August 1, 1938: British aircraft designer
Frank Barnwell was killed in a plane crash
while testing an airplane of his own personal design at the Bristol Civil
Airport in England. Barnwell had designed the Bristol Scout (1914), Bristol
Fighter (1916), and many other airplanes for the Bristol Aeroplane Company. His
three sons all died while flying in World War II. His brother Harold was also
killed while flying in 1917.
August 1, 1943: Medal of Honor winner
Lloyd Hughes (22), an American B-24 bomber
pilot, attacked enemy oil refineries in Romania even though his plane was
severely damaged by anti-aircraft fire and leaking gasoline. Only after
completing his bomb run did he attempt to land but it was too late: his plane exploded on landing.
August 1, 1977: Francis
Gary Powers (48), the American pilot of a U2 spy plane shot down over
the Soviet Union in 1960, and his cameraman were killed when his Bell 206
Jetranger helicopter crashed in Balboa Park on the way back from covering a
brush fire. At the time, he was a helicopter pilot for KNBC television in Los Angeles, California.
August 2, 1920: Actor
Ormer Locklear (28) died in a plane crash
during the filming of The Skywayman at the De Mille Airfield in Los Angeles,
California. During night filming, Ormer took the plane into a dive but because
the crew forgot to cut the lights before he got down to the oil rigs around the
airfield he wasn't able to see in the dark in time to pull out of the dive.
August 2, 1947: British envoy
Paul Simpson (44) along with all others aboard
died when their Avro Lancaster plane crashed on a glacier on 17,600 foot
Tupungato mountain in the Andes. The plane, operated by British South American
Airways, had been on its way from London to Santiago, Chile.
August 2, 1979: Thurman
Munson (32), New York Yankees catcher, died when his Cessna 501
Citation jet crashed short of the runway in Canton, Ohio while he was practicing
takeoffs and landings. His two passengers survived the crash.
August 2, 1985: Philip
“Don” Estridge and his wife Mary Ann were among 137 people who were
killed when a Delta Air Lines Lockheed L-1011 jumbo jet crash-landed as a result
of wind shear at the Dallas, Texas airport. 27 people, however, survived the
crash. Estridge headed up the skunk works that launched the IBM-PC in 1981. He
was responsible for deciding that the PC would be made from off-the-shelf parts
and that the design specifications would be made public, thus paving the way for
PC clones and the current dominance of the Microsoft-Intel computers built upon that base.
August 3, 1976: U.S. representative
Jerry Litton of Missouri died in the crash of a
private plane as it was taking off. The plane crashed the night Litton had won
the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in 1976.
August 3, 1993: During a tree-top
reconnaissance flight in Ecuador, leading field biologists
Alwyn Gentry (48) and
Theodore Parker III (40) were killed when their plane crashed into a
mountain peak which had been hidden by clouds.
August 4, 2000: Former Georgia state
senator and member of the Board of Regents Thomas
Allgood Sr. (71), his wife Thelma, and the pilot were killed when
their Piper Malibu Mirage crashed and exploded when taking off from Daniel Field in Augusta, Georgia.
August 6, 1945: Major
Richard Ira Bong, the leading U.S. fighter ace during World War II,
was killed near Los Angeles, California while test-flying a Lockheed P-80 jet.
August 7, 1913: American aviator
Samuel Franklin Cody (52), who made the first
registered flight in Britain in October 1908, and his passenger died in a crash
at Ball Hill near Newbury, Berkshire, England.
August 7, 1989: A de Havilland DHC-6-300
Twin Otter airplane carrying Congressman Mickey Leland
(45) of Texas and 15 others disappeared during a relief inspection flight over
Ethiopia. The wreckage with no survivors was found six days later. The crash
into a mountain occurred under bad weather conditions.
August 9, 1974: Band members
Bill Chase (39), John
Emma, Wally Yohn, and Walter Clark
were killed when their chartered plane crashed as they attempted to land at the
Jackson, Minnesota airport in bad weather.
