FAA History Lesson -- September 15

From the FAA Historical Chronology, 1926-1996...

”Sep 15, 1928: The Aeronautics Branch published civil aviation accident statistics for the first half of 1928. There was a total of 390 accidents, of which 34 occurred in scheduled flying, 69 in student instruction, 17 in experimental operations, and 270 in miscellaneous flying. Assigned causes blamed pilot error for 43.29 percent of the accidents, engine failure for 16.59 percent, weather for 10.23 percent, and airport or terrain for 8.72 percent. There was a total of 153 fatalities and 276 injuries. Only six of the fatalities occurred in scheduled flying.”

Whenever I write these things I always wind up going off on some tangent (or two.) Nineteen hundred and twenty eight. What the heck was flying back then ? I decided to look and settled on the Sikorsky S-38. It’s maiden flight was in 1928 so it was the “latest-greatest” at the time. I thought this site might give you a feel for the era.

As I was searching around Wikipedia for what was happening in the world of aviation in 1928, I couldn’t help but notice these two blurbs.

”January 6-8 - Lt Christian Schilt makes ten flights in an O2U Corsair to evacuate wounded marines from the besieged village of Quilali, Nicaragua. He is awarded the Medal of Honor.”

”December 12 - Royal Air Force Vickers Victorias evacuate British civilians from Kabul.”

I wonder if, in 80 years, somebody will be saying, “What the heck were the Americans doing in Kabul back in ‘07 ?”

Don Brown
September 15, 2007


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