Thursday, December 27, 2012

Look Out, Lindbergh - Here I Come by Eddie Schneider as told to Mary Bell Dan. I choose flying as a career and bump into some funny things. I recently flew more than twelve thousand miles in a little over a month, through rain, fog, wind and snow, over mountains, cities and deserts, in a three-year-old, second-hand airplane that had already traveled some five hundred thousand miles. During that time I never was very late for an appointment or put a single scratch on myself. And considering that I am hardly an expert pilot at nineteen years of age, I knew that these statements must prove something about modern commercial aviation. But what? Being pretty close to the picture, it in hard for me to see, but It does seem that it would show that aviation is for young people as well as the older and wiser generation. In fact, in New Jersey, a boy can get his pilot's license two years before he can get his driver's license. So this is aimed at the youngsters, hoping they won't take it too seriously, and those who have arrived at years of discretion, first as pure amusement because some darned funny and interesting things can happen in aviation and second, there is a concealed missionary purpose, to show that aviation has arrived as an industry. Not that it has much bearing on the story, but because people are always asking me, my name is really Eddie: I was christened that way. It isn't very dressy, but it serves the purpose. As for background, my grandfather was some kind of Scandinavian royalty and was thrown out of it for marrying a peasant girl. Dad had a butcher shop in Jersey City. The first time I was in the air was in Germany, from Hamburg to Hanover. My sister Alice was kind of nervous and decided she didn't want to make the flight after all and started to open the door to get out, not knowing that we had taken off and were in level flight. She changed her mind, you bet, and because there was so little motion she got to like it. Dad said, when he stepped out at the airdrome, that he wished he could always travel that way. We had had to coax him hard to get him to fly in the first place. Right then I did some planning. I wanted to learn to fly a ship more than anything I had ever wanted to do in my life, but several months went by, and in the meantime I went back to work in the bank, before I was able to do anything about taking up what I hoped would be my life work. The idea stuck and one Sunday night I went out to Roosevelt Field to find out all I could about it. We have Sunday dinner late in our house and it is a good two and a half hour trip by tube and train, although you can make it in few minutes by air. It was dark when I got there and they were just about to close up for the night when I arrived. I guess they thought I was having a brainstorm by the way I came madly dashing up and asked rapid questions. They didn't take me quite seriously as a prospective student and just merely tolerated me. I fooled them. Two days later I was back again and ready to fly. Bill Ulbrich took me up over the cemetery in Westbury and pointed down, saying. "See that place? Well, you will be there if you touch the controls," and had a piece of iron pipe in his hand to enforce what he said. I don't blame him for not wanting me to monkey with the controls before I knew what it was all about, but the remark seems funny in this day of teaching you to fly by applied psychology. Then he gave me the works, loops, barrel rolls, in fact at that time I had no idea what I was getting. At the end of twenty minutes of stunting he told me to take the controls and keep the nose of the ship going straight and on the horizon in level flight. I did my best, but it was hard because I was dizzy from all the unaccustomed motions. I liked and didn't like it, but was back the next day for more. I didn't want to drag out my period of instruction, but to go through in a hurry. Aviation was beginning to skyrocket. Everyone was interested and there was lots of activity on the field, but not much system, and there was still a good deal of war surplus junk around. One piece they hadn't gotten rid of yet was an old Tommy Horn scout plane. One day a pilot who hadn't flown in about a year took it up and after circling the field a few times made a perfect landing - about feet 50 up. After that ha came down quickly and as the ship hit the ground the old rotary Le-Rhone motor kept right on spinning across the field. The wings folded up like those of a tired pigeon and the fuselage broke in three places and bent up like an old broken-down donkey. The wheels went up over the head of the pilot, who looked alarmed, but wasn't hurt. I learned something every day. Soon after I had started there a mechanic named Porter was cranking an OX Travel Air and forgot to look at the throttle to make sure it was closed. It was unfortunately half open and the minute the engine caught hold the ship started chasing him. I grabbed a wing tip, but that made it go in circles. The mechanic was too rattled to think about heading straight out, and kept just a few steps ahead of the whirling prop. Of course, it could have been a serious affair, but I can remember how funny he looked with a greasy rag that was half out of his pocket, streaming right out straight behind him and the prop almost catching it. He was swearing so hard and fast that that cut down his speed too. We would probably still be running around in circles if dear old Bill Ulbrich hadn't jumped in to cut the switch. My solo was just another solo. Bill ...

A recent photograph of Eddie Schneider with his Cessna. Eddie's winning smile has won him many friends among flyers.

