Viewing page 11 of 13

dated January 17, 1912, along with students J.W. McClaskey, S. C. Lewis, J. B. McCalley and C. W. Shoemaker.

At that time Curtiss was preparing to send his entire group of pilots and students to the 1912 Los Angeles Meet at Dominguez Field January 19th to 28th. Hoff was entered as a contestant at this event, one of fourteen pilots sent there with seven planes. This was a large meet with sixteen of the leading U.S. pilots competing for honors and prizes. Hoff did exceptionally well considering this was his first public flying. He went in largely for speed contests and always come in second or third against more experienced pilots.

Following the Los Angeles Meet, Hoff was a contestant at the Oakland, California. Meet held at the Emeryville Race Track February 117th to 25th. Also flying there were LIncoln and Hillery Beachey, Glenn Martin, Blanche Scott, Farnum Fish, Weldon Cooke, Horace Kearney and Phil Parmelee. There Hoff had a very serious smashup in a speed event on February 17th before thousands of spectators. The participants had started from the center of the track, Lincoln Beachey taking off first, then Parmelee, with Hoff next. Hoff's 80 [strikethrough]horsepower[/strikethrough]hp Model D Curtiss was much faster than Parmelee's Wright and before Hoff realized it he was immediately behind and dangerously close to Parmelee. Both planes were too low for him to go under Parmelee. Hoff attempted to go over, but stalled and mushed back into Parmelee's wake, lost control and crashed, hitting on the right lower wing, rolling over several times. He certainly would have been killed had it not been for his crash helmet. As it was he suffered a mild concussion, his jaw was broken in two places, and he had a dislocated shoulder, broken nose and pelvis. 

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact