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    HomeWorldFormer Thunderbirds Commander, Retired NFL Player Die in New York Plane Crash

    Former Thunderbirds Commander, Retired NFL Player Die in New York Plane Crash

    Former Thunderbirds Commander, Retired NFL Player Die in New York Plane Crash

    Russ Francis, who played a total of eight seasons with the New Patriots, died Sunday in a plane crash outside of Lake Placid, New , the team confirmed Monday.

    The 70-year-old Francis was a passenger on an aircraft that was piloted by Richard McSpadden, a former commander with the Thunderbirds, according to the Lake Placid News. The outlet reports that the crash of the Cessna 177 Cardinal occurred around 4:09 p.m. on Sunday at the end of a runway at the Lake Placid Airport.

    The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associated (AOPA) said in a statement that McFadden was in the pilot's seat when the aircraft “experienced an emergency after takeoff.”

    “The airplane attempted to return to the airport but failed to make the runway. Both occupants lost their lives,” the AOPA wrote.

    The AOPA, of which McSpadden was a senior vice president, described McSpadden as “a very accomplished pilot.”

    Francis was the president of the scenic tour company Lake Placid Airways, which he recently purchased. The company noted that Francis has been a pilot himself for 49 years, has owned an air charter company in Hawaii and also “owned and piloted his P-51 Mustang and Hawker Sea Fury British fighter.”

    “On behalf of the entire New England Patriots organization, we extend our sincerest sympathies to the family of Russ Francis, who tragically passed away yesterday,” Patriots chairman Robert Kraft said in a statement. “Russ was a fan…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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