Buffalo, NY Famous Pilot Dies In Crash, Aug 1938

Frank Hawks.jpg Frank Hawks circa 1930.jpg Frank Hawks Aircar Plane.jpg Frank Hawks Wreckage.jpg Frank Hawks Wreckage 2.jpg




Buffalo, N.Y., Aug. 24 (AP) -- Death came last night to Lieut. Commander FRANK M. HAWKS, world famous speed flier, as he had predicted -- in an airplane.
The 41-year-old aviator who had turned a year ago from speed flying to the aviation business struck some wires and crashed in flames on a polo field a few miles from Buffalo.
HAWKS, who told a friends some years ago "I expect to die in an airplane," and J. HAZARD CAMPBELL, upstate socialite and sportsman who had accepted an invitation for a trial spin in a small plane HAWKS company sells, were fatally injured.
Horrified friends, who had watched the take-off from the small field, heard the plane crash behind a clump of trees. They saw a flash as flames shot high in the air.
They pulled HAWKS from the controls of the blazing ship and dragged CAMPBELL from beneath a crumpled wing. The injured men were taken to a Buffalo hospital in ambulances. Neither regained consciousness.
HAWKS was flying a small Gwinn Aircar, a plane designed for private flying. He carried a four leaf clover a friend had given him for "good luck" a few minutes before the take-off.
Edmund P. Rogers, from whose estate HAWKS and CAMPBELL took off, described the crash:
"Commander HAWKS landed on our field about 5 p.m. and offered to take myself or any of our guests for a ride. CAMPBELL climbed in first."
"The plane lifted in the air and HAWKS tilted it 50 feet above the ground to enable it to pass between two tall trees. As he passed out of sight it looked as though he had not been able to gain sufficient altitude and was trying to bring the plane down."
"Just as the plane disappeared we heard a loud crash and a flash of flame shot up behind the trees. We knew he had struck the electric wires and telephone poles."
"We ran to the plane and found HAWKS inside the burning machine on the seat. His clothes were on fire so we stripped him and pulled him away."
Rogers said CAMPBELL was thrown from the plane and pinned under a crumpled and blazing wing.
The crash had ripped down all telephone and light wires serving the community and Rogers and his friends had to go several miles to summon aid.
HAWKS was vice president in charge of sales for the Gwinn Aircar corporation.
Joseph M. Gwinn, president, said HAWKS had been making demonstration flights for the company during the past year.

New Canaan, Ct., Aug. 24 (AP) -- FRANK HAWKS dreamed of deserting flying as a profession for writing.
In an article published posthumously in the current issue of the Connecticut Nutmeg, a periodical published by a group of literary celebrities for their own amusement HAWKS wrote:
"I have always wanted to be a writer, to rub shoulders with the intelligentsia."
The famous aviator, killed in an airplane crash last night near Buffalo, N.Y., expressed the hope that he could one day give up flying and take up writing as a career.
The article, entitled "Birds Land, Aviators Alight," describes the "air car" he was piloting at the time of his death as "so fool proof it is not subject to the dangerous tendencies of the conventional airplane."
"It will not spin and it will not stall," HAWKS said.
Speaking of the birds in relation to human fliers, he wrote:
"Birds are the only ones who know where they are going. They are the only ones who never fail to make a perfect landing. They are the only ones who have sense enough to stay on the ground or on their perches when the ceiling is zero-zero, or a bad storm is in the air."
"Aviators will barge into the sky when the birds are afraid to walk; and do aviators always land perfectly or at the destination to which they started; they do not."

North Adams Transcript Massachusetts 1938-08-24