Semaine d'Aviation de Lyon
Lyon, France, May 7th - 15th, 1910

Lots of broken wood - and Friday 13th strikes again...

Action in the hangar area before the start of the meeting. (1)
Latham arriving in his six-cylinder Gregoire. (2)
Latham's Antoinette is being assembled. The rigging is not complete and the engine and radiators are still not installed. (1)
This was about all that was seen of Harding's JAP during the meeting. His engine caught fire during a test the day before the meeting. (1)
The mysterious Gabilan posing for a photo in the hangar area. He seems to have disappeared from aviation history without a trace except his portrait on a couple of postcards - not even his first name appears to be known. (3)
Paulhan with his wife and mother. (1)
Legagneux getting his Sommer ready for a start. This meeting was the debut of the Sommer planes, which can be recognized by the main landing gear skids that curve up to the elevator. (1)
Van den Born's Farman after his crash on Sunday 8 May. (4)
Hauvette-Michelin posing in front of his Antoinette. (1)
Trying to get a better view... (1)
Waiting for action on the rain-soaked airfield. (1)
Officials with a telescope and instruments for measuring the altitude (1)
Métrot's Voisin after his crash. He was lucky to get away with only concussion and a broken nose. (1)
Paulhan's Farman carried the name "Gypaète", introduced at the Blackpool meeting the year before. It is the French name for the Bearded Vulture, Europe's largest bird of prey. (1)
Latham's Antoinette being carried back to the hangars after one of his three accidents. (3)
Legagneux ready to take Mme Herriot, wife of the mayor of Lyon, for a flight. Note the fancy woodwork holding the rudder pedals of his Sommer! (1)
All that remained of the honorary grandstand on the Thursday morning after the hurricane. (1)
The press pavilion after the storm. It was repaired enough to be useable again, but suffered a fire incident soon afterwards when a smoker accidentally set fire to some waste paper. (1)
Hauvette-Michelin's Antoinette after his fatal accident. (5)
Latham, Paulhan and Chávez discussing. (1)
Latham about to overtake Van den Born. (6)
Mignot's Voisin after his crash. Note that the plane has been modified during the meeting: The vertical "curtains" between the wing struts have been removed and ailerons installed between the wings, similar to those of the later Voisin "Course" racing model. (1)
Molon passing the fourth pylon. (1)
There were no PA systems in 1910, so the spectators were kept informed by signals hoisted in a mast. This is a good example: The top left signal is number 102, meaning a wind of 3-5 m/s. The first spar signals on the left number 303, meaning a flight of more than one hour, and on the right first the red/black square for the "Prix de Totalisation", then the sign for Van den Born, then number 3, meaning a safe take-off or landing. The second spar gives the same information, but for Legagneux. (7)
The front page of the official program.

Lyon, capital of the department Rhône, is situated in central eastern France, where the rivers Saône and Rhône merge. In 1910 it was the third biggest town of France, with a population of some 450,000. Its main source of income was textile trade and industry - it was estimated at the time that half of the world's production of silk passed through Lyon. It was also a fortified town, surrounded by defence installations.

The Lyon area had a considerable aviation history already in 1910. Ferdinand Ferber was born in Lyon, the Voisin brothers made their first experiments in Neuville-sur-Saône, north of the town, and aviation pioneers Jean-Claude Pompeien-Piraud, Edmond Seux and Armand Zipfel were also from the town and its neighbourhoods.

The mayor of Lyon was Édouard Herriot, who was an aviation enthusiast and already in 1909 tried to arrange a meeting on the military exercise grounds of Grand Camp. It came to nothing, partly because the military could not close the area for the several weeks that it would take to arrange the event and partly because the site was not suitable for the large number of spectators expected. Since there was no suitable airfield in Lyon, Herriot contacted Jules Grandclément, his colleague in the neighbouring commune Villeurbanne, a mainly industrial suburb with some 30,000 inhabitants. They agreed to arrange a meeting in Villeurbanne in May 1910, in cooperation with the Aéro-Club de Rhône and the Automobile-Club de Rhône. Around a square kilometre of land around the Bel-Air farm, immediately outside Lyon's fortress walls and some six kilometres east of central Lyon, was rented for 35,000 francs.

