Farmington, Connecticut – October 19, 1962
On the night of October 19, 1962, Allegheny Airlines Flight 928 was making its way from Philadelphia to Hartford, Connecticut, with 48 passengers and a crew of 4 aboard. (Pilot, co-pilot- and two flight attendants) The aircraft was a twin-engine Convair CV-340-440, (Registration N8415H).
About midway through the trip, flight attendant Francoise de Moriere noticed a steady whistle coming from the rubber seal around a service door at the rear of the plane. It was the kind of whistle one hears when an automobile’s window is slightly open while the vehicle is traveling down the highway at 60 mph.
The noise was due to air escaping from the pressurized cabin. Just how long this had been taking place is uncertain, for the door had been tightly sealed when the plane left Philadelphia almost an hour earlier. Simply opening and re-closing it wasn’t an option.
Miss de Moriere alerted the pilot of the situation who then instructed the co-pilot to investigate and see what could be done. After examining the door, it was decided the problem could be “fixed” by stuffing pillow cases around the door seals to stop the noise.
A man seated in the rear of the plane had observed their actions, and chatted briefly with Miss de Moriere after the co-pilot returned to the cockpit. She then excused herself and went to the rear of the cabin to use the public address system to notify passengers to begin stowing any loose items in preparation for landing. Just as she’d finished, the service door suddenly blew open and Miss de Moriere was sucked out of the airplane.
The other flight attendant aboard happened to be using the restroom at the rear of the cabin when the decompression occurred. The lavatory door blew open, and she might have suffered the same fate had it not been for the quick actions of two passengers.
Miss de Moriere’s body was later recovered in a pasture near New Britain Avenue and Red Oak Hill Road in Farmington, Connecticut, a small town just southwest of Hartford.
Miss de Moriere was born in Paris, France, and at the time of her death made her home in Alexandria, Virginia. She’d been with the airline for 26 months.
Once on the ground the aircraft was impounded by the state police and held for investigation. None of the passengers suffered any significant injury.
Hartford Courant, “Stewardess Falls From Airliner Over Farmington”, October 20, 1962
Providence Journal, “Stewardess Is Killed In Fall From Airliner – Door Is Blown Out Of Plane”, October 20, 1962, Page 1
Providence Journal, “Stewardess’ Death Probed”, October 21, 1962, page N50
Hartford Courant, ”CAB May Recommend Rules On Plane Doors”, October 25, 1962
Providence Journal, “Faulty Door Caused Crash”, April 27, 1963, Page 15
Hartford Courant, “Insecure Door Blamed For Stewardess’ Death”, July 19, 1963
Providence Journal, “Airline Pilot Blamed In Death Of Hostess”, July 19, 1963, page 31
Website – www.planecrashinfo.com
Town of Farmington, Connecticut, death records