Famous People Who Died in Aviation Accidents

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Date/Time Name / Group Age Notability Accident Location Aircraft Details Notes
Jul 4, 1920
Jaime González Grocier
28 Famous Cuban aviator Havana, Cuba Blériot XI Monoplane Grocier was killed piloting this plane when it stalled during takeoff and fell to the ground. This were the first recorded civil airplane fatalities in Cuba.  
Aug 2, 1920
Milton 'Skeets'
Ormer ocklear

Stunt flyers Los Angeles, California   Died in a crash during the filming of The Skywayman at De Mille Airfield. He was not able to pull out of a dive after the crew forgot to cut the lights and he was blinded and wasn't able to see the ground in time. PHOTO
Jul 4, 1922
Lothar von Richthofen
27 World War I ace and brother of Manfred von Richthofen (The Red Baron). Fuhlsbuttel, Germany LVG C VI While taking off the plane lost it's engine and crashed into trees. Two of 3 aboard killed.  
Oct 21, 1925 Marvin Goodwin
33 Baseball player for the Cincinnati Reds Houston, Texas Military plane Crashed his plane on a training flight while a member of the Army Air Corps. The engine failed and the plane went into a tail spin. PHOTO
Apr 30, 1926 Bessie Coleman
30 African-American pioneer female aviator Jacksonville, Florida Curtiss JN-4 Jenny Trainer First African-American woman pilot. Also known as "Queen Bessie" she was practicing for an air show when she was thrown from the plane and fell to her death. A wrench left by mechanic William Wills, who was piloting the plane,  become stuck in the control gears which caused him to lose control of the aircraft. PHOTO
Jan 26, 1928 Earl Metcalfe
38 American actor Burbank, California   Jumped or fell 2,000 feet from an airplane during his forth flying lesson after the plane went into a double roll. PHOTO
Mar 13, 1928 Elsie Mackay 35 British actress, aviation pioneer Atlantic ocean Stinson Detrotier Was killed while attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean with Captain Walter Hinchliffe. PHOTO
May 1, 1928 Thaddeus C. Sweet
55 New York U.S. Rep. Whitney Point, New York Curtiss military plane
Sweet was on the way to give a speech in Oswego County, N.Y. While landing in a field to escape a thunder storm, uneven ground caused the plane to flip over killing Sweet. The pilot survived. PHOTO
Jun 22, 1928
Roald Amundsen
56 Norwegian explorer Norwegian Sea Latham Lost at sea while attempting to fly a rescue mission to the airship Italia stranded in the Arctic.  All 6 aboard were killed. PHOTO
Jul 4, 1928 Alfred Lowenstein
50 Belgian businessman and entrepreneur Over the English Channel Fokker F. VII Trimotor While flying on his private plane across the English Channel, Lowenstein went to the rear of the plane to use the lavatory. After a noticeable length of time passed, one of his employees went to check on him and found that he had vanished through the plane's rear door and had plunged several thousand feet to his death. It is speculated he committed suicide. PHOTO
July 12, 1928
Emilio Carranza 22 Mexican aviation pioneer Sandy Ridge, New Jersey Excelsior Killed when his plane flew into a thunderstorm during a goodwill flight from New York to Mexico City.  
Nov 9, 1929 Carl Ben Eielsen

32 American aviation pioneer and explorer North Cape, Siberia   Died alongside his mechanic Earl Borland in an air crash while attempting to rescue 15 passengers of the Nanuk, a cargo vessel trapped in the ice at North Cape.  
Dec 20, 1929 Will Kirk Kaynor
45 Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Near Washington D.C.
Military plane Killed in a military plane crash at Boling Field air base. It was his first time in an airplane. PHOTO

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