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Saturday, Oct. 4, 1930


Hirth Soars High Above Elmira Dropping Roses From Sailplane; Haller Glides To Nearby Town
Spectacular Stunt is Accomplished by German Pilot as Tribute of Appreciation for City's Hospitality - Captain Hawks, "Casey" Jones, Major Purcell and A.P. Artan Win Their Licenses - First Aerial Cop Arrives - Contest Closes Sunday.
Casting crimson roses from his Kegel sailplane, while floating over Elmira Thursday afternoon, Wolf Hirth of Germany, paid the city a graceful tribute in behalf of the visiting pilots and National Glider Association officials, for hospitality freely extended. Taking off as the sun cast its final shafts of gold across the sky, Mr. Hirth drifted out over the city and scattered his flowery burden, the first time such a tribute has been attempted as well as first time a glider has ever soared above a municipality.

This served as a fitting climax to a day replete with features in which glider fans found a wealth of excitement and came to better appreciation of just what gliding may mean to Elmira in the future. One record was made, at least for this meet, when August Haller of Pittsburgh, who but recently returned from the Wasserkopp glider school in Germany, soared to Sayre from South Mountain. He left Elmira at 1:14:30 p.m. and arrived at his destination at 3:12, having covered 13 1/2 miles. The next best record made here was by Jack O'Meara, Akron, O., who soared 10 miles.
While one would little suspect that Captain Frank M. Hawks would be required to take a test for a first class glider license, after being towed across the United States in his Eaglet, yet that very thing happened to fulfill Department of Commerce regulations. The captain qualifies easily and now holds the coveted certificate.

Major Purcell Qualifies

Major W. L. Purcell, technical editor of the National Glider Magazine, also qualified for his license, as did A. P. Artran, vice president of the Franklin Glider Association. C. S. "Casey" Jones, not be outdone by his associates, also staged a qualification flight and is now numbered among the glider experts as well as among the airplanes aces.
Major Purcell did a little extra qualifying that indicated what may come in the near future when gliders and airplanes fill the sky. He went aloft with a policeman's traffic whistle and as he soared among the other gliders blew his whistle frequently to direct them on their way - and thus became the nation's first aerial cop.
Mr. Haller's flight to Sayre, in a motorless plane, indicates the possibilities of travel in a glider when starting from a point located as is Elmira. In Germany, it is stated, soaring trips of 100 miles are most common but in this country, until Dr. Wolfgang Klemperer "discovered" Elmira, a trip of a comparatively few miles was the order.  In some cases, on the Pacific Coast, much longer flights have been possible and records made but to the inland glider Elmira offers the best opportunity for sustained soaring.

Spend Day in Air 

Pilots spent most of Thursday in the air, Mr. Hirth making five flights, Wallace Franklin three flights, Wallace Backus two flights, Kenneth Doe one flight, Captin Hawks three flights, August Haller one flight. Warren E. Eaton one flight; Major Purcell two flights and Albert Hastings one flight. There were in addition to the qualifying flights of pilots seeking licenses. 
As the first national contest draws to a close Elmirans' interest in gliding is increasing and hundreds are endorsing the editorial in the Elmira Star-Gazzette in which appeal was made to capitalize this meet to the end that this city may become the gliding center of the United States, which factories here, schools for teaching gliding and with contests an almost daily feature. So impressed have been visiting pilots with this city's possibilities that co-operative action along this line may be attempted immediately.  
Following today's contests the glider pilots will be entertained at the "appreciation dinner" of the Minute Men of the Association of Commerce and on Sunday the meet will come to a glorious and successful close. If weather permits Sunday, more gliders will be seen in the air at one time than the entire contest and displays of skill will be featured.
Sends for Eaglet 
The Eaglet, the glider in which Captain Frank M. Hawks was towed across the United States early this Summer is to be brought here and entered in the National Soaring Contests. 
This ship has been presented to the Smithsonian Institute at Washington, D.C., and special arrangement with that museum was necessary before it could be secured for the local meet. 
It is being sent from New York City and as soon as it arrives Captain Hawks will enter the events and give demonstrations at the airport. His activities at the landing field will consist of auto towing flights. 
Captain Hawks is the only man to cross the continent in a glider towed by an airplane. His trip started at San Diego and ended at New York City. He had originally planned to make Elmira one of his stops but due to adverse weather conditions was forced to go by way of Syracuse.

Flew Ship Here

A few weeks later, however, he brought the ship here and gave demonstrations before thousands of people from Elmira and vicinity. It was the last time he flew the ship. 
At the conclusion of the National Soaring Contests, the Eaglet will be sent to Washington to take its place with Colonel Lindbergh's "Spirit of St. Louis" and other famous aircraft in the Smithsonian Institute. 
Captain Hawks arrived in Elmira Thursday in the ship with which be established a new trans-continental record a few weeks ago. He formerly held the record for crossing in both directions. His time from San Francisco to New York was 12 hours, 25 minutes and 3 seconds. 
The trip from New York to Elmira was made in 55 minutes, the fastest known time between these cities. He also holds the Detroit to New York record of 2 hours and 36 minutes which he established Tuesday before coming to Elmira.
His low-winged red and white monoplane attracted considerable attention at the airport Thursday. It is housed in the hangar behind a guard rope.
The size of the craft has brought comment. The motor is a special Wright Whirlwind of 450 horsepower and is capable of driving the ship at 250 miles an hour. 

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