AKA Lewis Earle Sandt, Earl Sandt
Earl Sandt
ANOTHER PIONEER FLYER was Earle Sandt, who made the first airplane flight into Clarion in 1912. He landed at the Clarion Fairgrounds, took off from there, circled the community for eight minutes, and then was unable to land because of the dense crowd which thronged the infield. Sandt, one of the earliest "barnstormers," landed instead at the back of the Clarion Cemetery. The plane was a "pusher" type biplane in which the pilot sat out front while a rear-mounted engine and propellor furnished the power. It was an improved version of the type used by the Wright brothers in the first successful heavier-than-air flight, December 17, 1903.
Courtesy Clarion County Historical Society

via email from David B. Lytle, 8-20-07
     I am a new private pilot as of last September. I had landed this past weekend at Du bois airport and chanced to read about Mr. Earle Sandt and his flying career on a area dedicated to him on the wall. I wanted to know more about this aviator and looked him up on my computer to find this site with photos of Mr. Sandt, his plane and one of a post card with a shot of Mr. Sandt just before his fatal crash. I noticed that the canard was missing from the photo of his plane just before crashing but the canard was intact in other photos of the plane on the ground. It seemed to me that the accident might have been caused by his support cables holding the canard in place breaking, sending his forward structure back and to the right and into the right wing thus damaging the wing and causing it to break apart as seen in the post card photo. I was wondering if it is stated anywhere what people thought had caused the accident. Are there any eye witness accounts of the accident known?
David B. Lytle Butler PA.

     If you search for "Earle Sandt", using the Google search engine, (9-1-07), you will find about 23 links. If you search for "Earl Sandt" +aviation, you will find about 240 links, not all duplicates.

     This summary of the life and career of Sandt is found on the "WHAT'S HISTORIC ABOUT BROOKVILLE? Through the Eyes of Brookville Area High School Student Historians webpage. It is a School-Community Project and offers some of the key events in his career. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

by Robert Olen Butler
      The author has a collection of hundreds of vintage postcards. He selected one and was inspired by the voice of the message written on its back, he chose to write a first-person short story about the event. On the homepage you can see both sides of the postcard, the one showing Earl Sandt's plane in the air, the reverse bearing the text, "This is Earl Sandt in his aeroplane just before it fell."
     The author, teaching at Florida State University, chose to videotape the entire process of writing the story, from beginning to end. In all there are tapes of 17 sessions available, by means of which you can observe the whole operation as if you were attending his class. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.

Earl Sandt
Earl Sandt
Photos courtesy of Adele Hartman, 7-5-07

Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper
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