History’s Weirdest Deaths: A “Model” Way to Go

September 4, 2019

Tragically, countless individuals have died in airplane crashes or accidents. A rarer way to move over to the afterlife: dying in a model airplane accident. But it happens.

Killed by His Own Plane

Model plane enthusiast Roger Wallace was flying his five-foot-wingspan toy at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson, Arizona, in May 2002, when he lost sight of it in the bright sunlight. It raced toward him, and Wallace spotted it…too late to take evasive action. The six-pound plane struck him in the chest, leading to internal injuries that would ultimately prove fatal for the 60-year-old man.

Killed by Somebody Else’s Plane

In the early ‘80s, Paul Boucher served as the inspector general for the federal government’s Small Business Administration. For fun, he liked to fly his radio-controlled model plane. One morning in July 1982, he went to a park in Arcola, Virginia, to do just that, joining a group of other plane enthusiasts. He’d finished flying and was just standing near where others were launching their planes, when somebody lost control of their craft. It careened wildly, and right into Boucher’s chest at a high speed. The impact of the propeller led to a severe injury to Boucher’s liver, which killed the 40-year-old.

Killed By His Own Helicopter

Not so much into planes, 19-year-old Roman Pirozek was more a fan of radio-controlled model helicopters. In September 2013, he went to Calvert Vaux Park in Queens, New York, to fly one of his copters. Priozek apparently attempted some kind of high-speed, high-altitude trick with his chopper, but it didn’t quite work. He lost control of the vehicle as it rapidly descended and headed right for him. It hit Pirozek at high speed, its heavy, spinning rotors smashing into his head. The helicopter actually, gruesomely, sliced off a piece of its pilot’s head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Find more stories of the most bizarre ways that people passed to greener pastures in History’s Weirdest Deaths, available now from Portable Press.

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