Rentschler Airport, CT. – April 16, 1976

Rentschler Airport, East Hartford, Connecticut – April 16, 1976  

     On April 16, 1976, a Connecticut Army National Guard Huey helicopter left Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks bound for Groton.  The crew consisted of the pilot, Major John M. Sivilla, and Chief Warrant Officer Gary Reviczky. 

     While over a residential section of East Hartford, sections of the tail rotor suddenly broke loose for no apparent reason.  Major Sivilla was able to maintain control and head towards Rentschler Airport about a quarter-mile away.  As he reached the airport and was in the process of landing, the helicopter bounced off the ground and spun around before crashing.  One of the rotor blades tore into the cockpit barely missing Sivilla and Reviczky.  There was no fire after the crash and both men escaped without injury. 

     One six foot long piece of the tail rotor imbedded in the roof of a private home on Margery Drive.  No occupants of the home were injured.  Another piece came down in the parking lot of the Edward B. Stevens School on Butternut Drive, and another section fell in a wooded area.  There were no injuries on the ground.

     Source:

     Hartford Courant, “Guard Helicopter Crashes In E. Hartford; Pair Unhurt”.  April 17, 1976, page 6. (With photo of crash) 

 

Farmington, CT – April 11, 1945

Farmington, Connecticut – April 11, 1945

    

P-47D Thunderbolt - U.S. Air Force Photo

P-47D Thunderbolt – U.S. Air Force Photo

     On April 11, 1945, a U.S. Army P-47D (42-22360) left Bradley Filed in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, for a combat training flight, and crashed during flight maneuvers while over the town of Farmington.  According to witnesses, the aircraft plunged strait down into a swampy/wooded area on a farm where it exploded, leaving a crater reported to be 12 to 15 feet deep, and 30 feet wide.  One source identifies the farm as belonging to John Lipski, and another as belonging to Leo Grouten.  Apparently the two properties border each other and the crash occurred near the property line.   

     The pilot was identified as 2nd Lt. Vincent Hugh Core, 20, of Brooklyn, New York.      

     In 1987, 41 years after the crash, David Tabol, a Farmington Boy Scout, erected a granite monument near the crash site as a memorial to Lt. Core.  (The site is now part of the Unionville State Forrest.)   Further back in the woods is a crude piles of rocks, which some believe was left by the military clean-up crew to serve as a marker for the site.  

     Sources:

     The Bristol Press, “Pilot Killed, Plane Blown To Pieces In Crash In Farmington”, April 11, 1945, pg. 1

     The Bristol Press, ” Army Investigating Crash Of Plane In Farmington; Brooklyn Flier Is Killed”, April 12, 1945

     The Bristol Press,”WWII Tragedy, Air Force Pilot Crashes, Dies In Unionville Forest In 1945″, by Ken Lipshez, October, 1995.

     Connecticut Department Of Health Death Certificate

         

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