Local news

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A pair of Spokane boys, Martin Denine and Glen Hemingway, hauled their home-built biplane to the top of a hill near Millwood and made their first flight.

How did it work out? Well, Denine was injured only slightly, so the pair declared it a success. The biplane glided 50 feet at an average height of 15 feet before crashing to the ground and inflicting minor bruises and contusions on pilot Denine.

Denine was also the inventor. He built the machine as a way to test his own “balancing wings,” for which he had secured a patent. The biplane was made from cedar and canvas.

He said he planned to turn the machine into a monoplane, reinforce it and install an engine. He intended another test flight in the next few weeks.

This was actually the second time he had tried to test the biplane. The first time, he and Hemingway were carrying it up the Minnehaha hill when a wind gust tore it from their grasp, lofted it over a telephone pole and dashed it to the ground. It was badly smashed.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1980: The Mount St. Helens volcano exploded, leaving 57 people dead or missing.

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