August 9, 2010: Former Alaska senator
Ted Stevens (86), former chief of staff
William Phillips Sr., and GCI vice president
Dana Tindall (48) were among five people
killed when their DeHavilland DHC-3T float plane crashed into a mountain outside
Dillingham, Alaska. Four passengers, including ex-NASA chief Sean O'Keefe,
survived the crash. Weather conditions included rain and fog at the time of the
crash. The senator and friends were heading to a fishing trip near Lake
August 10, 1997: Film director
Jean-Claude Lauzon (43) and actress
Marie-Soleil Tougas (27) died when their Cessna
180 crashed into a mountainside and burned just south of Kuujjuaq, Quebec. High
winds and rain may have contributed to the crash. They were returning from a
fishing trip. Lauzon is best known in Canada for his French-language films,
Un zoo la nuit and Leolo.
August 11, 2002: Nature photographers
Galen Rowell (61) and
Barbara Cushman Rowell (54) were killed when a small private plane
crashed in the eastern Sierra Nevada just south of the airport near Bishop,
California. Tim Reid and Carol McAfee of Bishop were also killed in the crash.
August 12, 1942: Actor
Phillips Holmes (35) died in a midair collision over Ontario, Canada.
August 12, 1944: The oldest son of Joseph
Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (29), was
killed when his Navy B-24 Liberator plane exploded over the English Channel
during World War II. According to declassified documents, Kennedy was flying a
drone B-24 for the US Navy's Operation Anaconda, a volunteer-only mission
designed to take out a V-2 launching site in Normandy. The plane was loaded with
about 22K lbs. of explosives and was equipped with radio-controlled servo gear.
The idea was to get the plane in the air and radio linked to 2 chase planes. The
pilot and radio-control man would bail out over England, and the drone would
continue on under remote control by the chase planes, where it would be
crash-dived onto the target. For reasons unknown, the B-24 detonated in mid-air
with the crew on board. Kennedy was awarded a posthumous Navy Cross, but the
circumstances surrounding the mission and his death were understandably classified for many years.
August 12, 1985: Japanese singer
Kyu Sakamoto, famous for his hit song
“Sukiyaki,” was killed in the crash of a Japan Airlines Boeing 747 into a
mountain in Japan. It was the worst single aviation accident ever, killing 520
of the 524 people aboard the plane. The crash was caused by a failed bulkhead
which had been improperly repaired seven years earlier.
August 13, 1989: Representative
Larkin Smith (45) of Mississippi and the pilot
were killed when their Cessna 177RG plane crashed near Janice, Mississippi. The
plane spiraled out of control after the non-instrument rated pilot got
disoriented when they ran into weather requiring the use of instruments.
August 14, 1958: Six members of the
Egyptian fencing team died in a plane crash over the Atlantic Ocean.
August 14, 1998:
Jerry Loftis, a pioneer in the sport of sky surfing, died during a
jump at the World Free Fall Convention near Quincy, Illinois. His main parachute
failed and his reserve chute activated too close to the ground to protect him in his fall.
August 15, 1935: On a flight to the
Orient, humorist Will Rogers (56) and
aviator Wiley Post (37) died when their Lockheed
Orion-Explorer plane crashed near Point Barrow, Alaska, after taking off in bad weather.
August 16, 1987: Nick
Vanos, Phoenix Suns center, was among the 156 people who died when a
Northwest Airlines MD-80 plane clipped a light pole in a parking lot while
taking off from the Detroit, Michigan airport. The plane crashed into an
underpass beneath Interstate 94. A four-year-old girl miraculously survived the crash.
August 17, 1988: Pakistani president
Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, U.S. ambassador
Arnold Raphel, U.S. Brigadier General
Herbert Wassom, and 28 Pakistani military
officers died in a mysterious plane crash during a return flight from a military
equipment trial near Bahawalpur, Pakistan.
August 19, 1935:
Alton C. Nordale, an Alaskan territorial legislator, died in a
plane crash near Healy River in Alaska.
August 19, 2012: Two Sudanese state
ministers as well as 29 other government officials were killed when their
airplane crashed as it was landing at an airport southwest of Khartoum.
August 21, 1983: Moments after stepping
off a plane at the Manila Airport, Benigno Aquino Jr.,
the Philippine opposition leader, was shot dead by military forces. The killing
ultimately led to the collapse of Ferdinand Marcos's government. In 1986,
Corazon Aquino, the slain leader's widow, became president.
