DIXIE FLYERS AERIAL CIRCUS CRASH IN FAYETTEVILLE, TN; 27 APRIL 1930: VICTIMS & OTHERWISE A Virtual Cemetery created by: The Mikado, et al.
Description: This is a way to "colocate" the people who were killed as the result of accident or negligence in Fayetteville, Lincoln County, Tennessee on 27 April 1930, as well as any of the flyers or other participants. The terrible tragedy is directly associated with an American Legion-sponsored air show (adjacent to the Lincoln County Fairgrounds) that featured Captain Albertus "Al" Gombert's "Dixie Flyers Aerial Circus"...and which went completely awry. It was said spectators had been warned away from a railroad embankment, but several were there anyway and, once the plane unexpectedly dove some 80 feet, it crashed into the the crowd, resulting in massive carnage. The debate afterwards centered on whether the crash was a mere accident and the result of wind shear OR whether, as was rumored, the 18-year-old pilot, Milton Phelps Covert, was attempting to buzz the crowd who'd refused to heed the warnings. Felix Campbell, a spectator whose family had been injured, claimed the pilot had flown too low and clipped a telephone wire (investigators later found a piece of the wire attached to the plane). Most of those who died were killed immediately; for a few others, there was little hope. The final count was six killed immediately (four decapitated, two crushed), with three fatally injured. Four members of the Ortner family were injured and little Nannie May, along with Rose Counts, had "little hope held" for her recovery, but they survived. The same can be said for Claude Copeland, who at first was not expected to live. (Created July/August 2012)