Famous People Who Died in Aviation Accidents

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Date/Time Name / Group Age Notability Accident Location Aircraft Details Notes
Feb 25, 1960
U.S. Navy Band   Military band Rio de Janeiro, Brazil DC-3
Midair collision with a REAL DC-3 at 5,000 ft. Total of 61 killed on both planes.  
Jul 16 1960
Members of the Danish Soccer Association   Sports association Copenhagen, Denmark de Havilland DH-89 Dragon Rapide Crashed after taking off in poor weather condtions. Eight members of the Danish Soccer Association killed.  
Aug 29, 1960 David Diop
33 West African Poet Off Dakar, Senegal Air France
Flight 343
Lockheed 1049G
Crashed into the Atlantic Ocean after an unsuccessful landing attempt. Possible structural failure due to turbulence or distraction of the flight crew associated with a lighting strike.  
Oct 29, 1960
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo football team   Sports team Toledo, Ohio Arctic Pacific AL
Curtiss C-46F-1-CU
Crashed while taking off.  Premature liftoff, partial loss of power in the No.1 engine, overweight.  22 of 48 aboard killed. Sixteen team members killed. PHOTO
Feb 15, 1961
U.S. figure skating team   Sports team Near Brussels, Belgium Sabena
Flight 548
Boeing 707-320
Nosed down and crashed after executing a go-around.  Failure of the aircraft's flying controls. All 72 aboard killed. Eighteen team members killed. PHOTO
Apr 3, 1961
Green Cross Chilean soccer team   Sports team Llico, Chile LAN
Flight 310
Douglas DC-3
Crashed in the Las Lastimas Mountains. Possibly icing.  Official cause unknown.  All 24 aboard killed. PHOTO
Sep 17, 1961
Dag Hammarskjöld
56 U.N. Secretary General Ndola, Zambia Douglas DC-6B
Crashed into jungle. Rumors persist alleging that victims were shot prior to the crash or that a bomb was onboard. All 16 aboard killed. PHOTO
Jan 25, 1962 Donald Nutter
47 Governor of Montana Wolf Creek, Montana
Douglas C-47 Crashed in snow storm. The plane went out of control in turbulent weather and crashed in a mountain canyon All 6 aboard killed.  
Mar 1, 1962
Johnny Dieckman
35 World fly-casting champion New York, NY American Airlines
Boeing 707
Flilght 1
Crashed into Jamacia Bay after the plane experiencing a rudder malfunction. All 95 aboard killed.  
Apr 12, 1962 Ron Flockhart
39 Scottish race car driver Near Melbourne, Australia Mustang P-51 Lost control of a borrowed plane he was flying.  The aircraft emerged from cloud cover, in a spin and crashed.  Pilot error.  Lack of IFR flying experience.  
Oct 6, 1962
Tom Slick 46 Texas millionaire,  cryptozoologist Dell, Montana, Beechcraft Bonanza 35 The Texas millionaire who financed expeditions in search of Big Foot was killed in an airplane crash that some say was under suspicious circumstances.  
Oct 7, 1962 Clement Miller
46 California U.S. Rep. Near Eureka, California Piper Avalanche
Crashed into Chapparal Mountain in a storm during a campaign flight. All 3 aboard killed.  
Mar 5, 1963
Patsy Cline

