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"LACK OF PILOTS HAS HAMPERED U.S. FLYING"

URGES PURCHASE OF FOKKER TYPE OF PLANE

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

"The effort of the Harvard Flying Club to establish flying here is highly praise-worthy," was the opinion of Lieutenant R. D. Thomas, aviation speaker at the Union last night, in an interview yesterday.

"The reason that amateur flying has not taken a firmer hold", said Lieutenant Thomas, "is that the planes which can be purchased by amateurs are not safe, and will not be allowed by the Army and Navy authorities. However, if Harvard can get a plane of the type of the Fokker machine, I look for rapid progress by the Club. The trouble in the past has not been that there have not been enough planes, but that there have not been enough capable pilots to fly them. This difficulty is being eliminated by the work of the Harvard-M. I. T. training course."

Lieutenant Thomas spoke of his position in regard to flying in dirigibles. "Dirigible flying," he declared, "is just like riding a horse to me. When I try to make the horse go one way he may or may not. That depends on what he wants to do. I think that adequately illustrates the situation. The Shenandoah disaster is an example, and there are many others which indicate the way the wind carries these craft. I think that a well-built plane would have survived the gale."

English Not Alone in Air

Lieutenant Thomas said that he did not agree with the statement that a day would come when aeroplanes were as numerous as Fords. "However," he declared, we are making rapid steps forward. Yet the best average is that made by the air mail, which is fast becoming a flourishing institution.

He spoke further on the attitude of the English toward their flying accomplishments. "While I was in England," he said, "every once in a while a statement would come out to the effect that 'this achievement has put England on top of the aviation world', or that this is why the Allies won the world war'. The English have done much toward developing vehicles of the air, but the Americans must not be left out.

Lieutenant Thomas, who is in charge of the Naval Aviation course at Swampscott, spoke last night in connection with a showing of the MacMillan North Pole expedition's aviation lectures at the Union. He took the place of Lieutenant Byrd, who was the Navy representative on the MacMillan expedition, but who was unexpectedly called to Washington. "I have never been to the North Pole," said Lieutenant Thomas, "but I will use my imagination."

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