The Conquest of the Air
July 20, 1929 — Chautauqua, Cortland NY
I want to congratulate you people of Cortland upon your laying out the fine airport where I landed today. Seldom do I find such a fine flying field in so small a city. You will find it a gain to the town in business and traffic. When your town grows larger the field will be even more valuable to you. The great trouble with most of our flying fields is that they are too far out of town. Yours is near now, and as the town grows it will be right in the city.
One of the particular things upon which you are to be congratulated is that the field is to the windward side of the city. Smoke from manufacturing plants will not blot out the field from the air.
When you get your new fields added, which I understand are already purchased, your flying field will be second to none in the state of New York.
[She talked about early efforts in flying, such as the glider enthusiasts of the Middle Ages.]
In 25 years, aviation has caught up with other methods of transportation. The beginning of the 20th century was the beginning of the age of the air. The time is coming soon when with road congestion we will have to fly and my advice is to learn to fly now.
[She talked about the economy of flying when the hops were long, saying that with her $2,900 plane she could hop 300 or 400 miles without stopping for fuel. While it is necessary to inspect a plane and its monitor daily for the sake of safety, she said that one could fly the equivalent of 35,000 miles traveled in an automobile between times when the motor would have to be overhauled. Careful use of planes made their lives almost indefinite.]
London to Paris trips cost the same upstairs and they do downstairs, and longer hops are less expensive than land travel.
[She praised the American air mail service and said the whole world is watching to see if the government will continue it. She urged the audience to support the airmail service by sending letters by air mail whenever possible. . . One of the most important features of aviation was safety. Insurance companies will insure planes now, and the rate is no higher for stunt flying or acrobatics than for ordinary flying, provided that the stung f lying is done at an altitude of 2,000 feet or more.]
The greatest call of aviation is the pleasure it puts into life. There is a sense of adventure, one is not crowded and flying is easy. On the road one goes in two directions. The driver is tied to the road. He has to avoid lamp posts, pedestrians and the other fool in the other car. There is room for every individual in the world in the sky in a separate plane without crowding.”
[She pointed out the ease of operating a plane while watching the landscape and the comparative freedom from danger. In speaking of the safety of flying she said there were 366 deaths in this country last year from airplane accidents and 399 murders in Chicago during the same period. . . . The average cost of learning to fly is $100. Only one per cent of people who fly get airsick.]
Source: Press and Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton NY), July 22, 1929, p. 3.