Coventryville, NY Private Plane Crash, Sep 1967



Coventryville -- A mystery that may never be solved surrounds the crash of a single-engine private plane that plummeted into a Chenango County cornfield about 7 p.m. Wednesday, killing the two occupants.
Officials of the Chenango County Sheriff's department said Thursday there was no clue to the presence of the airplane piloted by WILLIAM A. CULBERSON, 39, in the Oxford area where it crashed because the intended destination of the craft was Newark, N.J.
A spokesman for the Sheriff's Department said yesterday that CULBERSON, of Florence, S.C., a partner in a railroad construction firm, left the Fulton County Airport in central Georgia at approximately noon Wednesday with BRUCE A. MacLEAN, 38, of Basking Ridge, N.J. as a passenger.
At 3 p.m. CULBERSON held a telephone conversation with his brother at Florence, S.C., from Fredericksburg, Va., where the two men had landed for fuel. On leaving Fredericksburg, the pilot indicated, he and his passenger were leaving for Newark. Deputies said the men were seeking a supply of railroad rails.
At 7 p.m. yesterday the light craft plunged in a steep "belly-dive" into the cornfield on the STANLEY BRYDEN farm between South Oxford and Coventryville, killing both men. Deputies said the plane was demolished.
There was evidence at the scene, the spokesman said, that the airplane broke up in mid air, leading to speculation that it may have been struck by lightening or smashed in unexpected turbulance.
The spokesman from the Sheriff's department said investigators from the Federal Aviation Agency have completed their survey of the crash scene and wrecked plane and recovered the flight recorder from the aircraft.
DR. CHARLES DUBUAR of Sherbunne, Chenango County coroner, called the deaths accidental. Deputy GENE JOHNSON, Oxford, was in charge at the scene.

The Oneonta Star New York 1967-09-01