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Early Aviation Law (1921)

Early Aviation Law (1921)

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TRIBUNE BOOK

MAGAZINE

SECTION

INSTITUTE

-ruñante
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27,
1921

MAGAZINE
TRIBUNE INSTITUTE BOOK SECTION
FOURTEEN PAGES PART V.

HOISTING LAW AND ORDER TO THE SKIES
By H. M. ROYSE
Illustration by JEFFERSON MACHAMER

LATE last Spring in Mm«

nesota a descending aero¬ plane was seen to zoom as
h neared the ground, wava moment in midair and nose ñrst to earth. The
«ty
.<

er

for

plunge

two occupants were quickly ex¬ tricated from the debris, but the passenger was already dead. The pilot lived to tell the tale. His motor, it appeared, had failed just as he was rising to clear the obstacle on the landing field. «otmng was done about the matter. The dead man had been a friend of the pilot, and

table fate of the flyer. The facts of the case, however, told a dif¬ ferent story. The motor had died just at the critical moment.certainly, but not from natural causes. The pilot unwittingly had stalled his motor. Misjudging his the pilot had zoomed to avoid a tree,landing, but in ing he became excited and jerked a little too hard on his controls, with the result that the machine shot upward until it lost flying speed, stalled and crashed to the ground. In¬ vestigation showed that the pilot was a former cadet in the Royal Flying Corps with his flying training cut short by the armistice. He bad neither commission nor pilot's license. The pitiful part of the case was that this inex¬ perienced flyer, with less than twenty flying hours to his credit, was permitted to engage in commercial aviation as a pilot. No one had questioned his right to engage in such no work, one asked for his credentials. His qualifications apparently were taken as a mat¬ ter of course. There he was, dressed neatly in khaki, with helmet and goggles on his head and a leather coa ft on his back. Nothing fur¬ ther« could be required of him. And all the time the law remained proudly aloof.

certainly no charge of negligence could be brought against the latter. The flying buga¬ boo was again dragged forth from its casket and the general public shook its head woe¬ fully at the dangers of the air and the inevi¬

Aviation, Like Necessity,
Knows No Law
Aeronautics to-day finds itself wholly with¬ out the law. Aviation, the end of the aeroplane industry, holds operating the unprecedent¬ ed record of engaging in a multiplicity of commercial undertakings without the shadow of law or

nounces that he has come to carry passen¬ gers. Those who wish to fly come forward. PO one asks the aviator for his credentials, ao one questions his ability to handle his ma¬ chine. They have watched him descend from the heavens, and they assume that innocently he is a capable pilot. The aviator or .«ay not vouchsafe any information may on his flying experience. If he is an ex-army pilot II usually informs the*, public of that fact ^ften he is a civilian-trained with littk flying time to his credit, in pilot, which case he wys very little. He can safely depend upoi: th» iemorance of the public and the absenc« °f ttrt law. He need show no license, for ne «taîaî« exists requiring him to a li cense. The bare truth is that carry no license! **e issued for aviators. Flying apparentl* 's less hazardous than At any rate automobile chauffeurs motoring. are licensed, while avi »tors are permitted to on without super vision or regulation. carry The aex*oplane may b< ««airworthy, the pilot may be grossly incom P*tent, but in the absence of statutes the lav stands by, powerless to act, while the guile «ss public proceeds to risk life and limb. A case now before the courts of North Da kota poignantly demonstrates the crimina absence of aerial regulation. A father is su în8 a pilot for the death of his son. It seem {"at the pilnt maneuvered into a d« tail-spin, scended too close to the ground before contog out of it, and crashed nose first to eartl

statute to regulate its activities. An aeroplane lands in the outskirts of a town. .*Vn aviator crawls out of the cockpit and an¬

