Norwalk, CT. – July 26, 1933

Norwalk, Connecticut – July 26, 1933

     On July 26, 1933, three young men took off from Norwalk Airport to test fly an airplane.   One man was the 18-year-old son of the airport’s owner, and his older brother was considering buying the plane, but the older brother was not aboard.   The pilot was employed as a aircraft mechanic at the Norwalk Airport, and the third person aboard was 20-years-old.   

     Shortly after take off witnesses saw the plane go into a nose dive and crash near the edge of the airport.  Two of those aboard were killed instantly, while the pilot was taken to a nearby hospital where it was reported that he only had a small chance of recovering. 


     The Waterbury Democrat, “Youths Killed In testing Out Their Plane”, July 27, 1933.

     The Evening Star, (Wash. D.C.), “Two Die In Plane Crash”, July 27, 1933. 



Norwalk, Ct. – June 9, 1944

Norwalk, Connecticut  – June 9, 1944

Updated July 1, 2017


F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     On June 9, 1944, Elizabeth Hooker, (27) a test pilot for Grumman Aircraft in Bethpage, Long Island, was flying a fighter plane at 8,000 feet over Long Island Sound when the aircraft caught fire.  She directed the plane towards shore and bailed out when it had dropped to 1,500 feet.  She had tried to make the plane settle in the water, but instead it continued on and crashed in a swamp near a house in Norwalk.  Miss Hooker came down about a mile from the crash site unharmed except for singed eyebrows.  

     Grumman sent a seaplane to bring her back to Long Island.

     The type of aircraft wasn’t mentioned. 

    Source: The New York Times, “Girl Flier Bails Out” June 10, 1944


     The aircraft was a F6F-5 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 58829).  Miss Hooker took off for the test flight at 2:08 p.m., and at 2:39 p.m. radioed Grumman Tower that her plane was on fire, and at 2:41 p.m. that she was bailing out.   The plane crashed in a swampy area near Walter Avenue and Post Road.  The aircraft burned so completely that a cause for the accident could not be determined.  

     Source: National Archives Aircraft Trouble Report, TD440609CT, via Larry Webster, Aviation Historian, Charlestown, R.I.

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