1932: English balloon and aircraft
designer Albert Short (57) died in the
cockpit of one of his seaplanes after safely landing it.
1935: Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, the
first pilot to cross the Pacific (he wasn't solo, there were other crew), was
lost at sea in 1935 and his plane was never found.
1947: 15 members of the
Czech figure skating team died in an airplane
crash between Prague to London.
1956: Six Czech
hockey players died in an air crash in Czechoslovakia.
1957: Downhill ski champion
Richard “Mad Dog” Buek was killed when his
private plane crashed near Donner Lake. Buek was the boyfriend of Jill Kinmont,
author of The Other Side of the Mountain.
1960: French West African poet
David Diop and his wife were killed in a plane
crash as they were returning to France from Dakar, Senegal. While most of his
work was destroyed with him in the crash, the 22 poems published before his
death has still earned him an enduring reputation as a poet.
1967: Muhammad bin
Laden, owner of the Bin Laden Construction Company and father of
terrorist Osama bin Laden, died when his plane crashed in the Saudi Arabian
desert. Note: Other sources put the year as 1966 or 1968.
1975: Louise Hillary
and her 16-year-old daughter Belinda were
killed when their small plane crashed on taking off from the Kathmandu airport
in Nepal. They had been flying to visit Edmund Hillary at Phaphlu, Nepal.
1977: Ed Cole,
president of General Motors and creator of the Corvair, died while piloting his
plane to a proving ground in Michigan.
1977: Queen Alia
Toukan of Jordan, third wife of King Hussein I, died in a helicopter
crash. The international airport in Amman, Jordan is now named after her.
1979: Soviet soccer
team Pakhtakar Tashkent (now Uzbekistan) were killed in an air crash.
May 1987: Legendary car racer and builder
Don Yenko died in a plane crash near
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Yenko was the builder of the Yenko Stinger.
1989: 14 members of the
Surinamese soccer team died in an air crash.
December 1993: Richard
Snyder (41) and two other executives of the In-N-Out fast-food
restaurant chain, were killed when their corporate jet got caught in the
downdraft of a larger jet.
Fyodorov, who pioneered radial keratotomy surgery to correct
nearsightedness, died in a helicopter crash.
????: Christian singer
Keith Green died in a plane crash.
????: Sports announcer
Dick Ebersol and his two sons were in a
crash near Montrose, Colorado as their private plane was heading from Aspen to a football game. They only
stopped in Aspen to drop off his wife actress Susan St. James. The pilot opted not to
de-ice the plane, a procedure which was not required for a private plane. It was
snowing and weather conditions were poor. Dick Ebersol was seriously injured and
was in a body cast for many months following the incident. Dick Ebersol’s
younger son was killed in the crash but the older son escaped and then attempted to save his father.
Miscellaneous Celebrity Air Incidents