Tragedy Occurs as Plane Strikes Air Pocket
While Being Banked for Turn
Funeral Rites for Riley to be held Wednesday at 1 P.M.; Services for Miller Planned Wednesday at 3:30 P.M.
Frank Myers Miller, 24, and Robert E. Riley, 28, both of Ashland, were instantly killed at 4:35 o'clock Sunday afternoon when Miller's plane crashed into Mullet Lake, Michigan
Tragedy struck as Miller, veteran of six years of flying with 900 hours of solo flight, sought to move his cabin plane closer to a hanger to protect the ship from curious sightseers.
As the plane was being banked to make a turn, it struck an air pocket. With no "lift" in flying conditions, the plane "pancaked" into the water, landing upright, 300 to 400 feet from shore.
Coroner C.F. Atkinson of Indian River, Mich. gave the cause of death of both young men as
"traumatism" and drowning." In addition to the coroner's investigation, Michigan state police also investigated the accident.
Miller, who held a transport and instructor's license for flying, with Riley and Paul E. Johnson of Ashland as passengers, left Ashland at 1:30 P.M. Saturday to spend the holiday week-end at Mullet Lake, where several Ashland families have summer homes. They planned to return to Ashland early Monday afternoon.
While Miller and Riley were moving the plane, a group of their friends waited in an automobile at the airport to take them back to Cheboygan. These friends witnessed the crash.
The plane in which the two met their death was a Stinson five place cabin plane. The plane was a familiar sight over Ashland since its purchase about March 20. this year.
Regarded as an exceptionally able pilot, Miller had never had an accident in a plane until the one that caused his death.
Frank Myers Miller, the son of Mr. and Mrs. T.W. Miller, was born in Ashland, January 29,1914.
Survivors include his parents , Mr. and Mrs. T.W. Miller, of Center street ; two brothers, T.W. Miller Jr. and Parker Miller, and a sister, Miss Mary Miller.
Robert E. Riley was born in Savannah, Sept.11,1909, the son of Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Riley. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Riley; two sisters, Mrs. Myron Glass of Ashland and Mrs. J.N. Strawsbaugh of Meadville, Pa. and two brothers, G.E. Riley and L.O. Riley, both of Ashland.
Walter Shuey, chief pilot, who has been training fliers for five years said that there are about 12 new students expected for the coming season. He said that the airport, with the best equipment it has ever had has about 15 active fliers - including the owners, and renters of ships.