Merrimack River – February 16, 1935

 Merrimack River between Nashua and Hudson, N. H.

     On February 16, 1935, an aircraft attached to the 101st Observation Squadron of the Massachusetts National Guard was flying over the Merrimack River between Nashua and Hudson, New Hampshire.  The pilot and his observer were making a survey of “flood prospect conditions” along the river.  The aircraft was flying at a low altitude when it struck powerlines that were strung across the river, and crashed into the cold water.  The pilot and observer escaped the sinking plane and swam towards shore on the Nashua side.  They were assisted by members of a railroad crew who had witnessed the crash.  The two airmen were then placed on a railroad hand car and brought to Union Station.  From there they were transported to a doctor’s office where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.    

     The severely damaged aircraft was salvaged from the river and brought to Boston.   

     Source: The Nashua Telegraph, “Wrecked Plane Moved From River”, February 18, 1935

Nashua, N. H. – June 5, 1936

Nashua, New Hampshire – June 5, 1936

     On the early morning of June 5, 1936, a 24-year-old pilot took off from Nashua Airport in a two-cockpit Command-Aire bi-plane for a solo flight.  He later returned to the airport shortly before 7 a.m. and attempted to land.  According to a witness, the aircraft appeared to overshoot the landing field and the pilot gunned the engine in an attempt to go around for another try.  As he did so the engine stalled, and the aircraft nosed over and crashed, and came to rest on its back pinning the pilot inside. 

     Two men who witnessed the accident rushed to the scene and after shutting off the ignition, pulled the pilot from the wreckage.  The pilot was transported to Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on June 8. 

     The pilot was a student pilot who was attempting to log enough solo hours to get his license.  

     This accident was reported to be “the first serious crash” at the Nashua Airport since establishment of the field.  

     Source: The Nashua Telegraph, “Nashua Aviator Near Death In Airport Crackup”, June 5, 1936, page 1.  


Nashua, NH. – May 28, 1948

Nashua, New Hampshire – May 28, 1948

     At about 12:30 p.m. on the afternoon of May 28, 1948, a 40-year-old Nashua man took off from Boire Airfield in Nashua in a small monoplane.  The reason for the flight was not stated in the press, however, shortly after takeoff something went wrong, and the plane crashed in the front yard of a home on Perry Avenue, and the pilot was killed instantly.

     The owner of the home told reporters that just before the accident, she and her 10-year-old son observed the plane circling overhead as if it were in trouble.  She and her son then began walking down the street to take him back to school, and a few moments later the plane crashed in her front yard.  Neither of them was hurt.   

     Prior to crashing in the front yard, the plane had careened off a neighbor’s roof tearing away some of the slate shingles.  

     The Reverend Leo Gilbert of St. Louis de Gonzague parish administered last rites to the pilot.     

     Source: The Nashua Telegraph, “Body Hurled To Porch As Plane Hits Perry Avenue”, May 28, 1948, page 1 

Nashua, N.H. – September 5, 1938

Nashua, New Hampshire – September 5, 1938 

     On the evening of September 5, 1938, a private airplane pilot took off from Nashua in a “single-seat open cockpit Royal sport bi-plane”.  The pilot had made several trips during the day in the same airplane without any problems.  After being airborne for about ten minutes the pilot turned back towards the airfield.  When he got within a mile of the field his plane was seen to go into a spin.  The pilot managed to pull the plane out of the spin, but was now at tree-top level.  The aircraft skimmed the tops of some trees before it crashed in the McDonald Brothers Lumber Yard.  By pure chance, the plane hit between two stacked piles of lumber which tore the wings away but reduced the effects of the impact, and allowed the fuselage to skid to a stop.  The pilot had cut the ignition prior to impact and there was no fire.  The pilot was seriously injured but was expected to recover. 

     Source: The Nashua Telegraph, “Rapsis Is recovering From Airplane Crash”, September 6, 1938, page 1. 

Nashua, N.H. – February 8, 1940

Nashua, New Hampshire – February 8, 1940 

     On the afternoon of February 8, 1940, a “six-passenger cabin-type” airplane left Boston Airport with a pilot and three passengers aboard.  The flight was bound for Nashua, where the pilot expected to pick up his wife and return to Boston.  While in route, the aircraft’s motor began to run erratically and the pilot began searching for a place to land.  However, the problem then corrected itself, and the pilot continued towards the Nashua Municipal Airport.  As  the aircraft was making its approach the engine suddenly lost all power.  Realizing he couldn’t make the airport, he retracted the wheels and made an emergency crash-landing on the Bullard Farm a short distance from the airport.  

     Upon hitting the ground the aircraft skidded across an open field taking down several small trees and crashing into a stone wall.  There was no fire afterward.  Witnesses to the crash, which included the pilot’s wife, raced to the scene.  The pilot and one of the passengers suffered serious head injuries, from which it was believed they would recover from.  The other two passengers where only slightly hurt. 

     The cause of the crash was presumed to be carburetor icing.    


     The Nashua Telegram, “Airplane Crash Blame Is Places Upon Carburetor”, February 9, 1940, page 1. 

Nashua Airport, N.H. – January 14, 1973

Nashua Airport,

Nashua, New Hampshire – January 14, 1973

     At about 10:00 a.m. on January 14, 1973, two single-engine private aircraft collided when they attempted to land simultaneously at Nashua Airport.   The first plane, a Piper Cherokee, (N595FL), piloted by a man from Lowell, Massachusetts, landed first.  Seconds later the second airplane, a Cessna 150, (N4239U), piloted by a man from Nashua, came down atop of the first, its propeller and landing gear intruding into the first aircraft.  The impact forced the nose of the first plane downward scraping it along the runway.  The pilot of the first aircraft was not seriously injured.


     Providence Journal, “Plane Crashes Atop Another; One Pilot Hurt.”, January 15, 1973, p1 (With photo of accident.)

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “One Plane Lands Atop Another In Nashua”, January 15, 1973, p1  (With photo of accident.)

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