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The earliest flight reported by another person supposedly took place in 1899. The follwing excerpt describing the flight (by its only witness) comes from an Affidavit submitted to Stella Randolph in 1934. There is no way to corroborate this evidence, leaving it somewhat suspect, but an interesting tale none the less.

arliest Reported Flight


"In approximately April or May, 1899, I was present and flew with Mr. Whitehead on the occasion when he succeeded in flying his machine, propelled by steam motor, on a flight of approximately a half mile distance, at a height of about 20 to 25 feet from the ground. This flight occurred in Pittsburgh, and the type machine used by mr. Whitehead was a monoplane. We were unable to rise high enough to avoid a three-story building in our path and when the machine fell i was scalded severely by the steam, for I had been firing the boiler. I was obliged to spend several weeks in the hospital, and I recall the incident of the flight very clearly. Mr. Whitehead was not injured, as he had been in the front part of the machine steering it."

Louis Daravich


Photo: Model of Steam Engine made by Whitehead; it is believed this is the type made and used in the Pittsburgh flight of 1899