October 31, 2004

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (DH-4)


This week we feature yet another De Havilland aircraft, the DH-4.

I saw a plane very similar to this one, the Boeing 40B-2, at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry last week. The exhibit was accompanied by the following letter from Leonard B. Hyde-Pearson, an airmail pilot who died in a plane crash in a De Havilland mail plane on March 7, 1924:

"To Be Opened Only After My Death:
Capt. Leonard Brooke Hyde-Pearson, USAMS

"My Beloved Brother Pilots and Pals"

I go west, but with cheerful heart.
I hope whatever small sacrifice I have made
May be of some use to the cause.

When we fly we are fools, they say.
When we are dead, weren't half-bad fellows.
But everyone in this wonderful aviation service
Is doing the world far more good than the public can appreciate.

We risk our necks; we give our lives;
We perfect a service for the benefit of the world at large.
They, mind you, are the ones who call us fools.

But stick to it, boys. I'm still very much with you all.
See you all again.

It's always risky to open a new frontier. The next time you buckle into a commercial jetliner, remember these words of Captain Hyde-Pearson, since you owe safe, routine, air travel in large part to pioneers like him.

Posted by JohnL at October 31, 2004 08:15 PM
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