AKA Frank Payne

Frank Paine

Frank Paine
A Wilkes-Barre Flier"
Collection of Jerry Blanchard, 9-9-09

Transcribed by Nancy Mess, 6-3-04
1911, Mar 4
Aero Decapitates Woman.
. . Bridgeport, Conn. March 3 -Frank Paine, a local aviator, received injuries while flying here today that will prevent his making further ascensions for a month.
  1911, Mar 4
Biplane Turns Turtle in Midair During Test Flight.
. . and same text printed in:
Aviator Fatally Hurt by 50-Foot Fall.
Bridgeport, Conn. March 4. -While tuning up a Curtiss biplane at Seaside park, preparatory to making an exhibition flight, Frank Paine, thirty years old, lost control of his machine and dropped fifty feet to the ground. His machine was totally wrecked, and when Paine was extricated from the debris he was rushed to the hospital in a dying condition. He has internal injuries, one thigh was broken, and it is believed his skull was fractured. He had flown about half a mile at an average height of fifty feet when something went wrong with the machine. It turned turtle in midair and dropped straight to the ground between two trees. There was hardly a part of the biplane that wasn't torn or splintered and beneath the heap of wreckage Paine was so tangled that it was fully five minutes before he could be gotten out. No hope is held out for the aviator's recovery.
  1911, MAY 25, Thursday
Aeroplane Arrives. Local Aviators Flying Machine Meets With Mishap Yesterday
Some of the amateurs who have been trying out their machines on the West Side field this week were not very successful in their efforts to fly. One of two of the machines did little more than tear up the ground and the management of next weeks meet had to have a force of men out smoothing over the field. It has been decided to exercise supervision over all trial flights for the remainder of this week. A great deal of interest is being shown in Frank Paines aeroplane, which is already housed in a tent at the driving park and all ready for participation in the meet. Paine is the only local boy who has had anything like extended experience in flying machines and although he is keeping quiet and not blowing his own horn much, his friends believe that he will make a showing that will be a delightful surprise and a source of local pride. Paine removed his machine from its hanger yesterday morning preparatory to making a flight. He did not go far, however, as the propeller was unable to stand the strain put upon it by the 60-horsepower engine whirling it in the damp air and a new propeller and attachment of stronger material had to be ordered from New York. They are expected to arrive today.
  1911, MAY 26, Friday
McCurdy Here. Miss Grace Huff Goes Up With Paine
. . ."It is the most exhilarating sport there is," declared Miss Grace Huff, leading woman at the Poli, after she had made a short flight with Frank Paine, the local aviator yesterday morning. She was carried as a passenger for about half a mile at a height of 30 or 40 feet from the ground, the first person to view Wyoming Valley from the vantage point of an aeroplane with the exception of Mr. Paine himself.
  1911, MAY 30, Tuesday
Airships Seen Over Valley for First Time
. . .A few minutes before Beachey started out Frank Paine, the former local young man who has an aeroplane of the Curtiss type at the park, and who is scheduled for flights this week, made an unsuccessful attempt to leave the ground. His steering gear became deranged and it is lucky that the mishap came when Paine and his machine were on the ground, for otherwise serious results probably would have attended the incident. In view of this occurrence the crowd half expected repeated failures, but in this there was agreeable disappointment, for both Beachey and McCurdy demonstrated beyond criticism or qualification that they are skilled and competent aviators.
  1911, MAY 31, Wednesday
Beachey and McCurdy Thrill Thousands of Spectators
. . . Five machines were lined up at the starting point on the field. They were the two Curtiss machines, Frank Paines Curtiss type biplane, a new and untried biplane, without a front control, built by the Scranton Motor Car Co., and to be driven by Bert Beavers of that city, a trial flight being schedule for today, and an unfinished monoplane built by four night High School manual training school boys. Frank Paine attempted a flight yesterday but pleaded a mechanical defect as an explanation for further delay. He fully expects to go up today or tomorrow. The crowd was not kept waiting long after 3:00 oclock before the first flight was made. Paines run across the field, which ended without the machine leaving the ground, was quickly followed by a flight by McCurdy over the field as far as North St.
  1911, Sep 15
. . and same text printed in:
Wilkes-Barre Aviator Hurt.
Albion, NY. Sept. 15 -Frank Paine, an aviator from Wilkes-Barre, Pa., was probably fatally injured in making a flight from the Orleans county fairgrounds. Paine made his first run across the field without developing speed enough to take the air. On his second attempt he had ascended not over thirty feet when he suddenly stopped the engine, with the evident intention of descending. The aeroplane turned turtle and crashed to the ground, pinning Paine under the wreckage. He was unconscious when removed to a hospital.
  1911, Sep 16
Aviator Fatally injured.
Albion, NY. Sept 16 -A fall of 30 feet in his aeroplane at the Orleans county fair will probably prove fatal to Frank Paine, aviator, from Wilkes-Barre. He was pinned in the wreckage.

Air Transportation and the Development of the
Aviation Industry in Connecticut
     In Connecticut, as throughout the rest of the country, the flying fever gripped the imaginations of men - men such as Frank Paine Nels J. Nelson, Charles K. Hamilton, George F. Smith, Peter Dion, Howard S. Bunce, Christopher Lake, Percival Spencer, and others.
     Hamilton of New Britain was the first. Chucking his dirigible, he learned to fly airplanes under the great Glenn H. Curtiss in late 1909 and within six months his daring flight exhibitions throughout the United States made him perhaps the best known America flyer at that time. When on July 2, 1910 Hamilton returned to his hometown, New Britain, to show the home folks what flying was like, he was already a popular idol. An estimated 50,000 people gathered at New Britain to watch him make the first public flight in the State. Soon New Britain and Bridgeport became the centers of aviation in the State.
     The faint beginnings of an industry occurred at New Britain when Nelson built, flew and sold several Curtiss-type airplanes between 1911 and 1914. A dozen or more obscure persons in New Britain feverishly rushed construction of airplanes mostly of their own designs. None could surpass Hamilton and Nelson in flying skill or Nelson in construction. The promise of an aviation industry at New Britain faded when Nelson and his partner, Aaron Cohen, failed to win a U.S. Government contract to build Nelson-designed airplanes.
This excerpt is from a paper presented by
Harvey Lippincott in 1977
at the Meeting of
the Association for the Study of Connecticut History.
It is made available through the courtesy of

I highly recommed that you visit this site.
It is a treasure of articles and photos for fans of aviation.

Aviator Probably Fatally Injured
Daily Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: September 15, 1911,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 12-14-03
Albion, N.Y., Sept. 14. - Frank Paine, an aviator from Wilkesbarre, Pa., was probably fatally injured today in making a flight from the Orleans county fair grounds. He had ascended not more than thirty feet when he suddenly stopped the engine with the evident intention of descending. The aeroplane turned turtle and crashed to the ground, pinning Paine under the wreckage."
Bob Davis

Frank Paine died in 1911.
Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this Early Flier,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

BackNext Home