Viewing page 180 of 228

=79=

One occasion I recall vividly, was the time I was a passenger with Phil Page, who flew a Wright two-seater.  We landed safely in the infield and the usual argument with the gatekeepers followed.  [[strikethrough]] [[?]] [[/strikethrough]] By this time it had become a mutally shared joke.  We went through the expected villification of each other and then settled down for a stay.  Late in the afternoon we took off for FNassau Field.  As I recall Phil, was a former newspaperman and ;his motor knowledge was something less than zero.  The strange sound of something seriously amiss in the interior of the motor meant nothing at all to him.  On the other hand I had known motors from my automobile days and my ears were attuned for the slightest disturbance in the firing or rhythm of the motor.

The Curtiss plane, such as I flew had only one propeller and was driven by an eight cylinder motor.  The Wright plane had two propellers and a four cylinder motor.  When we were about a hundred feet from the ground I heard a terrific crash.  It was impossible to talk to Phil the motor was so noisy that conversation was out of the question.  I looked at hime.  He was busy [[strikethrough]] nii [[/strikethrough]] with the controls and acted as if he was paying no attention to the noise.  I looked down to get our bearings.  Ironically we were directly over a graveyard.  All nost nice, lovely gleaming white headstones pointed at us like concrete dinosaur teeth.  I sighed with relief after we passed it ... my relief was quite premature.  The next thing that came to my sensitive ears was the sound of one cylinder conking out.  This left us to limp along on three.  I looked up.  Page seemed to be a little worried.  As we came over the edge of of Nassau Field he landed us immediately.  Frankly, I was glad to get out.  I mistakenly proceeded on the assumption that he knew something about motors so I was I asked him what the first crash happened to be.

OH, That.  Yes ... that was a small oil can I had fastened to the back of the plane in clips.  It must have been insecure and when it flew off in the wind, I was afraid it would hit and smash one of the propellers 
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.