A-73453, MAY 26, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 1033

A-73453: May 26, 1936

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WHO IS INJURED WHILE MAKING AN UNAUTHORIZED FLIGHT IN A COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE FOR HIS PERSONAL CONVENIENCE AND PLEASURE. IS NOT INCAPACITATED FROM FLYING BY REASON OF AN "AVIATION ACCIDENT" WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS. IS NOT ENTITLED TO ADDITIONAL PAY FOR AVIATION DUTY DURING THE PERIOD OF INCAPACITY. 1936: THERE WAS DULY RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 17. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF FIRST LT. SHOWS THAT LIEUTENANT STEWART IS A COMMISSIONED OFFICER IN THE AIR CORPS OF THE ARMY. IS RATED AIRCRAFT PILOT AND AIRCRAFT OBSERVER. IT APPEARS HE WAS ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT HENSLEY FIELD. WAS UNDER ORDERS ISSUED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT.

A-73453, MAY 26, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 1033

AVIATION PAY - ARMY OFFICER INJURED WHILE PILOTING COMMERCIAL PLANE AN OFFICER IN THE AIR CORPS OF THE ARMY UNDER ORDERS TO PARTICIPATE REGULARLY AND FREQUENTLY IN AERIAL FLIGHTS, WHO IS INJURED WHILE MAKING AN UNAUTHORIZED FLIGHT IN A COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE FOR HIS PERSONAL CONVENIENCE AND PLEASURE, IS NOT INCAPACITATED FROM FLYING BY REASON OF AN "AVIATION ACCIDENT" WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS, AND IS NOT ENTITLED TO ADDITIONAL PAY FOR AVIATION DUTY DURING THE PERIOD OF INCAPACITY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO LT. COL. C. NEWTON, JR., UNITED STATES ARMY, MAY 26, 1936:

THERE WAS DULY RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 17, 1936, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF FIRST LT. STANLEY R. STEWART, AIR CORPS, UNITED STATES ARMY, IN THE AMOUNT OF $262.50, COVERING HIS CLAIM FOR FLYING PAY FROM AUGUST 1, TO OCTOBER 31, 1935, AND FROM FEBRUARY 1 TO 10, 1936, BY REASON OF AN AVIATION ACCIDENT SUSTAINED JULY 29, 1935, WHILE PILOTING A COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE.

THE OFFICIAL ARMY REGISTER, 1936, AT PAGE 668, SHOWS THAT LIEUTENANT STEWART IS A COMMISSIONED OFFICER IN THE AIR CORPS OF THE ARMY, AND IS RATED AIRCRAFT PILOT AND AIRCRAFT OBSERVER, AND IT APPEARS HE WAS ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT HENSLEY FIELD, TEX., AND WAS UNDER ORDERS ISSUED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT, CHIEF OF AIR CORPS, PERSONNEL ORDERS NO. 264, DATED NOVEMBER 10, 1933, REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE REGULARLY AND FREQUENTLY IN AERIAL FLIGHTS. OPERATION ORDERS NO. 86, HEADQUARTERS, HENSLEY FIELD, DATED JULY 29, 1935, DIRECTED A TRAINING FLIGHT AS FOLLOWS:

1. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SEC. III, CIRCULAR NO. 36, WAR DEPARTMENT, DATED JUNE 25, 1935, 1ST LIEUT. STANLEY R. STEWART, AIR CORPS, PILOT, WITH PRIVATE FIRST CLASS OTHO FLIPPIN, 6239756M A.C., AS PASSENGER, WILL PROCEED BY AIR IN 0-19B AIRPLANE AC NO. 30-149 TO LAREDO, TEXAS, VIA RANDOLPH FIELD, THIS DATE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF AIR NAVIGATION TRAINING, LEAVING THIS STATION NOT EARLIER THAN 6:30 A.M., AND RETURNING FROM LAREDO VIA RANDOLPH FIELD NOT LATER THAN SUNDOWN THIS DATE, DEPARTING FROM RANDOLPH FIELD AFTER DARK THIS DATE AND ARRIVING STATION NOT LATER THAN MIDNIGHT, FOR THE PURPOSE OF DAY AND NIGHT AIR NAVIGATION TRAINING.

PURSUANT TO THESE ORDERS THE OFFICER LANDED AT LAREDO, TEX., ABOUT 1:50 P.M., JULY 29, 1935. WHILE AT LAREDO, PRIOR TO COMMENCING THE ORDERED RETURN FLIGHT, LIEUTENANT STEWART REPORTED HIS MOVEMENTS AS FOLLOWS:

AT LAREDO, I INSPECTED A CIVILIAN AIRPLANE WHICH I CONTEMPLATED PURCHASING. AFTER INSPECTING THE AIRPLANE ON THE GROUND, I DECIDED TO TAKE IT UP FOR A FLIGHT TEST. PRIVATE FLIPPIN VOLUNTEERED TO ACCOMPANY ME. I FLEW THE AIRPLANE FOR ABOUT 20 MINUTES, AND PUT IT THRU VARIOUS MANEUVERS, AND IT SEEMED ALL RIGHT, SO I PUT IT INTO A SPIN AT 2,700 FEET. AFTER ABOUT TWO TURNS, I TRIED TO GET IT OUT OF THE SPIN, BUT IT WOULDN-T STOP SPINNING. I PUT THE STICK AND THROTTLE FORWARD AND ATTEMPTED TO GAIN SPEED AND FLY IT OUT, BUT THAT DIDN-T WORK. I THEN DECIDED THAT I COULDN-T GET IT OUT OF THE SPIN AND TRIED TO SEE HOW MUCH ALTITUDE WAS LEFT. IT WAS SPINNING SO FAST, I COULDN-T DETERMINE THE ALTITUDE, BUT DECIDED TO JUMP ANYWAY, AND YELLED: "JUMP** " TO PRIVATE FLIPPIN. I UNFASTENED MY BELT AND TRIED TO GET OUT, BUT THE AIRPLANE STRUCK THE GROUND BEFORE I COULD GET OUT OF THE COCKPIT. WE MUST HAVE HAD ONLY ABOUT 100-200 FEET WHEN I YELLED: ,JUMP** "

