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STUDENSKI IN 150 FEET FALL AVIATOR MIRACULOUSLY ESCAPES DEATH AT AVIATION FIELD. MACHINE FALLS AND AVIATOR CRAWLS FROM WRECK UNINJURED

"CUYAHOGA FALLS, OHIO - That Paul Studenski is not a dead and crushed aviator is due to his good luck in alighting rather than to any success in a flight made by him at the Silver Lake aviation field late Sunday.

"When he was up 110 to 150 feet his airplane went out of control and dropped like a shot straight to the ground. Luckily for the aviator he landed with the machine under him and before the small crowd on the ground could get half way across the field to him he crawled out of the debris and stood up unhurt.

"Studenski hasn't given any explanation of why the machine fell, and none connected with the flight are willing to say much about the accident. Studenski was happy enough to get out free of hurt. There is a suspicion that the machine which is a big Curtiss biplane, is not balanced exactly correct. It is the same machine that fell last Wednesday, and the plane damaged at this time had been repaired but a short time, when Sunday's ascension was made.

"The machine, all except the engine, was completely wrecked and will not be suitable for flights for a long time. It cost probably $4,000 originally."

After he was able to walk again, Aviator Paul Studenski and Mrs. Studenski packed up and headed for New York City and New York University.

Thus, an unsuccessful flight of about three minutes in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio brought an end to a colorful flying career that included hundreds of flights in France and in the United States.

That unsuccessful flight in Cuyahoga Falls opened the way for a most interesting career as professor of economics, after receiving his doctorate from New York University in 1921. 

In the three years that his flying fluttered spectators' hearts, Paul Studenski had more than one brush with death. He had seen many of his flying buddies crash, some never to fly again.

Some of these incidents he probably doesn't want to think about. Others produced much laughter - months later, that is. Many of these memories are quite nerve-wrecking.

In 1912 he had several close calls making experimental airmail flights for the United States Postoffice. He was demonstrating a plane over Chicago for some Japanese militarists who were thinking of organizing an air force.

"A junior mechanic," Dr. Studenski recalls, "had used too thin a bolt in fastening on the steering wheel. There I was, way up over Chicago and suddenly I am holding the loose steering wheel in my hands.

"It was attached to nothing - a most distressing (if not an empty feeling) situation. I crashed in somebody's backyard and I had another newspaper clipping for my collection."

Paul Studenski learned to fly in the days when such names as Theodore Roosevelt, Alfred Le Blanc, John B. Moisant, Clinton Hadley, Claude Grahame-White, Gordon Bennett and Wilbur and Orville Wright made newspaper headlines.

He was born in Russia of Polish parents. He studied law for three years at the University of St. Petersburg, (New Leningrad) then left to go to France and Sorbonne University in Paris.

He was 17 when he entered St. Petersburg University. At Sorbonne, Paul Studenski decided to study pre-medicine.

But pedantic pursuits held little excitement for him. He couldn't resist the attraction of the dangerous but thrilling new sport of flying which young men and women were excited about at the turn of the century.

So he enrolled in the Louis Bleriot's aviation school, graduating in 1910 when he soloed and shortly afterwards decided to come to this country.

Claude Grahame-White, the handsome debonair Englishman with a Prima Donna's flair for the spotlight, was the rave of the aviation enthusiast in this country at that time, according to American Heritage.

The book reported that once Grahame-White flew his plane across the Potomac River, circled Washington monument and landed on West Executive Ave., between the White House and the State, War and Navy building.

He left his plane parked in the street and went to lunch at the State Department Restaurant. President Taft, American Heritage reports, was not at home at the time.

Studenski was a more serious flyer. He was considered one of the finest test pilots of his day and an excellent instructor of fledging pilots. Oh, he looped-the-loop for gawking crowds at state and county fairs. And he took part in plane races and other hair-raising stunts.

But flying was as much a business with him as it was fun. Besides, the pay wasn't bad. He averaged $250 a week before he hung up his leather jacket.

Then came Cuyahoga Falls and adios to aviation. Dr. Studenski became quite concerned with his bride's feelings. He says:

"My wife was very apprehensive about my continuing to fly. She feared that I might meet with the same sorry end with which quite a number of my colleagues did.

"A flyer flying the hand-made crates of that early period had to take chances far greater than any taken by the flyers today.

"I had been extremely lucky up to then. I had had a goodly number of falls or forced landings in planes disabled in mid-air. Sometimes I managed to bring down the plane with-

THE OHIO RECORD FOR FEBRUARY, 1961 9
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