Chapter 19 - 1930



NY Herald Tribune September 1, 1930

Six Balloons Off In Annual Race for Air Trophy - 19th Gordon Bennett Derby Gets Under Way After Delay at Cleveland Field. - By The Associated Press - CLEVELAND, September 1


Six balloons representing four nations floated away from Cleveland airport into a leaden sky late to-day to compete in the eighteenth (sic) renewal of the Gordon Bennett international cup race.

Carried by gentle air currents, five of the bags, the French, German and Belgian entries, the Goodyear VIII, and the City of Cleveland, tonight were reported drifting in an easterly direction over Ohio.

The City of Detroit, the sixth entry and the first balloon to weigh off, struck an air current from the start that blew it due northeast toward Lake Erie in the direction of Toronto.


Scan Lake for Balloon


Following a report from A. E. Starn, of Sheffield in Ashtabula County that he had seen a balloon he believed to be the City of Detroit perilously low over Lake Erie, two Coast Guard cutters left here at 9 p.m. to render aid if the bag descended into the lake. They returned later tonight and reported they had found no trace of the balloon.

Members of the Gordon Bennett race committee discounted the report that the balloon was seen near Sheffield, which is near the Cuyahoga-Lorain County line, west of here.

At 8 p.m. the Goodyear, French and German entries were seen drifting slowly over East Cleveland, in a southeasterly direction from Cleveland. Members of the Coast Guard at Fairport Harbor, in Lake County, near Painesville, said they saw at 6:55 p.m. the City of Detroit, at 7:15 p.m. the City of Cleveland and 8 p.m. a balloon believed to be the Belgian entry going in a northeasterly direction.

A crowd estimated at from 50,000 to 100,000, some in the grandstand and others lining the spacious airport for miles around, watched the 80,000 cubic feet bags drift into the late afternoon sky.

If the predictions of the aerologists and the hopes of the pilots come true, forty-eight hours will elapse before the winner will be known and the distance traveled may exceed 900 miles. [list]


War Pilot in French Entry


The crew of the French balloon, the Pierre Fiskback (Eisbach), comprised Albert Boitard of Paris, a war pilot and Jean Herbe, also of Paris, his aide.

Roland J. Blair, winner of the 1930 elimination race, piloted the City of Cleveland, entered by the local Chamber of Commerce. His companion was F. A. Trotter.

C. J. Andrus, aerologist of the Cleveland Weather Bureau, predicted that the City of Detroit probably would pass over Lake Erie at Painesville, Ohio. If the other bags should be carried over the lake their crews, like the Detroit balloonists, will have ample safety equipment to guard against tragedy. The baskets were supplied with life preservers and rubber boats. Inflated boats hung from the rigging of the Barmen and the Goodyear. -


Akron Balloon Believed Winner in Bennett Race - Van Orman Lands at Canton, Mass., after 550-Mile Air Journey From Cleveland - All Entries Down Safely - One Hits Tree, But Is Unhurt; Victor Misses Smokestack -  By The Associated Press - CLEVELAND, September 2


Officials of the nineteenth annual Gordon Bennett international balloon race here to-night believed that the United States had won the event when they received an Associated Press report that Ward T. Van Orman of Akron had landed the Goodyear VIII near Canton, Mass. at about 9:15 p.m. Eastern Standard time.

This belief was based on measurements on a meteorological map at Municipal Airport which gave Van Orman's distance from the airport where his balloon and five others started late yesterday as 550 miles.

Captain Ernest Demuyter, pilot of the Belgian entry the Belgica, landed near Adams, Mass., which was calculated to be 435 miles from the starting point.


Germans Fly 425 Miles


The distance the Barmen, the German entry piloted by Dr. Hugo Kaulen Jr. and Carl Goetze Jr. covered was calculated as 425 miles. It was forced down at Pittsfield, N.Y.

It was estimated that the City of Detroit, one of the three entries from the United States had traveled 400 miles before it came down in a brickyard at Coeymans, twelve miles south of Albany. The pilot was E. J. Hill. His aid was Arthur Schlosser.

Roland J. Blair, with his aid, F. A. Trotter, who won the 1930 national balloon race, flew their City of Cleveland, the other American entry, 350 miles according to the calculations. Blair, in a long-distance telephone conversation tonight with race headquarters, said he tried to bounce his balloon on the ground and thus send it up again and gain altitude. The bag was torn on a tree, technically disqualifying it. Its landing was near Copenhagen N.Y.

The French entry, the Pierre Fishbach, was able to reach only 100 miles. according to the calculations. It descended at Smithville, Ont.


Would Be His Third Victory


If Van Orman is declared the winner this will be the ninth time that the Gordon Bennett cups have gone to an entrant from the United States and this will be the third race that Van Orman has won. The 550 miles which he is estimated to have traveled is somewhat lower than the average mileage attained by the Gordon Bennett racers but is a greater distance than he traveled last year to win the eighteenth annual race, when he flew from St Louis to Troy, Ohio, approximately 341 miles.

Having started at the Cleveland municipal airport at 5:20 p.m., the Goodyear VIII was in the air twenty-seven hours fifty-five minutes.

Van Orman and his aid, Allan McCracken, decided that Canton, Mass. probably was the best spot in which to land with the Atlantic Ocean so near at hand. They began their descent early this evening. At Thompson, Conn., they were seen flying low, with their drag rope touching the ground.

The bag barely missed the smokestack at the Neponset Woolen Mills at Canton, Mass., just before it came to earth ten feet from a fence. The pilot and aid began preparations to leave immediately.


Akron Balloon's 550 Miles Wins Bennett Trophy - Belgian, second in Race, Is Threatened With Disqualification for Dropping Aid - By The Associated Press - CLEVELAND, September 3


It gave the United States its fifth consecutive victory in the Bennett race, and its second leg on the third Bennett Cup.

[lists of standings]

Captain Demuyter, who has won four of the Bennett races, and who gave the first Bennett trophy to Belgium, was threatened with disqualification, air race officials said, through alleged violation of the race rules. He finished at Adams, Mass., a flight of approximately 435 miles.

The threatened disqualification of Demuyter's flight came from the daring act of his aid, Leon Coeckelbaerg, who climbed down the drag rope and jumped into a tree to lighten the load as the balloon began to drop. Race headquarters said the rules required both the pilot and aid to remain in the basket until the end of the flight. -



NO RACE IN 1931. It was the Depression, and pilots in Europe found it too costly to come to America, which has at this time won 9 of 19 races.