killing his boy passenger. The same pilot has several crashes to his' credit. On another occasion his machine frightened the horses of a school rig filled with children, causing a runaway which resulted in the death of two of the children. It would be the gravest in¬ justice to the pilot to attempt to judge him without complete data on the case.an inves¬ tigation very likely would absolve him from negligence or guilt.but one fact is obvious, that he.was permitted.to continue flying with¬ out any effort on the part of officials to make a technical examination of the pilot, determin¬ ing his fitness, physically and mechanically, to engage in commercial flying. The pilot con¬ tinued to carry passengers even after the crash in which the boy was killed. The author of this article, happening to fly in that state last summer, was rather surprised that the man should be permitted to carry passengers without such investigation. It would be but justice to the public, to the pilot and to the progress of aviation in general. An aeroplane flying from New York to Min¬ nesota last spring developed motor trouble and the pilot was forced to descend into a pasture. The people of the neighborhood flocked out to see the sight, trampling down some of the farmer's grass. Before the avi¬ ator could continue his flight he was forced to pay damages for the trampled pasture. This case involves another problem.the prob¬ lem of the aviator and the landowner. The aviator looks down at the country stretched out beneath him. The question of landing often troubles him. Indeed, he sometimes won¬ ders whether he actually has the right to make a landing at will, or whether he has the right to fly over cities, and if so at what height, or whether he even has a right to the air. The landowner, on the other hand, ques¬ tions the right of flyers to pass over his prop¬ erty, frightening his livestock and disturbing his peace, ok case arose in France in which a farmer sued the government for disturbing his peace and lessening the value of his farm.. Government aircraft arose directly over his farm as they started on their flights, passing close to his livestock and creating general havoc according to his testimony. Damages were not awarded the farmer in this instance, the authorities promising to issue orders in¬ structing pilots to reach a reasonable height before passing over private property.
Two States Have Aerial Traffic Rules Air traffic presents a new problem both to the pilot of an aircraft and to the landowner. The man on the ground has rights which can¬ not be interfered with. He has a right to peace and life, but an aeroplane flying close to* the ground may endanger his life and de¬ stroy his peace. The man in the air has his rights. The nature and extent of these aerial rights have not as yet been fully determined. Other countries, in fact all the European coun¬ tries and Canada, have drawn up laws and regulations governing the air. Our country, with the exception of two states, has failed to enact legislation covering aerial traffic,
his

before our courts, and the few decisions ren¬ dered are based upon the ancient theories of ground traffic rather than upon the modern conception cf the air and aerial navigation. Present-day aerial traffic hardly justifies the elaborate regulations drawn up by an enterprising Florida town. This municipal¬ ity included, among its aerial ordinances, pro¬ visions for the strict regulation of aircraft car tying from one to 1,000 passengers and traveling from five to 300 miles an hour. What is needed at present is a set of statutes that defines the rights of both the public and the flyer, in a pliant form that can be amended and filled in as required. Aeronautics is still an "infant industry." No one can predict the outcome; its possibilities are as great as the heavens it traverses. Its progress will be constant and rapid and the laws regulating it should not be narrow.

popular theory still partly exists that every owner of land owns the column of air above his land and that a piece of land may be thought of as a solid and of indefinite extent upward and downward. Modern interpreta¬ tions give full freedom of the air space to the
aeronaut.

*-^sS

Some Land Owners Claim

Rights

Only

with the result that the aviator relies upon own judgment and the landowner prays that this judgment be rational. An aero¬ plane leaves the ground in this country with nothing to guide or restrict its pilot, and lands in Canada where, the proper authorities immediately request flying credentials. Few cases involving aerial trafile have come up

and Poland? And how can the several inlanc states extend theiv aerial foreign commerce in the face of national sovereignty of the air1: The citizens of all nations have certain funda¬ mental rights, one of which is the right tc peaceful commerce, and to deprive theciti zens of one nation of the right to carry or peaceful aerial commerce with another natior is equivalent to denying them a certain por tion of common freedom. The international aspect of aerial navigation however much it may concern us, h:-.s littli bearing on the domestic problems which a present confront us. The aviator wishes fc know just what he may and may not do. Th> public wishes to know its rights. What are the landowner's rights as agains the aviator and vice versa? In civil flying wil the ancient principle.*! of the common, law b used to define the rights of the landowner An old maxim cf our law states that *'lan hath in its legal signification an indefinit extent upward as well as downward.'* Th

