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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 193327
Last updated: 2 September 2019
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Date:13-OCT-1913
Time:
Type:Moisant-Blériot monoplane
Owner/operator:Albert Jewell
Registration: Unregistered
C/n / msn: unknown
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Aircraft missing
Location:North Atlantic, off Sandy Hook, Long Island, New York -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Ferry/positioning
Departure airport:Moisant Aviation School, near Hempstead, Long Island, New York
Destination airport:Oakwood Airfield, Staten Island, New York
Narrative:
Presumed written off (destroyed) October 13, 1913 when went missing over the North Atlantic off Long Island, New York. Aircraft was on a Ferry/re-positioning flight between Hempstead, Long Island to Oakwood, Staten Island, New York to join an air race.

Believed came down in the North Atlantic, off Long Island, New York, at approximate co ordinates 40.48°N 73.79°W. Aircraft Intended to compete in the New York Times American Aerial Derby. The pilot, Albert Jewell, was posed as "missing believed deceased"

Jewell held a pilot's licence issued by the Aero Club of America; at the time of his disappearance, he had been flying for six months and he was an instructor at the Moisant Aviation School, though he had little experience of flights of the distance he was attempting. His last flight was planned to be from the Moisant Aviation School near Hempstead, Long Island to the Oakwood airfield from which the competitors in the race were due to depart.

Jewell was flying a Moisant-Blériot monoplane, a version of the Blériot XI built under licence by the Moisant Aeroplane Company, of Queens, New York, and, at least according to some reports, powered by a Gnome Lambda 80 hp rotary engine rather than the more normal Gnome Omega, 50 hp.

Witnesses observed the aircraft off the south shore of Long Island, apparently being blown out to sea. The captain of a fishing vessel reported seeing an aircraft resembling Jewell's off Sandy Hook. As Jewell was unable to swim and his only flotation device was the inner tube of a tyre, his chances of surviving a ditching at sea were poor, even if he managed to get clear of the wreckage of his aircraft. An initial rumour that Jewell had been rescued from the sea by a merchant vessel proved to be unfounded.

Extensive searches on land and sea were conducted for Jewell and his aircraft. The Moisant Aeroplane Company sent six motor boats to search for Jewell and several automobiles joined the land search. Several of the aviators present in the New York area took part in these search efforts. On October 15, Tony Jannus and J. Robinson Hall, the race promoter, crashed when attempting to take off in a 70 hp Benoist tractor biplane; the aircraft was written off but the only injuries were minor burns and bruises to Hall.

Luckey, the winner of the race, planned to conduct a search flight over Jamaica Bay on October 18. Searchers concentrated on Jamaica Bay and the sea off Rockaway Point where Jewell was last sighted. No signs of Jewell or of the wreckage of his aircraft were found.

Several rewards were offered for information which might reveal what accident had befallen Jewell and the location of his remains; $400 by the Aeronautical Society; $300 by the aviator's widow and $250 by the Moisant Aeroplane Company. Despite reports over the following months that Jewell's body had been recovered on at least two separate occasions, none of the human remains in question were positively identified as those of the aviator.

On January 4, 1914, a human torso was washed up on the beach at Edgemere, Queens, following a storm and was suspected to be Jewell's. However, when called upon to identify the body, his widow excluded that possibility, on the basis of the remnants of clothing on the torso. This casts doubt on a report that a "badly bloated and disfigured body" washed up on Fire Island on October 25, 1913, was Jewell's.

Sources:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Jewell#Jewell.27s_final_flight
2. New-York tribune., October 14, 1913 at https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1913-10-14/ed-1/seq-1/
3. New York Times. January 6, 1914 at http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9D03E7DD1730E733A25755C0A9679C946596D6CF
4. New-York tribune., January 06, 1914, Page 5 at https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1914-01-06/ed-1/seq-5/


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
06-Feb-2017 16:00 Dr.John Smith Added

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