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of the Recent
Company's Miami-Bimlni Passenger Flying Boat, Which Takes Tourists from Florida
the Nearest British Island Out in the At¬ lantic Ocean Off the Florida Coast.
course, It has happened as every ^\F M body knew it would. A Florida
sight-seeing flying boat has dumped its passengers into the ocean and drowned them every one.
The sight-seeing hydfo-aeroplane offers more different varieties of death and mis¬ ery than any other form of "amusement" yet devised. Last year seventy-five were killed in the United States in aeroplane smashes, and how many more were injured nobody will ever know. So far in the n^w year thirty-nine have been killed already in air flights. There will probably be more tourist aeroplanes in service at the various resorts this Summeithan last Summer, and the outlook for 1922 is better than the record of seventy-five deaths last year. ' If any one of a hundred things breaks on a railroad train, the chances that the passengers will escape injury are very good. If the train becomes stalled, nobody drowns or starves to death. If an ocean steamship gets into trouble, the passengers have a, substantial, sea¬ worthy vessel under them, with means for sending out calls fibr help, and there are provisions enough to last until help arrives. If fire breaks out in a train wreck, the passengers have a chance to escape. And a fire aboard ship can be fought, and if the worst happens there are lifeboats in which the passengers can be taken care of until rescued. But a passenger on a tourist aeroplane has all the opportunities for death in a train wreck and a steamship disaster com bined, and a few more besides. The aeroplane is a fragile affair, and if the engine stalls or something breaks, down comes the machine wherever it hap¬ pens to be. If the hvdro-aeroplane happens to be flying over a civy when it must descend, there is no place for It to land except to crash into a building or the street. If the flying boat gets into trouble while flying over the ocean, it may succeed in making a landing in the water, but mis ery and death may await the passenger* unless by good luck the wreck of the aero plane is seen by some passing vessel be fore all have expired. Early in January a propeller broke on a boat owned by the Aerosight-seeing flying which takes passengers marine Company, from Florida to the nearest British Island, Blmini, and to Havana and other places. For seventy-two hours the passengers on the Aeromarine Company's flying boat were marooned on a small coral key in the South Atlantic, while scores of other aero¬ boats and private planes, Government ocean surface and yachts scoured the island beaches, and nobody discovered them. The pilot and mechanician patched up an old boat found on the island and paddled twenty-flve miles to Bimlnl, and another of the Aeromarine Company's fly¬ ing machines was sent to rescue the rest of the marooned passengers on the coral
Mrs. Lawrence Smith who, with Her Husband, Met
Death in the Recent FloridaBimini
Mrs. Augustus Bulte, Who Also Went Mad from the Horrors of the Flying Boat Tragedy and Met Her Death
Photograph of an Aeroplane Which Crashed Into a Tree and Fortunately Was Caught in
chine enterprises from
luring them to their death. "I^oss of the flying: boat off the Florida coast is an additional proof, if anyone needed It, of the urgent necessity of the
passage of the
bifl now before Congress, creating a Bureau of Aeronautics in the Department of Commerce for Government supervision of the air. "Legislation for this purpose has been recommended by the President and strong¬ ly urged by the Army. Navy, the Advisory
Note-Spin Plunge Into the Ocean.
Fascinated by the lure of
Nose-Spin Dive on the Land.
The general public Is also menaced whenever an aeroplane flW over a city. If a piece of machinery or a monkeywrench drops out of the machine It falls' with the force of a cannon shot. If the aeroplane itself drops In a street or In a public park the danger Is not to the fool¬ hardy passengers in the aeroplane alone. The habit of adventurous aeroplane pilots of circling round and round over the heads of the multitudes assembled at the Princeton or Yale football games has been forbidden because of the risk If the machine should crash Into the thickly-
Good luck prevented a disaster. The wooden blade of the propeller is said to have snapped and nobody could predict what might follow. In this instance no lives were lost, but it was a narrow escape. But when another tourist flying boat set out a few weeks ago on the same trip and the prppellor blade split, the five passen¬ gers went to their death after hours of torture. What had been predicted and ex¬ pected had happened. A passenger on a sight-seeing flying boat is usually made /to sign a release from all responsibility of the flying boat company. He gives the name and address where news of his death shall be sent, and In some cases it is said that a medal with a number is hung around the neck of each passenger to serve to identify the body. After the adventurous passengers sign their release from responsibility they have open to them all the possibilities of being burned to death if the engine back-fires and sets the gasoline tank aflame. If the engine stalls and the pilot misses
making a skilful landing, all hands may be smashed to pieces In the fall. But If the machine does not catch flro or burn them up, and by good luck a land¬ ing Is made without killing them, ther«s still remain the possibilities of the pon¬ toons of the boat springing a leak and all hands being drowned. And If the passengers are not burned to death, and are not killed In the fall, and are not drowned by the sinking of the aero¬ plane, then there remains the last possi¬ bility, which is perhaps the worst of all. the fate which overtook the passengers of the flying boat at Florida recently. 8tarved for food and water, drenched by the spray of the beating waves, one after another they went mad and met their death. Many of the tourist flying boat disasters of last year were especially sad. On an August Saturday last Summer, Mr. Edward D. Noyes, a banker of Portland, Me., said "good-by" to his wife and her sister, and wished them a pleasant day at the neigh¬ boring beach resort at Old Orchard. Later in the day the telephone rang in the bank and the message came that Mrs. Noyes and her sister were dead.
