Martha’s Vineyard – November 13, 1983

Martha’s Vineyard – November 13, 1983

    On November 13, 1983, a 59-year-old pilot left Martha’s Vineyard Airport bound for Rhode Island in a 31-year-old Beechcraft Bonanza.  Shortly after takeoff, while the aircraft was at about 850 feet, the engine suddenly quit.  Attempts to restart it were unsuccessful, and the pilot made an emergency landing in the water of the Vinyard’s Lagoon Pond about 100 yards from shore.  The pilot escaped without injury and was rescued shortly afterwards by a man fishing nearby in his boat.  The aircraft was later removed from the water.

     Source:

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “Barrington Pilot Escapes Injury”, November 15, 1983    

Edgartown, MA. – June 8, 1975

Edgartown, Massachusetts – June 8, 1975

 

P-51 Mustang – U.S. Air Force Photo

     On June 8, 1975, ten members of the North American Flyers club arrived at Katama Airport in Edgartown, on Martha’s Vineyard, to practice stunt flying.  There were five aircraft among the group, all former military fighter planes converted for civilian use. 

     Shortly before 1:00 p.m., a 43-year-old pilot from Southbury, Connecticut, was making some low altitude aerobatic maneuvers over the airfield in a P-51D Mustang, (Military Serial #44-74008), (Civilian registration #N76AF).   While the plane was at an altitude of about 1,000 feet it suddenly went into a spin and dove into the ground about twenty feet from the airport’s main administration building.  There was no fire or explosion, but the pilot was killed instantly.

     One witness to the accident was Edgartown’s chief of police who was standing near the adminsitration building at the time.  He later told reporters that he began to run when he saw the plane falling, and that the impact occurred about thirty feet away from where he’d been standing.  

     Source:

     Providence Journal, “Two Pilots Killed In Crashes”, June 9, 1975.  (The other accident referred to in the article occurred in Coventry, Rhode Island.)   

     Hartford Courant, “Southbury Pilot Dies IN Aerial Acrobatics Act”, June 9, 1975

     Unknown Newspaper, “Stunt Pilot Killed On Vineyard”, June 9, 1975.

     Evening Bulletin, “Two Pilots Are Killed- One In R.I., 2nd In Mass.”, June 9, 1975

     Aviation Safety Network, Wikibase #10557

Martha’s Vineyard – October 14, 1929

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts – October 14, 1929

     On October 14, 1929, a student pilot from Brookline, Massachusetts, was piloting a Curtiss Robin practicing take offs and landings on Martha’s Vineyard.  As he was gliding in for a landing, the tail skid of the aircraft struck the windshield of Ford roadster that was parked at the field.  The lone occupant of the vehicle was badly cut by the flying glass.  (Automobiles of this era did not have safety glass.) After being given first aid by some at the airfield, he was taken to see Doctor Roswell H. Smith of Edgartown for treatment of his wounds.

     The student pilot later stated he hadn’t seen the parked Ford, and didn’t realize he’d hit anything until he felt a bump in the rear of the aircraft while landing.    

     This was reported to be the first case of an automobile being struck by an airplane on Martha’s Vineyard.

     Source: Vineyard Gazette, “Airplane Crashes Into Amidon Car”, October 18, 1929, page 1.

Off Martha’s Vineyard – March 8, 1945

Off Martha’s Vineyard – March 8, 1945

 

U.S. Navy F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy photo

    Shortly before noon on March 8, 1945, an Ensign was piloting an F6F-3 Hellcat, (Ser. No. 42764), on a bombing practice flight off shore from Martha’s Vineyard.  After completing a run, the engine began to race and the prop began to spin at 3500 RPM.  Corrective measures were taken by the pilot but to no avail, and then the engine began to cut out and loose power.  The pilot made an emergency landing in the water and managed to escape from the aircraft before it sank.  He was rescued, but suffered from exposure from being in the cold water.

     According to the U.S. Navy crash investigation report, the aircraft was not salvaged.   The reason for the engine failure could not be determined.

     Source:  U. S. Navy crash investigation report

 

 

Martha’s Vineyard, MA – July 10, 1973

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts – July 10, 1973

 

    On the evening of July 10, 1973, a Piper Cherokee 180 left North Central State Airport in Smithfield, Rhode Island, bound for Martha’s Vineyard Airport.  There were two men aboard.  The pilot, a Providence doctor who held a commercial pilot’s license, and a passenger, an instructor for North Central Airways.  The purpose of the flight was to practice instrument landings in foggy conditions so the doctor could gain his instrument certification rating. 

    At about 8:05 p.m., as the aircraft was approaching Martha’s Vineyard Airport in low lying clouds, it suddenly went down in a wooded area of state forest land about 1800 feet short of the runway.  The plane did not burn.  The doctor was killed instantly, and the instructor was transported to the hospital in critical condition.  

     Sources:

     Providence Journal, “Plane Crash Kills Providence Man”, July 11, 1973, page 1.

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “Plane Crash Kills Providence Dentist”, July 11, 1973

Martha’s Vineyard – May 8, 1945

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts – May 8, 1945 

Updated January 12, 2018

    

U.S. Navy F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy photo

     On the morning of May 8, 1945, Lieutenant Joseph F. Koll, Jr., 29, of Boise, Idaho, was taking off from Martha’s Vineyard Naval Auxiliary Air Field in an F6F-5N Hellcat, (Ser. No. 70448), for a scheduled training flight.  When the aircraft had reached an altitude of about 50 feet it suddenly rolled over and dove into the ground and exploded, killing Lt. Koll.   The cause of the accident was undetermined.

     Lieutenant Koll’s body was brought to the Quonset Point Naval Air Station in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, before being transported to Idaho for burial.  He’s buried in Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise, Section N 68-2.  To see a photo of Lt. Koll, see findagrave.com Memorial #53030333.   

     Sources:

     U.S. Navy crash investigation report

     North Kingstown, Rhode Island, death records.

       

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