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On March 20, 1919, DeHart set a new airmail speed record of two hours, and fourteen minutes from New York to Washington, flying in spite of wind, patches of rain and snow. On March 29th he made the flight from New York to Washington in winds of hurricane velocity, from 75 to 80 mph. On his regular runs DeHart was accustomed to flying Curtiss JN type planes with 150 h.p. Hispano-Suiza engines but on this day he flew a much heavier and more powerful Curtiss type R with a Liberty 400 h.p. engine. His assignment to this plane for the flight, however, was an added hazard to DeHart because he had never flown the plane before, nor one as powerful. This plane had a bad reputation for being difficult to land, even under favorable conditions. With the help of four husky crew members he taxied out on the field at Belmont Park and took off, while fellow pilot Ira Biffle was to leave Washington for New York at the same time. DeHart landed at Philadelphia and stopped after an unusually short roll. As they had not expected him because of the bad weather, the ground crew was nowhere in sight. While DeHart remained waiting for help a heavy gust of wind tilted him over on one wing, broke the wing skid, and damage the stabilizer. The ground crew finally saw him an came to his aid. After inspecting the damage, the plane was considered flyable so he took off for Washington. There he had a much more difficult problem in landing, for College Park was a small field with a railroad track along the west side, hills on the east side, a large fish pond on the north and buildings to the south. He succeeded in making a satisfactory approach and just as the wheels touched down the plane lived up to its reputation and bounced back up again, then climbed higher on a sudden wind gust. DeHart gave the engine full throttle and circled for a second try which fortunately was successful, coming to a stop near the hangar doors. There, the ground crew was ready and held the plane down while he taxied safely into the hangar. As DeHart had approached the field he saw Biffle's plane; Biffle had failed to leave for New York. Reportedly this was the first cross-country flight made during conditions rated
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