Coventry, R. I. – June 8, 1975

Coventry, Rhode Island – June 8, 1975 


     On June 8, 1975, a 49-year-old pilot from Niantic, Connecticut, landed at RICONN Airport in western Coventry for an outing of the Southeastern Connecticut Chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association.  The aircraft the pilot landed in was referred to in the newspapers as a “Baby Ace”, (registration no. N4184A) , and was a single-engine, single-seat, home-built airplane, with a canvas covered steel frame.  The plane had been built more than ten years earlier, and had been flown extensively without incident.  Furthermore, the aircraft had recently passed its annual inspection.

     RICONN Airport has a grass filed in which planes take off and land.  At about 3:40 p.m. the pilot took off from the field for his intended destination of Waterford, Connecticut, but shortly after becoming airborne the aircraft lost power and stalled.  Witnesses saw the plane dive to the ground from an altitude of about 250 feet and crash in a wooded area about a quarter of a mile from the field, where it burst into flames.  The pilot did not survive.      


     New London Day, “Niantic Man Dies In Crash”, June 9, 1975 – with photo of aircraft.

     Providence Journal, “Two Pilots Killed In Crashes”, June 9, 1975, Page 1. – with photo of crash scene.  (The second crash referred to in the headline happened in Massachusetts.)

Winthrop, MA. – July 27, 1931

Winthrop, Massachusetts – July 27, 1931

     On July 27, 1931, U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Olaf Pierson of Caribou, Maine, and civilian Fred O’Neil of Buffalo, New York, were piloting an experimental aircraft over the Boston metropolitan area.  The aircraft, a converted monoplane, was owned by the Engineers Aircraft Corporation, and the purpose of the flight was to test its performance.  While engaging in a series of maneuvers, the safety belt holding the flyers in place suddenly broke and both men were hurled out into space while at an altitude of 4,000 feet.  Fortunately they were wearing parachutes, and both landed safely.  The aircraft plunged into the water off Winthrop and was destroyed.


     Unknown Newspaper, “Two Fliers Thrown Bodily From Plane”, July 28, 1931

     Memories Of Maine –  Aroostook County Edition, “Pierson The Potato Prince”, By Aimee N. Lanteigne,




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