November 02 Fishers Island, N.Y. / Fleet 16


At about 1115 eastern time, a Fleet 16B was destroyed when it impacted water following low-level maneuvering about one mile south of Fishers Island. The pilot and passenger were presumed killed. The accident airplane had departed Westerly, Rhode Island, about 15 minutes prior to the accident as one of a flight of three airplanes. The other airplanes in the flight were a Citabria and an RV-8. The pilot of the Citabria said he was flying in formation with the Fleet while a passenger in the RV-8 took photographs. Two witnesses in boats described the maneuvers of the two airplanes as like they were performing in an air show or like they were dog fighting. Both witnesses described steep turns, low flight over the water, and dives toward the water followed by steep ascents. Both witnesses stated that the accident airplane had dived toward the water and appeared to be pulling up when it impacted the water. The pilot of the Citabria, who had been in radio communication with the accident airplane, circled back when the Fleet pilot did not answer a radio call. He then saw debris floating on the water. A United States Coast Guard search did not locate the airplane or its occupants.


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