dead stick landing within 150 feet of a previously designated point, and making a military reconnaissance flight of at least 20 miles cross-country at an average altitude of
Instructions issued in October 1912 by Colonel George P. Scriven, Acting Chief Signal Officer (CSO), relative to flying training, stated that when a student passed the Military Aviator test, he was to be considered a graduate of the school (and could instruct other students).
Officers did not have to take the Federation Aeronautique International (F. A. I.) test for pilot qualification, but did so as a matter of course before getting their rating as Military Aviator. Apparently the Military Aviator rating as announced by the War Department in the summer of 1912, stimulated the Aero Club of America to create an advanced grade for pilot skill above the F. A. I. Certificate. Late in the summer of 1912 the Club announced the new rating of Expert Aviator for which a special certificate would be awarded. The test was not difficult for the Army aviators. Of the first 15 Expert Aviator Certificates awarded by the Aero Club, 12 of them were issued to Army pilots.
On September 25, 1912 Lieutenant Geiger qualified as Aero Club of America Expert Aviator Number 9, and was assigned F. A. I. Aviation Pilot Number 166. On November 8, 1912 he qualified for the Military Aviator rating and on November 20, 1912 received Military Aviator certificate number 6.
College Park School Closes
By November 1912, the College Park school had a total of 9 aircraft, 39 enlisted men, and 14 flying officers on duty but the weather was no longer suitable for flying. Glenn Curtiss invited the Signal Corps to send some officers to his Curtiss Aeroplane Company facilities at North Island near San Diego, California for winter flying and it was decided to divide the Signal Corps aviation school in half. Those pilots and mechanics who had been trained by Curtiss at Hammondsport, were sent to San Diego with three Curtiss airplanes, Signal Corps No. 2 ("high power"), No. 6 ("grass cutter"), and No. 8, which had been nicknamed "Julia" by the officers. The Wright trained pilots, mechanics and Wright airplanes were sent to Augusta, Georgia. The College Park school never re-opened and was abandoned on June 30, 1913.
Army Flying School at North Island
North Island was located at the mouth of San Diego Bay and offered an ideal field, its 2,000 acres of comparatively flat land being unobstructed and its location isolated from the city. Glenn Curtiss was paid a nominal rental of $25 per month for the use of the site and his hangars which consisted of an old barn and a shed. The Army put up a canvas hangar and lean-to without floors or doors to house its three airplanes.
Lieutenant Geiger was appointed the first commanding officer of the Army flying school at North Island. By now an experienced pilot, in addition to other duties, he would instruct the Army student officers on land-planes and hydro-airplanes, in addition to finding time to make numerous cross-country flights.
Lieutenant Geiger arrived in San Diego in mid-November 1912 to set up the Signal Corps school and to take charge of a Signal Corps detachment of eight enlisted