Pittsburgh Post-Sun
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Friday, August 14, 1914,
Collection of Mike Kane, Aug. 23, 2005
Marvelous Demonstration in
Threatening Winds Ends
Post-Sun Exhibit.
     Flying over Pittsburgh last evening, starting from Schenley park, circling the downtown skyscrapers and speeding above the dity's roofs and spires back to the hat waving cheering and applauding thousands at the oval race track, Aviator Eugene Heth with J. S. Berger as a passenger in the Wright aeroplane, gave the crowning demonstration in The Post and Sun exhibition of aviation progress - a feat establishing a new world's record for a passenger-carrying night flight over a city. It was a sight that turned the eyes of hundreds of thousands skyward, bringing people from homes and offices, from mills and stores, and even form restaurants in a rush outdoors to behold an unparalleled achievement.
     For miles along the hilltops of the Southside, far over the heights of the Northside, all through the East End - in every direction people paused, gazing upward. Automobiles stopped in long lines while riders watched the speedy rival aloft - the traveler of future.
     It was a stupendous climax to the most wonderful public demonstration for the people of Pittsburgh, a gift from The Post and The Sun.
     The flying machine mounted to a height of a mile, until it looked no bigger than a star, and not so clear. The speck of black sped across the evening sky so far above the earth that no sound came from the motor, until the plane started on its gigantic toboggan slant from downtown Pittsburgh back to Schenley park, when within a thousand feet of earth the four popping cylinders of its engine could be heard humming like the buzz saw of a planing mill in the sky.
     The downward trip was close to the Allegheny river side. The Pennsylvania station was directly in the line traveled. The building of The Post and Sun was directly beneath the machine when it was at its highest point.
     After passing The Post and The Sun the aeroplane continued over the tall buildings to the river, where a turn was made toward the Monongahela, which stream was followed in the return trip. It was the most remarkable trip ever made in Pittsburgh. When the aviator and his passenger finally returned to earth the big crowd in the park almost went wild in its ovation. It was the big demonstration of the seven-day event.
     It was thundering when the Wright biplane was wheeled to the end of the Schenley oval infield yesterday afternoon for the first flight. As the flying machine rose into one of the choppiest winds it has encountered since last week's beginning of The Post-Sun exhibition, a sharp gust struck the plane when it was aboiut 50 feet from the ground and lurched it from side to side. The aviator threw all his force against the warping lever, and the alternating dips of the huge wings quickly restored the balance of the flyer.
     Numerous air pockets and tricky blasts were met in that cruise over Schenley park. Heth warped as he had never warped before in all his flying here.
     The black curtain of a threatening storm hung over the sky against which he flew. For an instant the sun flashed into view. He circled around the glaring light aloft, and dropped the sacks of flour-representing bombs in the demonstration of the aeroplane's destructive power as a war factor. The missiles landed near enough to the center of the oval to show what devastation an enemy in the sky may commit against an army or city.
     The high cirlcing by the aeroplane could be seen by a multitude of watchers in all parts of the city. People assembled on surrounding hillsides viewed the impressive sight of man's advance in flying, the immense progress of aviation exhibited to Pittsburgh by The Post and The Sun. The flying machine described a mammoth figure 8 in its majestic sweep across the heavens, then slanted in a swift course straight across the middle of Schenley oval.
     Suddenly, the man on the levers noticed that a wire running from his foot pedal to the magneto to the four-cylinder engine had slipped off. He had started on his wide-sweeping spiral descent, and it was well that he had decided to come down.
     Passing over the roof of the racing barn, he alighted on the ground in the infield, light as a feather, stopping directly in front of the crowd surrounding the judges' stand.
     In his second flight in the afternoon Aviator Heth lighted a cigar as he took his seat in the machine, and smoked in leisurely fashion as he sailed aloft. The aeroplane cutting through the air at high speed, however, soon burned his Havana away. He flew straight into the blinding glare of sunlight as it streamed again from behind the clouds. After circling that dazzling light he flew over the wooded hillsides of Schenley park and returned to the watching crowd in the oval that broke into a long outburst of applause for the wonderful demonstration of aviation's progress shown by The Post and Sun.

BackBack Home