San Jose, CA Famous Pilot John Montgomery Crashes, Oct 1911
GLIDER DROPS HIM TO DEATH.
COLLEGE PROFESSOR, TESTING FLYING MACHINE, LOSES CONTROL.
Special to The Washington Post.
San Jose, Cal., Oct. 31. -- Prof. JOHN J. MONTGOMERY, of Santa Clara College, inventor of one of the types of aeroplane, and an electrical expert, was killed this afternoon while experimenting with a new glider, of which he expected great things. The professor lost control of the machine and fell about 40 feet. He lived for about three hours, and was conscious to the last.
MONTGOMERY had been at work along the same lines as the Wrights to make flying safe, and with his new glider he went to the foothills, about 5 miles south of this city, to conduct his experiments in private. During the three hours that elapsed between his injury and death, Prof. MONTGOMERY talked freely with his wife and assistants of the accident and told the cause. He said:
"I had made a most successful flight and covered at least a half mile. I had reached the conclusion that I could go as far as I liked as long as I had a fair wind to help me rise. The machine seemed under perfect control, when suddenly, one of those little whirlwinds which are common in the foothills regions swept along toward me and struck the machine, when I was about 40 feet from the earth. The machine swung around with the whirlwind and then got beyond my control. I tried to turn the course of the glider and thought I had succeeded, when suddenly the machine turned half over and dropped with me. I was not more than 20 or 30 feet from the ground, when the final fall came, and it did not seem that the fall would be serious at that height."
The Washington Post District of Columbia 1911-11-01