Glastonbury, CT. – September 18, 1931

Glastonbury, Connecticut – September 18, 1931

     On September 18, 1931, A. Lewis MacClain, the chief test pilot for the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company, and an observer, Donald S. Pierce, were flying in an experimental airplane over Glastonbury.  The airplane was described as a “big 770 – horsepower freight and passenger ship“. 

     As they were passing over an area known as the “Glastonbury Meadows”, a fire broke out due to the rupture of a fuel line.  As flames and smoke filled the cabin, Pierce opened the door in preparation for the two to take to their parachutes if necessary. 

     Meanwhile, the pilot saw an open field in the meadows and aimed for it.  He managed to bring the plane in safely and neither man was injured. 


     The Waterbury Democrat, “Airmen Descend Safely As Plane Was In Blaze”, September 19, 1931, page 1. 

Glastonbury, CT. – January 3, 1986

Glastonbury, Connecticut – January 3, 1986

     On the morning of January 3, 1986, a single-engine Cessna 182L, (N3349R), with two men aboard, left North Central State Airport in Smithfield, Rhode Island, bound for Brainard Airport in Hartford, Connecticut.  As they approached the Hartford area they encountered heavy rains and poor visibility.  The aircraft disappeared from radar at about 10:30 a.m.

     It was determined that the aircraft had gone down somewhere in the southern portion of the town of Glastonbury, and a search was begun, but by afternoon the aircraft had still not been located.  The wreck was found the following day in a thickly wooded area by state police searching from the air.  When rescue workers reached the scene they found that both men had died in the crash.  Both victims were from Rhode Island.    


     Providence Journal Bulletin, “Small Plane From R. I. Carrying 2 Believed Crashed Near Hartford”, January 4, 1986, page A-8

     The Sun, (Westerly, R. I.), “Two Rhode Islanders Die In Connecticut Plane Crash”, January 5, 1986, page 9.  

     Providence Sunday Journal, “2 R. I. Residents Believed Victims Of Plane Crash In Connecticut”, January 5, 1986, Metropolitan section C.  (With photo).  

     Aviation Safety Network

Glastonbury, CT. – May 28, 1944

Glastonbury, Connecticut – May 28, 1944


P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Aircraft
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the afternoon of May 28, 1944, a flight of four U.S. Army P-47s were flying in formation over Glastonbury when two of the aircraft collided with each other.  One aircraft, a P-47D, (Ser. No. 42-8285). was piloted by 2nd Lt. Richard H. Ullman, Age 19, of Atlanta, Georgia; the other, a P-47D, (Ser. No. 42-22269), by another 2nd lieutenant.  The flight had originated at Bradley Field in Windsor Locks, Ct.

     Lt. Ullman was killed when his aircraft crashed and exploded in a wooded area.  The other pilot managed to successfully bail out of his stricken airplane and landed safely.  Meanwhile his airplane crashed and burned in a neighborhood known as Welles Village near the Glastonbury-East Hartford town line.  A wing of the aircraft struck the roof of one home, but there were no reported injuries. 

     Lt. Ullman is buried in Crest Lawn Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.  To see a photograph of his grave go to, memorial #126643026.     


     The Hartford Courant, “Crashes Kill Two Airmen, Third Hurt”, May 29, 1944.  (The article also refers to two other army plane crashes.)         

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