Heart Rate … High

20 Sep

A note found in the March 1932 Popular Mechanics:

Plane Shot Over Waterfall to Make it Take Air

One of the most dangerous and thrilling take-offs in the history of aviation was recorded recently by a geologist and his mechanic upon their return from nothern Saskatchewan where they had been forced down on a small lake on an exploring trip. A piston was broken, which they repaired as best they could with native copper found on the shore. Attempts to take off, however, were vain, as the crippled engine had not sufficient power. Cruising over the lake, they discovered a 400-foot waterfall at one end. At its base were trees in a rock-studded ravine. Taxiing back to the opposite end, they raced the plane with all the speed it would master over the waterfall. It dropped sickeningly for about half the distance of the fall, then took the air slowly and the explorers were able to return to within a few miles of their base.

“Which they repaired … with native copper found on the shore” !  This sounds like MacGyver’s father was the pilot. Unfortunately, it’s all rather apocryphal. Especially so, as finding a 400 foot waterfall in Saskatchewan might be challenging – it’s a particularly flat province.


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