Newspaper Archive of
The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
April 18, 2014     The Catalina Islander
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April 18, 2014

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nn II It was the longest over-water flight in world history to date BY JIM WATSON In the early morning hours of May 10, 1912, a budding young aviator by the name of Glenn Luther Martin scanned the skies above Newport Beach and frowned. Above him and all around him as far as he could see was that most common of Southern California weather phenomenon known as "marine layer." Martin was disappointed not because he was planning a day at the beach, but because he was planning a day in the sky; a day that was destined to propel him into the annals of aviation history. While Martin's greatest years were still ahead of him, by 1912 he was already well-known within aviation circles. In fact, Martin is credited with the first airplane flight in the state of California, a 12-second jaunt on Aug. 1, 1909, at the James Irvine Ranch that reached a dizzying altitude of eight feet. But on this overcast morning it was Martin's intention to become the first person to fly from the mainland to Catalina Island, more than 30 miles across the San Pedro Channel. On!y the night before, he had hastily prepared for the flight after receiving news that a competitor was planning on fly- ing to Catalina from Long Beach the following day. If Martin was going to accomplish his aerial feat, he would have to act quickly. To date, no one had ever flown such a distance over the open ocean. Frenchman Louis Blierot and American Hariet Quimby had already conquered the English Channel, but the flight to Catalina represented another 10 miles of open ocean. The equipment Martin would use was his own gossamer "push- er" biplane--complete with bam- boo struts--which he had built in an abandoned church in Santa Ana. On the morning of the flight, Martin donned an inflated bicycle tube for flotation (if needed) and strapped a barometer to one leg and a compass to the other. As a last thought, he handed his gold watch to a friehd for safekeep- ing. That friend was Charles Healy Day, the man who went on to develop the process of using laminated wood in propeller con- struction. After Martin lifted off the waters of Newport Beach, he made one pass over the small group of friends and well-wishers--includ- ing his mother Minta--and slowly climbed into the mist and out of sight of the gathered crowd. Once above the marine layer, Martin strained to see any hint of Catalina Island. But the cloud cover was complete and Martin had only his compass with which to steer by. For more than 30 minutes he skimmed the tops of the clouds at about 2,000 feet until his instincts told him it was time to descend. He slowly began his descent, re- entering the marine layer as he did so. At this point, Martin had no idea. if he would find empty Glenn Martin receives a warm reception from Islanders. File photos ocean beneath him or if he would plow straight in to the peaks of Catalina. But upon emerging from the mist he found Avalon Bay nearly directly below him. By this time, an eager crowd had gathered on Avalon Beach, having been apprized of Martin's incoming flight. Martin gracefully landed his plane on the still waters of the bay and taxied up to shore, where he beached the craft among a throng of applauding and appreciative Catalina Islanders. There, he received a hero's wel- come and was whisked away to the Glenmore Hotel about a block Flight, Page 8 Glenn Martin refuels his plane using a pitcher borrowed from the Glenmore Hotel. THE mmmlJJl Purchase must be made at either Buoys & Gulls, Avalon Bay Company or Latitude 33 between Thursday, April 17th and Sunday, April 20th, 2014. All photograph's will be emailed within 24 hours. Island Ventures / Buoys & Gulls will not pass your information onto any third parties. I s LAN D S (/? 7 Island Spa Catalina (American Leisure, Spa operator) is hiring for all positions. For inquiries please call 31o,5m-2ooo x1228 or email your resume to Spa Attendants Spa Front desk and Retail CA Licensed Massage Therapists CA Licensed Estheticians Cosmetologists -Hair and Makeup Nail Technicians SANTA CATALINA~P ISLAND COMPANy 310.510.2ooo V'tsitCata] AAMERICAN EISURE THE CATAUNA ISLANDER Friday, April 18, 201417