Fred Fetterman, a 38 year old high school instructor in aviation, worked for more than a year to build an all-metal sports plane. Fetterman built the plane in his spare time in a garage near his home at 1372 East 92nd St, Brooklyn.
The plane was an all-metal, two seat low wing monoplane, powered by a 50 hp Franklin engine.
He took it out to Floyd Bennett airport for an official take-off several weeks earlier but was prevented from flying by bad weather. On 3 March 199, Fetterman rose to around 1500 ft on the first flight.
At an altitude of 500 ft, according to Kenneth Behr, field manager, and other observers, the plane slid into a tail-spin ad Fetterman struggled with it briefly as it dropped. He tried to straighten out, partly succeeded at about 250 ft and then jumped.
Fetterman’s parachute failed to open properly and he fell head first into a marsh half a mile southwest of the airport. He was instantly killed.
The plane drifted slowly down, landing on its nose in the soft ground, almost undamaged.