July 1, 1912: Pioneering aviatrix
Harriet Quimby (35) and
William Willard, an aviation enthusiast, died when
they were flipped out of their Blériot during an air show over Dorchester Bay, south of
Boston, Massachusetts. They fell a thousand feet into shallow water and were
killed. The first American woman to be licensed as a pilot, Quimby was the first woman to fly solo across the
English Channel. She was the fourth woman flyer to be killed in an aviation accident.
July 1, 1954: John
McBride, Alabama halfback, was killed in an ROTC training flight in
July 2, 1937: Aviator
Amelia Earhart (40) and her navigator
Fred Noonan disappeared on the way from Lae,
New Guinea, to Howland Island during an around-the-world flight. Their Lockheed
10E Electra probably ran out of fuel and crashed into the Pacific Ocean.
July 2, 2000: Philippine Air Force
General Santiago Madrid and Palawan Governor
Salvador Socrates were among those killed
when a Philippine air force plane crashed into the sea off the western province
of Palawan. The Nomad propeller driven plane went down because of engine
trouble. The pilot tried to turn back to the airport, but overshot the runway
and then crashed into the sea when the propeller stopped as he tried to turn
back to the airport.
July 4, 1943: Gen. Wladyslaw
Sikorski (62), Polish prime minister in exile, was killed along with 11
others when their Liberator II AL 523 plane crashed into the Mediterranean shortly after taking off
from the Gibraltor airport. Some claim that his plane was sabatoged (Wikipedia
July 8, 1965: Stunt pilot
Albert “Paul” Mantz (62) was killed when his
Phoenix P-1 plane broke apart on landing while filming the movie
The Flight of the Phoenix.
July 8, 2001: Rolim
Adolf Amaro (58), who built Brazil's second largest airline after
getting his start flying adventurers over the Amazon River, died in a helicopter
July 10, 2007: Dr.
Bruce Kennedy, a plastic surgeon and husband of NASCAR president
Lesa France Kennedy, and NASCAR Aviation pilot Michael Klemm were killed when
their twin-engine Cessna 310 caught on fire and caused them to crash into a
neighborhood while trying to make an emergency landing at the Orlando Sanford
International Airport. Also killed were a woman and two children who were burned
alive when the plane crashed into their two houses. Three others were seriously
burned in the accident.
July 12, 1910: Sir
Charles Rolls, co-founder of Rolls-Royce, died
when his French-built Wright biplane collapsed during a landing competition at
Bournemouth Aviation Week.
July 12, 1993: NASCAR driver
Davey Allison (32) was critically injured when
the Hughes 369HS helicopter he was piloting crashed in the infield of the
Talladega Superspeedway near Birmingham, Alabama, while he was attempting to
land. His inexperience and poor judgment led to the crash. Allison died a day
later in the hospital. Red Farmer, a passenger, escaped with minor injuries. In
1987, Davey Allison became the first NASCAR Winston Cup Series rookie to ever
qualify on the front row for a Daytona 500.
July 16, 1960: Eight
soccer players from Denmark died in an airplane
July 16, 1999: John F.
Kennedy Jr. (38), his wife Carolyn Bessette
Kennedy (35), and her elder sister Lauren
Bessette (37) were killed when their Piper Saratoga II HP crashed
into the ocean off Martha's Vineyard. Their crash may have been caused by John's
inexperience with flying in an instrument-dependent condition in a twilight haze
over the ocean. They had been on their way to a family wedding.
July 17, 1996: French country music
guitarist Marcel Dadi,
Rod Foster (61), corporate pilot for Dassault Falcon Jet, and 228 others were
killed in the explosion of Flight 800, a TWA Boeing 747-131, over Long Island Sound.
The plane had just taken off from Kennedy Airport and was bound for Paris,
France when the explosion occurred.
July 19, 1989: Jay
Ramsdell, CBA Commissioner, was one of 112 people out of 296
passengers who were killed when a United Airlines DC-10 crashed at the Sioux
City, Iowa airport while attempting to land with a disabled hydraulic system.
