This is the man getting ready to go up. His name was Frisbie
Contributed by Dan Hazlett, 6-23-10

Grim Death
Closed An Otherwise Re-
markably Successful

by Fred M. Duvall, Publisher
Thursday, September 7, 1911
The widely advertised feature of the Norton County Fair was a flying machine. A contract had been entered into with the Curtiss Amusement Company for three flights a day for the last three days of the fair. The machine was shipped from Philadelphia the Saturday previous, but did not arrive in Norton until Thursday morning, a day after it should have been here and in operation. the mechanics accompanying the aviator went right to work and put the machine together. J. J. Frisbee, the aviator sent here direct fromn the great aviation exhibit at Chicago was to exhibit the machine.

Our information is that the particular machine sent to Norton was Curtiss's own private machine, and what he called a Hydroaeroplane. It was differently built for the regular aeroplane in that it had pontoons attached for the purpose of using it to settle upon and rise from a body of water. The pontoons were removed before sending to to Norton, but apparently not rebalanced. Mr Frisbee started from the west end of the grounds, rising nicely into the air to the height of about 40 feet, when the machine suddenly dropped to the earth like so much stone. The aviator was uninjured, but not the machine. Certain parts of it were badly broken, bent and twisted. This ended the attempt at flying for that day.

Mechanics of the company, and all hands at the garage were put to work on repairing. New pieces were put on from repairs carried, and an attempt to balance up the machine by taking off certain parts and moving the engine forward. About four o'clock Friday afternoon, the machine was pushed out into the parkway inside the track and run down to the northeast part next to the track. There the engine was tried out a couple of times, but no start made. It was said the wind was unfavorable, but our best judgment for that is that Mr. Frisbee had grave doubts of the machine acting right. He was not satisfied that the exact balance of the parts needed for a successful flight existed. It was getting late, the races were over and the people were getting uneasy. One by one, two by two, and directly in bunches, men came down to where the machine was until two hundred people had grouped about the machine. This crowd was given to understand that the conditions were unfavorable and exceedingly dangerous to attempt a flight. Nevertheless, the crowd, or a portion of it, became insistent, jeering at and taunting the aviator. This was kept up until the man became almost frantic, and with the sound of coward, and other abusive epithets ringing in his ears, and contrary to his own and the managers judgement, he jumped into the seat and bidding his goodbye, he sent the machine out into the field, where in about 200 ft it rose into the air.

Contributed by Dan Hazlett, 6-23-10
  It looked for a moment as though a successful flight would be had. When about 60 or 70 feet up the machine made a dip, but instantly headed up again and sailed over the track at a height of a hundred or hundred and twenty-five feet when the aviator took a turn to the north. The tip natural to a turn gave the south wind a chance to get under the planes. The machine seemed absolutely unmanageable, for it turned on edge and came down like a shot, turning completely upside down, just like a kite with insufficient tail, striking the edge of a row of horse barns, demolishing one half of the machine and throwing the aviator into the plane remaining. Mr. Frisbee struck upon his right chest crushing it, and breaking several ribs, and left arm just above the wrist. There was a bruise above the right temple, but the skull was not broken. Assistance came to the unfortunate man immediately, and as soon as a stretcher was brought, he was taken to the hospital, where he died shortly therafter. The body was embalmed, and accompanied by the stricken family to Oswego, new York for burial.
Transcribed by Dan Hazlett, 6-23-10

The Flyer has fallen.
Contributed by Dan Hazlett, 6-23-10


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