South Kingstown, R.I. – December 2, 1973

South Kingstown, Rhode Island – December 2, 1973

 

     On the afternoon of December 2, 1973, several sky divers were making parachute jumps over the area of the Laurel Lane Golf Course in South Kingston, not far from the Richmond Airport. 

     At about 3:30 p.m. a Cessna 182F took off from the Richmond Airport and climbed to an altitude of 3,000 feet.  At about 3:45 p.m., a 35-year-old man from Westerly, R.I. jumped from the plane but his parachute failed to fully deploy.  Witnesses later stated that he pulled his reserve parachute, but was too low to the ground at the time, and it did not have time to fully deploy to break his fall.  The man was transported to South County Hospital in Wakefield, R.I. where he was pronounced dead on arrival. 

     Sources:

    Providence Journal, “Chute Fails, Jump Kills R.I. Man”, December 3, 1973, page 1.   

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “FAA Probe Set In Fall Of Parachutist”, December 3, 1973, page 2

     Westerly Sun, “Sky Diver Killed As Chute Fails”, December 3, 1973, page 1

Coventry, R.I. – August 24, 1973

Coventry, Rhode Island – August 24, 1973  

     RICONN Airport is located in the western portion of the town of Coventry, R.I., just off Route 14, (aka Plainfield Pike), bordering the Connecticut state line.  The runway area is an open grass field.

     On August 24, 1973, a Piper PA-12 with two men aboard took off from RICONN Airport.  As the plane was gaining altitude it suddenly backfired and developed engine trouble.  The pilot attempted to bring the aircraft around to land back at RICONN, but with the engine running erratically was unable to gain enough altitude.  The plane was wrecked when it crashed in a wooded area about 300 yards from the runway.  Although the gas tank ruptured, there was no fire.  The pilot suffered a broken leg, but the passenger was able to hike through the woods to find help.     

     Source:

     Providence Journal Bulletin, “”2 Survive R.I. Plane Crash”, August 25, 1973, page 1. (Photo of aircraft)

 

 

Warwick, R.I. – November 17, 1970

Warwick, Rhode Island – November 17, 1970 

     Shortly after 1 p.m. on November 17, 1970, a twin-engine Cessna 310 aircraft with a husband and wife aboard took off from T.F. Green Airport.  Just after takeoff the plane lost power in its left engine and the pilot made a left turn in an attempt to get back to the runway.  As he was doing so, the airplane came down in a neighborhood adjacent to the airport, where it skimmed the top of a tree located in front of 57-59 Kilvert Street.  It then glanced off a three-story house before slamming into another three-story home at 51 Kilvert Street and exploded into flame. 

     Inside 51 Kilvert Street, a 37-year-old mother lay sleeping with her 1-year-old son.  The crash set the room ablaze.  Her husband, who was out in front of the house at the time, ran in and rescued his wife and son, but the woman later died of her injuries.

     The occupants of the aircraft were pulled from the wreckage by firefighters, both were suffering from severe burns. 

     The flames spread to an adjacent house, and four firefighters were injured battling the blaze.  The burned homes were later torn down. 

     Sources:

     Providence Journal, and Providence Evening Bulletin, (unknown  dates – not recorded on clippings.)

     “Plane Crashes After takeoff At Green”

     “Spectators Come To View Floodlighted Plane Wreck”

     “Mother, Infant Pulled Out After Plane Hits R.I. Home”, November 18, 1970.

     “A Neighborhood Learns Horror”

     “One Of The Hazards…Now It’s Happened Here”

     “Experts Probing Plane Crash”

     “Burns Claim Woman; Home Hit By Plane”

     “Pilot’s Wife Quizzed, Condition Still Poor” 

     “Hurt Woman Questioned On Warwick Plane Crash”

 

 

 

 

 

Cranston, R.I. – April 5, 1970

Cranston, R.I. – April 5, 1970

     On April 5, 1970, an 18-year-old student pilot, and member of the Little Rhody Flying Club, was soloing over Cranston in a Cessna 120 aircraft.  At 1:39 p.m. he radioed a distress call that his aircraft was on fire, and shortly afterward crashed in an open field in the western portion of the city, about 1.5 miles from Laten Knight Road in an area known as Fiskville.  The youth was killed on impact.

