Groton, CT Plane Crashes In Long Island Sound, Feb 1970


Groton, Conn. (AP) -- Coast Guard rescue crews reported no sign early today of a Pilgrim Airlines plane with five persons aboard that went down in Long Island Sound after the pilot reported he was out of fuel.
The two-engine plane took off from Trumbull Airport here in southeastern Connecticut at 4:24 p.m. on a flight to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
Because of poor visibility, it was in a holding pattern at Kennedy. The plane returned to Connecticut and tried to land at Tweed-New Haven Airport, but ran into the same problem. It then headed back to Trumbull Airport.
JOHN RAISSI, Trumbull Airport manager, said the pilot called the airport about 6:37 p.m. saying he was out of gas. The pilot, ALFRED CROFTS of Stonington estimated he was about 100 feet off shore apparently at Harkness Memorial Park in Waterford RAISSI said. CROFTS is the father of eight children.
Also aboard were the copilot GEORGE FOX of Orient Point, N. Y., and three passengers whose identities were not released by the airline.
Two Coast Guard cutters said four small boats from the Coast Guard station New London launched a search for the Twin Otter plane along the coast between Niantic Bay and Mumford Point to a point three miles from shore.
Pilgrim Airlines provides shuttle service for passengers at Kennedy, Tweed-New Haven and Trumbull airports and at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks.

Newport Daily News Rhode Island 1970-02-11