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DATE OF EVENT: Sunday, Dec. 26, 1909

DATE PUBLISHED: Monday, Dec. 27, 1909, in The Kansas City Times

Editor’s note: Kansas City’s first airplane flight took place before a crowd of about 700 who had braved strong winds and cold weather to watch aviator Charles K. Hamilton. He made two flights that day after Christmas, once disappearing behind the trees and frightening the spectators. The crowd included an Army officer from Fort Leavenworth, sent to judge the military value of the airplane.

While seven hundred persons looked on — or up — Charles K. Hamilton, the aviator, made six successful flights with his Curtiss biplane at Overland Park yesterday afternoon. It was a great exhibition and when Hamilton made a flight of half a mile and returned to the starting point every spectator in the park generously applauded him. This was his most spectacular flight of the day. …

The machine was taken to the south end of the field and a flight of two hundred yards was accomplished with the machine about ten feet above the earth. His next attempt was a straight flight north and this time the machine went about three hundred yards. One of the stays was broken when the aeroplane landed and it took twenty minutes to make repairs. After another flight from the south end of the field Hamilton announced that he would attempt to make a circle as the wind had abated to some extent. The crowd cheered as he sailed outside of the park. He soon was lost to view behind some trees. The spectators thought the machine had fallen and there was a rush in its direction. The biplane was out of view for fully a minute; then it reappeared and the spectators shouted cheers of approval. On and on it came, narrowly missing telephone wires, a house and a haystack. Hamilton steered it against a strong wind and alighted in front of the grandstand. The crowd gave him a great reception and he was congratulated from all sides.

Hamilton could have quit then and the spectators would have been satisfied, but he decided to give a good show. He made an additional straightaway flight, rising about twenty feet in the air…

The willingness of Hamilton to make flights on a day like yesterday earned him the friendship of everyone who witnessed the performances. His tactics were in direct contrast with other aviators and he risked injury to himself and his air craft rather than to send the people home without seeing a flight.

He expects to make three flights each day this week at 11 o’clock in the morning and at 2 and 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Through cars will be run on the Metropolitan line on Main and Walnut streets. … A special train will leave Lawrence this morning with several hundred visitors for the aviation tests. …

Signals denoting whether Hamilton will fly will be displayed on the flagstaff of the Jones Dry Goods Company Store. A red flag will indicate that flights will be attempted. A black and white flag will denote that flights are not expected to be made on the day this signal is shown.