Transcribed by Bob Davis, 8-9-07
from Ancient Aviators
Courtesy of Roy Nagl
Johnstone Sails Down the Kennebec, Maine People Get Their First Glimpse of an Aeroplane in Action
Augusta, Me., Aug. 9 - St. Croix Johnstone sailed a Moisant monoplane 25 miles up and down the Kennebec valley late today and gave Maine people their first glimpse of an aeroplane in action. The ascent was very deep (steep) owing to choppy winds in the valley, but Johnstone negotiated it with difficulty. At a height of 1500 feet, he sailed for about half an hour and then returned to the starting point. Ten thousand people saw the exhibition.
Bangor Daily News, Thursday, August 10, 1911
Some 10,000 at Hawks Race Meet, Governor's Bay Better Than the Opening - Successful Aeroplane Flight
Governor's day at Promoter Hawks' big race meet at Capital park, Augusta, proved another big success and everything went off in a manner to please the governor, Hawks and the nearly 10,000 people on the grounds. The grand stands were again filled and hundreds of people crowded the enclosure, watching the ball game ...
Manager Hawks, always ready to give you more than your money's worth, put on a boxing match ...
The (horse) races of Wednesday were better than the opening day ...
Johnstone's Thrilling Flight
St. Croix Johnstone, the famous aviator, pleased everybody Wednesday after making an ascension in his Moisant monoplane, with a splendid start, thrilling sails and perfect landing.
Mgr. Hawks ordered the baseball field cleared at 4:55, announcing that Johnstone needed all the space in starting and landing. The crowd scattered. Out came the machine from the tent and interest in the horse races was at a discount. It was placed in position on the baseball diamond and soon after 5 o'clock the engine was started and down the gradual descent it went, faster than any ballplayer ever sprinted for second base. The machine failed to leave the ground, however, and when well down in center field Johnstone shut off the power and came to a standstill. The crowd was kept back and the craft wheeled back to the starting place and at 5:20 another start made.
This time it was a success. Down by second base the monoplane was seen to leave the ground and in a few seconds was creeping higher and higher into the air, in a southerly direction, with the crowd cheering.
The wind was southerly, but not strong, though somewhat gusty. It did not seem to bother Johnstone a particle and the airship glided along as steadily as a ship at sea, with the buzz of the engine and the whirr of the propeller audible to everyone.
Johnstone shaped his course out over the Kennebec, turning to cross so as to pass over the insane hospital buildings and circle the tall chimney at the institution. Circling and gradually ascending, he recrossed the river, after having given the Eastsiders a view of his craft and back over the trotting park he came. The crowd again cheered him.
All this time the machine was plainly visible and every eye was turned upon it - the racing being suspended for a few minutes.
Johnstone kept his monoplane constantly rising and again he crossed the river and over the insane hospital far up in the air, headed up river about northeast. Smaller and smaller grew the object in the air until it disappeared from view.
Keeping on the east side and passing near the Augusta Lumber Co.'s mill he was given a whistle salute and thousands of people had their first view of an aeroplane in flight.
Johnstone navigated about in a direction that took him above the city, then turning came down the river and again appeared in view to the people on the track as a mere speck above the trees on the state grounds north of the park and on the west side of the river.
Nearer and nearer it came until the noise of the engine was agan heard and he began his descent. It was a perfect one, Johnstone judging his distance to a nicety and striking the ground within a few feet of where he started on the ball diamond. The velocity of the machine carried it out into the field, but ready hands were there and it was soon at a standstill.
The crowd then made a grand rush for the plucky and skilled aviator and he was repeatedly cheered and congratulated. It was possibly a commonplace flight for Johnstone, but a wonderful one for the crowd. His glides, circles and skillful handling of the monoplane were a revelation to all.
Johnstone planned to make another ascension Thursday afternoon, possibly a little earlier if the weather permits.
Bangor Daily Commercial, Thursday, August 10, 1911