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PILOT STORIES: James C. Edgerton

Carrying mail brought down from New York that first day of service, Edgerton took off at 6:30 p.m. May 15, 1918 on the Philadelphia to Washington leg of the route. Major Fleet ordered a line-up of cars to light the Polo Fields for his flyer so Edgerton would be able to find the field for landing. During his flight, Edgerton flew into a thunderstorm at 10,000 feet. "One instant the airplane became a tremendous elevator, leaping skyward hundreds of feet," he noted, saying, "then the bottom promptly falls out , dizzy fall of hundreds of feet. I was attacked by solid waves of air."

When he landed, Edgerton and his mechanic looked over the airplane for damage. The wooden propeller had taken a beating in the storm. Paint was chewed off; slivers of wood had been chipped away, unbalancing the propeller; and the fuselage had been flooded with water.

Click here to go back to the Short Summary of James C. Edgerton.

Edgerton's airplane leaving Philly for DC  
  Edgerton surrounded by dignataries
Click on the photos to view a larger image.

(top left) Edgerton's airplane leaving Philly for DC

(bottom right) Edgerton surrounded by dignataries prior to leaving for DC
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