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PILOT STORIES: Doty, Lyman W.

Air Mail Service Began: December 6, 1918
Air Mail Service Ended: October 14, 1919
Assignment: Belmont Park, New York
  August 1, 1919 – College Park, Maryland
  August 20, 1919 – Belmont Park, New York

Only three weeks after Lyman Doty was hired to fly the mail, he was flying from New York to Philadelphia in an unmodified de Havilland aircraft. The craft's Liberty engine begin to miss over Brooklyn, so Doty headed back to Belmont. While landing there, the de Havilland's faulty axle gave way and the fuselage crumpled. Trapped in the front compartment, Doty was badly hurt, but he recovered after a number of operations and three months of recovery. Doty was flying mail again by July 1919.

On October 14, 1919, Doty suffered an airmail crash that he did not survive. He was flying the same Washington – New York route when witnesses near Catonsville, Maryland, saw his airplane, flying low in a thick fog. As they watched in horror, Doty's airplane hit the top of a tree and plunged to ground where the airplane turned over and caught fire. Witnesses couldn't reach Doty in time, and he was killed in the fire.

Lyman W. Doty  
  Telegram regarding the 1918 accident
Click on the photos to view a larger image.

(top left) Doty

(bottom right) Telegram regarding the 1918 accident
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