Air Above There are those who stoutly maintain that the aviator is a trespasser. They contend that he has no legal right to the air; that it belongs to the persons who own the subjacent land. Fortunately, this extreme theory is rarely entertained The theory of the freedom of the air is neither novel nor modern. Its legal aspects have long been the subject of controversy by foreign writers. Neither is it a theory of purely local interest. It involves national sovereignty; it is an international problem. A German dirigible flying over French terri¬ tory even in pre-war days would arouse in¬ stant protest from the French government. The French could justly insist that the Ger¬ man ship had no right to navigate over French territory, and the German government might reasonably accept this interpretation of state sovereignty'. The question never has been definitely decided; in fact, the issues involved are to-day more complex than ever. The doc¬ trine of "Innocent Passage," and its inter¬ pretation as a universal right, directly con¬ flicts with the recognized theory of state sovereignty*. Can a state regulate all aerial traffic over its domain and will all aircraft, regardless of nationality, altitude or nature of traffic, be subject to the laws of the sub¬ jacent state? The answer is of international importance. For example, shall Germany be permitted to regulate the aerial commerce which will undoubtedly develop between France
to

take the modern view that there can be ownership of the air space over a man's land, then the passage of aircraft over the land cannot amount to trespass. If any legal wrong be committed it must be merely a ques¬ tion of nuisance. A Kansas case came up for a decision in which the claimant, a farmer, asked for damages on the ground that an aeroplane flying over his land on several oc¬ casions had' scared his cows, causing them to diminish their milk output. The court de¬ cided that since railroad trains and automo¬ biles were permitted to operate unmolested it saw no reason why aircraft should not be per¬ mitted to traverse the air, provided proper precautions were taken by the aeronauts. The opinion is generally held that the air space is open to all traffic, provided that such traffic dees not interfere with the proper use of the underlying land. In other words, the air space as a medium of traffic is unlimited so long as the aviator uses discretion and ordi¬ nary judgment. It may be said here that a pilot should keep above 500 feet in flying over rural districts. A thousand-foot level would prove still safer. At this height the pilot could rest assured that he was not violating the rights of the landowner, and the landowner could have no cause for camplaint.
we no

If

the farmer who owned it
ages.

was

awarded dam¬
«

of 1919 a large dirigible a rubber company e a medium of advertising. This dirigible in passing over Chicago caught fire and, falling from a great height, crashed into the roof of a bank building, killing twelve persons and wrecking the top story of the building. The rubber company, recognizing the liability it had incurred, settled the matter out of court by paying compensation to the families of the dead and injured and damages for the partial destruction of the property. In France, long before the war, a balloon named Le Touriste descended into a little street near the Bastille. On landing an ex¬ plosion occurred, resulting in the death of one man and injuries to several others. The court held the pilot responsible and awarded damages to the injured. Another case,-which occurred in Belgium, demonstrates the great liability of the aviator. A Belgian aeronaut, seeing that his balloon was becoming de¬ flated, alighted in the street of a town just
summer

In the

was

operated by

aeroplane stops as soon as its wheels hit the ground. As a matter of fact, the plane roll» forward for ap¬ proximately two hundred feet before coming to a stop. In cases like the one just quoted the authorities in charge of the aero¬ drome, not the pilot, are responsible for all injuries
and losses sustained. The general public is fully entitled to security from aircraft. To insure the utmost caution on the part of the pilot is not suf¬ ficient. It cannot be too often repeated that there is great danger of both unwise and overdrastic

it. They often have the false impression that an

where a citizen was lighting a cigarette. Other men, thinking to be of service, caught the drag ropes and hauled down the balloon.
The lighted match and
an

legislation. A good exam¬ ple of the extreme type of legislation is a bill which
introduced into tha a Middle Western state. The bill prohibited ascensions to a greater height than one thousand feet, with fivewas

"No

May Come In Time

Trespassing" Placards

aeronaut

At present the aeroplane still remains some¬ what of a curiosity in rural districts. Avia¬ tion still retains some of its original glamor and the farmer still manages to feel compli¬ mented when an aviator alights on his field. Help is freely given to the flyer and unless damage has been done he is sent off on his aerial way with the best of wishes. The nov¬ elty will wear off in time and the question
of

landing

on

more

accident, the ground-dweller has no means of protecting himself. His property is at the mercy of falling aircraft. For that reason it is only fair that damages be paid for all injuries and destruction of property by aircraft. Full compensation for all loss ac¬ tually suffered is now recognized throughout Europe. An interesting decision was recently made in England. An aeroplane descended into a field where a cow happened to be graz¬ ing. The cow, evidently aroused by the tres¬ pass, rushed at the moving aeroplane and was killed. The aviator certainly was not to blame. He had chosen a large field and had landed a good distance from the cow, but the indignant animal had rushed straight into hia path. Despite the aggressiveness of the cow,

business like attention. There will be the question of pay for damages. Modern opinion appeal's to sanction descent on pri¬ vate ground only in case of a forced landing. Since there is no adequate protection for the ground-dweller from aircraft, the land¬ owner cannot, be expected to suffer damages without full compensation. In case of an air

