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

Near Glastonbury, CT – November 5, 1954

Near Glastonbury, Connecticut – November 5, 1954


     At approximately 6:45 p.m., a twin-engine Lockheed Lodestar, (N9201H), departed New York’s La Guardia Airport bound for Boston’s Logan Airport.  There were five people aboard, a pilot, co-pilot, and three passengers. 

     When the aircraft was about 12 miles southeast of Hartford, Connecticut, the right engine began to back fire and skip.  Unable to correct the problem, the pilot feathered the propeller and was granted permission for an emergency landing at Bradley Field in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

     The aircraft made a wide turn over the area of Willamantic, Connecticut, and was making its way towards Bradly Field it crashed in a wooded area and broke apart.  Some portions of the fuselage caught fire after the crash.

     The Civil Aeronautics Board Accident Investigation Report locates the crash site as “approximately 9 miles south-southeast of Glastonbury, Connecticut, and approximately 25 miles south-southeast of Bradley Field”.

     At least one newspaper article places the crash site in an alfalfa field in Glastonbury.

     The pilot, co-pilot, and one passenger were thrown clear of the wreckage.  The other two passengers were trapped inside, and had to break the window of the jammed emergency exit door to escape.   

     The co-pilot, Whitney H. Welch, 24, received fatal injuries.   

     The aircraft belonged to the owner of the Boston Post newspaper.


    Civil Aeronautics Board Accident Investigation Report, file #2-0046, adopted May 3, 1955, released May 6, 1955.

     Lewiston Evening Journal, “Boston Post’s Plane Crashes, Burns”, November 6, 1954 

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