Massillon, OH Sky-Diving Plane Crash, May 1962



Sport parachuting claimed the lives of two members of Sky Diving Unlimited and injured three others Wednesday when their private plane crashed just after takeoff for a parachute jump at Shady Grove Airport on Route 93 west of Massillon.
Quick action by one of the injured in pulling the other two survivors from the wrecked plane before it caught fire probably saved their lives.
Another member of the group who had been scheduled to take part in Wednesday's jumps owes his life to the fact that he had to work over the holiday.
The dead are:
DONALD KIGGANS, 31, 3436 37th at SW, Canton.
MARVIN AXELROD, 23, 2531 Pleasant Place, Alliance.
The injured are:
JOSEPH COOPER, 26, 11961 Easton Street, Maximo.
RICHARD MANGUS, 28, 1030 E. Rise Street, Alliance; the plane pilot.
JAMES STATES, 25, 2970 Manchester Road, North Lawrence.
COOPER and MANGUS are listed in fair condition at Massillon City Hospital today. They sustained facial and other minor injuries. STATES, who pulled COOPER and MANGUS from the wreckage, was treated at the hospital for burns of the left hand and a knee injury.
The group had made three successful parachute jumps Wednesday afternoon and were taking off for the fourth and final jump of the day when the plane crashed.
STATES said he was the first of the five occupants of the plane to recover his senses after the plane crashed in a field a few hundred feet north of the airport just after take-off.
STATES told highway patrolmen he pushed COOPER from the plane then dragged MAGNUS out. He was trying to get the other two out when the plane exploded into flames.
Robert Fogle of 13270 Lincoln Way W., a member of Sky Diving Unlimited who had planned to take part in Wednesday's exhibition parachute jumps, could not do so because of work at The Hacienda.
KIGGANS and AXELROD died of burns, according to a ruling by Deputy Stark County Coroner G. S. Shaheen who viewed the charred bodies after the crash.
The Sky Diving Unlimited firm was incorporated earlier this year to teach and promote parachuting as a sport. The headquarters was at the Shady Grove airport.
The group had been working together for several years and had given parachute jumping exhibitions throughout Ohio.
The group was scheduled for jumping Wednesday by the swim club of the Elms Country Club near the airport.
A spokesman for the Elms group said the plane appeared about 3:30 p.m. over the country club and that three jumps were made by pairs of jumpers who landed in the club grounds.
The fourth jump which proved fatal was not on the schedule, the Elms club spokesman said, but it was understood that it was to be made
"for good measure" and to provide additional jumping experience.
The crowd at the country club was unaware of the crash and tragedy until called at 9 p.m. by a reporter.
Highway patrolmen said they were told that COOPER and AXELROD were the owners of the single-engine plane and that it had been recently purchased for use by the group.
High patrolmen said it appeared that the crash was caused by a "climbing stall" as the plane was taking off the ground at a steep angle.
The plane was in flames and almost consumed when the highway patrol arrived at the accident only eight minutes after receiving the call at 7:04 p.m. The North Lawrence volunteer fire department arrived at the scene almost immediately but it was more than an hour before the bodies could be recovered from the plane.
The firemen then kept a security check on the plane for the night pending the arrival of Federal Aviation Administration investigators
state patrolmen reported.
A traffic jam developed after the crash and highway patrol cars from Wooster and Akron, and the Canal Fulton police department were called in to aid in traffic control.

Evening Independent Massillon Ohio 1962-05-31