Los Angeles, CA Famous Aviator Killed, Jan 1912
YOUNG AVIATOR FALLS TO DEATH.
RUTHERFORD PAGE DROPS 150 FEET.
YALE GRADUATE, CURTISS FLYER, KILLED ON FIRST TRIP AS PILOT; OTHER AIRMEN HAD WARNED HIM OF CARELESS METHODS.
Los Angeles, Cal., Jan. 23 -- RUTHERFORD PAGE, aged 24, a Yale graduate, registered from New York and flying as one of the Cutlass aviators, was killed when he fell 150 feet yesterday afternoon at Dominguez Field, at the third international aviation meet.
PAGE was endeavoring to "turn on a pivot" at a height of about 150 feet when the swell of air over the hangars caught his plane. He made an effort to regain his balance, but, evidently fearing the aeroplane was beyond control, gave up and, when about sixty feet in the air, jumped clear of the machine. He fell flat into the plowed ground. According to the doctors, he was crushed to death.
PAGE was flying for the first time as a licensed aviator, having been awarded his license Saturday. His flying yesterday was one of the spectacular features, despite a puffy and treacherous wind. PAGE was one of the first to leave the ground.
In the first heat of the five mile handicap, in which he and LINCOLN BEACHEY, the Curtiss veteran were the contestants, PAGE thrilled the crowd by his sensational maneuvers. All the dips and sharp turns made by BEACHY were duplicated by PAGE. When he descended Glenn Curtiss, who taught him to fly, cautioned him against attempting to perform reckless feats of flying at his first meet.
PAGE laughed and assured Curtiss that he was "all to the good." During the afternoon the young New Yorker had told those about the hangars that he would beat BEACHY "or break my fool neck."
PAGE lived in New York with his mother and two sisters. His father is dead. He was graduated from Yale last year and was a member of the Yale club of New York. About six weeks ago he joined the Curtiss camp at San Diego, where he received his first instructions in flying.
Glenn H. Curtiss declared PAGE'S death was due to lack of experience and his extreme daring.
"He was more than fearless," declared Curtiss.
"He had been called the second BEACHEY, and it was predicted by all who had witnessed PAGE'S early flights that he would be a world beater if some such thing, as happened yesterday did not end his career."
Immediately after the accident the wreckage of PAGE'S machine was piled up and burned to prevent its being carried away by souvenir hunters.
PAGE'S death is the first aviation fatality in this country in 1912 and is the one hundred and fourteenth in the world since actual flying began nearly four years ago. There have been three deaths of aviators in France since Jan. 1.
Evening Gazette Cedar Rapids Iowa 1912-01-23