Plymouth, MA. – November 19, 1982

Plymouth, Massachusetts – November 19, 1982

     On the morning of November 19, 1982, a single-engine Piper Cherokee took off from Plymouth Airport with a pilot and two passengers aboard.  This was to be a demonstration flight as the aircraft had recently been repossessed by a bank, and the passengers were considering buying it.   Shortly after takeoff, as the pilot was making a large loop around the airport, the airplane developed engine trouble, and as the pilot tried to make an emergency landing, the aircraft went down in a wooded area short of the runway.  The pilot and passengers all suffered serious-critical injuries, and were transported to Jordan Hospital.


     Providence Evening Bulletin, “Small Plane crashes In Plymouth; 3 Hurt”, November 20, 1982, page A18

     Westerly Sun, Photo & caption of crash, November 21, 1982, page 2

Plymouth, MA. – October 5, 1943

Plymouth, Massachusetts – October 5, 1943


F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     On October 5, 1943, navy Lieutenant John H. Sandor was descending from a high altitude flight over Cape Cod in an F6F-3 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 26127), when he noticed that the oil pressure for his engine had dropped to 50 pounds.  Normal oil pressure readings should have been between 80 to 95 pounds.  Sandor began preparations for an emergency landing, and steered for an auxiliary air field in Plymouth.  As he was making his approach the oil pressure continued to drop even further and then the propeller suddenly froze as the engine seized.   The aircraft came down and struck some small trees before flipping over onto its back.  Although the aircraft was severely damaged, Lieutenant Sandor escaped with minor injuries.    


     U.S. Navy Accident Report #44-8941

Plymouth Bay, MA – March 20, 1945

Plymouth Bay, Massachusetts – March 20, 1945


F4U Corsair National Archives Photo

F4U Corsair
National Archives Photo

     On March 20, 1945, Ensign Richard C. Forisso was piloting an F4U-1D Corsair, (Bu. No. 50513), over Plymouth Bay making practice bomb runs.  At one point while at 4,000 feet, hydraulic fluid and gasoline began spraying from under the instrument panel followed by smoke filling the cockpit. The fluids got all over the pilot’s lower extremities and partially obscured his vision. 

     Ensign Forisso elected to stay with the aircraft and aim it for a safe area of the water away from shore and watercraft.  He cut the engine and made a wheels up water landing, suffering minor cuts and bruises in the process.   He was able to escape before the plane sank to the bottom. 

     Maintenance records showed that the hydraulic lines on this particular aircraft had broken twice previously.  Rough weather put off the recovery of the aircraft for four days.  Once it was recovered, mechanics discovered a 1/2 inch crack in the hydraulic line behind the instrument panel.  This aircraft was later scrapped due to the time it had stayed submerged in salt water.


     U.S. Navy accident brief.     

     Cape Cod Standard Times, “Otis Field Airman Prevents Crash On Plymouth Buildings”, March 21, 1945

Plymouth, MA – August 13, 1912

Plymouth, Massachusetts – August 13, 1912

     On August 12, 1912, two army lieutenants, identified only by their last names as Kirtland and Arnold, took off from Marblehead, Massachusetts, in a “hydro-aeroplane” bound for an army maneuvers field situated along the Housatonic River in Connecticut, to take part in war simulation games.  The distance between the two points was about 200 miles, which was quite considerable for the time.

     The men had only gone as far as Duxbury, Massachusetts, when the plane developed engine trouble forcing them to land and make repairs.  After spending the night in Duxbury, they resumed their flight the following morning on the 13th.  While attempting to negotiate a turn over Plymouth Bay, the aircraft “volplaned” and fell into the water.  Fortunately the plane came down in shallow water and neither man was reported to be injured.  However, the aircraft suffered a broken propeller, pontoon, and other damage rendering it inoperable, and it had to be towed to shore.

     Source: (Providence, RI) The Evening News, “Army Aviators Give Up Flight”, August 13, 1912.

     Although the first names of the lieutenants were not stated in the article, it’s possible, given the date of the accident, that their full names were Roy C. Kirtland, and Henry H. Arnold, both of whom were military aviation pioneers.  Kirtland Air Force base in New Mexico is named for Colonel Roy C. Kirtland, and General Henry “Hap” Arnold was the Commander of the United States Army Air Forces During World War II.        



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