Wright Seaplane  


In June, 1922, Walter changed jobs and went to work with the Dayton Wright Company. He was hired to fly a Dayton Wright FP-2, Forest Patrol, seaplane with two liberty engines into Canada and fly photographers Milton S. Beale and J.R. Doty to take aerial photos.

I took a job with the Dayton Wright Company to fly a twin engine (Liberty) biplane seaplane into Canada to take aerial photos. We set up the plane at Lemington, Ontario. Benny Whelan tested the plane, then instructed me. Colonel V.E. Clark, an engineer with the Dayton Wright Company, came up the day before I was to fly north. He wanted me to fly overland about ten miles to avoid a longer trip around a point of land to get from Lake Erie to Lake Huron. He was very peeved when I refused.
     The next day, we took off, flew around the point of land and within ten miles of Godrich, Ontario, the left engine oil pressure dropped to zero. We were only flying at 1000 feet and I tried to fly on one engine, but finally had to land on the water and taxi the last five miles into Godrich.We stayed there a week, relocating oil tanks, which had been below the engines. Ready to go again, about 2 p.m., Colonel Clark wanted me to shove off for Sault St. Marie, Ontario. I decided it was too late, it might be dusk when we got there. Again, Colonel Clark was peeved at me.
     The next morning, I flew to Sault St. Marie, sat down on a small bay near the town, taxied to shore and tied up. The next day, before refueling, I checked the gas in the tanks with a stick. No gas showed on the stick. I had almost run out of gas on the trip.
     I left the plane and crew at Sault St. Marie and went to Michepicoton on a tug to check out the area. It turned out to be a four day trip, the tug bringing back a raft of pulp wood.
     We were to take pictures of Timberland for ...........? I flew to the Michebecoton harbor and anchored the plane between two ore docks. We lived in a small hotel. We could only fly with no clouds in the sky. The plane was heavy and 6000 feet was about the maximum altitude. Beale took pictures, one after another at certain intervals, which he developed in a makeshift darkroom. We gave several Indians a ride in the plane. One of them mapped out a trapping trip while in the air, his first ride in a plane.
     A Canadian pilot by the name of Williams came to take over the job from me due to some technical orders of the Canadian Government. He wouldn't ride with me for a test flight. He said he knew how to fly, so I never rode with him. Dayton Wright had me stay on the job. Dad Lloyd came up from New York City. We took a two week canoe trip to Michepicoton, a wonderful trip. I took the train back to Dayton.
     Williams was to bring the plane back to the states. On takeoff, he stalled the plane and crashed into the lake. Beale and Williams got out, but the plane sank.


  Wright Seaplane  
  Handwritten on the back by Walter
Front view showing cabin and the engines.
I sit right up in front, just behind the windows.
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