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. 

     Source:

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

Brainard Airport, CT. – May 9, 1930

Brainard Airport, Connecticut – May 9, 1930

     At 6 P.M. on the evening of May 9, 1930, a Lewis H. Taylor (55), and Milton H. Moore (30), were flying in a small airplane over Brainard Field in Connecticut.  Taylor was a former Captain who’d served in the U. S. Air Service during WWI.  Moore was the general manager for Interstate Airways (Connecticut) at Brainard Field.  Taylor had been taking flying lessons from Moore.

     As the aircraft was passing over the hangars the motor suddenly stopped.  An attempt was made to turn the aircraft to make an emergency landing but it was unsuccessful, and the plane crashed and exploded in flames.  Both men perished. 

     The accident was witnessed by Moore’s wife. 

     Chief Inspector George Pranaitis of the Connecticut Department of Aeronautics stated the cause of the accident was due to a faulty magneto. 

     In June of 1930 it was announced that Mrs. Moore would succeed her husband as general manager of Interstate Airways. 

     Sources:

     New Britain Herald, “Two Aviators Die In Brainard Crash”, May 10, 1939.

     The Evening Star (Washington D.C.), “Motor Is Blamed For Fatal Crash”, May 10, 1930, p. A-2.

     New Britain Herald, “Aviators Widow Takes Airways Management”, June 4, 1930, p.3. 

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.    

     Source:

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

Hartford, CT. – November 12, 1922

Hartford, Connecticut – November 12, 1922

Brainard Field

 

De Havilland DH-4B

     On the afternoon of November 12, 1922, U. S. Army First Lieutenant John E. Blaney, 30, was piloting a DeHaviland biplane, (Ser. No. AS-63626), at the Hartford Air Meet, where he was taking part in a three-plane relay race.  At the end of his third lap around the course, he was expected to land at a designated mark on the ground near the finish line where another plane was waiting to take off and continue the race.   Lieutenant Blaney was flying low as he approached the mark at an estimated 140 mph.  Without warning, his aircraft clipped the top of a tree at the southern end of the field.  This caused him to lose control and crash into the ground where the plane exploded into a massive fireball killing him instantly. 

     The accident was witnessed by an estimated 20,000 people, many of whom made a rush towards the site of the crash, but police and other military personnel held them at bay.      

     Lt. Blaney was an experienced pilot who’d enlisted in the air service in 1917, and served overseas during WWI.  At the time of his death he was in command of the 5th Observation Squadron based at Mitchell Field at Mineola, Long Island, New York.  He was survived by his wife of ten months. 

     He was survived by his wife.

     Lieutenant Blaney is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Sutton, Nebraska.  To see a photo of his grave, and to read more about him, click here:  https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/52122387/john-e-blaney

     Sources:

     Hartford Courant, (Conn.), “20,000 Watch Airman Swoop To His death At Brainard Field.”, November 13, 1922.  

     The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, “Aviator Dies In Flames At Hartford Meet”, November 13, 1922, page 3.

     New York Tribune, “Pilot Killed As Plane Hits Tree And Takes Fire”, November 13, 1922, page 1.

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