Logan Airport – December 17, 1973

Logan International Airport – December 17, 1973 

 

     On the afternoon of December 17, 1973, Iberia Airlines Flight 933, arrived at Boston’s Logan International Airport from Madrid with 168 people aboard.  (14 crew, 154 passengers.) The aircraft was a DC-10 jetliner. 

     At the time of the flight’s arrival, the weather consisted of a 300 foot cloud ceiling with rain falling and thick low-lying fog which created a situation of very low visibility.   The pilot was given clearance to make an instrument landing approach on Runway 33L.   As the aircraft was about to land it struck the light bar on an instrument landing approach pier which was located in Boston Harbor a short distance from the end of the runway.   When the plane touched down on the wet runway it struck a row of runway approach lights and went off the tarmac.  The aircraft then skidded across the ground for another 200 yards before coming to rest in a marshy area.   A section of landing gear was torn away, and the plane’s tail section broke apart just in front of the rear engine.  The plane’s left engine caught fire and began to burn. 

     Fortunately there was no panic, and all passengers and crew were evacuated safely via the inflatable emergency escape chutes.  Sixteen people were reportedly taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.        

     This accident was the third major accident at Logan Airport within five months. 

     On November 3, 1973, a Pan American Boeing 707 cargo plane crashed killing three crewmen.

     On July 31, 1973, a Delta Airlines DC-9 crashed killing 89 persons.

     Sources:

     Providence Journal, “168 Survive Jet Crash At Logan”, December 18, 1973, page 1 (Photo of plane)   

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “168 Survive Crash At Logan Airport”, December 18, 1973, page 6

     Westerly Sun, (R.I.), “16 Injured In Third major Logan Crash In Five Months”, December 18, 1973, page 1.  

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “Runway Wreck In Hub Probed By Safety Bd.”, December 19, 1973, page 35

 

Boston Airport – September 27, 1930

Boston Airport – September 27, 1930

 

     At 1:30 p.m., on September 27, 1930, Capt. Clarence J. A’Hearn was landing at Boston Airport when the landing gear collapsed as the plane touched down.  The aircraft, a PT-1 trainer, (Ser. No. 27-145), slid to a stop and neither Capt. A’Hearn or his passenger, Pvt. John Talbert were injured. 

     Investigators determined the pilot did nothing wrong, and the accident was due to a defect in the metal of the struts.

     Source: Army Air Service Aircraft Accident Report, dated September 27, 1930 

Boston Airport – August 9, 1932

Boston Airport – August 9, 1932

     At about 10:25 a.m. on August 9, 1932,  a 1st Lieutenant of the Massachusetts National Guard, taxied an O-38B observer type aircraft (Ser. No. 32-106) out of the hangar at Boston Airport and made his way to the end of the runway in preparation for take off.  Meanwhile, for some unknown reason, a Boston Parks Department truck that was in the area, began moving towards the lieutenant’s airplane, approaching the aircraft on the runway from straight ahead.  Due to the way the O-38 was sitting, with its nose up and tail down, the pilot couldn’t see the truck that was operating in his “blind spot”.  As the aircraft began to make its run for takeoff the truck and plane collided. 

     Both plane and truck were damaged, however no injuries were reported.  It was noted by the accident investigation committee that the O-38 was constructed in such a way that a blind spot was created while taxying.   

     The aircraft was assigned to the 101st Observation Squadron at Boston Airport.

     Source: Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident, dated August 26, 1932.          

Boston Airport – February, 1934

Boston Airport – February, 1934 

    

Early Air Mail Advertisement

Early Air Mail Advertisement

     On March 1, 1934, the U.S. Army Eastern Zone Air Service announced it had cancelled until further notice all air mail flights to Boston due to hazardous landing conditions at the airport there.  The decision came after there had been three air mail plane accidents on the narrow runways within four days.  Apparently the runways had been plowed of recently fallen snow, but the mounds were piled high right at the edges.

     On February 26th and 27th, two air mail planes were damaged upon landing when their wings clipped the snow drifts. 

     On the morning of February 28th, a plane piloted by Lt. Charles E. Flaherty, carrying 81 pounds of mail hit another snowdrift damaging the propeller and both wings.  (It wasn’t stated if Lt. Flaherty was injured or not.)  