Source: Flying magazine; September 1, 1931. Transcribed by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) on December 24, 2012.
I Break A Record And Have A Swell Time Besides by Eddie Schneider as told to Mary Bell Dan. Random notes on a two-way trip across the continent. From the beginning I had wanted to do something with my flying. Just being able to go up in the air and come down at the same spot wasn't very exciting. Airplanes are for going places quickly, safely and comfortably. I don't know why, but my longing had always been to go to the West Coast. First, because I had never been there, and then for various reasons you fly over all sorts of country on the way, and it is the best way to see the country. Then that is the longest distance you can go without hitting foreign country. Frank Goldsborough had made the old junior transcontinental record. Frank was killed in a very unfortunate and peculiar accident. When he returned from his cross-country flight he was touring around, got into had weather and landed in a low tree. His companion got out all right and so did Frank when a very strange thing happened. His reserve tank, which he carried under the ship fell and struck him in the head. It was the sort of thing that wouldn't happen once in n million times, but the average person never stopped to think that out. The idea got around that it wasn't safe for young fellows and girls to fly. Frank had believed in aviation for boys and girls of high school and college age as the greatest of sports. I wanted to prove he was right and be able to give people something to talk about in connection with junior aviation besides Frank's tough luck. Those ideas were all in the back of my mind, but I hadn't bean able to do anything about them. Then one day I went over to the Westfield Airport where Charlie Dann was and got to talking it over with him - I wished I had money to buy a ship. He was already sold on the idea of young fellows being in the air and had more young fellows at his school than at any other school in the country. We got thinking it over and he suggested that I get some of my friends to form a corporation to buy a half interest in a Cessna he had at his field. It was a cabin ship and the average passenger prefers to ride in an open ship for a short hop and it was too advanced for student training. It was cheap, the total purchase price would be less than half of the real value of the ship and it was in good shape. I knew it was a fast ship because I had followed in the papers when it raced and brought back cups from the different air meets it went in. Then Dad come across and backed me to the half interest in the ship. I could buy the other half interest when I got back with any prize money or advertising checks I received. It was a lucky break. Things began to happen with lightning-like rapidity. I took title around the tenth of August and was off the fourteenth. The reason for this was that the National Air Races were on during the last week in August in Chicago and I wanted to be there. I had two hours time in the ship before I headed west. There were many details to attend to; the engine had to be checked, there wasn't time for an overhaul and the boys at the field worked cheerfully until all hours of the night helping me. We didn't do any special streamlining to add to the top speed of the ship although I bet we could add an easy ten miles an hour by putting pants over the wheels and a cowling over the motor. It was just an ordinary commercial ship and I was glad I could help tell more folks that Papa Cessna builds an honest ship with remarkably clean lines and speed without the doo-dads. We didn't install any special instruments either. We had the ones checked that were in there. The instrument company's man swung the compass for accuracy before we put the extra cans of gasoline aboard. First I bought. a map of the whole United States and laid out on it what seemed to be the best course. I had it beside me at Valley Stream one day just before starting and Frank Hawks looked at it. "Hey, you, where did you get my map?" He was getting ready for his coast to coast flight. Strange thing, we had each laid out a practically identical route. The next stop was to buy state maps, sort them out in the proper order and layout my course on those. Charlie Dann said that wasn't enough, he must have had a hunch about what was going to happen to my compass, so that last night, after we all left the hangar at midnight after throwing in tools, a spare wheel and a bottle of coffee no that I could got right off as soon as dawn broke the next morning, I went to bed and sat up with the maps. In the morning he handed ma n log of points measured on the map with a table of how long It would Lake to get from point to point. In this way I could always know where I was without a compass, by the rivers, mountains, cities and other prominent landmarks. I wasn't waiting for perfect weather because there wouldn't be much aviation if it were all fair day and tall wind flying. All I asked was s little ceiling near Bellefonte where the mountains are apt to be a little too chummy with the clouds. The report indicated a rising ceiling over Bollefonte, which later turned out to be a lot of bologna . It wasn't quite light yet when I got out to the field that morning, but the reporters and men who operated ...

Source: Flying magazine; October 1, 1931. Transcribed by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) on December 24, 2012. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

A recent photograph of Eddie Schneider with his Cessna. Eddie's winning smile has won him many friends among flyers.

I recently flew more than twelve thousand miles in a little over a month, through rain, fog, wind and snow, over mountains, cities and deserts, in a three-year-old, second-hand airplane that had already traveled some five hundred thousand miles. ...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

77th Congress, 1st session } HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES { Report No. 1403


November 7, 1941 to the Committee of the Whole House and ordered to be printed.  
Mr. Keogh, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following


[To accompany H. R. 5290]

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 5290) for the relief of Mrs. Eddie A. Schneider, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to pay the sum of $10,000 to Mrs. Eddie A. Schneider, of 3250 Ninety-third Street, Jackson Heights, Long Island, N. Y. , in full settlement of all claims against the United States for the death of her husband, Eddie A. Schneider, who was killed by the collision of the United States Navy plane with a private plane piloted by him, near Floyd Bennett Field, N. Y. , on December 23, 1940.

Statement of Facts

It appears that on December 23, 1940, a private plane piloted by Eddie Schneider was struck by a Navy plane, piloted by Ensign Kenneth A. Kuehner, United States Naval Reserve, in the vicinity of Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, N. Y., causing the death of Eddie Schneider and completely demolishing his plane.  

The evidence indicates that the first contact of the Navy plane with the private plane was when its propeller cut through the tail of the private plane and out the tail completely off. This was confirmed by the fact that the tail surfaces of the private plane were found later to have been completely severed and by markings found on the propeller of the Navy plane.  

After the propeller of the Navy plane severed the tail surfaces, the private plane pulled ahead for an instant. The Navy plane swung slightly then overtook the private plane, again cutting one of its wings causing it to immediately spin to the waters below. An inspection of the Navy plane revealed that the leading edges of both blades of the propeller had been gouged and nicked, apparently at the time the ...