Knoxville Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: February 26, 1914,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 2-20-07
Lieut. H. B. Post Plunges 600 Feet to Death
BROKE ALTITUDE RECORD
Descending From Spectacular Flight Birdman Thrown From Machine
as Wings of Hydro-Aero Boat Suddenly Give Away.
The Commercial Appeal
Mamphis, Tennessee: February 10, 1914,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 3-13-07
Broke American Record.
Post left the North Island hangars at 8:50 o'clock after having declared his intention to break the American altitude record for hydro-aeroplanes. Within an hour he had attained a height of 12,120 feet, the barograph showing this figure when recovered from the wreckage. A series of wide spirals was a feature of the descent, the machine appearing to be under perfect control. When within 600 feet of the water the plane was seen to collapse, then careen. The next instant the unfortunate pilot was hurled from his seat and the machine plunged downward like a bullet.
Post fell into five feet of water, the wrecked craft disappearing from sight a few feet distant.
Capt. Arthur S. Cowan, head of the First corps, declared the machine which Post was piloting was responsible solely for the fatal accident. "The man had a natural ability of a born flier and it had to take the breakage of his machine to cause his death," said Capt. Cowan.
Is Sixth to Die.
Post is the sixth army aviator attached to the First aero corps flying the army type of machine to meet death since the school was established. The other fatalities are:
Lieut. Rex Chandler, killed April 8, 1913.
Lieut. J. D. Park, killed while attempting a flight from San Diego to Los Angeles.
Lieut. Moss L. Love, crushed beneath machine in short fall on aviation grounds.
Lieut. E. L. Ellington, chief instructor, and Lieut. Hugh M. Kelly, pupil, plunged to death Nov. 4.
Lieut. Post was 28 years old. He came here July 28, 1923, from Honolulu, where he was attached to the Twenty-fifth Infantry and became a military aviator Nov. 11. He is survived by his widow and his sister, who came here only recently to visit him from their home in Babylon, Long Island, where his mother also resides, and a brother, V. Z. Post, the novelist, His father died two weeks ago. The body will be sent to Washington, D. C., for burial in Arlington National Cemetery.
Transcribers note: What was described was quite possibly the improper exit from a spiral. Deaths from spiraling descents became known as 'graveyard spirals.' Instead of leveling the airplane by removing the bank angle before pulling back on the elevator controls to slow the airplane, quite possibly the pilot pulled back first. The turn tightens and if not careful the g-loads to which the airplane was designed was exceeded. So then one or both wings (planes) breaks off. Bob Davis, CFIA
2D LIEUT 25TH INFANTRY U S A
FIRST AERO SQUADRON
JUNE 15, 1885
FEBRUARY 9, 1914
Located in the Arlington National Cemetery
Photo courtesy of Michael Patterson, 5-9-04
Webmaster of the
Arlington National Cemetery Website
If you have any more information on this Early Flier,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper