World flyers arrive in Eugene, Oregon
Three of four world flyers, scheduled to begin the their attempt to become the first aviators to fly around to world early next month, arrived in Eugene, Oregon today after a flight of about 475 miles.
For the second straight day, engine problems forced one of the flyers to make an unscheduled landing. Yesterday, Major Martin was forced down, today the bad luck fell on Lt. Wade's ship. A little more than an hour after taking off from Mather field, the Douglas World Cruiser developed engine trouble. Lt. Wade landed his plane in near Cottonwood, California a small town about 10 miles south of Redding.
Without a proper landing field, Lt Wade was forced to land in clear level stretch of land of suitable size. The rough condition of the area broke the tail skid on Lt Wade's plane. Several of the escort planes accompanying the world flyers on their first few test hops also landed at Cottonwood to assist with repairs. Lt Wade and his mechanic Sergeant Henry Ogden inspected the engine and soon located the trouble. A drain valve on the engine cooling system had somehow vibrated open and most of the water drained away. Refilling the radiator with water after closing and securing the open valve solved the problem. The tail skid was repaired and reinstalled on the aircraft and the World Cruiser took off a short time later.
Major Martin and Lt Smith arrived in Eugene after about 5 hours flying followed by Lt Wade who arrived 45 minutes later due to his forced landing. The flyers are expected to continue their next test hop tomorrow when they plan to fly to Portland.
Lt. Nelson returns to Clover Field
Lieutenant Erik H. Nelson, pilot, and Lieutenant John "Jack" Harding, Jr., mechanic, returned to Clover Field, Santa Monica, California today after completing work on their brand new Douglas World Cruiser at Rockwell Field, San Diego. A 90 minute test flight (9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.) was completed over Clover Field to ensure the engine was running properly and to make a final check of the aircraft's systems.
Lt Nelson plans to depart early tomorrow morning in pursuit of the other three world flyers. Nelson expects to bypass the first two stops made by the other world flyers -- Mather Field and Eugene --and fly directly to Portland, Oregon.
If all goes according to plans, the complete team of eight men flying 4 aircraft will proceed to Sand Point near Seattle, Washington on March 20th. The official start of the world flight is scheduled for the first week in April, but much work will need to be done to prepare the aircraft to fly off into the unknown. In particular, the wheels on the airplanes need to be removed and replaced with pontoons so the aircraft can use the water to take off and land on the first part of their journey.