Trenton Evening Times/Aviator Walsh falls 2,000 feet at Fair Grounds

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Aviator Walsh falls 2,000 feet at Fair Grounds
Trenton Evening Times; Trenton, New Jersey; October 3, 1912

Biplane Collapses When Daring Birdman Attempts Spiral Descent After Climb of 4,000 Feet.

Monster Crowd Sees Him Crash To Earth in Wreck[edit]

Charles F. Walsh, bird man at the Inter-State Fair, was dashed to his death in full view of thousands of people in the grand stand and about the grounds, late this afternoon. Walsh fell about 2,000 feet while attempting to make a spiral descent after a perfect climb ot a height of at least 4,000 feet. The accident was due to the collapse of one of the planes of the car, although the exact reason for the mishap will probably never be known. The biplane was about three quarters of a mile from the crowded grand stand and far above the earth, when Walsh began his spiral descent. He made three perfect turns and was about to swing around on the fourth, when suddenly the car seemed to turn on one end, pointing downward. Then it was seen from the ground that one of the immense planes was broken. For a moment or two those on the ground could see the aviator struggling desperately to regain his balance by trying to clmb up over the unbroken parts of his car. Then the whole apparatus took a sudden shift, crashing and tangled to the ground.

Crowd in Panic[edit]

The sight was one such as is seldom seen. The vast crowd at the --some sixty thousand persons was hushed into almost death-like silence as man and air struggled for the supremacy. Then as the monster bird-like machine tore asunder the crowd gasped in horror, to see the flier dashed to his doom. Women almost fainted at the awful sight, and men turned away. It was however, all over in a minute or two and then there was a rush to the scene--friends and associates of the unfortunate man hoped against hope to be able to do something for his relief and others were curious to see how he had fared in his terrible fall.

Doctors to the Spot[edit]

Dr. Perkins of Princeton and Dr. Dowdell of the McKinley Hospital this city, were at the hospital tent on the grounds when the accident occurred. They jumped into R.C. Manning's auto and drove rapidly to the place. When the doctors and others arrived they found Walsh under the wreckage and pinned down by the engine.

Every Bone Broken[edit]

Every bone in his body was broken said Dr. Perkins, in telling of the case. "His face was cut and his body was battered." "It is not likely, however," the doctor continued, "that he knew what hit him when he struck the earth. He was doubtless unconscious from his terrible fall through the air." The body of the dead man was picked up and placed in the auto for removal to the morgue, while the machinist went to work on the airship, which was found to be a complete wreck. In the meantime activities on the fair grounds were again under way, although everyone and everything seemed to be subdued by the solemnity of what had happened. Many people left the grounds.

Sketch of Walsh[edit]

Young Walsh -- he was only about 35 years of age -- was a native of San Diego, California, where he lived with his wife and two small children. His wife and children are now visiting at Hammondsport, New York, having intended to remain there while the husband and father was flying in the East. Walsh learned flying with Lincoln Beachy, his only real rival in the business. Mrs. Beachy was at the fair here today and rode around the track with Walsh previous to his fatal flight. She was almost prostrated by the accident. Walsh had been flying all the week, making spectacular flights daily. The spiral descent in which he met his death is the descent which has cost the lives of practically all the many recent victims of the air.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).