Niantic, Ct., – July 16, 1921

Niantic, Connecticut – July 16, 1921

Updated June 5, 2017


     On July 16, 1921, pilot Wesley L. Keough of Springfield, Massachusetts, and George Phillips of Providence, Rhode Island, left Westerly, Rhode Island, in a two passenger Curtis aircraft bound for Niantic, Connecticut.  Keough had been at Pleasant View Beach in Westerly for the previous few weeks giving rides in his airplane.  On this particular flight, Keough and Phillips were flying to Niantic where the “Governor’s Foot Guard” were encamped. 

     As the plane neared Niantic at an altitude of 2,500 feet, a connecting rod in the engine suddenly broke and the engine came to a stop.  Keough was an experienced flyer and calmly put the aircraft into a glide hoping to land in an open area on the campground, but as it neared the ground it struck an air pocket and began to fall.  Keough shouted to Phillips to jump, and both did so as the plane was reportedly barely twenty feet from the ground.  Both men hit the ground and began tumbling and rolling, but when they came to a stop they discovered they were relatively unhurt.  The plane continued on and slammed into a trolley pole at Station #8 and came to rest on the tracks, with its wings crumpled and its landing gear wrecked.          



     Hartford Courant, “Keough Leaps For Life From Disabled Plane”, July 17, 1921

     New York Times, “Fall 2,500 Feet In Plane”, July 17, 1921   

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