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Early Deperdussin Monoplane Pilot

W. Knox Martin was born at Salem, Virginia, October 30, 1890. Information is lacking concerning his early life and education, but he first appeared in aviation when he joined the Sloane Flying School in late 1912.
The school was packing up to move to California for the winter months and Martin went along for instruction. The school located at Dominguez Flying Field, Los Angeles, and the students arrived there in time to attend the annual winter flying meet. During the event Martin and C. C. Roystone were passengers with aviator Earl Daugherty, flying a Gage plane, to win the passenger-carrying event of the meet.

As soon as the meet was over the Sloane School got underway, using a French Deperdussin monoplane as a school machine, powered by a 3-cylinder, 35 h.p., Anzani engine. Also in the class were Allan Adams, C.C. Roystone and Apperman. The school machine was a single-seater and verbal ground instruction was given the students by instructor Guy Gilpatric. Martin gradually learned to fly by the grass-cutting and progressive-hop method. After completing his course he flew his license tests on March 29th on the Dep school plane, the tests being officially observed by Professor H. LaV. Twinning. His F.A.I. Certificate No. 224 was granted April 23, 1913.

Following this, Martin became a full-time pilot and employee of the Sloane Company, returning to New York during the spring months, and reportedly did some exhibition flying for the company that summer. In early June Martin, Fred Hild and C.M. Wood all flew over the Meadow Brook Hunt Club during a polo game which caused the Aero Club of America to threaten cancellation of their licenses.

Martin evidently remained around New York into 1914 and in mid-June had a narrow escape flying an old biplane at Mineola when he had a smashup and the wreck caught fire and burned.
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