In this Sept. 29, 2004, file photo, the Nine-O-Nine, a Collings Foundation B-17 Flying Fortress, flies over Bristol, Conn. A B-17 vintage World War II-era bomber plane crashed Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, just outside New England's second-busiest airport, and a fire-and-rescue operation was underway, official said. Credit: Mike Orazzi | AP

AUBURN, Maine — At least seven people are dead, after a World War II era bomber crashed in Connecticut.

That aircraft was just in Maine last week.

The B-17 bomber that crashed flew into the Auburn-Lewiston Airport a week ago, along with four other World War II planes. From there, they went to Nashua and then onto Bradley Airport Wednesday morning where the B-17 crashed.

The original B-17 bomber, nicknamed the “Nine-O-Nine” after its serial number, completed 140 combat missions during World War II, without ever losing a crew member.

Seventy-five years later, a replica of the vintage plane crashed in Connecticut.

“My first thought was that they do give rides on the B-17, and there might be a possibility of that,” Auburn-Lewiston Airport Director Rick Lanman said.

The airport director says a maintenance crew travels with the vintage World War II planes and inspects them daily.

“Safety would be the first thing. If they didn’t think it could fly, it wouldn’t be flying,” Lanman said.

The “Nine-O-Nine” crashed twice before, once in 1987 and again in 1995.

No one was killed in either crash, but aviation enthusiasts say it’s important to keep these vintage planes flying.

Wings of Freedom say they put on these air shows to honor veterans, educate the public, and to preserve these treasurers of American aviation history where they belong, in the sky.