The Billerica Amateur Radio Society reported in its November newsletter that Charles Schwartz, W1TE, of Shirley, MA lost his life while flying an experimental aircraft in Leominster on October 26. The former Lowell, MA ham is survived by his wife, Lorraine, N1ZRO.
“Over the years I came to know him through my contesting activities,” commented Billerica ARS newsletter editor Ken Caruso, WO1N. “During the mid-90s Charley and I swapped first place SOLP Massachusetts finishes in the 160-meter contests. I asked him how in the world he could beat me on 160-meters living on a small lot in Lowell. [Charley] revealed he would go to his in-laws farm in Shirley and he would lay out beverage antennas and phased verticals supported by helium balloons. We had a good laugh over that.” According to Caruso, W1TE was instrumental in revitalizing the NEDXCC club; he also published the club’s newsletter.
Details of the October 26 crash were reported in a Lowell Sun article the following day. Dick Fahlbeck, the director of operations at the FCA Flight Center at the Fitchburg airport, did not see the crash but confirmed that the plane had been taking off before it went down. “He was an experienced test pilot,” Fahlbeck told the Sun. “He was the kind of guy you would want to test-fly your plane if he could.” —Thanks Billerica ARS, Lowell Sun