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-6-BSS

the exhibition

She turned and asked Bud Mars, "Where will you land from your flight?" 

"On the race track," he replied.

"Well, why can't we take off from there? The infield is impossible for landing. A take-off...with luck...perhaps. A landing. Never!"

His answer was a chiller. "Blanche, there is only a 10 foot clearance between the fence and the width of the wings. Why just a sudden gust of wind and that mass of wires and canvas would pile into the fence and dump a few hundred pounds of hot motor right on our backs." 

Blanche stuck to her point. Fortunately everything worked out. She made eight circles of the field and came in for a perfect,no mishaps landing on the track. The date was October 23, 1910. 

The glow of her triumph was dimmed when she overheard a spectator putting down the exhibitions because there's been no crackups..no falling bodies...no blood. This no-gore incident really teed her off. She decided to give up flying,marry and settle down. A short stay in Dayton,Ohio exchanging visiting cards with not-too-interesting people did it. She filed for divorce. Flying had her. Spring 1911 found her with Captain Thomas Scott Baldwin flying 'Red Devils' at Mineola, Long Island. Here she made an accidental but life-saving'first! Charles R. Wittman, Baldwin biplane builder wrote: "Right after Blanche took off toward the East, Henry "Doe" Walden,a New York City dentist and amateur plane builder took off towards the North. Collision over the center of the field seemed imminent. Blanche went almost vertical left,and using a bank for almost a 180 degree turn rolled back to normal horizontal flight and landed." This closely resembled the 'Immelman turn' later developed and made famous in World War I. A terrified and profane Blanche saw neither historical significance nor humor in the event. 

In 1911 some optimists predicted that flying might even have a commercial future. 
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