Aeronautics: Flights of the Week, Aug. 24, 1931

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The Lindberghs. From Point Barrow, where they had their first dogsled ride and where, in the schoolhouse the Colonel made a speech to the populace of eight whites and several hundred Eskimos, the Lindberghs headed south to Nome. Mrs. Lindbergh radioed ahead asking that flares and bonfires be prepared for their landing, but 100 mi. short of Nome they ran into soupy fog, sat down at Shishmaref south-west of Kotzebue Sound to wait for clear weather. (LINDYS LOST IN ARCTIC SEA headlined the catchpenny New York Evening Graphic.) Several hours later they reached Nome, put their ship down on Safety Bay, 21 mi. away, instead of in the Nome River. There they dined on reindeer meat with Territorial Senator Alfred Julian Lomen; witnessed an Eskimo "wolf dance," performed for the second time in 20 years; heard oldtime wireless operators pay tribute to Mrs. Lindbergh as "a good ham [amateur operator]. Her signals were clear and nice." Colonel Lindbergh announced casually that from the Orient —he and Mrs. Lindbergh would fly on across Asia to Europe, fly home across the Atlantic via the Azores.

Reports on the Lindberghs became rare and perfunctory as they left Alaska and headed out over the Bering Sea to Siberia. Radio messages stated that they had paused at their fuel cache on Karagin Island off the Kamchatka Peninsula, then flown down to Petropavlovsk near the southmost tip of the peninsula. Next they would traverse the storm-ridden Kurile Islands to Tokyo where elaborate greetings awaited them.

Northeast Passage (Cont'd). Pilot Parker ("Shorty") Cramer and Radioman Oliver Pacquette had just started the motor of their Bellanca seaplane and were taxiing across the little harbor of Lerwick, Shetland Islands, when a messenger came running down the waterfront, waving a yellow paper. It was a warning of gales on the course east to Copenhagen, where the flyers were about to complete their survey of a subarctic air mail route from the U. S. (TIME, Aug. 17). Officials signaled frantically to Cramer & Pacquette but the former mistook the gestures for farewells, circled the town, flew away over the ocean. The storm broke, a hurricane, driving surface craft to cover. A Swedish radio station heard a faint "Hello, hello, hello" in English, but the plane was not seen again. Days later the crew of a trawler sighted the body of a man clad in life belt and what looked like aviator's clothing floating upright in the North Sea. In Cleveland President Edwin G. Thompson of Transamerican Airlines, sponsor of the projected air route, declared that Pilot Edward Preston would soon take off on a similar testflight.

With the same general purpose as Cramer's, and practically the same route, Capt. Wolfgang von Gronau last week was making his second flight from Germany to the U. S. He flew a Dornier Wai flying boat and was accompanied by the same three youths who, as students, made up his crew last year when he astonished everyone by pressing on from Iceland (his supposed destination) to New York Harbor (TIME, Sept. 8). This year he had hoped to be the first airman to cross the Greenland ice cap, but Cramer accomplished that feat last fortnight on his way east. After several weeks exploration of Greenland von Gronau planned to fly via Baffin Island, Hudson Bay, Ontario to Chicago.

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