Saturday, November 3, 2007
The Mile High Club - Who Gives A Flying Fornication?
All this talk of the Mile High Club prompts me to remind you all about those intrepid pioneers of the art of flying fornication - Mr. Sperry and Mrs Polk. Indeed ‘The Club’ owes a huge debt to the pioneers of mid-air hanky panky, Lawrence S. and Mrs. Waldo P. In 1916 Sperry, a daredevil flyer and inventor of the autopilot (I wonder what inspired it?), was giving flying lessons to Mrs. Polk, a wealthy New York socialite. They crashed in the waters of the South Bay and were found, naked, by two duck hunters. After the rescue Sperry claimed that the forces of the crash had divested them of their clothes. However that explanation was not universally accepted. One other point to note; Sperry was piloting a flying boat at the time, which of course proves that they were in at least one respect a badly named flying machine. As a footnote Sperry was killed flying a light aircraft (not a flying boat) across the English Channel a few years later.