Death of Le Blon.
On April 2nd., as the cable informed us, M. Le Blon, while flying across the bay of San Sebastian in a Bleriot monoplane, was killed. The Times of the Bth, just received, .says simply that "the machine was suddenly observed to fall from a height of about 50ft. or 100 ft. into the sea. The aviator was dragged under by the aeroplane, and although a rescue party immediately put out in boats M. Le Blon was dead when he was taken from the water. The body bore traces of injuries, which may have been caused either by a fall on the rocks or by the wreckage of the machine. M. Le Blon. who before he took to aviation, was a well-known driver of racing motor-cars, competed at Doncaster last year and at Heliopolis a few weeks ago. As late as last Tuesday he had a fall with his machine into the sea at San Sebastian, and had been rescued with difficulty. M. Le Blon is the sixth aviator who has been killed since Lieutenant Self ridge's death in 1908. Accounts differ as to the exact cause of the failure of M. Le Blon's machine. According to some the motor broke down, while others state that one of the planes suddenly gave way.
Notes of his Career. The death of M. Le Blon will be felt in this country as keenly as in France. Le Blon was known to the British public almost as well as M. Bleriot. He came into : prominence at the Doncaster meeting last i October, when he won all hearts by his i cool courage, daring, brilliant flying, and, above all, by his quiet modesty. He was indeed a worthy pupil of Delagrange, the master, who was killed just three months
ago. It is curious that the only two victims of aviation this year have been Jb'rencnmen, master and pupil, both Hying tne same contrivance — m which was emuodied a daring innovation — and botti familiar to and esteemed by the British puolic. Before the JDoncaster meeting Le Blon had done but little Hying, but there he was the first otf the ground — the first aviator to tiy at an aviation meeting in this country. His great skill was siiown by the quickness with winch he ascended. He often succeeded m leaving the ground with a run of less tnan 40 yards, equalling Deiagrange Himself in this respect. Three times at Doncaster he Hew in windy weather, and he won the Bradford Cup for the fastest ten rounds of tiie course. .Beyond all those achievements ranks that marvellous exhibition of presence of mind on October 25, when, suddenly brought ±ace to face with terrible danger, lie delioerately diverted the peril from others by facing almost certain death himself. He went up during a wind from which the ground was sheltered by sheds and a belt of trees. On his getting clear of this shelter, however, the wind caught him and would have thrown him had he not swiftly brought his machine round to face it. He was then heading straight towards the crowd that lined the famous St. Leger course. There was no time to turn again, and no time to stop before reaching the crowd. But he attempted this, nearing the ground between the rails and flying straight towards the crowd. Before him was the dense mass of people. A few yards further the crowd thinned somewhat, but at the back were a high hording and tall trees. Le Blon never hesitated. With incredibly swift actions he accelerated his engine, raised his elevator, and flew upward at a sharp angle over the heads of the people to a height of 25i't. or 30ft. From the first he had known what he was to do and that it was hopeless to try to surmount the trees. The instant after lie accelerated his engine he shut the power off altogether and depressed the elevator. "While attending to these manoeuvres he was perfectly cool, and was able to signal to the people below to move out of the way. Then he dropped like a stone, completely smashing the chassis of the machine and only escaping himself by a miracle. The whole thing occurred in less than five seconds. Delagrange, it will be remembered, was flying a Bleriot machine of the cross-Chan-nel type driven by a Gnome motor at the time of his fatal accident, and it was then stated that this engine was too powerful for the aeroplane. It was also suggested that this rotating motor has a gyroscopic effect which in this case proved disastrous. It is remarkable that Le Blon should have been flying a precisely similar machine on Saturday; and some important problems are suggested by this circumstance.
A new aviator lias arisen, in the person of M. Jacques de Lesseps, Count of that ilk, son of the great engineer who has beaten the performances of his master Bleriot, from whom he took lessons in the art. He flies a monoplane, and has at last advices easily crossed the Channel with it. He has, among other things, broken the record of speed and endurance established by Bleriot. He is determined, in short, to rehabilitate the name of the man known all his life as "le grand francais."
Permanent link to this item
Death of Le Blon., Progress, Volume V, Issue 8, 1 June 1910
Death of Le Blon. Progress, Volume V, Issue 8, 1 June 1910
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.