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Wright pilot Al Welsh, who was just starting an eastern flying school for the Wright Company there. Cross was convinced and signed up for instruction. In the class with him were Edson Gallaudet, George Beatty and William C. Beers. Their instructor was Al Welsh. In early July Cross was flying alone, and on July 27, 1911 he obtained FAI flying license No. 35. During this interval he had ordered a Wright Model B aeroplane and by August 10th had his own hangar and was practicing actively on his new plane. During the month he won the first leg of flying necessary for the Rodman Wannamaker Trophy for the longest amateur flight by being up nearly one hour. He remained active in his flying practice for the balance of the the 1911 season. On November 13th Cross was elected a director of The Aero Club of America and on November 27th was elected to the Board of Governors, his term to expire 1915. In December he represented The Aero Club of America at the Annual Meeting of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in Rome, Italy. 

In early 1912 Cross was elected a member of the Contest Committee of The Aero Club and Chairman of the Board on licensing aviators. Later he was made a member of the Gordon-Bennett Aviation Trophy Committee. He also was one of three members to decide on giving Glenn Curtiss the 1911 Aero Club Trophy for his successful development of the hydro-aeroplane. During the spring and summer of 1912 Cross again did some flying for sport and still maintained his plane and hangar at Nassau. During the early summer he went to Chicago as The Aero Club's representative to arrange for the Gordon-Bennett Trophy Race which was held at Clearing, Illinois on September 9th. In December he was made a Life Member of the Aero Club. 

In January, 1913 he was again one of three members to decide on giving Glenn Curtiss the 1912 Club Trophy for his development of the Flying Boat. In the spring of 1913 he was married and decided to quit flying and sold his plane. 

  In later years Cross did some big game hunting and took an active part in civic affairs. In June, 1937 he became President of the New York Zoo and remained in this position until he passed away suddenly on November 16, 1940 at the home of his sister in Princeton, New Jersey after attending the Princeton-Yale football game. He had lived for many years at Bernardsville, New Jersey and was prominent in business and social circles of the Metropolitan New York area. He was survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters. 

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