Rutland, VT Airplane Crash, Sept 1922
The three aviators, using Maynard's machine, took off the field about 1 o'clock for an exhibition flight. They had performed several of the stunts on their program when at an altitude of 2,000 feet Lieutenant Maynard tried a tail spin, apparently believing that he was at greater altitude. The plane refused to respond and fell into a nose dive, landing in a cornfield at the edge of the fair grounds, a mass of wreckage.
Governor Hartness and his staff were among the crowd, which was the largest in the history of the fair.
The body of Lieutenant Maynard was sent late tonight to his home at Maynard, N. C. The local post of the American Legion took charge of the arrangements and escorted the coffin to the train.
"The Flying Parson" was scheduled to speak this evening in the Rutland Baptist Church, and the church bell was tolled in honor of the man who was to have related some of his experiences above the battle lines in France.
According to another aviator, Mr. Parsons, who saw the accident, it was due to the engine of the plane "going dead" just after Lieutenant Maynard started to descend from an altitude of 10,000 feet, which he reached at the start of his flight when he circled the peak of Mount Killington.
The death of Belvin W. Maynard, popularly known as "The Flying Parson," removes from the aeronautical world an international figure. Winner of the New York to Toronto and return aerial Derby and the New York to San Francisco race, post-war competitions, he became known throughout the world as one of the leading aviators. During the war Lieutenant Maynard was one of the chief test pilots stationed in France, where he tried out hundreds of airplanes sent over for the American forces.
Maynard was a unique personality in aeronautics by reason of his pre-war activities. At the outbreak of the war he was studying for the ministry in the Baptist Seminary at Kerr, N. C. He filled small charges in the country district. When he decided to enter the Air Service, according to his admission, his flock vigorously objected and criticized his decision.
Displaying a remarkable aptitude for air service, Maynard quickly won his wings and was designated a reserve military aviator, with the rank of First Lieutenant. He was soon appointed chief test pilot at the A. E. F. air base at Romorontin, France. While there he attracted attention by establishing a world's loop-the-loop record, turning over 318 times without losing altitude.
Returning home after seventeen month's service abroad, Maynard was stationed at Hazelhurst Field, near Mineola, as chief test pilot. In the transcontinental race, in which he demonstrated his skill as a flyer, Maynard averaged 125 miles an hour for the trip, although at times during the 5,400 mile hop he maintained a speed of 200 miles an hour.
Maynard left the army in May, 1920, but he never gave up his interest in aeronautics. He planned to return to the ministry, but found the call of the air too strong. For a time he was identified with the Central Y. M. C. A. in Brooklyn. Later he made a 2,000-mile flight in the interest of the recruiting service.
Maynard was a frequent speaker in churches and gained fame as a marrying sky pilot. Two weeks ago, over Times Square, he united Miss Helen Virginia Lent and Lloyd Wilson Bertaud, the latter a flyer of note. Maynard started an aerial photography business, which was said to be successful. He was born in Morwen, N. C., on Sept. 28, 1892, and was the son of a physician. At the age of fifteen he became interested in religion and announced his decision to be a clergyman.
The New York Times, New York, NY 8 Sept 1922