Viewing page 5 of 14



Early Burgess-Wright Exhibition and Test Pilot


Jack McGee was from Pawtucket, Rhode Island and signed up for a flying course with the General Aviation Company school at Saugus, Massachusetts in May, 1912. Instructors there were Harry Atwood and Arch Freeman, using Burgess-Wright planes. McGee was taught by Arch Freeman, but due to delays when Freeman was away on exhibition dates, did not solo until early in August. In the same class with him were Harry M. Jones and H. Roy Waite.

On July 11th he was in a smashup while riding as a passenger with Farnum Fish at Point-of-Pines near Boston. Fish lost control flying close to the water and crashed. Both men were thrown clear of the wreckage and were not injured. August 28th McGee flew 34 miles from Pawtucket to Newport, Rhode Island, and on September 14th dropped "flour bombs" on Fort Adams at Newport. October 16th while flying at Cliftondale, Massachusetts he almost froze his hands; [[strikethrough]] and [[/strikethrough]] they became so numb he was barely able to land without a serious accident. On October 19th [[strikethrough]] he had a smashup [[/strikethrough]] while flying at Pawtucket [[strikethrough]] while flying too close to the ground. While banking [[/strikethrough]] he misjudged his altitude and a wing tip struck [[strikethrough]] caught [[/strikethrough]] the [[/strikethrough]] turf, which spun [[/strikethrough]] ground, spinning him around, causing him to pile up and overturn, but he was not hurt. In November McGee purchased a new Burgess-Wright and built a hangar for it at Pawtucket. He remained there through the winter and started flying in the spring of 1913, making almost daily flights for sport and carrying

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 As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology.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