Middlebury, VT. – July 20, 1947

Middlebury, Vermont – July 20, 1947

     On July 20, 1947, a woman, her son and daughter, and their two friends, were standing in front of her home in Middlebury when an airplane suddenly came out of the sky, crashed onto the ground, and began skidding right towards them. 

     The two-seater aircraft was piloted by a 23-year-old man from Bristol, Vermont, and there was a 16-year-old passenger aboard.  While passing over Middlebury at an altitude of 1,000 feet the motor suddenly stopped, and the pilot began looking for a place to make an emergency landing.   He saw what looked like a flat pasture, but in reality the ground had a gradual rising slope to it.   Upon touchdown the landing gear broke off without slowing the airplane.  The plane then dropped to the ground and began skidding on the grass.  It cut across a road and was headed directly towards the five people standing in front of the home, but at the last moment the right wing hit an apple tree planted in the yard which deflected the aircraft away from the people and the house.  When it finally came to rest there was no fire, and the pilot and his passenger escaped with minor injuries.    

     Source: The Nashua Telegraph, “Apple Tree Saves Family As Plane Crash-Lands”, July 21, 1947, page 7.  

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