Seattle, WA Airship Dives into Lake, Mar 1910
AIRSHIP IN DIVING CAPSIZES IN LAKE
Hamilton Glides Just Too Near Water.
PLAY WITH GULLS DANGEROUS
Aviator Rescued at Point of Exhaustion by Spectators.
NO BONES FOUND BROKEN
Rapid Descent From Height of 500 Feet Precedes Accident---Yellow Wings of Bi-Plane Now Submerged Deep in Mud.
SEATTLE, Wash., March 12---(Special.)---Swooping like a rapacious bird from a height of 500 feet, the Curtiss bi--plane, with Charles K. Hamilton, dived into the newly-formed lake at the Meadows today. Fenced about with steel rods and the wooden framework of the aeroplane, Hamilton was held to his seat while his machine turned a somersault in the water.
There was a cloud of spray, as if a submarine mine had been exploded, and momentarily the aeroplane and its nervy navigator disappeared from the sight of the multitude that stood watching the spectacle. Suddenly a leather cap danced on the ripples of the lake and a man's head, topped with red hair, bobbed out of the wreckage and in full view of the crowd. Hamilton started to swim ashore. Not until then was the tension relieved.
Rescuers Plunge In.
"He's alive," shouted those who would get their breath after such a thrilling spectacle, and there was a rush of thousands towards the 20-acre lake. Two men in advance of the crowd vaulted the fence that separated the lake from the inner field and plunged into the water to assist the struggling aviator who was weighted down by his heavy coat and heavy woolen clothes. Hamilton appeared about to sink.
"I can't make it boys, I'm all in," said he.
At that instant George Thomas, one of those who had swam to the injured man, held his head above the water. Carl Gohm, who had waded into the water up to his neck, reached forth a sustaining hand and Hamilton was brought to shore.
When he had been lifted over the fence, willing hands bore him to the closure near the grandstand, where he was placed in the hands of Dr. Larry A Shaw. Hamilton protested against being carried, but he had barely announced that he was able to walk when he collapsed.
No Bones Broken.
Swathed in a blanket, the injured aviator was placed in an automobile and hurried to Providence Hospital. He was severely bruised but no bones were broken. Dr. Shaw feared that the fall had produced concussion of the brain, but his patient revived so quickly under treatment that the physician announced that the injuries were not serious.
Hamilton's exploits today in the Curtiss biplane were designed to make the crowd gasp. He was making his fourth flight when the accident happened, and throughout the afternoon he had played with death. With a nerve that never faltered, he soared into the sky, de[illegible]bing a helix as he mounted upward. With his daring, Hamilton has all the [illegible] for play that a boy with a unique [illegible] has. Gulls that had wearied of chasing after the curious monster bird that [ineligible]er flapped its wings settled in a [illegible]awking flock on the lake.
Aviator Frightens Gulls.
Seeing that his timed acquaintances of the air had tired of his company, Hamilton wished to start a panic among them swooping down. Once he skimmed the water so closely that it seemed as if he must strike the shore, but with a tilt of the altitude rudder, the aeroplane was ascending into the blue sky again, and a thrill went through the spectators.
For more than 100 feet the machine was a foot above the ground. This was the famous Hamilton "glide." Round the enclosure swept the machine, mounting higher and higher, until it poised ready for another dip. The engine was stopped and with a speed estimated at more than 100 miles an hour the biplane glided downward to attempt again to touch its tail in the lake.
Hamilton sat coolly in his seat, ready to tilt the altitude rudder, which would send the machine upward at the right moment. So intense was the interest of those in the crowd that every detail of the maneuvering was flashed before their vision. Just a foot too near the ground, Hamilton tilted his rudder, and that instant it dipped beneath the surface of the water, turning the aeroplane completely over and sending a spray upward a hundred feet.
The biplane with its powerful engine, which had purred about in the air, lay like a stricken thing in the water, with its bicycle wheels turned upward. The yellow wings were lying on the muddy bottom of the lake and the broken and twisted framework showed above the surface.
Aviator Will Try Again.
Hamilton rallied rapidly at the hospital and was able to return to his hotel tonight. He is determined to make a flight tomorrow and declared that he will successfully perform the feat that resulted in his fall this afternoon.
The attending physician tonight said that he saw no reason why Hamilton should not fly tomorrow. The most severe injury sustained by the aviator was a bad bruise on the right leg.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, OR 13 Mar 1910