Frivolous Flying Fact No 4 The rum and the umbrella!

I read this amusing story in a wonderfully detailed account of early flght to The Channel Islands called:

                 From Sea Eagle to Flamingo – Channel Island Airlines 1923 – 1939

                                           by Neville Doyle

You can buy this through stockists via Amazon  or Brian Cook’s Aviation Bookhouse

Here’s the story paraphrased for your enjoyment:

The pilot Henri Biard explains that one passenger could sit in a cockpit in the bow of the plane and two more seated behind this. The pilot was sat just in front of the wings and engine.

It was a stormy day at the end of September1919; extremely cold with gale force winds and hail to contend with. Apparently back in Woolston Hubert Scott Paine ran out just before they set out and thrust a bottle of rum into the hand of one of the passengers, a Swedish millionnaire, to help to keep out the cold.

After about half an hour into the flight the temperature was deathly and the Swedish passenger took a swip from the bottle of rum, after which he tried to pass it back to the pilot. Unfortunately, all the rum poured out and was blown in the slip stream right back into the face of the pilot Henri, making him blinded for a few moments.

Not content with this, the passenger pulled out a gold handled umbrella, which he attempted to open above him. Quick thinking on the part of Henri, who could imagine disaster if the umbrella got caught in the propeller, he grabbed the umbrella and bashed the passenger on the head, knocking him out for the duration of the flight, another five hours!

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Filed under Book reviews, Channel Islands, Early Flight, Flying Boats and Sea Planes, Frivolous Flying Facts, Woolston

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