The substantial prize fund, announced as 200,000 francs, attracted a field of fifteen pilots, a mixture of novices and experienced flyers:

  • Charles Van den Born (Farman)
  • Jorge Chávez (Farman)
  • Émile Dubonnet (Tellier)
  • Gabilan (Voisin)
  • Louis Gaudart (Voisin)
  • Howard Harding (JAP)
  • "Hauvette-Michelin" [Gabriel Hauvette] (Antoinette)
  • Hubert Latham (Antoinette)
  • Georges Legagneux (Sommer)
  • René Métrot (Voisin)
  • Robert Mignot (Voisin)
  • Léon Molon (Blériot)
  • Maurice Noguès (Voisin)
  • Louis Paulhan (Farman)
  • José Luis Sanchez-Besa (Voisin)
Latham and Paulhan were both aviation superstars, the latter having won the big "Daily Mail" London-Manchester prize only ten days earlier. Métrot and Van den Born came from successful meetings in Heliopolis and Nice. Dubonnet had one month earlier won the "La Nature" prize for a cross-country flight of 109 km, passing over central Paris.

However, the field was soon diminished, as Dubonnet, Noguès and Sanchez-Besa backed out for different reasons. Gaudart had one of the new "racing" Voisin, first used at the Tours meeting one week earlier, but it wasn't ready. There were efforts to call in Arthur Duray as replacement, but it didn't come off. Gabilan reportedly left his plane to Métrot and is not mentioned in any reports of the meeting - or anywhere else for that matter... Mignot, Harding and Hauvette-Michelin hadn't qualified for their licenses before the meeting and were therefore, until they had qualified, restricted to flying before and after the official flying hours. The field was further decimated when the engine of Harding's JAP caught fire during a test the day before the start of the meeting, causing damage that kept him out for the week. Only eight planes were left, and it would get worse. The empty hangars were quite handy, though: Noguès' empty hangar was used for housing 30 "cuirassiers" and their horses and Sanchez-Besa's hangar would soon be occupied by one of Molon's Blériots.

Saturday 7 May
The weather didn't look very promising during the morning of the opening day. It had rained during the night and low clouds flew threatening over the airfield. The official flying didn't start until two o'clock, so the morning began with the official opening and continued with a luncheon for 300 officials and VIPs in the Berriat & Millet buffet at the airfield. Spectators kept arriving despite some drops of rain, on foot, on bicycles, on trams and trains, in carriages and cars.

Most of the hangars were quiet, but Van den Born, dressed like he was going on a polar expedition, started immediately at two o'clock, intent on winning the total distance prize. His main competitor Legagneux followed six minutes later. They both flew like clockwork, Van den Born as low as possible and Legagneux a bit higher at around thirty meters. Legagneux once drifted out of the course and flew over the crowds, which was punished by fine of 30 francs. At four o'clock Paulhan arrived to the hangar area at full speed in his car, together with his wife and mother. The late arrival of the biggest star of the meeting, the hero of the epic London-Manchester flight, caused a flurry of action, with people running everywhere. Everybody wanted an interview or an autograph and everybody wanted to shake his hand.

Van den Born and Legagneux both kept flying until they ran out of fuel. Legagneux's engine quit first, at a quarter past three, and he filled up and restarted at five past four. Van den Born obviously had a bigger tank and kept going for 2 h 06:41.0, which turned out to be the longest flight of the meeting. He made the shortest possible fuel stop, jogging around and beating the air to keep warm. At 16:25 Métrot took off, making it three planes in the air, but only for twenty minutes, since his engine lost power and forced him to land, safely but somewhat roughly, at the edge of the field. At half past five Latham brought out his Antoinette. He was not competing for the long-distance events, so it was only a test flight. The spectators were in awe over the beauty of the fast monoplane, which caught and easily overtook Van den Born's Farman during a flight of fourteen and a half minute. When Van den Born and Legagneux landed it was the end of the day's flying.

Van den Born's total time of 4 h 09:41.8 gave him a lead of more than an hour in the "Prix de Totalisation", while Latham took the lead in the three-lap speed contest. Paulhan, Chávez and Molon, who hadn't flown during the first day, were each penalized by 10 minutes each in the "Prix de Totalisation".

Sunday 8 May
It rained during the night again, and didn't stop until half past eight in the morning. When the hangars opened at nine, Mignot went out to make his third license qualification flight. All went beautifully until the engine stopped with 50 metres to go. He landed safely, but still without a license. Hauvette-Michelin also wanted to make his qualification flights, but ran out of time before the official flying started. Molon's Blériots had finally arrived, but he didn't feel enthusiastic about tackling the windy conditions with an engine of only 25 horsepower. He had ordered one more plane and two of the new 50 hp five-cylinder Anzani engines, but they hadn't arrived yet.

At 9:30 the weather looked promising and the white flag was flown. However, less than half an hour later an icy wind from the north suddenly brought rain and sleet … and five minutes later the sun shone again! After quickly preparing his planes during the morning Molon made a test flight before the official flying started.

