Darting In And Out Among Rolling
Black Storm Clouds Aviators Flew
Oscar Brindley
Brindley's Escape from Death

     Clinton Vidor, of the Aviation Company, which concern is conducting the present aviation meet in South Charleston, in speaking of Oscar Brindley's sensational flying feat yesterday afternoon, declares that it was the greatest thing he ever saw done in the air. He describes it from the aviation standpoint, thus:
     "Brindley had stayed up in the air too long and the storm had come on him, full of treacherous whirlpools and cross currents. He couldn't land in the regular place without running 60 miles an hour into the grand stand, so he swung around to the south, like a giant albatross, went 100 miles an hour down the wind.
     When he turned we signalled him to make it near the grand stand., where he could go from the wind instead of to it and hit nobody. I ran up and hollered "You son of a gun for God's sake clear that group . This was all it could........
Brindley, Heth and Peck
Played Tag With Death
In Teeth of
One Airship Crashed Into
the Grand Stand---
Spectator Slightly

     Cavorting around in the blackened clouds, flying hard in the teeth of the oncoming gale or racing madly on the wings of the storm---now lost to view in the bosom of a terrific northeaster and then sweeping around again swift as an eagle's flight---the aviators wound up a spectacular and thrilling exhibition of airship navigation by desperate dashes for safety and sensational landings on the all too small and crowded field at South Charleston yesterday afternoon, without a serious mishap. It was an afternoon of exciting events and miraculous escapes---short as it was.
     One spectator, Harry Campbell, a young man, was hit by Aviator Heth's plunging airship, which ran into the grandstand, and was slightly cut on the head and face. Another man and a woman, who failed to get out of the way, were struck glancing blows, but were only slightly bruised.
     After the last aviator, Brindley, made his dashing escape "home:" in safety and ..........
Collection of Sally Tippett Buel, 1-23-04


Gazette Newsclipping, June 28, 1912
Several Thrills Experienced
By Those Who Attended
the Meet on

Encircles State House in
Columbia Bi-Plane, and
Makes Return in
1 1-2 Minute
     If the several thousand people who attended the third and last day's demonstration of the Berger Aviation Company at the South Charleston aviation grounds yesterday afternoon did not get their money's worth, it was not because of an absence of the efforts of the management or the aviators to entertain or because of a lack of sensational features. So far as the knowledge of the Gazette extends, no one has yet had the nerve to register even the semblance of a kick, against the three-days attraction which leaves the city this morning, and the man who did so would immediately stamp himself in the estimation of the people of Charleston as a grouch, a grump, a sorehead and a knocker. In short, yesterday's exhibition, atmospheric conditions considered, was better than the promises of the aviation company and that could have been expected in reason.
Peck's Long Flight
     The best feature of the last day was the flight of Paul Peck from an open field about half a mile west of the aviation grounds to this city and return, the trip being completed in 14 minutes and the aviator soaring at one time to a height of 2,000 feet or greater. Peck made this flight toward the city in the face of a heavy gale which blew from the northeast, and the game little flyer with his Columbia bi-lane had to battle for every inch he gained against the wind. But he made his way little by little towards the point he had set out to gain, and held his high-power craft straight in her course until he had passed the statehouse grounds. Then, making a sudden and sensational turn, with the planes of his machine standing at a dangerous angle, he made his return at a speed estimated at 70 to 75 miles per hour, making a safe and easy landing in an open field near the aviation grounds.
Heth's Flight
     The first flight of the afternoon was made by Eugene Heth at 2:45 o'clock. Two minutes later he was followed by Oscar Brindley, and both were in the air at the same time. Both climbed rapidly and in a few moments the two Wright machines were soaring at a height of 1,000 to 1,500 feet. Heth came down at 2:56, making his descent with a spiral that gave the spectators a thrill and earned for him a chorus of lusty cheers.
An Emergency Landing
     While Heth and Brindley were preparing for flight, the rise of a bank of black clouds to the eastward, with the ominous mutter of thunder and a gusty breeze which seemed to blow in every direction at once, gave indication of an approaching storm. While Brindley was still in the air, it momentarily grew more variable............
Collection of Sally Tippett Buel, 1-23-04

Oscar Brindley
Lightning Flashed and Thunder Rolled as Brindley Opened the Aviation Meet
Bird Man Went Up at 3:06 and Came Down at 3:12---Meet Continues Tomorrow and Wednesday---Storm Drives Many Home
Unidentified Newsclipping, July 29, 1912
     While the lightning flashed and the thunder rolled, Oscar Brindley this afternoon defied the elements for six minutes when he made the first flight of the first aviation meet every held in Morgantown. The flight was delayed until 3:06 in the hopes that a threatening storm would pass, but when the crowd began to get restless and the wind continued as strong as ever, Brindley declared that he would make a flight rather than disappoint the eager hundreds who had flocked to the fair grounds to witness the flights.
     At 3 o'clock the crowd was cleared away from the starting field and the biplane was wheeled from its hangar to one end of the field. As Brindley took his seat the engine was started and hundreds of Morgantowners heard for the first time the loud, sharp whir of the wooden blades as they revolved. After the engine had warmed up and all of the ropes had been tested, the helpers let go of the machine and it glided forward, running about 70 feet before it began gradually to rise from terra firma. A burst of applause went up as the aviator gracefully circled higher and higher in his machine, wheeling first to the left and executing a circle over the fair grounds. After circling around several times, he landed successfully on a rather uneven stretch of ground about 200 feet from the point of his start.
     During the flight the officials of the Berger company were keenly anxious as to Brindley's safety, for storm clouds which were passing over the Flats made aviation, at any time exceedingly dangerous, extra hazardous. At times the strong wind buffeted the light supporting frames and drove the biplane sideways, but Brindley at all times maintained perfect control and landed with ease.
     Because of the threatening weather, many of the spectators left the field after the first flight, although announcement was made that a second flight would be made after the engine had cooled. Brindley started at 3:06 and landed at 3:12. He carried no passengers as the company was unwilling to take the risk on account of the bad weather conditions.
     For a time this morning it looked as though the rain would intefere with Morgantown's aviation meet, but by noon the skies had cleared and when the crowd assembled at the fair grounds old Sol was beating down with all the force of a regular summer day. The Wright biplane was unloaded at the freight station this morning and was taken out to the fair grounds on a specially constructed truck. Because of the fact that the machine is not collapsible some difficulty was encountered in transferring the big airship to the exhibition field.
     Oscar Brindley, the intrepid airman, arrived in Morgantown on the 5:31 yesterday evening and immediately went ot the field to inspect the ground. This morning he visited the Flats again and at noon promptly the Berger Aviation company officials, together with Brindley, left the Madeira hotel in an automobile.
Collection of Sally Tippett Buel, 1-23-04

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