Stratford, CT. – May 3, 1982

Stratford, Connecticut – May 3, 1982

     At 6:30 a.m. on the morning of May 3, 1982, Pilgrim Airlines Flight 21 left Groton-New London Airport bound for Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford, before continuing on to New York’s LaGuardia Airport.  The aircraft was a Beech 99, with a pilot, co-pilot, and six passengers aboard.

     About twenty minutes later, while at an altitude of about 2,000 feet, and seven miles from Sikorsky Airport, some type of large bird, (some reports state a seagull, others some type of hawk,) suddenly crashed through the windshield on the co-pilot’s side.  Passengers later recalled that it sounded like some type of explosion.  The co-pilot was injured, and all passengers were covered to some extent with remains of the bird.    

     There was no panic aboard, and the crew landed the aircraft safely as Sikorsky Airport.          


     The Sun, (Westerly, RI), “Plane Collides With Seagull”, May 3, 1982, page 5.

     New London Day, “Windshield Entry By Bird Was A Sky-High Surprise”, May 4, 1982, page 1 (with photo)

     New London Day, “Bird Was Just The Start Of A Bad Day”, May 5, 1982, page 13

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