Queens, NY Plane Falls in Spin, Apr 1935

Birth, Marriage & Death Records

THREE DIE IN CRASH OF PLANE IN QUEENS

Youths on First Air Ride Are
Burned With Pilot When Craft
Falls 150 Feet in Spin

MISSES SEVERAL HOUSES

Lands Near a Private Garage
in Springfield—Two Hurt
in a Rescue Attempt.

A 25-year-old pilot and two youthful
friends who were making their
first airplane trip were killed and
their bodies burned beyond recognition
yesterday afternoon when
their airplane fell from an altitude
of about 150 feet into the marshy
land of Jamaica Creek and burst
into flames.
The dead are:
CHARLES A. HOELL, of 8504 104th
Street, Richmond Hill, Queens, pilot.
JOHN CHAPPIE. 15, of Beach 139th Street
and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Neponsit.
LAWRENCE LAGASSEE, 17, of 14110
Cronston Avenue, Neponsit.
The accident occurred about 2:30
P. M., just a few minutes after the
plane took off from the Jamaica
Sea Airport at 235th Street and
Rockaway Boulevard, Springfield,
Queens. The plane struck the
ground near 232d Street and 154th
Road, missing private dwellings in
the vicinity and landing only fifteen
feet from a private garage.

Three Inquiries Started

The cause of the accident was not
established. Investigations were begun
by the police, the Queens District
Attorney's office and the Department
of Commerce.
The open cockpit biplane was
owned jointly by John Clarke, 18,
of 447 Beach 142d Street, Neponsit,
who witnessed the crash, and Howard
Dillon, 20, of 1184 Merrill
Road, Far Rockaway, both friends
of Hoell. Hoell had received permission
from them to take Chappie
and Lagassee aloft.
Chappie and Lagassee climbed
into the passengers' seat in front
of the pilot's seat and strapped
themselves in. Hoell strapped himself
into the pilot's seat, tuned up
the motor and took off, heading
westward. The weather was clear
and there was little wind.
For a few minutes all went well.
Then witnesses on the ground
heard the plane's motor make a
sound like the backfiring of an automobile.
The motor stalled and
the biplane went into a half spin.
Suddenly, the ship made a nose dive
and plunged to earth.
Clarence Klegg of 15445 230th
Street, Springfield, and Rudolph
Hines of 15333 232d Street, Springfield,
happened to be near the spot
where the plane hit the ground.
They ran to it and saw small
tongues of flame playing ominously
around the motor. Evidently the
pilot had not cut the switch before
the ship fell and landed almost
flat.

April 21, 1935 edition of The New York Times