Brainard Airport, CT. – August 29, 1928

Brainard Airport, Connecticut – August 29, 1928 

     On the morning of August 29, 1928, pilot Frederick J. Boots, (29) took off from Brainard Airport in a Monocoupe airplane.  Once airborne he circled the field and appeared to be attempting to land when the plane suddenly fell from an altitude of about 100 feet and crashed nose first into the ground at the rear of the municipal hangar.  Boots was taken to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. 

     State aeronautical inspectors who investigated the accident concluded that due to this accident, and another which had occurred in Rhode Island a short time earlier, that Monocoupe airplanes “constitute a menace to the safety and aviation in this state” and therefor banned their use for the time being in Connecticut.   

     Mr. Boots had formerly been the chief pilot for Massachusetts Airways Inc. of Springfield, Mass., and had recently come to work for L & H Aircraft Company at Brainard Field.


     The New Britain Herald, “Hartford Aviator Suffers Fatal Injuries When Plane Crashes At Brainard Field”, August 29, 1928, pg. 1  


Brainard Field, CT. – October 13, 1967

Brainard Field, Hartford, Connecticut – October 13, 1967

     On the afternoon of October 13, 1967, a mechanic was “pulling through” the propeller of a two-seater Aeronca, (N1318V), that belonged to the Connecticut Civil Air Patrol, when the motor abruptly started.  At the time, the throttle had been set to “full”, the aircraft wasn’t tied down, and there was nobody in the cockpit.  The Aeronca then began moving across the field on its own, with the mechanic clinging to the struts in a vain attempt to stop it.     

     The Aeronca swiped the side of an unoccupied Cessna which caused the mechanic to lose his grip and fall away, injuring himself in the process.  After striking the Cessna, the Aeronca spun around and drove into a second unoccupied Cessna parked nearby.  After that collision, it continued on at full speed until it crashed into he side of an unoccupied Piper, (N3858P), and the engine stalled. 

     Authorities were thankful that the aircraft hadn’t become airborne.


     The Hartford Courant, “Plane Takes Wild Spin On Ground”, October 14, 1967, (With photo of accident.)

     National Transportation Safety Board Report, NYC68DO235


Connecticut River – September 26, 1966

Connecticut River – September 26, 1966

     At 7: 30 p.m. on September 26, 1966, a Piper Cherokee with six young men aboard took off from Brainard Field in Hartford, Connecticut.  All were between the ages of 19 and 23, and all were students at Trinity College in Hartford.  Shortly after takeoff the aircraft lost power and plunged into the Connecticut River and sank.  All six men were able to escape, but one had reportedly suffered a head injury in the crash. As the group was swimming towards shore, the man with the head injury slipped beneath the water and was swept away by the current.  


     The Hartford Courant, “Plane Engine Runs After River plunge”, September 28, 1966

Brainard Field, CT. – January 31, 1970

Brainard Field, Hartford, Connecticut – January 31, 1970

     On January 31, 1970, two single-engine private aircraft collided in mid-air over Brainard Air Field in Hartford.  Each plane, one a Piper Cherokee, the other a Piper Arrow, carried two people; all four were killed in the accident.  

     The Cherokee, containing a pilot-instructor and his student, fell into the Connecticut River, while the Arrow, containing two men from Ridgefield, Ct., crashed into a wooded section of the neighboring town of East Hartford.  It was not stated who was piloting either aircraft.

     According to witness reports, one aircraft was approaching from the south while the other from the west, each at an altitude of about 2,000 feet.  Then both went into a banking turn at the same time and collided at a 45 degree angle directly over the field.  It was not specified which plane struck the other.    


     Providence Journal, “Four Die In Collision Of Two Light Planes”, February 1, 1970. (With photo)

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