. The vintage aircraft was damaged and two of the three occupants were injured.
The aircraft, registered N7946C and owned by Proair Holding Company, took off from Chino Airport (CNO) in southern California, United States, on September 19, 2020. The airport houses two museums and several companies specialized in aircraft preservation and restoration.
For an unspecified reason, the flight crew crash-landed the bomber in an open field west of Stockton Metropolitan Airport (SCK). The aircraft received substantial damage when it impacted an irrigation ditch. Two of the occupants were transported to a local hospital, while the third one was uninjured.
The B-25J Mitchell, serial number 44-28938, was part of the Army Air Force and operated in the Mediterranean theater during the Second World War. Following the war, it was converted into a TB-25N for radio navigation training, before becoming a waterbomber for over 20 years.
It was in October 1978, when the aircraft became a flying museum piece. After suffering a forced landing accident near Reno in 1987, the B-25 was briefly stored. It took no less than 18,000 hours of restoration for the vintage bomber to take off again in 1995.
Nicknamed “Old Glory”, it regularly attended aviation events and commemorations. Its latest appearance was on the 75th Commemoration of the End of WWII when it was transported to Pearl Harbor aboard USS Essex (LHD 2).