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Woman aviator Elinor Smith stunt...



Item # 618583

October 22, 1928

THE NEW YORK TIMES, October 22, 1928

* Woman aviator pioneer Elinor Smith
* "The Flying Flapper of Freeport"
* Famous flight under East River bridges


Page 3 has one column headings: "Says She Flew Under East River Bridges" "Elinor Smith, 17, Reports Feat at Curtiss Field--Tells of Dodging Ships" (see)
Other news, sports and advertisements of the day. Complete in 52 pages, rag edition in very nice condition.

wikipedia notes: To this point, her family had kept publicity to a minimum, to allow her to hone her flying skills without the distraction of public attention. This changed in October 1928; on a dare, she flew a Waco 10 under all four of New York City's East River bridges; according to the Cradle of Aviation Museum, she is the only person to do so. By her own account at the time, she first reconnoitered the route from above the bridges; nonetheless, she had to dodge several ships. Although she did not know it in advance, newsreel crews were there to film her at each bridge; the Curtiss Field regulars had been betting on whether she could really do it, and those who were betting on her side had alerted the media so that there would be clear evidence on film that it was, indeed, her at the controls of the plane. By her own account, the only sanction she received for the unauthorized stunt was a 10-day "grounding" by the city of New York, with Mayor James J. Walker interceding on her behalf to prevent any actual suspension of her license by the United States Department of Commerce. A request for Elinor’s autograph accompanied the Department’s letter of reprimand. Tom D. Crouch writes that she had her license suspended for 15 days. In any case, the stunt and her devil-may-care attitude made her a celebrity and helped to win her the "Flying Flapper" nickname.

Category: The 20th Century

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