North Adams, Massachusetts – September 12, 1999
On September 12, 1999, an airshow was held at Harriman Airport in North Adams, to celebrate the airports 50th anniversary. During one part of the show, two vintage military aircraft were conducting a low level fly-past when they collided in mid air. One aircraft was a twin-engine Cessna, and the other an L-19.
There were conflicting reports as to how the accident occurred, however it was felt that neither pilot saw the other’s aircraft due to their vantage point.
The accident happened in view of thousands of spectators – none of whom were hurt.
One aircraft crashed in a marshy area near the end of the runway and exploded, while the other went down in cornfield in the neighboring town of Williamstown. Both pilots were killed.
The pilots were identified as George Shelton, 68, of Boston, and Paulus Kraaijvanger, 67, of North Stonington, Connecticut.
Union News, “Air Crash Claims Pilot’s Lives”, September 13, 1999.
Westerly Sun, “Two Pilots Killed At Air Show”, September 13, 1999
Cape Cod Times, “Two Pilots Die In Crash At Air Show In N. Adams”, September 13, 1999