Birdman Gives Thrilling Exhibitions at Field on Playa Del Rey Line


Cannon Supplies Excitement While Being Towed Around Grounds by Large Auto.

Charles F. Walsh again carried off the honors at the novice meet of the Aero Club of California yesterday afternoon, held at the Los Angeles motordrome, although Jack Cannon, J. J. Slavin, Edgar Smith and George Duesler filled out a program as successful in its class as the professional meet at Dominguez field last January. Walsh secured four trophies and about $200 in prize money by his flights Saturday and yesterday. Slavin made a short flight, which resulted disastrously, as he smashed his alighting gear and a protecting skid of one plane in landing. Duesler was unable to make a long flight because of the slippery condition of the motordrome paddock. Walsh made a variety of flights, circling about in any direction desired and landing easily at the starting point. He did not attempt to fly high, and the altitude prize was at first awarded to Slavin, but on a protest from Walsh's friends the contest committee decided in favor of the San Diegan. The trophy for highest flight is a silver cup presented by business men of San Diego. Other cups won by Walsh at this meet are the Whitley Jewelry company's trophy for endurance, the W. H. Leonard cup for the best circular flight and a newspaper trophy for distance.


When the observers reported the altitude in favor of Slavin, the Walsh aeroplane was on its way to the hangar, but although it was almost dusk Walsh went back to the starting course and made several more attempts to fly higher than he had done before. The contest committee was called together by President Twining of the Aero club and he rendered a decision giving the award to Walsh. Slavin got into the air in excellent fashion, but an automatic balancing device which is a feature of his machine failed to work to the necessary limit. As he started to land his machine turned sideways and struck heavily on one plane. The side strain crumpled up his running gear and the crowd saw an exciting spill. Slavin was thrown out of the machine, landing several feet away in the soft earth, but was not injured. The crowd which quickly gathered around picked up the disabled machine and carried it to the hangar. Slavin will begin his repairs this morning and expects to be able to make a flight next Sunday afternoon.


Jack Cannon furnished the greatest excitement of the afternoon with his towed flights in the biplane built by the Cannon brothers. Towed by a big Stoddard-Dayton driven by L. Mortimer, which skidded around the curves in the soft ground, Cannon guided his machine several times around the inside course of the motordrome paddock without coming to the ground. The crowd cheered as he went by the grandstands and commented on the ease with which the aerial machine made its rounds as compared with the difficulties under which the automobile party labored. Cannon won the only prize awarded for an exhibition inside the motordrome and L. Mortimer, the owner of the automobile, received an honorable mention. Edgar Smith tuned up the engine of his little Demoiselle early in the afternoon and went skipping. around the grounds. When he struck a particularly soft spot and the engine stopped he lifted the little monoplane, engine and all, without assistance and walked over to a new starting point with it.

"Smith's machine's off the ground," shouted the crowd, delighted at the novelty. "Give him a prize."


Smith believes that a lighter man with a dry, hard starting ground can get his little monoplane into, the air, and he may give a less heavy aviator a chance at it at next Sunday's matinee meet. B. F. Roehrig, who was unable to get his engine working, will be in shape to take part in the matinee next Sunday afternoon, and two or three other members of the club also expect to participate. The novice meet was voted an entire success by the members of the club. It is the first of the kind in the United States at which the flying has been so successful, although a similar meet was held in St. Louis last June. Present plans of the Aero club directors are to hold amateur flying exhibitions at popular prices at the motordrome every Sunday afternoon until the big meets are projected.

Los Angeles (California) Herald, October 24, 1910.