     While examining the wreckage, investigators found no evidence of fire. 

     Sources:

     Providence Journal, “Pilot, 18, Killed In Cranston”, April 6, 1970 (with photo)

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “State, U.S. Officials Probe Crash”, April 6, 1970 (with photo)

Lincoln, R.I. – May 26, 1966

Lincoln, Rhode Island – May 26, 1966

     On May 26, 1966, a twin-engine Piper Apache aircraft, (N218P), with three people aboard, was approaching North Central State Airport in Smithfield, Rhode Island, when both engines suddenly lost all power.  The pilot, Raymond J. Morissette, the (then) Mayor of Central Falls, R.I., radioed a “May-Day” before the plane crashed into a thickly wooded section of Lincoln.  The plane came down  about one mile from the end of runway 33, to the southwest of Jenckes Hill Road in Lincoln, and to the northeast of Clark Road in Smithfield.  Although the aircraft was completely wrecked, with the wings being torn off from hitting trees, Mr. Morissette and his two passengers, a mother and her son, were able to extricate themselves and walk out of the woods to seek help.   

     Source:

     Providence Journal, “Mayors Mayday Heeded”, May 27, 1966 

Smithfield, R.I. – October 13, 2016

Smithfield, Rhode Island – October 13, 2016

     On the morning of October 13, 2016, a private corporate jet with four passengers and two crew aboard left Allegheny County Airport in Pennsylvania bound for North Central State Airport in Smithfield, Rhode Island.  The aircraft was a Cessna Citation,  tail number N518AR.   

     The plane arrived at North Central at about 10:30 a.m. and was attempting to land on Runway 5 when it  overshot and crash landed in brush filled area.  The plane suffered damage, but there was no fire and nobody was hurt.  The four businessmen aboard were in Rhode Island to attend a meeting in Providence.   

     The photographs attached to this post are courtesy of Jim Grande Jr., of the Smithfield Fire Department. 

     Click on images to enlarge.

Smithfield, R.I. – October 13, 2016

Smithfield, R.I. – October 13, 2016

Smithfield, R.I. – October 13, 2016

     Sources:

     Providence Journal, “Jet travelers Make Business Meeting After Plane Scare In Smithfield “, October 13, 2016

     Pittsburgh’s Action 4 News, “Flight From Allegheny County Airport Crashes On Landing In Rhode Island”, October 13, 2016

     WJAR Turn To 10 News, “Small Plane Runs Off Runway At North Central State Airport”, October 13, 2016

South Kingstown, RI – July 1, 1941

South Kingstown, Rhode Island – July 1, 1941 

Matunuck Beach

     At about 11:30 a.m., on July 1, 1941, a small airplane with a man and a woman aboard left Newport Airport bound for New York City.  The woman was Miss Eleanor Young, 23, and her companion was Nicholas S. Embirieos, 31.   Both were known in society circles.

     As the plane flew across Narragansett Bay it encountered fog conditions.  Embirieos, who was at the controls, circled the area of Matunuck Beach several times before the aircraft suddenly crashed into the water just off shore of Matunuck Beach, a popular swimming area in South Kingstown R.I.  Both occupants were pulled from the wreck by lifeguards, George Gilson, and David Smith, but died of their injuries. 

     A photograph of part of the plane wreckage can be found on page 53 of the book, “Images Of America – South Shore Rhode Island”, by Betty J. Cotter, 1999.

