Warwick, R. I. – September 15, 1942

Warwick, Rhode Island – September 15, 1942


Curtis P-40 Aircraft
U. S. Army Air Corps Photo

     On September 15, 1942, a flight of three P-40 aircraft were cleared for take off at the Hillsgrove Army Air Field in Warwick, R. I. for a training flight.  The second plane to take off, (Ser. No. 41-13861), was piloted by 2nd Lieutenant Donald W. Hoefler, age 20.  When he had reached an altitude of about 500 feet he radioed the tower that he would be making an emergency landing and as he turned to do so his plane crashed and exploded south of the airport.  

     Lieutenant Hoefler is buried in White Chapel Memorial Park,, in Amherst, New York.  To see a photo of Lt. Howfler, click here: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/97621040/donald-w-hoefler


     Book, “Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents In The United States, 1941-1945”, By Anthony J. Mireles, C. 2006


T. F. Green Airport – September 27, 1975

T.F. Green Airport, Warwick, R.I. – September 27, 1975

     At about 1:00 a.m., on the morning of September 27, 1975, a Falcon cargo jet belonging to an express company landed at T. F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, after being diverted from its original destination of Boston’s Logan Airport due to low visibility conditions over Boston.    

     Aboard the Falcon was a pilot and co-pilot, and one passenger.  Among its cargo were some low-grade radioactive materials, minor explosives, and flammable liquids.     

     About an hour later the Falcon was given clearance to resume its journey.  The tower gave instructions to use Runway 23 left for take off.   At the time clearance was given, a fog and drizzle condition existed at Green, and the pilot inadvertently turned onto Runway 23 right, instead of 23 left.  Unbeknownst to the Falcon pilot, Runway 23 right had been closed since 5:25 p.m. the previous evening, and two large passenger jets, an Allegheny Airlines DC-9, and an American Airlines 727, were parked about halfway down the 5,000 foot runway and were not visible to the flight crew. 

     The airliners were not occupied at the time, except for one maintenance man working aboard the DC-9.

     Although the runway was closed, the runways lights were still on, which investigators later determined contributed to the accident. 

     The Falcon began its take-off run and reached a speed of 100 mph before its left wind struck the nose wheel of the DC-9 causing damage to the wing and nose wheel.  The initial impact did little to slow the Falcon, which continued on and slammed into a maintenance truck which had also been parked on the runway, sending the truck tumbling under the left wing of the 727.  The truck erupted in flames and burned furiously beneath the fuel laden wing of the 727. 

     After colliding with the truck the Falcon’s main landing gear collapsed and the jet skidded to a stop about 150 yards later.  The plane did not catch fire and the crew and passenger scrambled out through a cockpit escape hatch – unhurt.

     Due to a quick response by the airport fire department the burning truck was extinguished and the fuel in the wing of the 727 did not ignite, although the aircraft did suffer serious damage from the burning truck.

     The lone maintenance man aboard the DC-9 was transported to a medical facility to be treated for shock.

     None of the materials aboard the Falcon jet were found to be leaking or in any way compromised.


     Providence Journal Bulletin, “Radioactive-Cargo Plane Crashes At State Airport”, September 28, 1975.    

     South Middlesex News, “Wrong-Way Takeoff At RI Airport”, September 28, 1975, page 9A 

     Westerly Sun, (RI), “Law Not Violated In Warwick Crash”, September 30, 1975, page 6

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “Airport Crash Cost $1 Million”, October 2, 1975, page A-1

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “Runway Lights May Have Led To Collision”, October 3, 1975, page B-2

     Westerly Sun, (RI), “Faulty Lights Crash Factor”, October 5, 1975, page 9.

     Additional reading for researchers: 

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “Cargo Aboard Crashed Jet ‘Sounded Worse That It Was'”, February 3, 1976, page A-7

     Providence Journal Bulletin, “State Seeking Dismissal Of Runway Crash Suit”, December 4, 1976, page 8.  

T. F. Green Airport – January 22, 1966

T. F. Green Airport – January 22, 1966

Warwick, Rhode Island

     On January 22, 1966, a Piper Cherokee owned by the Newport Air Taxi Co. of Newport, R.I., was coming in for a landing at T. F. Green Airport when it was involved in a mid-air collision with a Cessna 150 owned by Wille Aero Inc.  The Cessna had an instructor and student aboard, and was making touch and go landings at the time of the accident.  The pilot of the Cherokee was alone.

     The two planes collided about 100 feet above the airfield and came down just inside the airport fence near a residential area at the southern end of the airport.  Everyone aboard both airplanes was killed instantly.


     The Boston Sunday Globe, “Planes Collide, 3 Die”, January 23, 1966, page 40.     

T.F. Green Airport – November 23, 1974

T.F. Green Airport – November 23, 1974

     On the morning of November 23, 1974, a single-engine aircraft with a family of four aboard left Teterboro, New Jersey bound for Lawrence, Massachusetts.  While en-route, the aircraft developed engine trouble when the pilot was switching fuel tanks. The pilot was forced to make an emergency landing on the northeast runway at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island. 

     Upon touching down the aircraft skidded for about 500 feet before it nosed over and came to rest.  The nose and propeller suffered heavy damage, and the right wheel had broken away.   There was no fire, and the family was uninjured, and left the aircraft on their own.   The wreckage was removed from the runway within twenty-five minutes, and the runway reopened.


     Providence Sunday Journal, “Family Of 4 Unhurt In Plane Crash”, November 24, 1974, page C-16   


T.F. Green Airport – October 20, 1999

T.F. Green Airport – October 20, 1999

     On the evening of October 20, 1999, a Delta Airlines jet, (Flight 2049), en-route to Atlanta, Georgia, was taking off from T.F. green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, when a tire blew out as the plane was becoming airborne.  Pieces of the tire were sucked into the number 2 engine setting it on fire and causing some smoke to filter into the cabin.

     At 6:28 p.m. the pilot declared an emergency and diverted to Boston’s Logan Airport, for it would have taken just as long to turn around and attempt to return to Green.  (This type of aircraft can fly with just one engine.)  Seventeen minutes later the plane landed safely at Logan at 6:45 p.m. 

     None of the passengers and crew aboard were injured, but two women were transported to a local hospital; one for anxiety, the other due to suffering a seizure.  

     The aircraft involved was a McDonnell Douglas MD-80.   


     Providence Journal, “Jet Forced To Land At Logan After leaving T.F. green”, October 21, 1999   

     Westerly Sun, “Blown-out Tire Caused Plane Engine problems”, October 22, 1999, pg.7

     Providence Journal, “Flight 2049: The Fire, The fear And The Anger”, October 22, 1999, Pg. 1


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