August 23, 1947: English aircraft
designer Roy Chadwick, Avro's chief designer
responsible for the Lancaster bomber and other aircraft, was killed when his
Avro Tudor 2 prototype crashed on take-off during a test flight.
August 25, 1985:
Samantha Smith (13), her father, and six others were killed when
their Bar Harbor Airlines Beechcraft 99 crashed while trying to land at Auburn,
Maine. Samantha was the girl made famous for writing a letter to Soviet leader
Yuri Andropov and getting invited to visit Russia.
August 25, 2001: R&B singer and actress
Aaliyah Haughton (22) and eight fellow
passengers were killed when their Cessna 402-B airplane crashed and exploded on
impact right after taking off from the Abaco Island airport in the Bahamas where
she had just completed a music video. The cause of the crash was thought to be
engine failure although some ground personnel indicated that the plane was
overloaded with luggage. Alliyah and most of the other passengers were killed
instantly. Several others survived the crash but died a few hours later. Other
passengers included makeup artist Eric Foreman, Virgin director of video
production Douglas Kratz, and Background Records's Gina Smith and Keith Wallace.
August 26, 1977: Hugh
Killebrew (58), owner of Heavenly Valley Ski Resort in South Lake
Tahoe, California, and Paul Pfosi (42), the
ski school director, were killed when two private planes collided in midair. The
pilot of the other plane was able to land safely without major injury.
August 27, 1990: Blues guitarist and
Grammy winner Stevie Ray Vaughan (35) died
when the Bell BHT-206-B helicopter he was riding in crashed into a hill near
East Troy, Wisconsin. Four others, including three members of Eric Clapton's
entourage and the chopper pilot, were killed in the crash, which occurred under
heavy fog. Vaughn's album, Couldn't Stand the Weather, went platinum in 1984.
August 37, 2006: Taking off in the early
morning hours at the Lexington, Kentucky Blue Grass Airport, a Bombadier
Canadair CRJ-100 jet operated by Comair ran off the end of an unlighted
3,500-foot runway designed for smaller planes instead of using the well-lit
7,000-foot runway designed for commercial flights. The plane exploded in flames
upon crashing when it wasn't able to lift off (it needed at least 5,000 feet to
take off). Only one person of the 50 aboard the plane survived. First officer
James Polehinke was pulled from the wreckage by police. Among those who died
were a newlywed couple taking off on their honeymoon (former minor-league
baseball player Jon Hooker and his bride
August 29, 1995: Two members of
Meat Loaf's music video film crew were killed
when their helicopter struck some power lines and crashed in Sequoia National Forest in California.
August 29, 2001: Australian television
personality and lead singer for the Skyhooks, Graeme
“Shirley” Strachan (49) was killed when he crashed a Bell 47
helicopter on Mount Archer near Kilcoy, Australia, during his first solo flight
while training to earn his helicopter pilot license. Better known as “Shirl,”
Strachan was the host of Our House on Channel 9 since it started up in
1993. He was best known, of course, for being the frontman for Skyhooks in the
mid 1970s. While some observers claimed that the winds had been too strong for
flying at the time of the crash, Graeme Gillies, owner of Blue Tongue Helicopter
Services, which provided the helicopter, disputed those observations.
August 31, 1940: U.S. senator
Ernest Lundeen of Minnesota and 24 others were
killed in the crash of a Pennsylvania Central Douglas DC-3 plane. While flying
through a thunderstorm, lightning hit the plane, disoriented the crew, and
caused them to lose control. The plane nosed over and plunged to the earth.
August 31, 1969: Rocky
Marciano (45), the former heavyweight champion boxer, and two others
died in the crash of a Cessna 172H airplane near Newton, Iowa. It had been a
dark and stormy night. He was one day short of celebrating his 46th birthday.
August 31, 1983: U.S. Representative
Lawrence McDonald (48) of Georgia and head of
the John Birch Society, Tae Kwon Do master Hyong Ung
Hong, and 267 others were killed when their Korean Airlines Boeing
747 drifted off course and was shot down by a Russian SU-15 air force jet.