AKA Georges Mestach
George Mestach

George Mestach
Collection of Robert D Mestach, 1-7-05
Great nephew of George Mestach

from the Early Birds of Aviation
June, 1937 - Number 20

     The nights and days of the year of Apple Blossom Time in Normandy and Waitin' for the Robert E. Lee, like those of 1911, were big in the annals of American aeronautics. Meets, shows and exhibitions; and more startling steps in invention development and performance--inception of the flying boat--first air speed meter--self starters--Fowler's transcontinental-- proposals for federal legislation--first airplane parachute--flight of Bell's kite--an air mail bill--demonstration of the first "foolproof" airplane-- introduction of skywriting--first airplane machine gun--a roof take-off--first catapult launchings--first bomb sight contest--muffled engines-- the first "military type" airplanes for the Army--and more records.
     Highlights of 1912 tied to dates--days of that year in which Early Birds made history. A majority of all these pioneers, record-makers and those of less degree, are now but overnight from each other by the airplane which they helped to develop and to practically apply.
     Jules Vedrines (Dep-140 Gnome) won the fourth Gordon Bennett international plane race at Chicago, establishing many new American records. A Chicago syndicate had financed the construction by the Burgess Co. & Curtis of a special monoplane cup defender but no pilot seemd anxious to fly it. Following the race at the great Chicago Meet, with Lillie, DeLloyd Thompson, W. C. Robinson, Prevost, Mars, Gill, Tournier, Montero, Dougherty, Kearney, Beech, Sjolander, Mestach, Wiggin , Fish and Engle, Leo Stevens demonstrated his "life pack" with Rodman Law jumping from Harry Brown's Wright.
     If you wish to review the activities in the other months of the year, just click on the title above.

George Mestach
GEORGE MESTACH - August 20, 1912
Collection of Bruce Beveridge, 8-26-09

George Mestach
GEORGE MESTACH - September 12, 1912
Collection of Bruce Beveridge, 8-26-09

Early 'Flying Machine'
Took Toll of Aviators

from an unidentified newsclipping
Collection of Todd McVickar, 6-29-07
     The early years of aviation were perilous ones for those persons hearty enough to go up in the canvass-covered flying machines. And they took their toll in hunam life. Many aviators died in crashes, several at Cicero Field, due to the lack of knowledge about the mechanics and theory of flying.
     Perhaps the most spectacular accident occurred in 1912 during the Chicago Air Show. George Mestach, a famous Frence flier who had come over to the United States to participate in the events, and Howard Gill tangled in a mid-air crash on October 14.
     Gill and Mestach were flying about 200 feet above the ground when their machines collided, falling to the earth. Gill was killed and Mestach seriously injured.
     Gill had an illustrious career. He was the first to construct an airplane with two complete.........

     If you search for "George Mestach" using the Google search engine, (11-27-03), you will find about 18 links. Most of them have something to offer to help tell his story.
George Mestach at the controls of the Borel Morane.
     This page on Earl Daugherty's Borel-Morane website offers the only photo of George and his plane which I have been able to find. It is just one of many photos on the site which are of great historic interest, especially with reference to the career of Earl Daugherty. You can access the site by clicking on the title above. If time permits, you will be rewarded to take advantage of the many other features on the site.
The 1910 New Orleans Aviation Tournament
     .This page on the Early Aviation in Lousiana website offers a paragraph which I have excerpted below which recounts the activities of George in 1912.
"The Airmail Route
Promoters of air travel hoped to establish the industry through a demonstration of its practical uses. They found a likely target in the mail system. In 1912, more than a dozen years before airmail became a regular service, French aviator George Mestach delivered mail from New Orleans to Baton Rouge in 1 hour and 32 minutes, marking the second airmail delivery in the United States. Although he ran into a fence and broke the plane’s propeller upon landing on the Louisiana State University campus, the jostled Mestach managed to deliver a letter to Governor J. Y. Sanders."

     If time permits, you will want to read the whole article. It has several mentions of John Moisant, including the fact of his crash in Harahan just outside of New Orleans in December, 1910

     This page on the Encyclopedia Louisiana website offers a nice report of George and his airmail flight between New Orleans and Baton Rouge on April 10, 1912. You can read the whole story by clicking on the title above.

     If you search for "Georges Mestach" using the Google search engine, (2-5-06), you will find about 6 links.
Conservation - Borel-Morane
      This page on the Canadian Aviation Museum website deals primarily with the conservation efforts on his Borel-Morane aeroplane, but does include a comprehensive revue of his history. In addition to the text, you will find five interesting phootgraphs. I suggest that you "follow the conservation process" by clicking on the "on-line diary" link near the top of the page. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.

American Air Mail Catalogue
Quotation courtesy of Roy Nagl, 2-4-06
Dear Ralph:
Thank you very much for letting me know about your new web page for Thomas McGoey! I was especially intrigued about the mention of his air mail flight and looked up the entry for it in volume four of the 1981 edition of the "American Air Mail Catalogue", which gives the following description of it, on page 1654:

"1912, May 10 -- Winnipeg, Manitoba. An Air Circus was held in Winnipeg for the entire week. On May 10 it was expected that one of the plots, Thomas McGoey, would fly mail in his machine. The mail afterwards was to be posted at the local Post Office. It is understood he had the authority of the Postmaster to do this. A card, the only item now known to exist, is addressed to Toronto, Ont. It is postmarked Winnipeg, May 10, 9:30 A.M., 1912, and is also canceled Grand View, Ont., May 14, 1912. The card has a three-line rubber stamp cachet reading "From Winnipeg -- By First Aerial Route -- Thomas McGoey, Aviator." Aviator Sam Tickell flew a Curtiss biplane and crashed. However, McGoey was ill in a hospital at Grand Forks, N. Dak. and did not reach Winnipeg until May 24. It is not definitely known whether Tickell carried mail on his attempt of May 10 or whether it was dispatched via ordinary means on the failure of McGoey to arrive."

The catalog also has a short description of another pioneer Canadian flight, involving French aviator Georges Mestach and it mentions his Morane-Borel monoplane that you show on your web page for him:

"1911, September 1. During an aviation meet at Quebec City August 29 - September 4, French pilot Georges Mestach made several flights in a Morane-Borel monoplane. On September 1 he took along a number of messages addressed to various officials of the exhibition, and dropped them over the grounds."

George Mestach died in 1920.
Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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