The untimely death of Russ Francis, a renowned tight end who had previously been selected for the Pro Bowl, occurred as a result of an unfortunate aviation accident.
On Sunday, an aircraft tragedy in Lake Placid, New York, claimed the life of Russ Francis, a former Pro Bowl tight end, according to his family. Franz was seventy.
In the first round of the 1975 draft, the New England Patriots selected Francis. For the club, he won three Pro Bowls.
He then joined the San Francisco 49ers in 1982, where he played for one season and won a Super Bowl in 1984. Francis ended his career the following season, but he returned to the Patriots in 1987. He totaled 40 touchdowns and 5,262 yards with 393 catches.
According to an NTSB representative, Francis and Richard McSpadden, a former leader of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, slid sharply to the left after takeoff from Lake Placid Airport before crashing. It was initially unclear whether McSpadden, 63, or Francis was piloting the aircraft.
According to Ed Francis, the brother of Francis, “My older brother Russ Francis was just killed in an airplane crash in Lake Placid, New York,” on Facebook on Sunday. My brother’s lifetime passion was flying, so it seemed fair that he would die doing what he loved. To you, my big brother, may God speed!”
Following his football retirement, Francis pursued his love of flying and most recently acquired Lake Placid Airways. According to the Boston Globe, he was certified to operate single- and multi-engine aircraft as well as helicopters, according to FAA data.
“We are deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of former New England Patriots tight end Russ Francis,” the Patriots said in a social media statement. We send our sympathies to Francis’s friends and family.”