AKA William C. Robinson
Photo from the Billy Robinson Field Collection
|History||Grinnell Aeroplane Co.||Popcorn King|
KILLED IN FALL
FAMOUS IOWA AVIATOR, WHO HAD FLOWN AT IOWA CITY,
Fell from Height of 16,000 Feet_
Lost 300 Feet Very Sharply, and
Was Burned When Gasoline Tank
Exploded as He Hit the Ground.
The accident occurred near Ewart, ten miles from this city.
the earth and for more than 5,000 feet, according to witnesses, was marked by a series of fluttering drops at the end of which
Robinson would succeed in righting the machine for a moment. When 300 feet from the ground, however, he lost control completely and
the machine darted to the earth.
The dead aviator was known as a cautious flyer and avoided the spectacular feats which characterized the performances of his contemporary, Lincoln Beachey.
W. C. Robinson's heart became affected by the high altitude he reached in his aeroplane Saturday, so that he partially lost contrl of his muscles, which caused the fatal fall near Ewart.
Such was the decision reached by physicians and mechanicians who examined the aviator's body and the wrecked machine immediately after the accident according to Hal Wells, general manager of the Grinnell Aero company.
Wells talked with the flyer just before he started on his fatal trip. Robinson was determined to set an altitude record, and so expressed himself to his partner.
The Aero company and the aero school at Grinnell will be continued despite its founder's death. Wells already is in correspoindence with an aviator of prominence in Chicago who seems willing to take up the work of teaching Iowans aviation where Robinson left off.
Grinnell, until he was within about 300 feet of the earth in his fall. At
that time the machine was making irregular volplanes towards the earth, as though the driver was
trying to control the machine but lacked the strength.
Wells drove an automobile loaded with physicians headed by Dr. O. F. Parish to the place of Robinson's fall. The found the aviator had fallen to a bowl-shaped field surrounded by high hills.
The propeller was smashed, and Robinson's body was lying over the flames, which, when he had been pulled from the machine, had entirely destoryed both hands.
A physician's examination of the body brought the declaration by the doctors that the flyer's heart undoubtedly had been so affected by the thin air in the altitude he had reached that it caused him partially to lose control of his muscles.
Funeral services will be held at Grinnell Tuesday morning. There will be no coroner's inquest.
From the records of Nancy Mess, PO Box 3984, Ithaca, NY 14852-3984
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