Springfield, Massachusetts – October 8, 1908
On October 8, 1908, well known aeronaut, Leo Stevens, was making a balloon ascension at Springfield, Massachusetts, when something went wrong with the safety valve on the gas bag. Aboard the balloon with Mr. Stevens were Floyd B. Smith, of Yonkers, New York, and Harlan T. Pierpont, of Springfield, Mass.
As the balloon rose to 1,000 feet Stevens realized that it was becoming over-inflated and was at risk of bursting open. If it did, the three of them would surly fall to their deaths.
With no other choice, Stevens climbed out of the balloon and into the rigging where he managed to tear open the safety valve with his teeth while holding on to the rigging.
With disaster averted, the balloon landed safely in the town of Granby, about 12 miles from Springfield.
For other balloon ascensions involving Mr. Stevens, see “Dalton, MA – July 29, 1908”, and “Near Providence – November 19, 1910” under Aviation Accidents on this website.
New York Tribune, “Teeth To Open Valve”, October 9, 1908