The REAL Aviator

February 9, 1927
Los Angeles

deathdefyinSure, while we’ve repeatedly reported to you about blindfolded drivings—today was announced something that actually guarantees splintering wood and crunching metal.  

Finley Henderson has a really good idea:  dive an airplane from a height of 1,000 feet, clip the wings from the machine between two telegraph poles, and crash into a bungalow with the remains of his plane at sixty miles an hour.

Don’t worry:  he wears the shoulder and shin guards of the football field, the breast pad of the baseball umpire and a catcher’s mask.  Kids, try this at home.  Above your home.  Into your home.

Sponsored by Earl L. White and KELW!  Come on out to Burbank’s Magnolia Park and watch the fun!

FearlessFinleyFor the record, when the stunt was performed on February 20, Finley emerged unscathed, smoking a cigarette.  And then noted for the wowed crowd and boys of the press “The stunt is easy if you know how to do it.”

Finley made the news again in June, when, at the Glendale Airport Air Rodeo, just as he was stepping into his plane (this time, to crash into a barn), in front of all those eager spectators, United States Deputy Marshal Charles F. “Spoil Sport” Walsh served Finley a summons.  Hot on Walsh’s heels were pansy Capts. Walter F. Parkin and William B. Breingan, of the recently created Aeronautics Branch, United States Department of Commerce (oh, Mary), there to enforce their writ of injunction restraining Finley from performing the stunt.

Apparently, these hi-falutin’ aeronautics fellows have just made stunting within five miles of a regularly established and operated air line against the law…apparently also is flying a plane that is wholly unsafe, and is likely to collapse upon the audience when in flight.

But wasn’t that part of the thrill?  No wonder we went into a depression.

Will the Real Charles Lindbergh Please Stand Up?

Lindbergh Reaches Paris

May 21, 1927
Le Bourget Field, France

You have may have heard songstress Sophie Tucker, the last of the red hot mammas, belting out “Fifty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong”.

Maybe 50 million Frenchmen can’t be wrong, but in smaller numbers they are capable of making humiliating blunders.

In the midst of the frenzy surrounding Capt. Charles A. Lindbergh’s successful landing today at Le Bourget Field outside of Paris, a horde of ecstatic French revelers hoisted a young American man to their shoulders. Believing that the man who had fallen and been trampled on was the famed transatlantic aviator, they triumphantly bore him to the American Ambassador to France, Myron Herrick, chanting “C’est lui!” (It is he!) Lindbergh Sketch

Held aloft by the cheering mob, the frightened man repeatedly screamed “Let me go! I am not Lindbergh!” But his entreaties fell upon ears fluent only in French. Squirming and shouting, he was carried for quite a distance and finally up a flight of stairs in the Administration Building, where he was to be welcomed by a delegation of dignitaries.

Ambassador Herrick took one look at the man’s disheveled business suit, wilted collar and torn necktie and immediately realized the crowd’s error. Members of the crowd could be heard muttering “mon dieu” and “merde” as news of their embarrassing faux pas made its way to the outer perimeters of the group. The throng of people then unceremoniously dumped the counterfeit Lindbergh at the Ambassador’s feet, and dashed off in search of the real flying ace.

Meanwhile, the genuine and more nattily attired Capt. Lindbergh had been rescued from the mob by several French pilots. The pilots had taken Lindbergh to a waiting automobile and were well on their way to Paris as multitudes of French citizens sought “Lucky Lindy” in vain.

History has recorded neither the name nor the fate of the man who was mistaken for Lindbergh.