Viewing page 20 of 24

sensational flying easily established him as one of the leading headline exhibition aviators of that era.

September 24th to 28th he flew at McLeansboro, Illinois, where he carried post office-authorized airmail. On October 2nd he flew at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, then [[strikethrough]] was [[/strikethrough]] at the Wisconsin State Fair, Milwaukee, for three days. From there he flew at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield for one week starting October 12th, where had a forced landing which resulted in a minor smashup. While there he again carried mail and made a cross-country flight to Williamsville, Illinois, and return. Kearney then flew at Overland Park, Kansas City, Missouri, October 26th to November 3rd, his last exhibition date of the season.

That fall he placed an order for a new plane with Charles Day of Los Angeles, to be completed for his West Coast winter season activities. This plane was a 36-foot-span Curtiss-type pusher biplane, with an 80 h.p. [[strikethrough]] H.P. [[/strikethrough]] Hall-Scott engine, [[strikethrough]] with [[/strikethrough]] having both [[strikethrough]] both land gear [[/strikethrough]] wheels and floats for land or water flying. Kearney took delivery of his new plane to Los Angeles in late November and began practice-flying from the water at Newport Bay.

In early December he decided [[strikethrough]] he wanted [[/strikethrough]] to fly from Los Angeles to San Francisco via the coast line with his float-plane, [[strikethrough]] machine [[/strikethrough]] making stops along the route for gas, probably taking two days for the trip. After further practice Kearney started this flight on December 14th carrying Chester Lawrence, a Los Angeles news reporter, as a passenger. The weather at starting time was not good and he was advised to delay his departure, but he took off on schedule. After covering some 45 miles of the trip he ran into tougher weather, dense fog, and a severe storm. [[strikethrough]] and they vanished from sight. [[/strikethrough]]

He was to have made Ventura, California, his first gas stop [[strikethrough]] and [[/strikethrough]] but when he failed to arrive a search was started. No trace of them could be found that night, and an intensive search was started the next morning. Coast Guard boats along the entire area searched the shore line, but found seas too rough for offshore patrol. Glenn Martin, carrying Frank Garbutt as passenger, conducted an extensive air search for several hours in a Martin hydro, but saw no trace of the missing 

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