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THE ELMIRA ADVERTISER 1930 THURS

O'Meara Delivers Lunch to Backus In Difficult "Refueling" Contact; Walker Is Given Confidence Vote

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With Jack O'Meara of Akron as maitre d'hotel, the first aerial free lunch in glider history was served yesterday afternoon to Wally Backus of New York City while his ship rode the swells of a brisk north wind sweeping up the slope of South Mountain. Mr. Backus received the meal on the end of a 300-foot rope weighted with a stone which hung from the cockpit of O'Meara's craft. Piloted with exquisite skill, the two gliders performed a feat considered remarkable for power ships a few years ago when the first refueling flight was successfully performed.
Yesterday's attempt to "refuel" Backus, who grew hungry after some time in the air, nearly proved to be his end when the stone that weighted the rope swung violently against his head as he was striving to place his unstable craft in a position to attend the picnic.
It was not the first time he had asked for bread and had been given a stone, Backus remarked after he had landed, but it was the first time he had ever eaten a lunch which was its own dinner going. 
O'Meara unshipped the lunch when the New Yorker in his Franklin glider was still some distance away. As the package on the end fo the rope slid downward, Backus came forward and after several tries finally put his plane directly in position to get a bang on the skull for his pains as the parcel swung away and then back against him.
While O'Meara piloted the Cadet smoothly above, Backus drew up again and after fencing a moment with the groceries draped the package and cut the rope. The lunch was his, though most of those watching the maneuvers felt that it was the most expensive meal eaten near this city for some time.
The dining room act shared interest with Colonel Charles A. Lindberg's silken/glider, which Hawley Bowlus of San Francisco, will pilot in today's events. Arriving yesterday morning, the glider of white parachute silk and said to be the finest of its kind, was taken to the airport and assembled. Bowlus is its designer.
About 5:15 p.m., Lieutenant Zeus Soucek, world record holder for duration and lad carrying, dropped down upon the airport after a trip of one hour and 45 minutes from East Orange, N.J. Until last January Lieutenant Soucek was a navy star, but is now in the engineering department of the Eclipse Aeronautical Corporation, of which the local Eclipse plant is a part. 
Lieutenant Soucek is the brother of Lieutenant Apollo Soucek, who set the world's altitude record for planes of all types a few months ago, ascending more than 40,000 feet. Apollo Soucek is now on the Pacific coast with the naval flyers, having gone there after his marriage in June to a Wellsville girl in Washington.
Through the flyers announced their intentions of shooting at the record of seven hours and seven minutes that Wolf Hirth established Saturday; none came near the mark. Albert E. Hastings, of San Diego, the first up in the morning, was also the longest in the air. His time was three hours and 16 minutes. He took off at 10:33 a.m.
Many of the pilots went up several times each for periods of more than 30 minutes in trying for the prize to be awarded the one making the most number of official hops during the meet. Wolf Hirth left the ground six times during the day, five of which qualified. His longest flight of one hour and three minutes began at 12:13 p.m. Like Hirth, he also made a "spot" landing on the airport. Backus tied exactly the mark of Hirth for endurance for the day with a fight of one hour and three minutes, his only attempt.
Wallace Franklin's second flight of the day, ended in 59 minutes. Both other attempts qualified.
Kenneth Doe of Elizabeth, N.J., earned his first class pilot's license in a Baker McMillen ship with a flight of five minutes. He went up again at 4:08 o'clock.
Captain Frederic A. Pippig, former German Army ace, also won a first class pilot's license with a flight of more than five minutes in Doe's plane.
Hawley Howlus, regarded as the leading American glider pilot, who was injured when his ship crashed as the controls jammed Sunday, did not fly Wednesday. He will demonstrate what the Lindbergh glider of his own manufacture will do during the competition today.
Publication of verbal conflict between Manager Walker and Pilot O'Meara, which came during one of the tense moments of the contest and was due to mental and physical strain, has disturbed the glider experts to some extent. The participants, who have long been closely associated, regret the inference of ill feeling which does not exist as a matter of fact.
At the glider pilots' conference, Wednesday night, they passed a vote of confidence in Mr. Walker and a vote of appreciation for Sherman P. Voorhees' services as executive committee head. Following this session Mr. O'Meara and Mr. Walker issued statements explanatory of the field incident.
Mr. O'Meara says:
"The statement published Wednesday is entirely a misunderstanding and without adequate foundation. Naturally all of us are under a strain but I would be the first man to say that I have had every help and consideration from officials. The absurdity of an apparent break is evident to those who know the facts and Don Walker is one of my best friends who has repeatedly done me many favors. The other officials have been equally generous and thoughtful."
Mr. Walker's statement follows:
"The story published Wednesday is a misinterpretation of fact. Due to causes beyond my control or those of the N.G.A. as a whole, we are a short of personnel and equipment necessary to handle a contest of this size on a scale such as they have in Germany. This was fully known to all officers of the N.G.A. but we were determined to demonstrate to the American people and the entire world that our pilots were well trained and our equipment first class for their respective purposes. This we are proving.
"On two days we have averaged better than 18 hours of flying with less than 10 ships in use each day although we have 12 in the contest. O'Meara himself has flown more than six hours and no one was better pleased than I. Our distinguished visitor-pilot, Hirth, has flown more than seven hours. Others have done equally well in other categories. But it has taken work and severe thought to do this. Weather conditions control everything and have been most variable. We have lost flying time but we are learning how to reduce this loss. Naturally losing flying time aggravates the pilots as well as the manager who has been their spokesman for two years past.
"It is most deeply to be regretted that the reporter that managed to discover a brief conversation of the morning, did not remain to see the mutual co-operation of the later morning and afternoon. It will 
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take more than this indiscretion to sever the friendship of Jack O'Meara and Don Walker."

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