came closer the thunder of the motor at¬ tracted their attention. The little' ones atorfd transfixed, watching; the bird-like grace of its circling and dipping. Sud¬ denly the machine landed, and one of the children stood motionless as the pilot di¬ rected his machine for the centre of the race track, nose -down, for a landing. The aeroplane tprthed the ground, bounded across the field directly toward the boy, and Its whirling propeller severed his head like an executioner's knife. Even a pllotles* aeroplane can kill. Last January, while a group of about two huudred skaters were enjoying the Ice on the Shrewsbury River, near New York, an aero¬ on the Ice started before the aviator plane their lives. could get into his seat. The aviator Rut the foolhardy passengers are not scrambled up the side and tumbled into the only ones who are In danger. Visitors the cockpit. He worked frantically to stop who happen to be in the neighborhood of the engine, but it plunged forward, and the aeroplane are not safe. more than twenty people were bowled Last Summer a boy was run down and over by the wings of the aeroplane, escap¬ hit head was cat off by the propeller of an ing serious Intoiry. But the machine head aeroplane at the Outtenberg race track, ed for an unfortunate spectator, Mrs. Anna near New York. The machine circled C. Hounlhan, and the swirling propeller* about, but the children were unaware that cut off her head and severed the right arm it waa manoeuvring for a landing. Aa it of her brother, who stood beside her. t (O) lMt. hr AiMfion WmM;. lac. Graal Britain llfhu Reeerred.
a tourist flying thoughtless women had decid¬ ed to tar the adventure of a flight. The ma¬ chine/had scarcely risen above the tops of the notels along the beach when something happened, and the aeroplane made & nose dive, burying itself four feet In the mud flats. Both women were thrown out, their skulls were ta&ctured, and they died with¬ out regaining consciousness. Nobody had told them that any one of i hundred things that might go wrong in the mechanism of the engine, or with the con¬ struction of the machine, or the Judgment or skill of the aviator which might mean Instant death. Merrily and thoughtlessly they made the trip and paid for it with
of the Naval Air Service in Washington, said: "Legislation Is badly needed to safe¬ guard life In the air. There Is no law
crowded stadium. Details of the recent shocking disaster to the passenger (lying boat in Florida are all fresh in the minds of newspaper readers. It is now proposed to accept the lesson of the loss of lives In this instance, by limiting by law the activities of tourist aeroplane enterprises. Rear Admiral William E. Moffat, director
which prevents Irresponsible flying
flying boat enterprises by dumping on the market a large number of machines which :he Navy Department Is trying to rid of. Among this second-hand Junk, It get Is said, are ten passenger flying boats which cost the Government $30,000 and which can now v be obtained for about $6,000. The two-pas¬ senger flying boatp which the Government paid $13,000 apiece for can be obtained for as little as $2,000. It a second-hand navy flying boat can be acquired for $6,000 and can be made to hold together long enough to make some flights, it is a promising thing for invest< rs. A fifteen minute flight for $15 per passenger would mean $5 a minute for a five passenger aeroplane, or $75 for a quar¬ ter of an hour in the air. If enough passengers can be found who are ready to pay a dollar a minute for risk¬ ing their lives, a handsome profit can be made in a very short time from a second¬ hand flying bo&t. The pilots who are willing to operate aeroplanes seem to be abundant. If a tourist Aeroplane company Is organised in such & way that it is hard to find any person of substantial financial responsibil¬ ity among Its officers, and if the passen¬ gers sign a release from damages.then there is nothing to eat into the profits of the enterprise If a party of passengers are crushed to death In a nose dive on land or drowned by a mishap In the water. So. with the flooding of the market with second-hand flying machines which the navy I* anxious to get rid of at junk prices, and the plans being matured for new tourist flyifig-boat enterprises at var¬ ious resorts this Summer, the prospects are that the crop of aeroplane disasters tor 1922 will excel the record ot last year.
matter what the legislation or may be the intended safeguards, regulations or radio equipment will prevent the aeroplane from burning up, or crashing to the ground, or falling Into the water and damaging the delicate radio equipment After the proposed leg¬ islation is passed, passengers In tourist aeroplanes will still have more and differ¬ ent varieties ot death offered them than In any other known "amusement" service. An impetus has been given to passenger
far as But no whatever no rules,
Committee on Aeronautics and many oth Ond of the requirements should be that all "aeroplanes carrying passengers should b> required to be equipped with radio. The planes should be licensed, and so should the pilots, and other precautions should be taken for the safety of passengers