NOVEMBER 24, 1933

From The Dragon's Wings

"Regular, twice-weekly, mail service to Canton began on October 24, 1933. After a month's successful operation, Bixby scheduled the first passenger flight for November 24. George Rummel (but we believe the last name is spelled, "Rumill") and William Ehmer, resplendent in trim blue uniforms and white caps, were the crew on the inaugural flight. The passenger list, typical of CNAC's operations, included Lady Carlisle, niece of sir Miles Lampson, British minister to China, who was bound for Hong Kong, and Lincoln Reynolds, American consul at Foochow, who had been ordered to return to his post because of reported disturbances in the province. Also on board were Mr. K. Schaefer of the firm of Kunst & Albers, M.H. Wang, commissioner of customs at Wechow, S.F. Chang, manager of Foochow Motor Sales Company, Dr. Conrad Hsu of Asia Electric Company, and Yang Zung-wo of Wenchow.

The ungainly S-38 lifted off the Wangpoo River at 6:15 A.M. Thirty minutes later, Rummel reported fog over Hangchow Bay. He retruned to Shanghai, waited until 8 A.M., then tried again. Flying at 1,500 feet, Rummel once more ran into a fog/haze condition over the bay. After losing visual contact with the water, he descended to 500 feet where the air seemed clearer. Rummel dropped lower and lower as visibility decreased. The yellowish, muddy water of the bay blended into the haze. Now scraping along at 200 feet, Rummel lost sight of the horizon as well as the water. He began a shallow turn to port. Catching sight of a strip of beach, he pulled back on the yoke. The aircraft struck the top of a 300-foot hill, fortunately in a climbing attitude instead of head-on. Even so, Kwangin, the goddess of mercy, must have smiled, because crew and passengers escaped with their lives. Lincoln Reynolds, who was injured most severely, suffered "a broken neck, broken finger, and a bottle of spinach soup which had been contained in Lady Carlisle's thermos bottle"."

North China Daily News, November 25, 1933
(Courtesy of Damaris Reynolds)

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