Marblehead Bay, Massachusetts – April 6, 1912
On April 6, 1912, airplane pioneer and builder, W. Sterling Burgess, was on Marblehead Bay with his “hydro-aeroplane” preparing to take off when the engine backfired setting the canvas of the left wing on fire. Burgess battled the flames with his coat and managed to save the aircraft which reportedly suffered about $250 in damage – a large sum for the time. Men in several nearby motor boats came to aid Burgess and tow the aircraft back to shore.
The Evening World, (New York), “Fights For Life As Flames Wrap Hydro-Aeroplane”