Hawkshaw Hawkin

Cowboy Copas


Country western singers Camden, Tennessee Piper Comanche
The plane took off from Dyersburg and flew into a storm. The pilot was not instrument rated and lost control and crashed after entering an area of stormy weather. Randy Hughes, Cline's manager also killed. All 4 aboard killed. PHOTO
Jan 5, 1963 Eric Strandmark 43 Swedish actor, director Trinidad Cessna Skywagon    
Feb 15, 1964
Ken Hubbs
22 Baseball player for the Chicago Cubs, 2nd baseman Near Provo, Utah Cessna 172D
Hubbs used poor judgment in continued VFR flight into adverse weather conditions.  
Jul 31, 1964
Jim Reeves
40 American country western singer Near Nashville, Tennessee Beechcraft 35-B33 Debonair
Piloted by Reeves, the plane crashed in an area of thunderstorms into dense woods 10 miles south of Nashville en route from Batesville to Nashville. It took 2 days to find the wreckage. Pilot error. VFR flight into adverse weather conditions. His manager, Dean Manuel, also killed. PHOTO
Oct 23, 1964
Harold "David" Box
21 American rock and roll singer Houston Texas Cessna 172 Skyhawk
The plane crashed nose first into the ground and overturned.  Cause undetermined. All 4 aboard killed.  
Oct 31, 1964 Theodore Freeman
34 U.S. Astranaut Houston, Texas T-38 trainer Killed while attempting to land at Ellington Air Force Base following a proficiency flight.  Struck a snow goose which shattered the canopy and debris entering both engines.  He ejected but was too low for his chute to fully deploy.   
Jul 8 1965
Albert "Paul" Mantz
61 Movie stunt pilot Winterhaven, California Phoenix P-1
Killed while filming the movie "The Flight of the Phoenix" when his plane broke apart on landing after he misjudged his altitude. Alcoholic impairment of efficiency and judgment. He took the place of stunt pilot Frank Tallman who was injured. Tallman later died in another accident in 1978. PHOTO
Nov 11, 1965
William "Bill" Linderman
45 American world champion rodeo cowboy Salt Lake City, Utah United Air Lines
Boeing B-727
The plane crashed short of the runway after the captain made too high of a descent during the approach. Forty-three out of 91 aboard killed. PHOTO
Dec 12, 1965
Dr. W. Randolph Lovelace II
57 NASA doctor in the early space program Near Aspen, Colorado Beechcraft B95
Flying on the Cutter Air Service, the pilot became disoriented and flew into a blind canyon. Lovelace's wife was also killed. 3 killed.  
Jan 24, 1966
Hombi Bhabha

69 Father of India's nuclear program Mt. Blanc, Switzerland Air India
Flight 101
Boeing 707-437
Descended below minimum safe altitude and crashed into Mt. Blanc. Miscalculation by the crew of their position.  All 117 killed.  
Feb 28, 1966
Elliot See Jr.

Charles Bassett II

U.S. Astronauts St. Louis, Missouri T-38 jet fighter Killed during an instrument landing approach at McDonnell Aircraft Corporation's plant. Came in too low and slow, hit the afterburners and crashed into the roof of a building.  
Mar 4,1966 Jesse Zousmer 54 Director of television news for ABC Near Tokyo, Japan McDonnell Dougllas DC-8
The airliner struck the approach lights and a sea wall during a landing attempt. 64 killed.  
May 1, 1966
Nicholas Piantanida
34 Ballonist, parachute jumper   Balloon Died four months later after enduring a severe explosive  decompression of his spacesuit on board Strato Jump III at 57,600 feet in his third quest to acquire the world record for a skydiving jump.  
Apr 13, 1966
Abdul Salam Arif
45 President of Iraq Southern Iraq Helicopter Died mysteriously in a helicopter accident. Reported to have gone down in a thunderstorm.  
Jul 24, 1966
Tony Lema
32 Pro golfer Near Munster, Indiana Beechcraft H50
Crashed after both engines failed due to fuel starvation. The plane came to rest in a shallow pond on the golf course. Lima was on a Buick promotional tour. Wife, Betty, also killed. All 4 aboard killed. PHOTO
Jan 27, 1967 Virgil Grissom

