On December 19, 1976 — A single-engine Piper Cherokee plane crashes into the upper deck of Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, home of the Orioles, injuring the pilot and three others. Minutes prior to the mishap the plane had buzzed the stadium during the final moments of the Steelers’ playoff victory over the Colts.
The pilot of the Piper Cherokee was 33-year-old Donald Kroner. Kroner served three months of a two-year sentence for malicious destruction of property and violation of aviation ordinances.
Kroner had been arrested prior to the Stadium incident for making threats against former Colt Bill Pellington. This included Kroner being accused of dropping a bottle and toilet paper from his plane onto the roof of Pellington’s Timonium restaurant. According to news reports, Kroner was upset over being thrown out of the restaurant. Kroner died in 2013
Kroner had been fired as an MTA bus driver the day before the crash. He also had been a flight instructor and, according to some accounts, had worked as an air traffic controller. In 1980 Kroner was charged with stealing a Greyhound bus from Dulles International Airport.
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