Russ Francis, a former NFL tight end, perished in an aircraft accident on October 1 at Lake Placid Airport. The airplane carrying the 70-year-old had issues soon after taking off from the airfield in Franklin County, New York, in the United States.
The tragedy occurred just after 4 o’clock, and according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, an effort to return the aircraft to the runway was unsuccessful. Francis and Richard McSpadden, who both perished, were on board the Cessna 177 Cardinal.
McSpadden served as the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s senior vice president. Francis had acquired Lake Placid Airways, which offers charter and scenic flights, in August. For more details see the Tweet below.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) October 2, 2023
Russ Francis Plane Crash
According to Marca, Francis, who was chosen as the 16th choice in the first round of the 1975 draft after leaving the Oregon Ducks football team, was born in Seattle on April 3, 1953. Between 1975 and 1989, he would play 13 seasons in the NFL as a tight end for the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers.
He had 393 catches over his career for 5,262 yards and 40 touchdowns, and in 1993, he was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall Of Fame. At Super Bowl XIX in 1984, Francis’s career reached its zenith.
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Francis claimed his one and only career championship when helping the 49ers upset the Miami Dolphins 38-16 with five catches for 60 yards. He was a great athlete outside of football as well, having been selected by the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball and competed in wrestling, most notably at WrestleMania 2.
He also established a 50-yard swimming record, which was subsequently beaten by an Olympian diver, at 23.91 seconds. He also made an effort to run for Congress in Hawaii, but he lost with 36% of the vote. The organization said on social media:
“We are deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of former New England Patriots tight end Russ Francis, Our condolences are extended to Francis’ family and friends.”
We are deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of former New England Patriots tight end Russ Francis. Our condolences are extended to Francis’ family and friends. pic.twitter.com/sgrrPZ5Ui4
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) October 2, 2023
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