Weymouth, MA – September 9, 1951

Weymouth, Massachusetts – September 9, 1951 

     On September 9, 1951, a Northeast Airlines DC-3 was en-route from Boston to New York when one of the engines caught fire. 

     The plane left Boston at 12:07 p.m., and the pilot, Wallace Robbins, declared an emergency fifteen minutes later.  He was directed to land at the South Weymouth Naval Air Station, and began making his approach.  Unfortunately the field was primarily used for navy blimps, and didn’t have a runway long enough to accommodate a DC-3.  Therefore, Robbins knew he would have to make a wheels-up belly-landing.

     As the engine blazed away, the pilots put the plane into a side-slip so the smoke would blow away from the passenger cabin.  In fact, it was reported that the passengers weren’t even informed that the plane was on fire!  The stewardess, (flight attendant), did however make sure that all sixteen passengers had their seatbelts fastened. 

     Robbins brought the plane down as slowly as possible, easing it onto the field and allowing it to skid to a stop. The ship came to rest just before a peat bog, and all passengers and crew evacuated safely without injury.     

Source: New York Times, “19 Saved In Crash Landing”, September 10, 1951  


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