Scituate Reservoir, R.I. – August 30, 1986

Scituate Reservoir – Scituate, Rhode Island – August 30, 1986


     On August 30, 1986, a 32-year-old man from Glocester, Rhode Island, was piloting an ultra-light aircraft over the Scituate Reservoir with a video camera attached to his helmet, and a video recorder belted to his waist.  Suddenly, while at an altitude of 700 feet, the small two-cycle motor abruptly stopped.  The pilot didn’t know why the engine had quit, and as the aircraft began to fall he tried everything he could to re-start it, but was unsuccessful.  As he approached the water he tried to set the plane down in a “nose up” position, but when the wheels hit the water the craft flipped over and began to sink about 100 feet from shore.  As the aircraft went under, the pilot couldn’t get his seatbelt off, but finally managed to do so.  Then, as he tried to swim to the surface, he found himself caught by the video recorder belt.  As the plane settled on the bottom he managed to free himself and barely made it to the surface.  He then swam to shore where he marked his location with a pile of rocks before setting out to find a telephone.   

     A few days later police divers raised the ultra-light from the bottom, and recovered the video tape of the accident. 


     Providence Journal Bulletin, “Ultra-light Plane Crashes Near Reservoir”, August 31, 1986, page C7  

     Providence Journal Bulletin, “Pilot Videotapes Flight Plunge Into Reservoir”, September 1, 1986, Page A3

     Providence Journal Bulletin, “Ultra-light Plane, Videotape Recovered By Scuba Divers”, September 4, 1986 

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