- The incident is said to have taken place at Lake Placid Airport in New York
- Francis enjoyed two stints with the Patriots and a five-year stint with the 49ers
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Former New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers tight end Russ Francis has reportedly died along with a pilot in a plane crash.
The incident happened Sunday around 4 p.m. at the Lake Placid Airport in Upstate New York Lake Placid News.
New York State Police, the Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad, Department of Environmental Conservation rangers and area emergency services reportedly responded.
However, Francis is believed to have died in the crash, along with Richard McSpadden, Senior Vice President of the Pilots Association.
The report claims that the ex-NFL star had recently purchased the scenic tour company Lake Placid Airways.
Former New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers tight end Russ Francis has died along with a pilot in a plane crash, according to reports
Francis, 70, played for the Patriots from 1975 to 1980, and again from 1987 to 1989.
Between those two stints in New England, he played in San Francisco from 1982 to 1987, where he won Super Bowl XIX over the Miami Dolphins.
He was also a second-team All-Pro twice in his career, a first-round draft pick and a three-time Pro Bowl selection.
Francis had purchased Lake Placid Airways with Rives Potts, 74, before Sunday’s crash.
The Patriots icon was a huge Flying fan, with his son’s mother, Kate Naiman, paying tribute to him on Facebook.
“I am shocked to share that my son’s father, NFL great Russ Francis, passed away along with a friend in a plane crash on Sunday afternoon,” the message read. “One of the hardest things I ever did was saying those words to Michael.
“Sending aloha to Russ’ partner Jaxie, to Michael’s sister Rachel and brother Riley, to Russ’ sister, Pixie, and brothers Bill and Uncle. My heart aches for all of you.
Francis, pictured playing for the 49ers, and Pilots Association Senior Vice President Richard McSpadden reportedly died in the crash in Upstate New York
‘For Russ, flying was like breathing… it came naturally and he lived for it. He flew his P-51 Mustang for practice and landed in the stadium parking lot, where he really pissed off Bill Walsh. It will provide some comfort to know that he died doing what he loved most, but not today. Not today.’
Dozens of emergency workers were at the scene of the crash as the plane lay sideways at the bottom of an embankment at the end of the runway.
Brandi Ashley, spokeswoman for New York State Police Troop B, says they are now investigating a small private plane crash at the airport.