Richmond, R.I. Airport – October 24, 1986

Richmond, Rhode Island, Airport – October 24, 1986 

     On October 24, 1986, a 59-year-old Woonsocket man was piloting a gyroplane at the Richmond Airport when it crashed on takeoff killing him.  The pilot was moving down the runway about four feet off the ground when the aircraft suddenly tilted to one side and one of the propeller blades struck the ground causing it to flip several times.

     The pilot had owned the craft for less than a year.

     Source: The Sun, (Westerly, R.I.), “Man Dies In Airport Crash”, October 26, 1986, page 2.  

Charlestown, R.I. – July 20, 1974

Charlestown, Rhode Island – July 20, 1974

     On July 20, 1974, a pair of one-man Gyrocopters were flying together over the area of Qonochontaug Beach when one aircraft suddenly lost all power and crashed into the water about 150 feet from shore.  The machine sank, but the pilot was able to fee himself, and was rescued by two college students who happened to be passing by in a small sailboat.  He was shaken, but apparently uninjured. Meanwhile, the other gyrocopter left the area and landed at Westerly Airport. 

     The depth of the water where the gyrocopter had crashed is about 20 feet.  Once the students had deposited the downed pilot on shore, they returned to the wreck site with masks and fins, and dove under the water and tied a strong rope to the machine.  By now a crowd had gathered on the beach, and with everyone’s help the aircraft was successfully dragged to shore.    

     Meanwhile, the pilot of the other gyrocopter had returned to the beach with a trailer.  He and the other pilot disassembled the damaged gyrocopter, and after putting it in the trailer said they were going to Westerly Airport. 

     After a few days a report of the crash reached the Westerly Sun newspaper, but when a reporter inquired about details, it was learned that the accident had never been reported to the police, Westerly Airport officials, or to state aeronautics officials.  The identities of the pilots was unknown.  It was further reported that gyrocopters didn’t have to be registered, nor did one need a license to fly one, which was going to make it difficult for officials to question the pilots.

     Source:

     Westerly Sun, “Rescue At Sea Went Unreported”, August 1, 1974, page 10.   

 

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