West Greenwich, R.I. – July 23, 1979

West Greenwich, Rhode Island – July 23, 1979  

     On July 23, 1979, a 26-year-old pilot, and his 60-year-old female passenger, took off from Richmond, Rhode Island, bound for Westerly,  R.I., to refuel the airplane as there were no fuel facilities at Richmond Airport.   While passing over the town of West Greenwich, R.I., the aircraft crash-landed on an unused portion of St. Joseph’s Cemetery.  After striking an open area of the cemetery, the plane bounded into some trees about 100 yards from the chapel, and 30 yards from Nooseneck Hill Rd., a.k.a., Route 3.   

     Both the pilot and his passenger suffered serious injuries, and the aircraft was heavily damaged.  The aircraft came to rest upside down with its tail up against a tree, and with one of its wings sheared off.

      West Greenwich’s chief of police was quoted as saying, “That plane is really a mess.  They’re lucky to be alive.”    

    It was further reported that the pilot had obtained his flying license the week before the accident. 

     The aircraft was described as a 1973 single-engine Grumman AA1B.  

     Source:

     Westerly Sun, “Couple In plane Crash ‘Lucky To Be Alive'”, July 24, 1979, page 9.

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “Airplane Pilot Likely Was Lost And Out Of Fuel”, July 24, 1979, page A8, (With 2 photos of the crash.)

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