July 19, 2003: Dr.
George Brumley (68) and his wife Jean
(67) as well as a son and his wife, two daughters and their husbands, four
grandchildren, and two South African pilots were killed when their plane crashed
into Mount Kenya in Africa. Dr. Brumley, former chairman of the department of
pediatrics at Emory University's School of Medicine, founded the Whitefoord
Community Program as well as chairman of Project GRAD, two inner city
charities.Jean Brumley was a board member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
July 20, 1973: American artist
Robert Smithson (35) was killed in a plane
crash while photographing land near Amarillo, Texas in preparation for a new
land art work, the Amarillo Ramp.
July 21, 1963: A private plane carrying
four prominent Tampa, Florida residents, including millionaire
Karl Kreher, disappeared into the Gulf of
Mexico near Cedar Key when a squall line hit the area. The group was traveling
from Sarasota to Tallahassee on a business trip.
July 23, 1982: Actor
Vic Morrow (57) and two child actors (Myca
Dinh Le and Rene Chen) were
killed when a Bell UH-1B Huey helicopter crashed near them during the filming of
the movie Twilight Zone. The helicopter was sent out of control when its
tail rotor was hit by an explosive charge from the special effects during the
filming of a scene. As it crashed, it tipped over in Morrow's direction, where
the still rapidly rotating rotor blades decapitated Morrow and the two children.
July 24, 1972: Lance
Reventlow (36), the only son of Woolworth department store heiress
Barbara Hutton, was killed in the crash of a single engine Cessna 206 on a
mountainside near Aspen, Colorado. The crash was a result of pilot error, high
winds, and severe thunderstorms.
July 24, 1966:
“Champagne” Tony Lema (32), 1964 British Open golf champion, as well
as his wife and two others died in the crash of a Beechcraft H50 near Munster,
July 25, 1976: Lee
Stryker, president of the Stryker Corporation, died in a plane crash
July 26, 1998: U.S. Air Force Lt. General
David McCloud (51) died in a plane crash.
July 28, 1982: Gospel rock composer and
singer Keith Green (29) died when his
private twin-engine Cessna plane crashed over the Last Days Ministries property
near Lindale, Texas. All passengers died in the crash, including his young son
and daughter and a family of eight who were visiting. His Cessna 414 Robertson
conversion crashed due to overloading the 7-seat plane with 12 people (windshear
might also have been a factor). Founder of Last Days Ministries, Green was
taking the family of eight on a sightseeing aerial tour of the LDM property when
they crashed on taking off from the private airstrip on the property. Among
Green's popular songs were Your Love Broke Through, You Put This Love In My
Heart, and There Is a Redeemer.
July 30, 1992: C.
Victor Raiser, II (52), finance co-chairman
of Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, died along with his son and
three others when their de Havilland Beaver floatplane went down near the town
of Dillingham, Alaska. Raiser and his son were on a fishing vacation when the
July 31, 1944: Antoine
de Saint-Exupery (44), French author of The Little Prince,
died when his P-38 Lightning disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea during World
War II. At the time, he was flying for the U.S. Air Force as a reconnaissance
pilot photographing German troop positions in the French Alps.
July 31, 1955: Actor
Robert Francis and a friend were killed when
the friend's light plane crashed near Burbank, California. Francis was an
up-and-coming actor who had portrayed Ensign Willie Keith in The Caine Mutiny in 1954.
July 31, 1964: Country music star
Jim Reeves (40) and his piano player
Dean Manuel were killed when his Beechcraft
Bonanza crashed in dense woods near Nashville, Tennessee during a major
thunderstorm. Reeves might have experienced vertigo during the storm (he was not
a licensed instrument pilot). His hits had included “Welcome to My World” and “He'll Have to Go.”
July 31, 1981: General
Omar Torrijos, then dictator of Panama, died in a crash when the
instruments in his plane failed to function upon takeoff.