Balloon Pilots Arrive

The "aeronauts," as they were called in the day, began arriving in Indianapolis in anticipation of the June 5, 1909 national balloon race championship at the end of May. One of the first of the balloon pilots to show up was Chicago's Charles A. Coey a prominent race car driver and balloon pilot. This was initially reported in the Indianapolis Star on May 28, 1909 (attachment Bumbaugh052809). This item is quite brief and also reports on the dangerous of flying a balloons at night or cruising too low over farmlands where farmers might mistake them for large birds in the darkness - and point a rifle at them.
Attachment Bumbaugh052909 is a more thorough report and affirms that Coey arrived May 28. Coey visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where the balloon championship was scheduled to start. He was reportedly impressed with facilities especially the gas pipes that allowed up to 10 balloons to be inflated simultaneously at the rate of 80,000 cubic feet per hour. Also noted was that telegraph wires were expected to be installed that day.

Bumbaugh052809.pdf233.81 KB
Bumbaugh052909.pdf549.11 KB