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Early Moisant-Bleriot-type Monoplane Pilot


Clarence A. deGiers was born at Tekonsha, Michigan, June 27, 1883. He was educated by private tutors but information is lacking concerning his early life and first occupations.

After developing an interest in early flying he enrolled for instruction at the Moisant Flying School at Garden City, Long Island, New York during the latter part of 1911, where he learned to fly a single seat Moisant-Bleriot type school monoplane with a 3-cylinder, 35 H.P Anzani engine. Verbal ground instructions were given the student who, in reality, taught himself to fly by the grass cutting and gradual hop method.   

The chief instructor there that year was Andre Houpert who, in addition to deGiers, taught a notable class of students that season, including Harriet Quimby, Matilda Moisant, Harold Kantnor, S. S. Jerwan and M. F. Bates. deGiers completed his course and obtained F.A.I. Pilot License No. 77 on December 13, 1911 at Mineola, Long Island, New York, flying a Moisant monoplane. Following this he evidently joined the Moisant International Aviators to do exhibition work for the company.

During early 1912 there was considerable competitive interest in the possibility of flying across the Isthmus of Panama to take aerial photos of the canal which was under construction at that time. In January James H. Hare, staff photographer 


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