The changing weather continued all through the day - sometimes the snowy peaks of the Alps could be seen clearly, sometimes the rain showers made it impossible to see across the field. Van den Born, Legagneux and Latham were in the air immediately at noon, when the cannon-shot indicated the start of official flights. Van den Born and Legagneux were circulating, adding minute after minute to their tally for the "Prix de Totalisation", while Latham went for the speed prizes.

At 12:52 a fierce, sudden squall hit the airfield. The three planes rocked and swayed in the turbulence. Latham was immediately in deep trouble, being blown off the field like an autumn leaf at the northwest corner. He disappeared from sight behind some houses, but suddenly reappeared almost at ground level and managed to reach the airfield. When trying to land his plane was hit by a gust which drove it into the ground. Reporters and medical services rushed to the scene, while Latham made his way unhurt from the wreckage. "There is no danger in the air", he said afterwards, "I'm completely safe there. The danger is in the landing". The landing gear, the wings, the propeller and the radiators were broken in the crash. The front fuselage was lifted onto a long plank and fourteen soldiers carried the plane back to the hangars, where the damages could be assessed. "It will be repaired today", said Latham. "It's enough for one or two days", said his mechanics…

Legagneux had also been blown off the airfield, and he could at first not be found. Cars were sent out to search for him, while everybody, not least his wife, worried over what could have happened to the popular flyer. Thankfully, it was soon found out that he had landed in a field a couple of kilometres away from the airfield. When the squall had passed he started the engine again and flew back to the field. He could be seen from far away and was met by a great ovation. When interviewed afterwards he modestly thanked his luck that he had found a recently tilled field that was soft and absorbed the impact of his fall. Van den Born was as usual flying low when the squall passed and had managed to land immediately without major dramas.

Legagneux and Van den Born were soon in action again, now accompanied by Chávez, Molon and Paulhan. They were all flying on and off as the weather allowed, landing when the sky looked too threatening. Despite the bad weather the crowds were good, estimated to 20,000 - 30,000, bringing 1,400 cars. Chávez used one of the calm periods to go for a high flight, to the enormous excitement of the crowd, who had never seen anything like it. After several large circles he reached 800 metres, he claimed, but there were no official measurements. Legagneux made a first effort for the passenger prize, carrying his wife, and also scored the highest flying time of the day, 75 kilometres in 1 h 28.

Towards the end of the day Van den Born was caught by another squall and was thrown brutally to the ground. He stated that the wind had turned his Farman half upside down already in the air and that he had only had time to crouch in order to protect his head from the hit. He escaped injury in the crash, but estimated that it might take two days to repair the broken right wings.

Van den Born still led the "Prix de Totalisation" with 5 h 51:31, but Legagneux had closed to within 15 minutes.

Monday 9 May
The weather was still unstable. There were clouds at the horizon and a brisk wind was blowing, but at least it didn't rain and it was hoped that the wet field would dry up. The cannon announced the start of official flights at ten o'clock. Legagneux hoped to make as much as much as possible of Van den Born's forced inactivity and took off at 10:13, despite the changing winds. However, the winds soon forced him to land again. Chávez took off at 10:55, and was relieved by Legagneux when he landed at 11:15. Chávez complained about the turbulence caused by the buildings of the Bel Air farm at the centre of the airfield, but would soon be up again.

There was full activity in the hangars of Van den Born and Latham. M. Weber, Latham's head mechanic, said that they were waiting for new wings to be delivered from Paris and that without that delay his machine could have flown during the day. Hauvette-Michelin had still not flown and his mechanics were still trying to find the cause of some ignition problem.

The flyers retired to the buffet tables for lunch, while the empty sky over the airfield was crossed by grey clouds. After lunch M. Herriot, the mayor of Lyon, and his wife made a tour of the hangars. Madame Herriot asked Legagneux if it would be possible to make a flight with him, like his wife yesterday. "Of course", said Legagneux, "if the weather is calm tonight you can be my passenger". The mayor stayed at the airfield during the afternoon, sorting out some organizational problems and talking with the flyers.

There were no flights until three o'clock and the crowd was getting impatient, but then the wind calmed down and the air became warmer. Legagneux had by now drawn equal to Van den Born's flying time and was pulling away. Van den Born had already managed to repair his plane and took off to try to minimize the gap, but to no avail. His rigging hadn't been properly tightened and re-tightened after his repairs. After only two minutes some wires were loose and forced him to land. Between five and six Paulhan made two high flights, first a test up to 200 metres, then a second long circling flight during which he reached 640 metres, winning the daily altitude prize. He then took his wife for an effort at the passenger prize, and Legagneux did the same. At that time there were five airplanes in the sky - perhaps too many, since Paulhan was fined 20 francs for a dangerous take-off close to Legagneux. After the end of the official flights Mignot easily complete the qualification flights for his licence.