     Sources:

     New York Times, “Eleanor Young Dies In Air Crash; Was One Of First Glamor Girls”, July 2, 1941

    The Daily Times, “Socialite, Friend Killed In Plane”, July 2, 1941

Block Island, R.I. – August 26, 1995

Block Island, Rhode Island – August 26, 1995

Town of New Shoreham

     On August 26, 1995, a Cessna 185 (N4944E) took off from East Hampton, Long Island, New York, bound for Block Island.  The aircraft was a seaplane capable of water landings.

     There were four people aboard, a 52-year-old pilot and three passengers in their 20s.  

     The plane arrived at Block Island shortly after 1 p.m. and attempted to land at Old Harbor Beach, touching down about 400 feet from shore and heading towards land.  After traveling about 100 feet the pilot aborted due to rocks and swimmers in the area.  The airplane leveled off at 15 feet and continued towards shore where it rose again to clear a building and some electrical wires.  After clearing the first set of wires, the plane settled downward and caught a second set of wires.  It then dove towards a restaurant known as G.R. Sharkey’s which also had an attached gas station.  One of the aircraft’s pontoons slammed into a car occupied by a 79-yrear-old woman who was parked at the gas pumps, before crashing into the restaurant and bursting into flames.  The woman and three people aboard the plane died at the scene.  One male passenger aboard the aircraft managed to free himself from the wreckage, but later died of his injuries at Rhode Island Hospital.   

     Fortunately the restaurant was fairly empty at the time of the crash, and no patrons or employees were hurt.  

     This incident remains the worst aviation disaster to occur on Block Island.

     Sources:

     National Transportation Safety Board accident report brief – #NYC95FA203 

    New York Times, “Plane Hits Block Island Restaurant, Killing 5”, August 27, 1995

     New York Times, “Small Town tries To Get Over Shattering Plane Crash”, August 28, 1995

     New York Times, “Last 3 Victims Identified In seaplane Crash”, August 29, 1995

Middletown, R.I. – May 25, 1998

Middletown, Rhode Island – May 25, 1998

 

      On May 25, 1998, a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza with four people aboard took off from Nantucket, Massachusetts, bound for Connecticut when it developed engine trouble while in-route.  The nearest airport at the time of the trouble was Rhode Island’s Newport State Airport, which is actually in Middletown, Rhode Island.  As the plane was making its approach, it crashed into a tree at the edge of a field off Jepson Road in Middletown and burst into flame.   Two people in the rear of the plane managed to escape, but the two in front perished.   The survivors were transported to Newport Hospital and were later transferred by helicopter to hospitals in Massachusetts.

     Sources:

     Providence Journal, “Middletown Plane Crash Kills Two, Injures Two”, May 26, 1998 

     Westerly Sun, “Plane Crash Leaves Two Dead”, May 26, 1998

    

         

 

 

Providence River – July 27, 1913

Providence River – July 27, 1913

    

Jack McGee in his "Kite"  Pawtucket (RI) Historical Society Photo

Jack McGee in his “Kite”
Pawtucket (RI) Historical Society Photo

     On the evening of July 27, 1913, Rhode Island aviator Jack McGee was making flights from Crescent Park in East Providence, Rhode Island.  After making a solo flight at 5:30 p.m., he landed and took off again with his younger brother Robert as a passenger.  At about 6:30 McGee then made a third flight, this time with an unidentified friend as a passenger.  As the plane headed out over the Providence River a chain to one of the propellers suddenly snapped and the aircraft began to fall.  There was nothing that McGee could do, and the plane dove nose-first into the river just off the Bullock’s Point Lighthouse, and sank to the bottom taking both men with it. 

     Fortunately the water was only 20 feet deep.  McGee was able to free himself, and then assisted his passenger from the tangled wires of the wreck, and both made it to the surface with relatively minor injuries.  The aeronauts were rescued by a passing boat and brought to shore.   

     The Bullock’s Point Lighthouse was destroyed by the Hurricane of 1938.   

     Source: The Providence Journal, “Two In Aeroplane Fall Into The Bay”, July 28, 1913.  (Article provided by Patricia Zacks.)

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