Jackson, NE Army Balloon Explosion, May 1909


Army Craft Destroyed and Two Officers Bruised at Jackson, Neb.

Army balloon No. 12 exploded in landing at Jackson, Neb., Monday night after a 120-mile trip and was destroyed. Captain Chandler and Lieutenant Ware, the aeronauts in charge, being knocked down and bruised, but escaping serious injury. Captain Chandler believes that while at a high altitude the gas bag became charged with static electricity, and that on reaching the ground contact with the earth caused an arc to form, thus producing an electric spark, which set fire to the big bag. The ascension was made from Fort Omaha. The balloon started north as soon as it was well into the air and soon crossed the Missouri River. It followed the general course of the river for nearly 100 miles, the flight following a northwesterly direction. The 120-mile flight was made in about six hours, deducting the hour and a half the balloon was becalmed.

The Iowa Recorder, Greene, IA 10 May 1909