Danbury, CT. – August 14, 1984

Danbury, Connecticut – August 14, 1984

     On the afternoon of August 14, 1984, a single-engine Mooney M20C took off from Danbury Airport with two men aboard.  As the aircraft reached an altitude of 1,500 feet it developed engine trouble and the cockpit began filling with smoke.  The pilot attempted to return to the airport but was unsuccessful.  Witnesses reported seeing flames coming from the engine before the plane crashed in St. Peter’s Cemetery about a mile from the runway.   Both the pilot and the passenger suffered severe burns. 


     The Sun, (Westerly, R.I.), “Plane Crashes In Cemetery”, August 15, 1984, page 16.     

Danbury, Ct. – August 19, 1927

Danbury, Connecticut – August 19, 1927

      On August 19, 1927, Hanford MacNider, the United States Assistant Secretary of War, was a passenger aboard an army airplane piloted by First Lieutenant Maxwell Balfour.  The plane was scheduled to land at Danbury, Connecticut, so the MacNider could address the American Legion Convention being held there. 

     The area had suffered heavy rains prior to MacNider’s arrival, and when the plane landed the wheels dug into some soft turf causing it to flip over.  Balfour suffered an injury to his hip, but MacNider was unhurt. 

      Source: New York Times, “MacNider Unhurt In Airplane Crash”, August, 21, 1927   

     Updated March 14, 2016

     The aircraft flown by Lt. Balfour was a PT-1, (Ser. No. 27-158), a bi-wing primary trainer used by the Army Air Service.  The cause of the accident was blamed on poor ground conditions.

     Source: Aircraft Accident Report, dated August 22, 1927.   

Danbury, CT – October 4, 1947

Danbury, Connecticut – October 4, 1947

     At 2:25 p.m. on the afternoon of October 4, 1947, two planes, each with a pilot and student aboard, collided in mid-air over edge of the Danbury Fair grounds.  The crash occurred at an altitude of only 800 feet, in full view of thousands of people.    

     The collision tore a wing off each aircraft.  One plane crashed in a field next to Route 6, while the other came down on the farm of J. Arthur Keeler, just missing his house.  Keeler put the flames of the burning wreckage out with a garden hose before fire fighters arrived.   

     The plane that crashed on the Keeler farm was a Cessna 140.  Both the pilot, Walter James O’Neill, and his student, Mrs. Edith Dowswell, of Hartsdale, New York, were killed.  Mrs. Dowswell reportedly jumped from the plane just before impact.

     The other aircraft was an Aeronca, piloted by Howard C. Dunn, 33, of North Stamford, Connecticut.  Both he and his student, Mrs. Edith R. Heydt, 38, of Darien, Connecticut, were killed.   

     According to one elderly witness, the planes were doing stunts just before the crash, however investigators didn’t feel this was accurate.  An employee of the nearby Danbury Airport was driving past in his car at the time, and it was his opinion the planes were attempting to land at the airport. 


     New York Times, “4 killed As Planes Collide Near Danbury Fair Crowd”, October 4, 1947 


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