Saturday, November 10, 2007

Local Pilot Killed

Local Pilot Killed.
Eddie Schneider And Passenger Die In Crash.

Eddie A. Schneider, 29, veteran pilot and former holder of the junior transcontinental speed record for airplanes, was instantly killed yesterday afternoon when a small monoplane in which he was giving a refresher course to another pilot was struck by U.S. Naval Reserve plane at Floyd Bennett Airport, Brooklyn. Schneider’s plane, one wing sheared off, plummeted in a tight spin into an inlet of Jamaica Bay, causing instant death to Schneider and his student, George W. Herzog, 37. Schneider, a native of New York City was a resident of Jersey City until a few years ago. He became interested in aviation while still a student at Dickenson High School, Jersey City, causing him to leave school when 15 to go to work as a plane mechanic at old Roosevelt Field Hempstead, Long Island. Schneider during his career in aviation broke the East-West, West-East and round trip junior transcontinental records in 1930 in his famous red Cessna monoplane, when only 18. He crossed the continent from Westfield Airport, New Jersey, to Los Angeles in 29 hours and 41 minutes, breaking the record of the late Frank Goldsborough. Eddie was at one time the youngest licensed commercial pilot and competed in air races and meets with men far more experienced and older than he was, after carrying off first honors. In the Ford National Reliability Tours of 1930 and 1931. Schneider with his red Cessna, carried off the Great Lakes Trophy one year, and then took first place the next year. In one of the air tours a defect in a propeller caused the engine of his plane to break loose while flying over a mountainous section of Kentucky, and Schneider made a forced landing in a corn patch on a side of the mountain. A new engine was rushed to him and after an extremely difficult takeoff, which experienced airmen, said was not possible, he went on to win first place in the tour. Schneider in 1934 became the manager of the old Jersey City Airport at Droyers Point, operating the filed for a period of a little more than a year. While at the airport he taught many Hudson County students how to fly. Schneider had a narrow escape in 1935 when a Travelair biplane in which he and a student were taking off from the airport landed in Newark Bay after the motor suddenly went dead at 100 feet of attitude. The plane was only slightly damaged in the forced water landing. Schneider and the student Al Clemmings, wading to shore. In 1936 Eddie with Bert Acosta and three other pilots, enlisted in the Yankee Escadrille of the Loyalist Air Corps in Spain. For several months Schneider was flying antiquated planes, which had been rigged up with racks, dropping bombs on military objectives of the Franco forces. Schneider finally became thoroughly disgusted with the Communist regime, which he said was directing the Loyalist forces, and after many difficulties, returned to this country. Since returning from Spain, Schneider, a licensed airplane mechanic since he was 15, worked for American Airlines, first at Newark Airport and then at La Guardia Airport, New York City, first as a mechanic, then as instrument inspector. About six months ago he resigned his post with American Airlines to take a position as student instructor with the Archie Baxter Flying Service teaching Civil Aeronautics Authority students to fly. Yesterday afternoon Schneider took Herzog, a resident of New Hyde Park, Long Island, up for a refresher course. Herzog, holder of a commercial license, had allowed the license to lapse, and was required to take dual flying time before his license would be renewed. Schneider was flying at about 600 feet altitude, coming in for a landing, when a United States Naval Reserve biplane piloted by Ensign Kenneth A, Kuehler, 25, of Rochester, Ohio, was observer, struck the tail assembly of Schneider’s tandem Piper Cub. The tails surfaces and left wing of Schneider’s plane were badly damaged and as the two planes separated after the mid-air collision, the small monoplane went in a tight spin, striking Deep Creek several hundred feet from Flatbush Avenue and sinking. The Naval Reserve plane was able to land at the airport. Airport emergency crews raced to the spot where Schneider’s plane had submerged and the bodies of Schneider and Herzog were taken from the plane within a very few minutes after the crash. Attempts were made to to revive the two, but a Kings County Hospital ambulance intern pronounced both dead on arrival at the scene. It is believed that both were killed by the impact of the plane with the water. The bodies were taken to Kings County Hospital and Schneider will be released today and brought to Jersey City for funeral services. Herzog is survived by a widow and two small children. Schneider lived in Jersey City at 114 Carlton Avenue in the Hudson City section when he established the transcontinental records.

Note: The New York Times on May 16, 1935 identifies the student as "Fred Weigel, 31, of 77 Lembeck Avenue, Jersey City"

Source: Jersey Journal; Jersey City, New Jersey; December 24, 1940.

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