Chicago, IL National Air Race Accidents, Aug-Sept 1930

New Safety Rules

Effort Made To Prevent Other Fatal Crashes At Air Races

Curtis Reynolds Airport, Chicago, Aug. 28.-(AP)-New safety rules went into effect at the national air races today as the result of the accident which cost two lives yesterday.

In hopes of preventing any further tragedies such as occurred when a racing navy plane fell near hundreds of spectators, county Coroner Herman Bundesen ordered two large blocks of bleachers either torn down or left unoccupied.

The bleachers are near the Pylon where racing planes swing around the field and not far from where the navy plane fell yesterday, killing the pilot, Lieut. J.P. Deshazo, and Louis Weiner, a race concessionaire.

The coroner also decreed racers must finish their dashed in normal positions, his third stipulation was that no planes may fly at a low altitude over the crowds.

Stunt fliers were ordered to stay out over the landing field hereafter.

A committee of navy pilots investigated the crash of Lieutenant Deshazo’s plane. It barely missed bleachers filled with spectators and some of Deshazo’s brother pilots believe he deliberately maneuvered his ship to bring about his own death rather than have his plane drop among the horror stricken onlookers, seven persons were injured by flying parts and burning oil as the plane’s gasoline tank exploded, but none of them was believed seriously hurt. The prospect of seeing Col. And Mrs. Charles A. Lindbergh drew spectators and officials alike to the airport earlier than usual. The Lindbergh’s stopped overnight at Columbus, O.

Kokomo Tribune, Kokomo, IN 28 Aug 1930


Major John MacReady Hurt In National Race Crash

Wing Strut Folds on Turn but Ship Brought Down Right Side Up Then Wrecked on Rebound
(By The Associated Press)
Chicago, Aug. 30.-Major John L. MacReady, noted air pilot, was severely injured when he lost control of his plane rounding a pylon at an estimated speed of 162 miles per hour, and cracked up at the national air races today.

A wing strut folded as MacReady turned the course in the first lap of the free-for-all speed event, according to witnesses. The ship spiraled about drunkenly for an instant but by skillful maneuvering the former army ace brought it to earth right side up. The plane struck with terrific force, bounded high into the air, and was demolished in the rebound.

Taken Out Unconscious.

Major MacReady, holder of altitude and speed records, was taken out unconscious and rushed to an Evanston hospital where his condition was reported as serious but not grave. An examinations disclosed a fracture shoulder, fracture nose, head and body bruises. X-rays were taken to determine if the pilot was injured internally.

Major MacReady planned to fly his speedy ship in the Thompson trophy race labor Day. In preparation for this he had it out early today to practice the pylon turns. It was said to be capable of more than 200 miles an hour.

The accident occurred away from the airport and out of sight of the race spectators. In company with Lieutenant Kelly, Major MacReady executed the first non-stop transcontinental flight in 1.23. He resigned from the army two years ago.

MacReady was the fourteenth person injured since the air meet opened eight days ago. There have been three fatalities.

Abilene Morning Reporter-News, Abilene, TX 31 Aug 1930


Builder Killed As Homemade Plane Crashes

40,000 See George Fernic Die in Drop at Chicago Races.

Curtiss-Reynolds Airport, Chicago, Ill., Aug. 29. (AP).-A crowd of 40,000 horror-stricken spectators saw the small homemade plane of George Fernic, St. George, Staten Island, New York, rise from the field, pause in mid-air, then plunge sickeningly downward into a parked plane at the national air races Friday.

Fernic, a Rumanian, was dead when pulled from the cockpit. His plane demolished a ship in which Miss Martie Bowman of Hempstead, Long Island, N.J., had just completed a closed course race. The famous aviatrix missed death by inches as the falling plane cleft through the fuselage of her ship. She and W.S. Allison of Cleveland had just stepped from her plane and were standing near by with a group of mechanics. Members of the group scurried to one side in time to escape injury.

Second Major Crash.

It was the second major crash witnessed by air race fans since the beginning of the meet and brought the total fatalities to three. Fenric’s craft, of radical design, had taken off successfully. As it soared to the north end of the field at a low altitude it nosed skyward, made one backward loop and fell.

Screaming in horror, thousand of spectators made a concerted rush onto the field, adding to the confusion. Guards were powerless to avert the movement and it was some time before a semblance of order was restored.

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