World Flight Splits Up after Encountering Bad Weather
by Lt. L. P. Arnold, "Chicago", Mechanic
Up at 6 -- weather good although fog & showers expected for first part of trip. At 8:30 3 & 4 ["Boston" & "New Orleans"] got off but couldn't get #2 up ["Chicago"] -- Wade [pilot of "Boston"] finally landed & "blew" us off & at 9:35 set out for Iceland via Faroe Islands. Fog encountered just five minutes [into the flight] -- getting worse steadily -- finally all ran into thick fog bank mixed with rain -- "not so good" going through it -- finally 2 & 3 came out on top at 2800 feet. No sight of #4 & after cruising around 30 minutes looking for him decided best to return in case of accident. Dropped note to Major Davidson at Kirkwall Hotel & then landed.
After lunch Ogden [mechanic of "Boston"] & I returned & fueled planes -- cruiser returned at 6 -- dinner at hotel & then came aboard ship for the night.
News finally came through Nelson [pilot of "New Orleans"] went down when others went up & not knowing where we were continued flight, reaching Hornafjord about 6:10 -- a nice flight for him but too bad we all couldn't be there instead of part of us being here.
by Lt. L. H. Smith, Commanding
Fog in Kirkwall and along the route between Kirkwall and Iceland prevented the flight starting until this morning. The "Chicago", in attempting to take off, had considerable difficulty in getting up onthe step of the pontoons and could not do so until the "Boston" came down, landing directly in front. This created sufficient roughness of water and currents of air to the "Chicago" off. The flight started at 8:34. Fog was encountered within 5 miles after departure and finding it impossible to go under, the flight climbed above the fog, continuing on the course for about 30 minutes when all 3 planes were trapped in heavy fog. It was impossible for the planes to see each other. The "Chicago" & "Boston" using their instruments, climbed and turned back out of the fog, coming out at an altitude of 2800 feet, where they circled for about 30 minutes looking for the "New Orleans". Fearing some accident had befallen the latter, the two returned to Kirkwall, dropping a note at the Hotel to immediately give out information regarding the separation.
The "New Orleans", falling through the fog partially out of control, continued and reached Iceland safely. The cause of the separation of the flight is best explained by the following radiogram from the pilot of the "New Orleans" to the Flight Commander:
"LIEUT. LOWELL SMITH
AUGUST 2, 1924
GOT INTO PROPELLER WASH AND NEAR TAIL SPIN CAME OUT JUST ABOVE WATER PAST FOG BELT ARRIVED FIVE THIRTY SEVEN.