Sikorsky Memorial Airport – April 27, 1994

Sikorsky Memorial Airport – April 27, 1994

Town of Stratford, Connecticut

     On the evening of April 27, 1994, a chartered passenger plane with nine people aboard left Atlantic City, New Jersey, bound for Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford, Connecticut.  (The aircraft was a twin-engine Navajo Chieftan.)

     Shortly before 11:00 p.m. as the plane neared Stratford, it encountered heavy fog conditions with only 100 feet visibility.  The control tower at the airport had closed at 10:30 p.m., and was unmanned as the plane approached, leaving the pilot to attempt the landing unaided.

     Due to the age of the aircraft, it did not contain a “black box” or other data recording devices, so it’s unclear if the pilot attempted to abort the landing while over the runway, or simply overshot it due to poor visibility.   What is known is that the aircraft crashed into an eight-foot metal barrier placed on an embankment at the end of the runway, and exploded.  Some of the debris went over the embankment and landed on Main Street which was just beyond the barrier.  

     Seven of the nine people aboard were killed in the crash, but two survivors were taken to Bridgeport Hospital in critical condition with severe burns.  One of them died hours later.

     Their names were not immediately released.


     New York Times, “Seven Killed In Fiery Crash Of Airplane”, April 28, 1994

     New York Times, “Cause Is Sought In fatal Crash Of Airplane On Casino Trip”, April 29, 1994

     New York Times, “Flawed Airport Design Is Called Cause Of 8 Deaths In Crash”, December 14, 1994

Stratford, CT – December 26, 1991

Stratford, Connecticut – December 26, 1991

     Just after 9:00 a.m. on December 26, 1991, a single-engine Piper Comanche, with a lone pilot aboard, left Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford bound for Oxford, Connecticut.   Just after take off the pilot radioed that he was having engine trouble and didn’t think he could make it back to the airport.   He opted to set the plane down on Interstate 95, which runs north and south along Connecticut’s shoreline.  The aircraft came down in the southbound lanes of the highway where it skidded into a guardrail then careened across all three southbound lanes and slammed into a Jersey barrier.   

     The pilot was trapped in the wreck with critical injuries, and it took rescue workers 30 minutes to extract him from the cockpit. Meanwhile traffic backed up for six miles in both directions.  

     Miraculously no automobiles or trucks were involved in the accident, and state police attributed this to a nearly empty highway at the time of the crash, due to it being the morning after Christmas when most people had the day off.    


     New York Times, “Small Plane Crash Lands On Highway”, December 26, 1991    

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