• Aaliyah, singer, ex-wife of R Kelly.
  • Mamonas Assassinas, Brazilian rock band.
  • Ron Brown, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, air crash or murder, Croatia.
  • Roberto Clemente, baseball player.
  • Patsy Cline, singer.
  • Jim Croce, singer.
  • John Denver, singer, piloting his own plane.
  • Amelia Earhart, aviator.
  • Buddy Holly, musician.
  • John F. Kennedy Jr., son of John F. Kennedy.
  • Joseph P. Kennedy, brother of future President John F. Kennedy.
  • Kathleen Kennedy Cavendish, sister of John F. Kennedy.
  • Michael Kennedy, U.S. Representative.
  • Carole Lombard, actress.
  • Rocky Marciano, boxer.
  • Glenn Miller, big band musician.
  • Ricky Nelson, singer.
  • Barbara Olsen, commentator, Pentagon crash on 9/11.
  • Alexander Onassis, son and heir of Aristotle Onassis.
  • Otis Redding, singer.
  • Randy Rhoads, guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, doing air stunts.
  • Jiles Perry Richardson, Jr., the Big Bopper.
  • Quentin Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt, pilot.
  • Natalie "Dolly" Sinatra, mother of Frank Sinatra.
  • Tom Slick, cryptozoologist.
  • Payne Stewart, pro golfer, killed in bizarre airplane accident.
  • Dr. Fritz Todt, Reich Minister for Armaments. Albert Speer founded Operation Todt in his memory.
  • John Tower, U.S. Senator.
  • Ritchie Valens, musician.
  • Ronnie Van Zant, lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
  • Paul Wellstone, U.S. Senator.


17 Sep 1908 Thomas E. Selfridge becomes the world's first airplane fatality when the craft he's co-piloting with Orville Wright crashes near Fort Meyer, Virginia. An untested propeller ripped apart the plane's structure, causing it to nosedive from an altitude of 75 feet.
7 Apr 1922 Two planes crash head-on over the English Channel, traveling between Paris to London.
15 Aug 1935 Will Rogers, the most famous man in America, dies near Barrow, Alaska when his sea plane plunges into a lagoon. At the time, he and one-eyed aviator Wiley Post were surveying possible flight paths between Seattle and the Soviet Union.
16 Jan 1942 Raising money for the war, actress Carol Lombard and her mother are killed along with a score of others in a Las Vegas airplane crash.
28 Jul 1945 A US Army B-25 bomber crashes into the Empire State Building between the 78th and 79th floors. An engine plunges down an elevator shaft, sparking a fire in the basement. Eleven people in the building are killed, in addition to the three man bomber crew.
16 Jun 1948 In the first skyjacking of a commercial plane, three armed men storm the cockpit of the Miss Macao, a passenger seaplane operated by Cathay Pacific airline. When the pilot refuses to turn over the controls, he is shot dead and the plane crashes into the ocean. The only survivor among the 27 people on board is the leader of the terrorists.
31 Jan 1958 A B-47 bomber carrying a nuclear weapon crashes in Morocco.
3 Feb 1959 The Day the Music Died: A small plane carrying The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson), Buddy Holly, and Richie Valens crashes near Mason City, IA, while en route to a show in Fargo, North Dakota.
15 Feb 1961 The U.S. figure skating team is obliterated when their Sabena Airlines 707 crashes in Belgium.
18 Sep 1961 Swedish diplomat and Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld killed in an airplane crash in the Congo.
5 Mar 1963 Country singer Patsy Cline dies in a plane crash near Camden, Tennessee.
17 Jan 1966 An American B-52 collides with its tanker aircraft during refueling over the town of Palomares, Spain. Seven crewmembers are killed in the resulting jet fuel explosion. Also, three 10-megaton hydrogen bombs crash near the town. Although none of them detonates, two rupture, scattering powdered plutonium over 558 acres of farmland. The USA hauls away 1,600 tons of soil and tomato plants and disposes of them in Aiken, South Carolina.
