Framingham, MA. – December 12, 1976

Framingham, Massachusetts – December 12, 1976

     On the evening of December 12, 1976, a twin-engine Aero Star aircraft with a Husband and wife aboard, took off Boston bound for White Planes, New York.  Due to thick cloud cover, the pilot would be flying on instruments.  Not long after take off, the pilot reported a “runway prop”, which was affecting the airspeed of the plane. His last radio communication stated he was “going down”.

     When the aircraft dropped below the clouds the pilot saw that they were over a populated area, then noticed a large well-lit open area at an apartment complex and aimed for it.  The plane came down in the courtyard of the Windsor Green apartment complex, where a wing struck a small shed next to a swimming pool.  The plane then continued on, plowing through two chain link fences and skidded to a stop on a tennis court.  Although both wings were torn away, the fuselage remained intact.  There was no fire after the crash, and the couple escaped with minor injuries.   

     The pilot was praised for his skills, for the courtyard was surrounded on three sides by buildings.

     Sources:

     Boston Herald American, “2 Injured As Plane Crashes In Framingham”, December 13, 1976, page 3, (With photo of crash scene.)

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “Pilot Lands Amidst 20 Apartments”, December 13, 1976, page A-4

Framingham, MA – July 22, 1922

Framingham, Massachusetts – July 22, 1922

     On July 22, 1922, three men; brothers  Zenos R., and Ralph K. Miller, and Dr. Clarence Gamble, of Passadena, California, arrived at the Framingham Flying Field in Framingham, Massachusetts, for what was to be a cross-continental flight to California.  

     (This was at Framingham’s first airport that was located on Worcester Avenue, and was in operation from about 1922 until 1932.) 

     Before beginning the journey, the three took off on a sightseeing flight over Boston with Zenos Miller at the controls.  After circling the city, they set a course back to Framingham field.   As the aircraft approached the field in preparation of landing, it suddenly went into a spin and crashed in a marsh area near Larned’s Pond, roughly 200 feet from the air field.

     The plane came to rest upside down in thick muck and stagnant water.  Zenos Miller was pinned beneath the engine with his head barely above the water, while Ralph Miller was found lying on top of one wing, and Dr. Gambel was found underneath it. 

     It took firemen two hours to extricate Zenos from his position, unfortunately he passed away before they could do so.  Dr. Gamble was admitted to Framingham Hospital.  One news account dated July 22, reported his injuries were severe, and that he might not live, and another, dated the 24th, reported his injuries were not serious. 

     Apparently Ralph Miller wasn’t seriously injured.    

     Zenos Miller was 24-years-old, and a veteran of World War I where he served as a pilot with the 27th Pursuit Squadron.  In the summer of 1918 his plane went down over German Lines and he was  taken prisoner, and remained a P.O.W. until the end of the war.  (To see photographs and more information about Zenos Miller, see www.findagrave.com and Wikipedia.)

     Dr. Gamble was a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Medical School(s) and had recently been serving as an intern at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. During WWI he’d served with the Medical Reserve Corps. 

     According to one source, Dr. Gamble was the owner of the aircraft which crashed; yet another cited Zenos Miller as the owner.   The aircraft was said to have been purchased on June 1st from the Italian Government.   The plane was allegedly a Savoia – Marchetti, but the model is not specified.    

     Sources:

     New York Times, “Boston Pilot Dies In Airplane Crash”, July 23, 1922    

     Wikipedia – Zenos Ramsey Miller

     New York Tribune, “Pilot Killed When Plane Crashes Into Quagmire”, July 23, 22, page 1

     Tulsa Daily World, “Injury Is Not Serious”, July 24, 1922 

     www.findagrave.com  Zenos R. Miller, memorial #102014372

 

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