Waterbury, Ct. – March 24, 1929

Waterbury, Ct. – March 24, 1929 

      On March 24, 1929, Captain Arnold R. Rasmussen (33) took off from Brainard Field in Hartford flying a Connecticut National Guard airplane.  With him was a passenger, Francis H. Smith of Waterbury, Connecticut.   The aircraft was an open cockpit Consolidated O-17 bi-plane, Ser. No. 28-374.

     It was the captain’s custom to fly over his home in Waterbury and wave to his wife and family, and this day was no different.  As the plane passed overhead, Rasmussen’s family came outside, but then they watched in horror as the engine suddenly lost power and the aircraft came hurtling out of the sky.  Family members scattered as the plane came in nose first and slammed into the street less than fifty feet from their home.  Captain Rasmussen was killed instantly, and Smith was taken to Waterbury Hospital.      

     Captain Rasmussen was and experienced pilot.  He served with the regular army Air Corps during World War I, and at the time of his death was the adjutant of the 43rd Aviation Division, Connecticut National Guard.

Click here for more information and a photo of Capt. Rasmussen: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/169160967/arnold-r-rasmussen


     New York Times, “Connecticut Guard Pilot Dies in Crash Before Family”, March 25, 1929.

     The New Britain Herald, (Ct.), “Smith Can’t Talk With Broken Jaw – Rasmussen Plane crash Probe Halts Pending recovery”, March 26, 1929. 

     Aviation Safety Network 



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