Two people are dead after a tragic plane crash in Upstate New York. One was a former NFL player. The other was a U.S. Air Force vet.

The Cardinal 177 experienced an emergency after takeoff at the Lake Placid airport on Sunday, October 1. The pilot attempted to return to the airport but failed to make the runway, according to the AOPA Air Safety Institute.

Former NFL Player Killed

Former NFL player Russ Francis, who played 13 seasons, was one of the people who was tragically killed. Francis was a tight end who was drafted in the first round. He played for the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers and won a Super Bowl ring in 1985.

Recently, Francis purchased the Lake Placid Airways scenic tour business at the airport.

New Orleans Saints v San Francisco 49ers
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Air Force Vet Dies

Richard McSpadden, the senior vice president of the AOPA Air Safety Institute, was the other person who died in the crash that happened at the end of the runway.

Richard was a very accomplished pilot, including serving as Commander of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds during his military career

The nature of the emergency was unknown but the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was on the scene to investigate the crash.

At least 17 crashes have taken place in Lake Placid since 1962, the most recent in 2014, according to NTSB.

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