Randolph, VT. – August 20, 1921

Randolph, Vermont – August 20, 1921

     On the afternoon of August 20, 1921, two young men wrecked their aircraft in the town of Randolph.  When the plane came down it struck a telephone pole, breaking it in half.  It then continued on into a fence and crashed nose first into a wooded embankment.  At the point of final rest, a large stick had penetrated the cockpit narrowly missing the pilot’s head. 

     The plane reportedly came down “near the E. H. Mason, or D. H. Morse, farm on the so-called “Sandhill” road, toward Perth…”

     Despite the aircraft being a total loss, the pilot and his passenger were uninjured.  The cause of the crash was thought by some to be an underpowered engine for the size and weight of the aircraft.       

     The type of aircraft was not reported. 


     The Barre Daily Times, (Vt.), “Airplane Came Down A Wreck”, August 22, 1921, pg. 1

Charleston, VT. – June 19, 1923

Charleston, Vermont – June 19, 1923


Postcard view of the Golden Eagle crash site.

     On the afternoon of June 19, 1923, Walter E. Cleveland, a well-known Vermont aviator, took off from “Wing’s Field” in his famous airplane, “The Golden Eagle”.  Besides Cleveland, the airplane carried two passengers; Aubrey F. Bean, and George A. Renell.  The purpose of the flight was for sight-seeing.    

     Cleveland was owner and operator of Cleveland Air Service.

     Cleveland flew northward towards Newport, Vermont, and on the return trip the aircraft reportedly hit an “air pocket”.  When it did, the engine suddenly stopped, and the aircraft crashed in Charleston.   The impact completely destroyed the aircraft, yet remarkably Cleveland escaped with minor injuries.  Both passengers however were seriously injured.  According to one newspaper report, Renell’s injuries would likely prove fatal, and there was some doubt as to Bean’s recovery.

     The Cleveland Air Service was established in September of 1921, in Coventry, Vermont, and remained in operation until this accident. 

     (Lieutenant) Walter Eugene Cleveland was born in 1895, and served as a pilot with the United States Air Corps in WWI.  

The Caledonian Record (Vt.)
June 23, 1922

“Golden Eagle” advertisement.
The Bennington Evening Banner (Vt.)
August 3, 1922


     Essex County Herald, “Aeroplane Accident – Two Popular Local Young Men, George A. Renell And Aubrey F. Bean Mortally Injured”,   June 21, 1923, page 1. 

     The Vermonter: The State Magazine, Volumes 25-27

St. Johnsbury, VT – September, 1910

St. Johnsbury, Vermont – September, 1910

early biplane

     The newspaper source of this incident gave no specific date of occurrence.  

      Sometime during the month of September, 1910, Chester Karyman was test-flying an airplane belonging to Professor Clarence C. Bonnette over St. Johnsbury.  The aircraft had reportedly reached “a considerable height” when it began to be buffeted by winds.  As Karyman was bringing the plane down to land, he shut the engine off too soon, causing the craft to abruptly drop from the air and smash into the ground.  The plane was badly damaged, but fortunately Karyman escaped with minor injuries.       

     The aircraft involved in this accident was a Curtis-type airplane named Vermont, or Vermont 1, because it was the first to be constructed in the state of Vermont.  It was built by Professor Bonnette the previous winter, and test flights had begun in August, 1910. 


The Barre Daily Times, “Aeroplane Vermont Made Short Flight And Then Bumped The Earth.” September 29, 1910, Pg6

The Barre Daily Times, “Vermont’s First Aeroplane”, August 30, 1910

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