private property will receive

.aerial law. Due to dearth of aerial cases the few which do arise are treated with great leniency in this country. A case occurred re¬ cently in North Dakota. An exhibition flyer vas descending from a flight. The town had apparently furnished a landing field for his use, and the local authorities had agreed to keep the field clear of persons. Just as the machine touched the ground a horse and buggy crossed directly in its path. The aero¬ plane smashed into the buggy, killing its three occupants. The pilot escaped injury, but the wife of a prominent judge and his two chil¬ dren were killed. The pilot could not have averted the accident; he already had lost "'fly¬ ing speed" and was upon the buggy almost before he saw it. In this case proceedings were not brought against the aviator, nor against the owner of the aeroplane. The fault obviously lay with the town officials, who had failed to keep the field cleared.

that he had created a source of danger. This opinion is still held by legal authorities. Aerial traffic, with its lack of precedents, creates a new field of jurisprudence. One might predict an ultimate third branch of law

explosion that killed several men. The was held responsible on the theory

escaping

gas

produced

Legislature of

year

tached to violations of the law. An excellent means of protecting the public is the all pilots. This should be demanded by the public. The qualifications should include health, age limit and technical ability, as

prison sentences

at¬

licensing

and

inspection of

prescribed by statute. No aircraft shoui-i he per¬
mitted to take the air without a licensed pilot iboard. The pilot's quali¬

societies which have here tofore issued licenses. There should also be instituted an in¬

fications can be judged by authorized aeronautical

For Accidents

Placing Responsibility
The utmost attention must be given to aero¬ dromes and to the regulation of flying fields if accidents are to be avoided. An aeroplane, the average one, descends and lands at the speed of some forty-five miles an hour. Peo¬ ple forget this fact.if they have ever known

spection

service

similar to our marine inspec¬ tion service. The inspection of air¬ craft must bo carried out with

(Continued on peg* seven)

ÏHE HEARTBREAKING GAME OF BEING FUNNY Laughing
When

dian, Drop a Tear of Sympathy for Him;
*
!

at Your Favorite Movie Come¬

He Needs It in His Business
By MALCOLM OETTINGER
Illustrations by Jefferson Machamer
I

be happy. But for the present Charlie is the dojorous idol, hearalded, banqueted, feted. and unfailingly bored.

When you make the cross-lots tour to the fastnesses of Culver City, Calif., you will not see the infectiously funny Harold Lloyd doubled in mirth over a preview of his latest comedy. More likely you will find him con¬ sulting with his brother, looking very serious

and concerned, deciding whether the "shots" of the" day can "stay in" or whether the works must be spooled all over again on the morrow.

than

face of marked intelligence. Mild-mannered, rarely smiling, talking little, he impressed me as being a reticent bookworm rather than a rollicking pantaloon.a bibliophile» rather
a

upon Lloyd working up a single in various different ways. He had beon rehearsing all afternoon, and continued to work quietly and steadily for an hour after I had arrived. It gave me an excellent op¬ portunity to judge him on duty and later at ease. He is a slim, long-faced youth with a
came
scene

Dromio.

fío one expects a dentist to enliven the e vening by extracting
WHEN a dentist is present at a merry

a

few teeth

gathering

no one ever

expects him

to enliven
a

the evening by extracting

and you will discover, souls they actually are.
a

as

I

did, what sober

"Say, what makes you think comedy is tunny?"
retiring and correspondingly early hours for starting the day's work, all form a part of the requirements of comedy, he said. "It looks easy, I know," said Lloyd in his dressing room. "But it's about the.most ex¬ acting type of picture work I've ever struck, and I think I've tried it all. Slapstick in it¬ self is hard work; clever slapstick, when you do achieve it, is like climbing a greased pole." According to him there is nothing simple about comedy manufacture. He has no mes¬ sage like Horace Greeley for ambitious young tyro-comics. Nor will Buster Keaton say "Come West, young man, come West!" There is no soft berth waiting, if you ask him, for beginner
or

jesting a vacationing subway guard to en¬ tertain those about him with a repertoire of ail highest sounding phrases?
And yet as soon as a column conductor ap¬ pears on the scene he Is expected to he clever, to «ay Those Funny Things, to take the center of the stage as the Life of the Party. But this is not about column conductors. I leave that