Edward White 

Roger Chaffee


U.S. Astronauts Cape Canaveral, Florida Apollo spacecraft Killed during the simulated launch of an Apollo I spacecraft. Short circuit in a 100%oxygen atmosphere caused a flash fire. 3 killed.  
Apr 24, 1967 Vladimir Komarov, 40 Cosmonaut Russia Soyuz I Parachute lines tangled during re-entry. Crashed to ground. First person to die while on a space mission.  
May 9, 1967 Philippa Schuyler 35 American pianist Vietnam Helicopter While a vietnam war correspont, her helicopter crashed into the sea.  
Jul 18,1967 Humberto Castelo Branco 69 Twenty-siixth president of Brazil Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil Small aircraft Midair collision of small aircraft.  
Jul 19, 1967 John T. McNaughton
45 U.S. Navy Secretary designate Hendersonville, North Carolina Piedmont Airlines
Boeing 727-22
Collided with a Cessna 310 while attempting to land. All 82 aboard killed which included McNaughton's wife and son.  
Sep 3, 1967
Mohammed bin Laden
73 Father of Osama bin Laden Usran, Saudi Arabia Beechcraft 18
Bin Laden landed at Khamis Mushayt airport in his HS125, changed planes to his Beechcraft 18, and took off for the landing strip near Usran which had been cut out of the rough terain by his workers so that he could land and inspect the work in progress. He crashed trying to land on the mountain strip.  
Oct 5, 1967 Clifton Williams Jr.
35 Astronaut Near Tallahassee, Florida T-38 jet fighter A mechanical failure caused his control to malfunction.  
Nov 4, 1967 June Thorburn
36 English actress Fernhurst, England Iberia Airlines
Caravelle 10R
The aircraft descended too low and flew into the southern slope of Black Down Hill. PHOTO
Nov 15, 1967 Michael Adams
37 Test pilot California North American X-15 Killed while testing the X-15.  The plane went into a spin and dive while re-entering.  The aircraft disintegrated after reaching 15 Gs.   
Dec 8, 1967 Robert Lawrence
32 Astronaut Edwards Air Force Base, California F-104 Starfighter Crashed while performing maneuvers.   
Dec 10, 1967
Otis Redding
26 American singer
Musical group
Near Madison, Wisconsin Beechcraft H18
Went into a spin and crashed into icy Lake Monona in fog. Undetermined cause Four members of his Bar-Kays band also killed. Five of 6 aboard killed. PHOTO
Mar 27, 1968
Yuri Gagarin
34 Cosmonaut Near Moscow, Russia MiG 15 UTI Crashed 30 miles east of Moscow, while training in a military fighter.  He was the first man in space. PHOTO
Apr 23, 1968

Robert Schiaffino 28 CBC News reporter Toronto, Canada Piper Apache Crashed in fog during an instrument approach to Toronto International Airport. 4 killed.  
Apr 28, 1968
Lamar Tech Track Team   Sports team Near Beaumont, Texas Beech 65
Impacted the ground and caught fire.  Cause undetermined. All six members of the team, along with the pilot killed.  
Mar 16, 1969 Nestor Chavez
22 Baseball player for the San Francisco Giants, pitcher Maracaibo, Venezuela Venezolana Inter. de Aviacion
Flight 742
Struck power lines while taking off. Incorrect information supplied to crew.  All 84 aboard and 70 on the ground killed.  PHOTO
Apr 27 1969
Rene Barrientos
49 President of Bolivia Near Arque Village, Bolivia Helicopter The helicopter struck high tension wires and crashed.
Jun 4, 1969
Rafael Osuna
30 Mexican tennis star Near Salinas Victoria, Nuevo Leon, Mexico Mexicana Airlines
Flight 704
While the crew was aligning with the runway, the plane hit high ground several miles from the airport. Pilot error. All 79 aboard killed.  
Aug 31, 1969
Rocky Marciano
45 American world champion heavy weight boxer Newton, Iowa Cessna 172H
Took off in rainy weather barely climbing.  Crashed into a lone oak tree. Inexperienced pilot not IFR qualified. Marciano was returning home for his birthday party.  3 killed. PHOTO
Sep 26, 1969 The Strongest, Bolivian soccer team   Sports team Near La Paz, Bolivia Lloyd Aereo Boliviano
Douglas DC-6B
The aircraft hit a 15,500 ft. mountain.  Cause unknown.  All 74 aboard killed. PHOTO

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