     Source: New York Times, “Air Mail Cancels Trips To Boston”, March 1, 1934

    

 

 

 

Boston Airport – May 8, 1932

Boston Airport – May 8, 1932

     On May 8, 1932, a small single-engine airplane with three men aboard was taking off from Boston Airport when at an altitude of about 200 feet the motor suddenly quit.  The plane dove into a rough area near the edge of the field, with one wing and the nose striking first. 

     All three men received serious, but non life threatening injuries.  They were identified as (Pilot) Thurle Ellis, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Gus Rose, and John Day, both of Revere, Massachusetts.  All were taken to East Boston Relief Hospital.  

      Sources:

     New York Times, “3 Hurt In Boston Air Crash”, May 9, 1932

    

Boston Airport – July 8, 1929

Boston Airport – July 8, 1929

     On July 8, 1929, a Ford tri-motor aircraft belonging to Colonial Air Transport took off from Boston Airport with fifteen people aboard bound for New York.  Just after takeoff one of the three engines quit, forcing the pilot, Zustis I. Wells, to turn back to the airport.  As he was landing the plane, someone drove a team of horses into its path necessitating the pilot to head the plane into a ditch near the runway.  The aircraft was damaged, but there were no reported injuries.

     Another plane was brought over and the passengers resumed their trip.    

     Source: New York Times, “New York Plane Damaged”, July 9, 1929  

Boston Airport – July 24, 1923

Boston Airport – July 24, 1923

     On the afternoon of July 24, 1923, Lieutenant Kitchell Snow of the 101st Observation Squadron of the Massachusetts National Guard,  took off from Boston Airport in a former British training aircraft.   There were two passengers aboard, Sergeant Oscar D. Lecain, and his cousin, 10-year-old Howard Carkin of North Chelmsford, Mass. 

     As the plane rose off the runway and headed out towards the water, the engine suddenly quit.  Not wanting to land in the water with two passengers aboard, Snow banked the plane back towards shore, and when he did the aircraft suddenly dove nose first into the mud flats.  

     The impact drove the motor into the cockpit crushing Lieutenant Snow. Both passengers survived.

     It was reported that Lieutenant Snow was “the second victim of accidents at the field since its opening in June.”  The particulars of the first accident weren’t stated. 

     Another accident involving a plane from the 101st Observation Squadron occurred on December 18, 1924, when Chester E. Wright, flying a JNS-1 (23-536) crashed in Boston Harbor.   

Source: Woonsocket Call, “Lieut. Snow Killed In Airplane Crash”, July 25, 1923, Pg. 5

 

Boston Harbor – June 5, 1930

Boston Harbor – June 5, 1930

Updated January 19, 2016

     On June 5, 1930, a Ford Tri-motor aircraft,  Nacomis, (NC9675) owned by Colonial Air Transport, with fifteen people aboard, took off from Boston Airport bound for New York.  Just after becoming airborne, while at an altitude of 100 feet, the right motor suddenly quit, causing the plane to go into a side slip and spin into the water of Boston Harbor.

     The tide was out at the time, and the water was only several feet deep, which many believed prevented the accident from being worse than it was. 

     One passenger drowned before help could arrive.   The deceased was identified as P. S. Thorsen, a contractor of both Boston and New York.

     Others aboard included:

     (Pilot) Owen O’Connor, and (Co-pilot) Val Chick

     Passengers:

     Mrs. H. E. Webster, of N.Y.

     Simon De Vaulchier, of N.Y.

     W. E. Wilson, of Boston

     I. H. Morrison, of N.Y.

     M. H. Shapiro, of Boston

     H. D. Beaton, of N.Y.

     W. H. Sheafer, of Pittsburg, PA.

     Charles H. Jacobson, of Long Island, N.Y.

     Mrs. Charles Jacobson, of Long Island, N.Y.

     H. S. Ford Jr., of Brookline, MA.

     W. A. Stayton, of Rochester, PA.

     Henry Wallis, of Boston

     Sources:

     Aviation Safety Network,  aviation-safety.net

     The Pittsburgh Press, “Pittsburger Hurt As Plane Dives Into Sea”, June 5, 1930

     New York Times, “Air Liner Plunges 15 In Boston Bay, 1 Dies”, June 6, 1930

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