few teeth any more than the barber present Is called on for a little impromptu plain and fancy shaving. Who ever heard of

jnbject to some
tance in the

one

boasting a wider acquain¬

field. This has to do with the bird lot of the comedian and more particularly the film comedian. If your best friend were to telephone you to top in on Wednesday night to meet Harold Uoyd you would accept gracefully and, «ranger still, you would attend, unless fire or flood or a suddenly broken leg prevented. You *rould think to yourself: "This is too good! Seeing Harold Lloyd on the screen is funny enough, but in person.well, I knew I'll die

laughing!"
the general attitude toward the That of the canned laugh-dramas. The twneaians world and his wife take it for granted that
is

these funny men must be pretty amusing compiny in their idle moments, laughing, jesting,

vorced hiä wife or she divorced him.authori¬ ties differ.the world looked on and laughed. What could be funnier than a comedian tangled up in matrimony ! And he probably thought it »H a huge joke, too. So runs the myth of the capering pantaloon. An int. resting legend, to be sure, but ons at all adds with the facts, as so many myths and

playing jokes on -each other, always smiling orer past episodes.these jokers must be eter¬ nally humorous. When a film comedian di¬

fitting cutaway; in few tragedies are more pathetic figures to be found. Charlie saw only the seamy side of life until he turned twenty-five; the early years made him the silent, unhappy genius he is to-day. Away from his derby and whimsical shoes, dining perhaps at the Los Angeles AthleticClub, where he lives, hè resembles nothing so much as a twentieth century Socrates, smoothshaven, cynical, brooding. His dark eyes are wells of pathos, his brow a wistful scries of wrinkles, his tongue a symphony in silence. Even at the cinema, watching the crowds about him laugh uproariously at his own re¬ markable comedies, he is discontented. I was with him once on such an occnsion. Nn one had been apprised of his presence, and we sat watching one of his films, unnoticed, From time to time, at regular intervals, the theater would shake with unrestrained mirth. The little curly head beside me would shp1*i ¡V consolately. "Fools," he said dryly, "laugh¬ ing at a fool!" Chaplin, obviously, is the ideal tragic come¬ dian, star witness for our brief. He is the gloomiest of the gloom chasers, than which a more contradictory paradox would be hard to find. (Mr. Chesterton, please write.) In¬ ordinately successful though he undeniably is, he is unhappy in his profession. Comedy, ho claims, is not for him. Every one knows that he has always yearned to ho Hamlet, but

The incomparable Charlie is little short of recluse. He is a melancholy, sad, thought¬ ful little man, at times almost morose in his pessimistic outlook on life. On the lot be¬ tween scenes he is pensive, nervous, taciturn, rarely speaking at all, let alone saying any¬ thing bordering on the humorous. He looks wistful in his bagging trousers and tight-

veteran.

"it's
to

"Fools," he said, "laughing
Although comedy looks simple, and in one way is, it nevertheless requires an infinite amount of time, patience and film. The better come¬ dians use anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 feet of celluloid to get a single playlet of 2,000 feet in its finished, polished form.
to the

at

a

fool*'

there

are

besides. Don Quixote and that German cre¬ ation of folklore, The Man Without a Shadow, are two of his pet fancies when ever he begins wishing and dreaming. Some

other roles that he would essay

His handshake is gentle, his manner shy point of embarrassment. He thinks comedy is the most vital thing in the world, but he sees no fun in it. To him, it is an

day,

some

time, he will do them, and perhaps

involved, never-ending task, requiring agility, skill, nerve and alertness. Early hours for

Keston does look like a w-orrying "man. His frozen facial 'habits have earned for him the sobriquet of The Comedian Who Never Smiles, and he never does smile. In his dress¬ ing room he is taciturn. When I visited him his friend and colleague Eddie Cline, director of the Keaton "opera," tried to stir up the young clown, but to no avail. On the work¬ ing platform he is serious, concentrating all his thought and effort upon the task before him; in his dressing room as an entertainer he is impossible. "The future?" he echoed, when asked what his plans were. "Who knows? I don't. I'll keep on spooling comedy until the fans get fed up on my stuff, then I'll go back to vaudeville." With a sad shake of his head that might have meant any one of a number of things, he walked over to a soft bit of greensward to try another headstand. "A great way," he
ter

