There was energy loss earlier than airplane crash that killed former Patriots participant Russ Francis, investigator says


FILE - New England Patriots' Russ Francis carries for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during a Dec. 18, 1976 game.
FILE – New England Patriots’ Russ Francis carries for a landing towards the Oakland Raiders throughout a Dec. 18, 1976 recreation. AP Photograph

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — The small airplane crash that killed former NFL tight finish Russ Francis and one other man at an Adirondack Mountains airport occurred after the craft’s engine apparently misplaced energy, a federal investigator mentioned Tuesday.

Francis, 70, and Richard McSpadden, 63, had simply taken off from the Lake Placid Airport on Sunday afternoon in a single-engine Cessna 177 when the airplane encountered hassle. The airplane, which has two steering columns, had circled in an try and land, officers mentioned.

“The engine apparently misplaced energy,” Nationwide Transportation Security Board investigator Todd Gunther mentioned at a briefing Tuesday. “The pilot, or pilots on this case, turned again towards the runway.”

Gunther mentioned the airplane hit a berm on the finish of the runway and fell about 30 toes right into a ravine, in line with the Adirondack Every day Enterprise.

A number of witnesses instructed investigators that the pilots referred to as over the radio to say that they had an issue and have been returning to the airport, Gunther mentioned.

Two planes have been concerned in a deliberate scenic photoshoot of the 1976 Cessna that Francis and McSpadden have been flying. The photographer’s airplane took off first, adopted by the Cessna, in line with the newspaper.

Francis was a Patriots first-round draft choose in 1975 and performed in New England till 1980. He was named to the Professional Bowl three straight seasons from 1977 to 1979. He joined the San Francisco 49ers in 1982 and was a part of the 1984 workforce that beat Miami within the Tremendous Bowl. He returned to New England in 1987 and retired the yr after.

Francis was a veteran pilot and president of Lake Placid Airways, which runs constitution and scenic flights.

Gunther mentioned the investigative workforce will probably be working in Lake Placid till Friday as they collect materials for a preliminary report on the crash. A subsequent last factual report will embody evaluation and a possible trigger for the crash.