Famous People Who Died in Aviation Accidents

Date/Time Person Location Aircraft Details Notes
Jul 4, 1920
Jaime González Grocier
28, famous Cuban aviator.
Havana, Cuba Blériot XI Monoplane Grocier was killed piloting this plane when it stalled during takeoff and fell to the ground. This were the first recorded civil airplane fatalities in Cuba. 2 killed.  
Aug 2, 1920
Milton 'Skeets' Elliott
Ormer Locklear

24, 27 actors, stunt flyers
Los Angeles, California   Died in a crash during the filming of The Skywayman at De Mille Airfield. He was not able to pull out of a dive after the crew forgot to cut the lights and he was blinded and wasn't able to see the ground in time.  
Jul 4, 1922
Lothar von Richthofen 27, World War I ace and brother of Manfred von Richthofen (The Red Baron).
Fuhlsbuttel, Germany LVG C VI While taking off the plane lost it's engine and crashed into trees. 2 of 3 killed.  
Oct 21, 1925 Marvin Goodwin
33, baseball player, Cincinnati Reds pitcher
Houston, Texas Military plane Crashed his plane on a training flight while a member of the Army Air Corps.  
Apr 30, 1926 Bessie Coleman
30, African-American pioneer female aviator
Jacksonville, Florida Jenny Trainer First African-American woman pilot. Also known as "Queen Bessie" she was practicing for an air show when she was thrown from the plane and fell to her death. A wrench left by mechanic William Wills, who was piloting the plane,  become stuck in the control gears which caused him to lose control of the aircraft. 2 killed.  
Jan 26, 1928 Earl Metcalfe
38, actor
Burbank, California   Fell 2,000 feet from an airplane during a flying lesson after the plane went into a double roll.  
May 1, 1928 Thaddeus C. Sweet
55, New York U.S. Rep.
Whitney Point, New York Curtiss military plane
Sweet was on the way to give a speech in Oswego County, N.Y. While landing in a field to escape a thunder storm, uneven ground caused the plane to flip over killing Sweet. The pilot survived. 1 killed.  
Jun 22, 1928
Roald Amundsen
56, Norwegian explorer 
Norwegian Sea Latham Lost at sea while attempting to fly a rescue mission to the airship Italia stranded in the Arctic.  All 6 aboard killed.  
Jul 4, 1928 Alfred Lowenstein
50, Belgian businessman and entrepreneur
Over the English Channel Fokker While flying on his private plane across the English Channel, Lowenstein went to the rear of the plane to use the lavatory. After a noticeable length of time passed, one of his employees went to check on him and found that he had vanished through the plane's rear door and had plunged several thousand feet to his death. It is speculated he committed suicide.  
July 12, 1928
c 16:00
Emilio Carranza
22, Mexican aviation pioneer.
Sandy Ridge, New Jersey
Excelsior Killed when his plane flew into a thunderstorm during a goodwill flight from New York to Mexico City.  
Nov 9, 1929 Carl Ben Eielsen
32, aviaiton pioneer

North Cape, Siberia   Died alongside his mechanic Earl Borland in an air crash while attempting to rescue 15 passengers of the Nanuk, a cargo vessel trapped in the ice at North Cape. 2 killed  
Dec 20, 1929 William Kaynor
45, Massachusetts U.S. Rep.
Near Washington D.C.
Military plane Killed in a military plane crash at Boling Field air base. It was his first time in an airplane.  


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