he told me as he rested between scenes. "We gave up trying to follow a script months ago, because the gags that looked funniest on paper flopped cold on the screen. Now we make up our laughs as we go along, and the going".he shook his head dolefully."is tough! Look at me. I'm get¬ ting' gray-haired !" Although his head retains its brunette lus¬

say,"

heart-breaking work,

that's all I have

called over, "of- breaking your neck. One of the many ways I have disc »vered.'' Cheerful lads, what say you? Temperament doesn't enter into the making of comedy. Ben Turpin and Clyde Cook, not dissimilar in their working methods, offer little or no difficulty to the director in charge. Nor do they offer anything in the way of byplay to the hopeful newspaper man standing near. None of the comedy canneries are exactly cheerful places, but the respective haunts of the Messrs. Turpin and Cook are unquestion¬ ably the most dismal studios in Hollywood. Turpin performs stolidly, in a matter-offact way, much as a bricklayer performs. There are no bursts of inrpired comedy, no flashes of divine wit. The whole affair seems quite drab and colorless, despite the fact that the finished product will probably make mil¬ lions chortle in glee. He is making- a living, ho feels, honestly. That is all there is to comedy. He told me he doesn't* read, doesn't go to thea¬ ters and never attends picture shows. "If I went to 'movies' when I got through here," he said, "it would bo like a motorcycle cop going riding after hours for pleasure. There is no fun in seeing comedies after you've been making the things all day long.thinking
up gags,

.

¡tgends are. When kind fortune and a transcontinental flyer landed the writer in Hollywood, Calif., the celluloid capital of the universe, he decided «traightway to meet the most amusing natives, the jovial jesters of the screen. Among these mirth provokers, if anywhere on earth, he

tàich I started for Hollywood. Nor would ft have surprised me "had he swung a pail of mortar in one hand and a dripping brush, that Wieared all nearby passengers, in the other. Comedians would be different, and, above *U. amusing, I thought. After a Week's .Wish investigation I made a startling rev««.l of all my early opinions and expecta¬ tiva. In combing the coast for facts I found .hat the men who excel in the producing of hilarious film comedies are the somberest citi.»M in Hollywood. "fttoy worry over retakes and close-ups, over new gags and old situations, over the follow""& fay's schedule and the mistakes of the Previous one. Question whatever comedian yon choose, pry into the affairs of any one *«.<> pleases you.you will find that the re¬ are the same almost in every instance. *° be open and above board, consider the .« kwt sellers of the laugh-making type of Let ua, for the sake of convenience ">î<* fairness, take for our subjects the lead^ half dozen pantaloons of the current f*0*'*- comic strips.the aix now uppermost «Popular favor. Little argument can be

Before I met any of them I fully expected find the film comedians dashing out of Series pursued by squadrons of policemen hurling lemon, meringue pies at their heads *nd missing the marks, only to have the pies ttpose on the crowns of innocent passers-by. h would not have surprised me to discover Buster Keaton walking into the streetcar on
«o

Mtional merriment.

thought

he would discover the

source

of

our

ELEVATING THE LAW TO THE SKIES
precision, for
(Continued from pago one) a frayed wire may
mean

.

mits y*?1*-

when lift directly from the gjtd pierrots of the photeplay. 5* the following Chaplin, droll supreme; Harold ¡«-»Ils of the famed tortoise-shelled glaase»; BeT-r Butt rpin* °* th* coll,dln* »Ira»»** *y«BJ
we

rec-

*.*

W

it might be added, of their "fan" J»« order, The,eth*n» ar« the premier chnckle(lin Î" of the day.these the grotesques wh if? lighten and often save the evening'« pro0

"noiahlng,

Keaton, ever-energetic and neverm' Larry 8emon* «longated and bladder«nd

Clyde Cook, from England,

w*» for you.

*****

the geatlemea temperamental]?.

