Glastonbury, CT. – September 18, 1931

Glastonbury, Connecticut – September 18, 1931

     On September 18, 1931, A. Lewis MacClain, the chief test pilot for the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company, and an observer, Donald S. Pierce, were flying in an experimental airplane over Glastonbury.  The airplane was described as a “big 770 – horsepower freight and passenger ship“. 

     As they were passing over an area known as the “Glastonbury Meadows”, a fire broke out due to the rupture of a fuel line.  As flames and smoke filled the cabin, Pierce opened the door in preparation for the two to take to their parachutes if necessary. 

     Meanwhile, the pilot saw an open field in the meadows and aimed for it.  He managed to bring the plane in safely and neither man was injured. 


     The Waterbury Democrat, “Airmen Descend Safely As Plane Was In Blaze”, September 19, 1931, page 1. 

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