West Greenwich, Rhode Island – May 22, 1976
At about noon time on May 22, 1976, a helicopter carrying Rhode Island’s Governor Phillip Noel, and a pilot, Thomas Shortall, left T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, and landed at the Warwick Mall about three miles away. At 12:15 p.m., the helicopter took off again bound for the Alton Jones Campus of the University of Rhode Island, located in West Greenwich, where the Governor was scheduled to address the American Federation of Teachers.
The helicopter was scheduled to land in a hay field on the campus, where a police car awaited to transport the Governor to his scheduled talk. As the helicopter was making its final approach at an altitude of about 200 feet, it suddenly lost the tail rotor and fell into the woods surrounding the field.
Both the Governor and Mr. Shortall were admitted to Kent County Hospital in Warwick, with non-life-threatening injuries. The helicopter was wrecked.
(Del.) Wilmington Sate-News, “Rhode Island Governor Hurt In Copter Crash”, May 23, 1976
(Ct.) The Day, “Governor Noel, Pilot Suffer Injuries In Helicopter Crash”, May 24, 1976