Preston, CT. – August 3, 1954

Preston, Connecticut – August 3, 1954

     On August 3, 1954, an Air France Super Constellation airliner with 37 people aboard was in route from Paris, France, to New York’s Idlewild Airport,  today known as Kennedy International Airport.  As the flight approached the east coast it encountered heavy rain and low cloud cover and was put in a holding pattern for the next ninety minutes.  The flight was then diverted to Boston, but ran low on fuel in route necessitating an emergency landing in an open field on the farm of Valentine Sebastian in Preston, Connecticut. 

     As the plane was making the emergency landing, it barely missed a private home.  When it hit the ground it reportedly crashed through a row of trees, then struck a garage with a car inside.   One witness told reporters that the plane then burst into flame “almost immediately”.     

     The flight crew was later praised for their efforts in getting everyone out of the burning plane.  Remarkably there were no fatalities, but several people requited medical attention for serious injuries. 


     Fall River Herald News, (MA.), “All 37 Aboard Escape Death,; Some Hurt”, August 3, 1954   

     Fall River Herald News, (MA.), “Wrecked Airliner’s Crew Praised For Excellent Life-Saving Work”, August 4, 1954 


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