the destruction of the craft and the loss of life. Vessels go out to sea only after a thorough examination. It would be criminal to send them out otherwise. To what greater extent must the safety of the public and aeronaut depend upon the detailed in¬ spection of aircraft? When we consider that one loose safety wire or one unfastened turnbuckle may result in a disastrous crash, we can begin to appreciate the necessity for a rigid system of inspection. Connecticut already has aerial laws on its statute books. Crude and undeveloped as these laws are, they represent át least' a genuine beginning. For instance, they provide that every owner of aircraft retained in the state shall file annually in the office of the Secretary of State a statement including his name, residence and postoffice address, a de¬ scription of each aeroplane in his possession and other information as required by the sec¬ retary. These provision» are far from com¬ plete. It is merely a form of regulation adopted from the EngWeh code. The proposed legislation of the State of New York embodies a complete and practical system of registra¬ tion, inspection and licensing, the form of which may be profitably used by other states as a model. Perhaps a more elaborate system of aerial regulation is that aeaepted by the sub-committee of the peace conference. After an exhaustive investigation the sub-eonunittee submitted its report, the salient provisions of which run as follows: 1. Bvery aircraft must have one nationality and one only. 2. The nationality of the aircraft 1« that of the owner. If the aircraft belongs to a company its nationality will be determined by that of the headquarters of the company. The same applies to interstate traffic. 8. Every aircraft must carry with it a plate er a descriptive document containing the fol-

also be needed. Following are "Rules of the Road," taken from the sub-committee's report: 1. Two aircraft heading toward each other, with risk of collision, must always steer to the right. 2. Aircraft passing in this way shall put one hundred yards between them. 9. Any aircraft overtaking another aircraft

government can play a prominent part in es¬ tablishing aerodromes. Through its Air Serv¬ ice it can assist local communities in. building aerodromes according to the efficient army ¦ttandards, Uniformly regulate*! fields, with a uniform system of signals and rights, will greatly facilitate the landing and taking off of aircraft, and at the same time will help to el'minate accidents. Municipio aerodromes, under expert supervision, are the solution of this problem. Uniform traffic regulations will

or document to be carried at all times: Name of pilot and address, business and residence. Official license number of the pilot. Number of the aircraft and number of motor (maker's). Type of plane and motor. Distinctive marks on aircraft or motor. Official number of the aircraft, the number to be displayed on the body of the aircraft in large type. Owner's name and address. 4. Every owner of aircraft must register his ship with the proper official, the above in¬ formation to be included in the registration. A detailed description of the aircraft should be provided for, together with other informa¬ tion deemed necessary by the registering of¬ ficial. Date and place of registration must be included in the document. These registration lists are to be published. Another safety measure would be thé es¬ tablishment of aerodromes. The Federal au¬ thorities, through the aerial mail service, have biassed the way across the continent, but these aerodromes are isolated oases in a vast ex¬ panse of territory. Established landing fields are separated by hundred of miles, making flying expensive and hazardous. The Federal

lowing information, this plate

is

one

port or into any shelter available. Such a vessel driven ashore is never considered as trespassing on private property. All possible help is afforded and everything within human means done to be of service. The aircraft sailing the heavens must be treated in pre¬ cisely the same manner. Forced landings are bound to occur. To bring suit for damages for trespass in such a case would be unfair to the pilot and injurious to the aircraft industry in general. All rights that a vessel possesses in case of stress must also be allowed aircraft. Damages should not be given unless actual damage has been suffered. In case of a crash no salvage should be awarded. The salvager undergoes no danger nor hardships, such as orten occurs at sea, and there is no incentive for awarding such aerial salvage. Crashes are bound to occur. In such cases' there should be some provision made for sal vaging the wreckage. This may be thought obvious and unnecessary, but there is distinct need for such a provision. People have a craving for souvenirs, and aeroplanes are hardly ever overlooked by souvenir hunters. I have seen a plane literally torn to pieces by a crowd within a few hours after the dead pilot had been carried off. On other occasions the repair crew would arrive to haul back a wrecked aeroplane and find half of it gone. One pilot, coming down for gas in a Texas town, started to cJULt-ob into hi* seat orejara--

shall govern aerial navigation. 6. Landings and take-offs shall be governed by the United States Army regulations.. Turning again to the pilot, we find him- per¬ plexed by another problem.that of forced landings and salvage. This problem, however, presents a favorable solution in its analogy to maritime precedents. A vessel at sea la¬ boring heavily under stress of weather or with engines broken down can always run into any

underneath or above another aircraft. 5. Maritime system of lights and. signals

responsible for keeping clear and must keep hundred yards from the other ship. 4. No crossing of bows nor passing closely