IN THE CRASH WHICH OCCURRED AT ABOUT 2:15 P.M., THE OFFICER RECEIVED INJURIES DIAGNOSED AS "/1) FRACTURE, SIMPLE, COMPRESSION, SLIGHTLY INVOLVING THE ANTERIOR HALF OF THE SUPERIOR ARTICULAR MARGIN OF THE BODIES OF THE FIRST AND SECOND LUMBAR VERTEBRA; (2) CONCUSSION, CEREBRAL, MODERATELY SEVERE.' HE WAS REMOVED FROM THE SCENE OF THE CRASH TO THE POST HOSPITAL, AND WAS TRANSFERRED JULY 30, 1935, TO STATION HOSPITAL, FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEX. HE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM HOSPITAL TO DUTY FEBRUARY 11, 1936, AND THEREAFTER DURING THE REMAINDER OF THAT MONTH HE PERFORMED 17 FLIGHTS, TOTALING 3 HOURS, 20 MINUTES IN THE AIR.

SECTION 13 (A) OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1920 (41 STAT. 768), AS AMENDED BY SECTION 20 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922 (42 STAT 632), AND SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JULY 2, 1926 (44 STAT. 782), PROVIDES:

* * * OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY SHALL RECEIVE AN INCREASE OF 50 PERCENTUM OF THEIR PAY WHEN BY ORDERS OF COMPETENT AUTHORITY THEY ARE REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE, REGULARLY AND FREQUENTLY, IN AERIAL FLIGHTS; AND WHEN IN CONSEQUENCE OF SUCH ORDERS THEY DO PARTICIPATE IN REGULAR AND FREQUENT AERIAL FLIGHTS AS DEFINED BY SUCH EXECUTIVE ORDERS AS HAVE HERETOFORE BEEN, OR MAY HEREAFTER BE, PROMULGATED BY THE PRESIDENT: * * *

PARAGRAPH 1 (G) OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 5865, DATED JUNE 27, 1932, DEFINES AN AVIATION ACCIDENT, AS FOLLOWS:

THE TERM "AVIATION ACCIDENT," AS USED IN THESE REGULATIONS, SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO MEAN AN ACCIDENT IN WHICH AN OFFICER, WARRANT OFFICER, OR ENLISTED MAN WHO IS REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE REGULARLY AND FREQUENTLY IN AERIAL FLIGHTS IS INJURED WHILE AN OCCUPANT OF AN AIRCRAFT OR AS THE RESULT OF JUMPING FROM, BEING THROWN FROM, OR BEING STRUCK BY, AN AIRCRAFT OR ANY PART OR AUXILIARY THEREOF. AND PARAGRAPH 10, PRESCRIBED THE FLIGHT REQUIREMENTS AS FOLLOWS:

FOR PERSONNEL OF THE ARMY * * * WHO ARE REQUIRED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY TO PARTICIPATE REGULARLY AND FREQUENTLY IN AERIAL FLIGHTS, THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS ARE PRESCRIBED, PROVIDED, THAT ANY OFFICER, WARRANT OFFICER, OR ENLISTED MAN WHO HAS BEEN REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE REGULARLY AND FREQUENTLY IN AERIAL FLIGHTS BY ORDERS OF COMPETENT AUTHORITY AND WHO AS A RESULT OF SUCH ORDERS HAS PARTICIPATED REGULARLY AND FREQUENTLY IN AERIAL FLIGHTS, AS DEFINED IN THIS EXECUTIVE ORDER, AND WHO SUBSEQUENTLY BECOMES INCAPACITATED FOR FLYING BY REASON OF AN AVIATION ACCIDENT SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO PERFORM SUCH AERIAL FLIGHTS DURING SUCH INCAPACITY FOR A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED THREE MONTHS FOLLOWING THE DATE OF SAID ACCIDENT:

WHILE THIS OFFICER'S COMMANDING OFFICER WAS AUTHORIZED BY AR 95-15, PARAGRAPH 11, TO PERMIT HIM TO FLY OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT-OWNED AIRCRAFT, AND IT IS SHOWN SUCH PERMISSION HAD BEEN GIVEN TO HIM, THE FLIGHT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN VOLUNTARILY MADE. AS THE OFFICER WAS INJURED WHILE MAKING A FLIGHT FOR HIS PERSONAL CONVENIENCE AND PLEASURE, AND IN WHICH HE WAS NOT REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE BY ORDERS OF COMPETENT AUTHORITY, HE WAS NOT INCAPACITATED FROM FLYING BY REASON OF AN "AVIATION ACCIDENT," WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE CITED LAW AND REGULATIONS.

IT APPEARS THE OFFICER WAS PHYSICALLY UNFIT FOR FLYING AND PERFORMED NO FLIGHTS FROM AUGUST 1, 1935, TO FEBRUARY 11, 1936, AND UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 12 OF THE CITED EXECUTIVE ORDER, PRESUMABLY, HE WAS SUSPENDED FROM FLYING DURING SUCH PERIOD. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT PAYMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED ON THE VOUCHER WHICH WILL BE RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE.