East Orange, NJ Stunt Pilot Crashes Into House, Jul 1934

Must Face Court For Stunt Flying

Baltimore Aviator Hurt When Plane Removes East Orange Roof

East Orange, July 5 (AP).-Francis R. Gresham, 27-year-old Baltimore Flier, was to go from a hospital to a courtroom here today, to answer a charge of stunting and flying low over the city’s roofs-one of which no longer is attached to a house.

His fate was thought to have been much worse by the scores of citizens who watched his biplane pancake into Rutledge Avenue last night. Gresham, his forehead bleeding, stepped from the plane with an apologetic glance at the annoyed Joseph Catlett, whose dinner had been interrupted and his roof torn away.

“It was all in fun,” said Gresham, smiling, as a surgeon took four stitches in his forehead, but a short time later, his head turbaned with bandages, he was served with a warrant for arraignment today before Recorder George W. Grimm.

It was a one-man circus to the onlookers who had tires of sparklers and such. The low-flying biplane, skinning trees and chimneys, amused, thrilled, frightened and finally moved the spectators to action.

Even before the crash, police were on their way. Someone pulled a fire alarm box, so the apparatus was en route about the time the Catlett roof suffered from contact with the Gresham plane. The plane rebounded, struck the top of a tall elm, then made a flat landing in the street.

Gresham, as he stepped from the wrecked craft, was greeted by a policeman. Taken to a hospital in a police car, he was examined there by Dr. William P. Burpeau, who said Gresham was under the influence of liquor. Gresham declared he was on his way back to Baltimore after bidding bon voyage to his parents, the Rev. and Mrs. Leroy Gresham, of Salem, Va., who had sailed for Europe last Saturday. “I didn’t think I was flying so low,” he added. I just planned to fly around a but and then head for home.”

Trenton Evening Times, Trenton, NJ 5 Jul 1934