The crash happened yesterday at around 4:09 pm (EST) at the end of a Lake Placid Airport runway with Francis, a former NFL tight end who recently purchased the Lake Placid Airways scenic tour business at the airport, and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s Senior Vice President Richard McSpadden, on board.
Hailing from Kailua High School on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, Russ Francis, starred in the NFL and won a Super Bowl on the San Francisco 49ers team. He was called “All World” tight end by legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell, grew up wanting to fly, and he spent his life in the sky.
He was a first-round pick of the Patriots out of Oregon in 1975 and spent 14 years in the NFL where he played in 3 Pro Bowls. He also was selected to the All-NFL team in 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1980. Francis was a member of the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame and was a sportscaster in Hawaii and for ABC, CBS, and ESPN after his NFL career.
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