Westerly Airport – June 19, 1965

Westerly Airport – June 19, 1965

Westerly, Rhode Island

     On June 19, 1965, a small plane with two men aboard crashed while attempting an emergency landing at Westerly Airport.  Both men were killed.

     The dead were identified as (pilot) Robert White, 25, of Stratford, Ct., and Herman Stephens of Moosup, Ct.. 

     Witnesses said the planes engine could be heard “sputtering” on approach.  In May of 1966, the Civil Aeronautics Board released the finding of its investigation.  “An inspection revealed low compression of the No. 3 cylinder with appreciable leakage of the No. 3 intake valve…From the overall evidence it was concluded that a power failure did occur.”    

Source: Woonsocket Call, “Power Failure Blamed For RI Plane Crash”, May 9, 1966, Pg. 1  

Westerly, R. I. – September 2, 1929

Westerly, R.I. – September 2, 1929

Updated November 26, 2022

     At 4:30 p.m. on the afternoon of September 2, 1929, a small airplane with a pilot and two women passengers aboard took off from Misquamicut Field, (Today known as Westerly Airport), for what was to be a sightseeing flight over the area.  Shortly after take off, while at an altitude of 75 to 100 feet, the engine began to skip.  The pilot attempted to remedy the situation by opening the throttle, but this didn’t correct the malfunction.  He then banked the aircraft with the intention of returning to the airfield.  Realizing he wouldn’t make it to the field, he aimed for Brightman’s Pond, a small salt water pond between Masquamicut Beach and the airfield.  Realizing that a crash was inevitable, the pilot undid his safety belt and called for the women to do the same.  The plane crashed short of the pond, coming down on Misquamicut Beach.  It landed on its left wing, and just as it did so the pilot jumped clear. The aircraft then spun around before coming to an abrupt stop.  Immediately afterwards the plane erupted in flames, and the two passengers perished.   

     According to witnesses, the pilot attempted to reach the plane but was driven back by the smoke and flames. 

     It was reported that the pilot admitted to state police investigators that he’d failed to turn off the ignition prior to the crash.    

      The dead were identified as Mrs. Marie A. Hunter, (31), of 3 Avery Street, Westfield, Massachusetts, and Miss Marie Day, (20), of 20 Colton Avenue, West Springfield, Massachusetts. No autopsies were performed. 

     The type of aircraft is unknown. 


     Woonsocket Call, “2 Women Die In Airplane Crash Near Westerly”, September 3, 1929

     Woonsocket Call, “Fatal Airplane Crash Probed”, September 4, 1929, Pg. 3.      

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