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Student Aviators Pancake Plane in Tree, Escape Hurt

Stevens, Gruening Hit Down Draft While Taking Off from Field At Exeter

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Flying is a constantly growing sport among Harvardians of pioneering and romantic spirit, but pilot John B. Stevens '38 will tell you that there are many angles to the sport. Ilis angle is an arboreal one.

With Huntington Gruening '38 as passenger, Stevens took off from Norwood Airport the other day bound for Exeter, New Hampshire, where he was going to review the sights of his school-hood. His little Taylor cub plane took him safely there, and he set her down back of the football stadium. After his day of memories Stevens and Gruening climbed back in the ship and took off.

Down Draft Triumphs

Doing a smart 38 m.p.h. with wide open throttle the craft was just clearing the trees on the edge of the field, when a disagreeable down draft went to work. The ship poised for a moment, then pancaked into a large tree some 15 or 20 feet off the ground.

"It was a terrible sensation," pilot Stevens declared. "We grabbed each other to see if we were both unhurt. Neither of us had a scratch. Then we slid down to earth."

Bleachers Filled

A fairly good sized crowd of Exonians had turned out to see, the take-off. The group was shortly augmented by three-quarters of the town when the tree development occurred. Stevens thought that some of the crowd looked a little too much like souvenir hunters, so he hired a watchman to stand guard over his ship during the night.

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