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

Craft Was “Homemade.”

Fernic had flown his plane to the air races, arriving Tuesday. He had designed and built the craft himself, placing on it a short auxiliary wing which he believed gave additional stability. In a larger plane of similar design, which he had intended to fly to Rumania, he crashed several months ago at Roosevelt Field, but was unhurt.

The ship derived its energy from a motor of only seventy-horse power. Fenric had told friends he was pleased with the plane’s performance, but that it needed a more powerful engine. Witnesses blamed his fatal accident on insufficient power to pull the ship out of the loop.

After Lindberghs Leave.

The accident occurred about an hour after Col. and Mrs. Charles Al Lindbergh left the races for Detroit.

Colonel Lindbergh arrived Thursday afternoon, spent the night in Chicago and returned to the races shortly before noon, seeing more than four hours of the program. He and his wife were again perched in the chief judge’s booth above the grand stand, a partial retreat from the public gaze.
Both expresses disappointment because they could not remain for the rest of the meet. Business, the Colonel said, forced their return to the East.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 30 Aug 1930


Races Claim Third Victim

New York Flier Plunges To Death Attempting Air ‘Stunts’

Chicago, Aug. 30.-Curtiss-Reynolds Air Field.-The death toll had increased today to three as the National Air Races zoomed into their eighth day.

The third person killed in a week of racing and stunting was George Fernic, aircraft designer of St. George, Staten Island, N.Y., who plunged to his death late yesterday in a plane he built.

The ship, of radical design featuring a short auxiliary wing, fell far from the 40,000 spectators but in the midst of closely parked airplanes, smashing one.

A short time before the crash, the crowds had waved an enthusiastic farewell to Colonel and Mrs. Charles A. Lindbergh as they took off for Detroit after a 24-hour visit at the races.

Interest in today’s program was divided between the races themselves and the prospect of seeing the latest men to make aviation history. Captain Wolfgang Von Gronau and his companions were due in the Dornier-Wall flying boat in which they flew the Atlantic.

Brownsville Herald, Brownsville, TX 30 Aug 1930


Ace Pilot Crashes At Air Derby

Loose, German Pilot, Uninjured When His Motor Fails During Test Flight

By Sam Knott
(United Press Staff Correspondent)
Curtis Wright Airport, Chicago, (UP)-Fritz Loose, famous German ace, crashed in his big Junkers airplane today as the tenth annual air races, the “Olympiad of the air,” opened.

Loose crashed as he attempted to land his big plane at the north end of the field. He was uninjured. The motor failed and the plane fluttered and fell about 20 feet.

The undercarriage was torn away but the plane otherwise was not damaged.

Loose, one of the many fliers who came from abroad to lend an international note to the air spectacle, had been having trouble with the motor of his ship all morning. He was coming down to stand at attention for the flag raising that marked the formal opening of the meet, when the craft faltered and crashed. He was led away as mechanics swarmed onto the field to remove the crippled ship.

The ceremonies of inauguration went on as if nothing had happened. Old Glory fluttered up the flagpole.

Racing planes were wheeled to the starting line from the pits in front of the grandstands where 1,000,000 spectators are expected to see aviation’s greatest show.

A cloudless blue sky canopied the mile-square airport, which was groomed to lawn-like smoothness for the wheels of the fastest and hardiest planes.

Marcel Dorcet, French ace, treated the early arrivals to some breath-taking stunting as he tried out his 450,000 franc plane for the first time in American air.

As Loose stepped from the wreckage, smiling, the first man he met was Arthur L. Caperton, who pilots Samuel Insull’s plane, the Northern Light.

The last time Loose and Caperton saw each other was in China, several years ago, when they were fighting together.

Seeing Caperton, an old buddy of foreign air wars, made up to Loose for temporary loss of his plane. He and Caperton walked off the field, arm in arm. Loose was assured he would be furnished another plane for the races. The German has fought under five flags in his career as a soldier of fortune.

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