Howard W. Gill
Collection of Rolland Deremer - 12-22-03

  Howard W. Gill  
  Biography Resources Magazine  

Aeroplanes Collide in Dark
Aviator Gill, of Baltimore, Dies of Injuries - French Airman Slightly Hurt.
The Daily Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: Sunday, September 15, 1912
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 6-9-04
Chicago, Sept. 14 - Aviator Howard W. Gill, of Baltimore, Md., was fatally hurt on the Cicero aviation field tonight, dying later, while George Mestach, of France, whose monoplane collided with Gill's biplane when they were participating in a race seventy-five feet in the air was injured as the two men and their machines fell to the earth in the dark. Mestach soon revived and his condition was found to be not serious. Gill was rushed to a hospital. After recovering consciousness, Metasch said: "I was going at top speed in my monoplane in an effort to win the race," he said. "Looking behind I saw Gill in his biplane turning around a pylon and rapidly approaching me, a few feet below. I jerked my elevator, thinking to give him ample space to clear beneath. I was unable to get a good view of just what was happening, but it seems that Gill, driving straight ahead, hit my understructure. This had the effect of bouncing me off and plunging me to the ground. For a few moments I was unconscious. When I came to, I saw Gill lying in the wreckage of his car not fifty feet away."
      Gill was in a Wright biplane and Metasch in a Borel monoplane. The accident occurred just as darkness at the end of a day of spectacular flights. Five thousand people were witnesses, but owing to the darkness and distance few of the spectators could not tell just how the disaster occurred.
      Gill was reported wealthy. He was interested in automobile racers until 1905. Four years ago he took up ballooning and in 1909 began aeroplaning. Last February at Los Angeles, Cal., Gill fell seventy-five feet.

Another Aviator at Chicago Takes Fall
Victor Carlstrom Knocked Unconscious by 100-Foot Drop,
Not Seriously Wounded,

Officials of Meet, Which Has Already Cost Two Lives, Criticized by Aviators
Four Special Prizes Are Awarded,
Aviator Gill, of Baltimore, Dies of Injuries
French Airman Slightly Hurt.
Knoxville Journal and Tribune,
September 17, 1912, Chicago, Ill.,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 3-29-06
"Chicago, Ill., Sept. 16. - Another accident today marred the aviation meet here by the Aero Club of Illinois. Victor Carlstrom fell 100 feet when his biplane became unmanageable, but was not seriously hurt. He rolled over in the grass unconscious after he struck but soon was revived. The machine was wrecked.
      The scene of the meet was transferred today from the Cicero flying field to Grant Park, on the lake front, and thousands of spectators stood in Chicago's streets and watched twenty aviators circle over the city like a flock of birds.
      Before leaving Chicago four special prizes were awarded for duration events. Anthony Jannus won prizes for carrying three passengers the greatest height and the longest distance, while De Lloyd Thompson won a prize in the one-passenger endurance contest, his time being 1:01:15, Max Lillie won the two-passenger event.
      Officials of the meet, which has cost the lives of two men, were critized today by aviators George Metasch, lying in a hospital recovering from wounds received when he fell after colliding in the air with Howard Gill, and in which accident Gill was killed," said:
      "I blame the officers of the Aero Club of Illinois for two reasons. First, they never should have permitted biplanes to ascend while a monoplane, so much faster than any biplane, was in the air. Second, it was foolhardy for them to attempt to run a race after it had become so dark. I was assured by an official of the meet that I would have the course to myself."
      Otto Brodie, an aviator, said:
      "The accident happened after 6 o'clock and it was too dark for flying. I personally heard Metasch protest that the monoplanes were forced to race each day in the dark, and at times when the biplanes were in the air,"
      William Burns, for two years associated with Howard Gill, today said:
      "Gill did not hit Metasch, as has been said. The wreck of the two machines tells the story. The entire rigging biplane was tangled up with the chassis of the monoplane. Probably Metasch did not see the outline of Gill's machine until he was right on it. Officials of the meet certainly are the only ones who can be blamed for allowing flying at that hour.".

Editor's Note:
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