tory to resuming his flight when he noticed that the lower left wing lacked part of its covering. Some fool souvenir hunter had ripped off the section of fabric bearing the Air Service insignia. It is to be hoped that some means will be devised for guarding air¬ craft, perhaps similar to the system of Fed¬ eral protection for ships in port, and wrecked vessels. The Federal government can advance the science of aerial navigation in many ways. A set of regulations prepared by Federal authori¬ ties as a model for the several states would greatly facilitate the traffic. Technical schools for pilots, mechanics and aeronautical engi¬ neers, departments for furnishing aerial in¬ formation, research departments, the dis¬ tributing of meteorological information to pilots.all this would be of material benefit to the traffic. England and France subsidize their aerial companies. The United States at least can supervise our aerial pioneering. Legislation is needed, and badly needed. The pilot of an aircraft for the time being is in the same position as a skipper of a vessel sailing the seas with no maritime regulations to guide him. Perhaps with our system of government Federal control cannot be ex¬ tended to include intrastate traffic, but at any rate the state can reserve to itself the right of aerial control. Counties and similar units of local government should be prohibited from making rules and regulations governing so scientific and technical an industry. It would be «quite as bad to permit a backwoods county to draw up régulation« for aircraft as for the same county to draft a set of medical regulations. The state can hardly hope to cope suceessfully with this new traffic, In the meantime a new form of transporta¬ tion exists without rule or restraint. It is time that regulations of some sort be written into our statutes. Until that time lew in the United States remains limited to the earth. The air space above remains gloriously free-i. more free than thi? most radical of "free air** advocates in Europe ever dare dream et.

mated orbs make him a comical figure, but there his humor ends. He is'morbidly common¬ place in his street clothes. In the studio quips do not fly between comedian and soubr^rs; puns do not ricochet off the ivory shoulders of fair Phyllis Haver as the sawed-off Ben causes his eye.- to perform for the relentless camera. There is nothing faintly suggestive of "carnival spirit," nothing even vaguely call¬ ing to mind the Joy of Endeavor. No ono on the hilarious lot looks happy, as a matter of fact, unless the scenario specifically demands a smile. In Clyde Cook I found another Turpin in manner and mood. Cook is a diminutive cockney Englishman, with a burlesque scrubby mustache, ill-fitting trousers and a falsefronted shirt, which is devoid of collar, sleeves or launderer's care. The inclosed field in which he works is a woebegone place, a barren wasto peopled occasionally with slow-moving crowds and putteed assistant directors. The comic Clyde is no ray of light in the encircling gloom. Rather does he blend in with the dead¬ ly atmosphere of unrelieved ennui. Nothing could be more baldly prosaic than the droll Mr. Cook's conversation just prior to producing what undoubtedly turned out to be an uproar¬ iously funny slice of film. "This, y' know, is me lawst comedy in this 'ere make-up. Yep, sure; try in' out somethin* new for 'em. A toff, y' know. Patent leathers, top hat, swanking, y* know. All that. Nope, y' cawn't tell 'ow they''! take it; never can. It's all orfully uncertain." But certainly also "orfully" serious. And his English accent served only to accentuate the pathetic note in his speech. In Cook I be¬ lieve we have the saddest figure of the sextet, perhaps. Life for him apparently holds forth nothing but three ratals a day.and Holly¬ wood's cafeterias are little enough to live for!

breaking in new shoes, tripping over chairs, falling down broken ladders. Say, what makes you think comedy is funny?" Turpin's elongated neck and popping, mis-

comedian could be found to round out thiu somber sixsome than Larry Semon, the ex tended and narrow mirth provoker of the Vitagraphics. He is indubitably one of the gravestlooking mortals Hollywood houses. His ling height, his gaunt face, his hungrygang¬ eyes all qualify him for a place in tableaux vivants

Hardly

a

more

appropriately lugubriour.

strings, strumming "Oh! Dry Those» Tears." Semon walks as though the weight of the world rested upon his narrow shoulders, and if you encountered him on Broadway or Sun. set Boulevard you would probably and pardon¬ ably lock for the rest of the funeral cortège But he
works not in
a

picturing "Starving Afghanistan" or "The Forsaken" or "In the Wake of the Flood." His expression fairly gnaws at your heart¬

chuckle

foundry. In general, the comedians' philosophy of lîfi is not cynical, but simply tinged with a shad* of Harding blue. Their views are not exact!;* pessimistic, but they challenge -the world, mild ly enough, to produce the much advertised Silvei Lining. They make mere money than they ca* comfortably spend, and yet, you see, Mono; Isn't Everything. These men are not exact! rivals of the Pollyanna school. Their horizo: is one of perpetual planning of gaga, stunt and wheezes and jokes, just to make yon laug .a task that makes
.mile Btealers.

morgue, but in

a

sorrowful this sextet I

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