Accident Pathfinder Hydrogen Balloon n/a,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 193324
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Date:Sunday 28 September 1879
Type:Silhouette image of generic BALL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Pathfinder Hydrogen Balloon
Owner/operator:John Wise
Registration: n/a
MSN: 1
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Lake Michigan, IL -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:East St. Louis, Cahokia, Illinois
Destination airport:Lake Michigan, Illinois
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
On September 28, 1879, aged 71, John Wise disappeared with a passenger (George Burr) on a trip in high-speed winds from East St. Louis, Illinois over Lake Michigan. It is reported that the Balloon was last seen over Carlinville, Illinois (at approximate coordinates 42.07°N 87.93°W) or was seen 35 miles from Chicago drifting northeastward toward Lake Michigan at "Miller's Station".

No trace of Wise or the balloon "Pathfinder" has ever been found. The body of George Burr, the passenger, was found in Lake Michigan and left little doubt as to the fate of John Wise. This incident may have been the first-ever fatal aviation accident within the continental United States.




Jwise airmail John Wise starting the first airmail delivery in the US, 17 August 1859

Revision history:

06-Feb-2017 15:11 Dr.John Smith Added
15-Nov-2018 17:54 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator, Source, Embed code]
10-Dec-2021 23:49 Ron Averes Updated [Location]
01-Apr-2022 12:56 PolandMoment Updated [Narrative]
06-Sep-2022 14:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Category]
07-Sep-2022 20:17 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Category]
07-Sep-2022 20:17 Dr. John Smith Updated [Category]

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