10 Dec 1967 Soul singer Otis Redding plus four members of the Bar-Kays killed are in an airplane crash near Madison, Wisconsin.
27 Mar 1968 The first man in space, Cosmonaut Yuri Alexseyevich Gagarin, dies in a plane crash outside Moscow.
13 Oct 1972 Due to poor visibility, a Uruguayan Air Force plane carrying the Montevideo Old Christians Rugby Club crashes high in the Chilean Andes. Of the 45 people aboard the flight, only 27 survive the crash, and just 16 make it to their rescue 72 days later. Their secret? Cannibalism. According to one survivor, "the slight browning of the flesh gave it an immeasurably better flavor, softer than beef but with much the same taste."
22 Jan 1973 176 people are killed in Kano, Nigeria when a Nigerian Airlines flight crashes on its way back from Mecca.
20 Sep 1973 A Beechcraft D-18 charter plane crashes into a tree near Natchitoches, Louisiana, killing singer/songwriter Jim Croce, his lead guitarist, and the entire flight crew.
20 Oct 1977 En route to a gig at Louisiana State University, Lynyrd Skynyrd band members Ronnie Van Zandt and Steve Gaines are killed when their private plane runs out of fuel and crashes into a swamp in Gillsburg, Mississippi. Their record company MCA withdraws the flame-filled cover art for their ironically-named Street Survivors album.
15 Nov 1978 A chartered Icelandic Airlines DC-8 with 249 pilgrims returning from Mecca, crashes on approach to Sri Lanka's international airport in Colombo, killing 183 believers.
19 Mar 1982 The guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads, dies during the Diary of a Madman tour after the plane he is flying in buzzes the band's tour bus and clips the wing of the plane, crashing into a nearby farmhouse.
7 Dec 1987 David Burke, a recently fired airline employee, stalks his ex-boss onboard a Pacific Southwest Airline jet. He shoots the man in mid-flight and causes the plane to crash, killing all 43 people onboard.
8 Apr 1992 Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat suffers only minor injuries after his airplane crashes into the Libyan desert. However, three others on board the craft are killed.
12 Sep 1994 After a night of boozing and smoking crack, Frank Corder steals a Cessna P150 and crashes it into the south lawn of the White House. The wreckage tumbles over a tree and a hedge before coming to rest against the West Wing of the Executive Mansion. Corder's flamboyant suicide attack never actually imperiled President Clinton's life, since the First Family was sleeping elsewhere at the time.
26 Feb 1996 A Peruvian commercial jet caught fire and crashed into remote Andean mountain canyon five miles from its destination, killing all 123 people on board.
3 Apr 1996 US Commerce Secretary Ron Brown's plane goes down in Dubrovnik (Croatia), killing 35. Although many who view Brown's body comment that he appeared to have been shot in the head, this is never fully investigated.
12 Oct 1997 Folk singer John Denver dies when his newest toy, a homebuilt Long-EZ single-seat airplane, crashes into the ocean near Monterey, California. Unfortunately, the person who constructed the plane opted to locate the fuel tank selector valve behind the pilot's left shoulder. In order for Denver to reach back and switch tanks, he had to let go of the flight controls. At which point, the aircraft plunged 500 feet into the Pacific Ocean. Divers later recover most of the body, but not the head. Denver is ultimately identified by his fingerprints.
19 Dec 1997 The pilot of a SilkAir plane deliberately flies into a mangrove swamp in Indonesia, committing suicide and killing all 104 people aboard. The pilot, Captain Tsu Way Ming, was in debt and had personal problems, had taken a $3M insurance policy prior to the crash. To cover his tracks, he disconnected the flight recorder prior to downing the aircraft.
25 Jul 2000 A right tire explosion on the Concorde causes the plane to crash after takeoff from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, leaving 113 dead. It is the first crash in Concorde's history, and the only supersonic commercial flight to ever crash.
12 Nov 2001 An American Airlines Airbus A300 crashes after takeoff from New York City, the first major crash after the terrorist attacks of September 11.

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