After the third day Legagneux enjoyed a big lead in the "Prix de Totalisation", his 9 h 16:19 leaving Van den Born more than three hours behind.

Tuesday 10 May
The fourth day of the meeting was almost completely ruined by the weather. Strong northerly winds and a penetrating rain kept the flyers in their hangars and the crowds at home - and those who did come to the airfield protested loudly that nothing happened. Métrot's crew was still working on the recalcitrant engine, Latham's crew had received the new wings and were busy fitting them, Van den Born's crew were busy repairing some broken fabric and Gaudart's Voisin was still not finished.

At 17:40 the weather finally improved somewhat and Van den Born, Chávez, Legagneux and Métrot flew some laps. Immediately before sunset Paulhan took Louis Seguin, the builder of the Gnôme engines, on board for a passenger flight. The longest non-stop flight of the day, 30.6 km, was scored by Legagneux. Van den Born had reduced Legagneux's lead by 22 minutes, but was still more than two and a half hours behind in the "Prix de Totalisation".

Wednesday 11 May
The weather was just as bad as the day before. The organizers had luckily decided that this morning would be the open day when the visitors could see the hangars and the planes. The hangar doors and curtains were opened and the planes were rolled out behind rope fencing, when it wasn't raining… The cannon announcing the start of the day's proceedings was met by a massive shower of rain and sleet.

There would be no flying until two o'clock, when Legagneux took off, immediately followed by Van den Born. Those two were watching every move of the other, to make sure that nobody could steal an advance in the "Prix de Totalisation". Chávez also took off, but they were all soon on the ground again after another shower. At 15:40 a new flurry of activity began, when Paulhan, Latham, Legagneux and Van den Born took to the air, one after the other. Latham landed soon again, having verified that his plane was properly rigged, but the others kept flying, despite the hard winds and the fine rain. Latham and Chávez made it five in the air again, which was quite crowded on the short 1,667 metres course, despite the pilots keeping different altitudes: Van den Born and Chávez flew close to the ground and Paulhan and Latham high up. Legagneux flew ever wider circles in between, but suddenly he was nowhere to be seen in the rain - what had happened? After quite a while he returned to the airfield. After landing he reported had simply lost his way, first flying too far south in an effort to please the crowds in the grandstands, then too far to the east, some five kilometres away from the airfield, before he had spotted the Rhône and the railway in the north and followed it until he could see the hangars.

At five o'clock Paulhan made a flight carrying the Marseille seaplane pioneer Henri Fabre as passenger and then Legagneux could finally give Mme Herriot her promised flight. Paulhan's flight of 34.5 km won him the "Prix des Passagers". At half past five Métrot took off, but after flying erratically very close to the ground along the start-finish straight his Voisin touched the ground and crashed heavily before the first pylon. Métrot was thrown out of the plane and it could be seen from far away that he had difficulty getting back on his feet. Cars and men on horseback arrived quickly and found him bleeding from the face and the side of the head. He was brought to the field hospital, where the responsible Dr. Siraud thankfully didn't find any major injuries, but he had had a concussion and his nose was badly broken so he would have to spend two or three days at the Saint-Luc hospital in downtown Lyon. Everything had happened in full view from the grandstands and the pits, so the crowds were in uproar and Métrot's mechanic was crying aloud after watching the crash. When things had calmed down after six o'clock Paulhan made a high flight, his 510 metres winning the daily altitude prize. Van den Born made the day's longest flight (56 km) and reduced Legagneux's lead in the "Prix de Totalisation" by another 25 minutes.

Thursday 12 May
During the night between Wednesday and Thursday the airfield was struck by a violent storm with hurricane wind speeds of 30-40 m/s. Installations all over the field were destroyed or damaged. The honorary grandstand and the music pavilion were completely destroyed, only some uprights remained. The roof and the top floor of the press pavilion were blown away. The two main grandstands, the secretariat, the hospital, the telegraph office and one of the two restaurants were more sturdily built and survived with minor damages, but all around the spectator areas the lightly built marquees and temporary buildings for buffets and bars were blown to bits. The line of hangars was thankfully struck from the end rather than the front and had only some minor roofing damages. The airfield was filled of debris. The day's proceedings were of course immediately suspended. The news of the cancellation was communicated by all possible means and it was announced that ticket holders would get free entrance the next day. The damages were estimated to at least 50,000 francs.

But there were also some good news: Molon's new Blériot was delivered during the morning. It was a brand new machine, powered by a 50 hp five-cylinder Anzani. He claimed that the 25 hp three-cylinder Anzani was too weak for flying except in perfect conditions and that he could now do some serious flying. He also expressed his trust in the stationary Anzani radial and explained his belief that the gyroscopic forces of the rotary Gnômes on the light Blériots had been a contributing factor in the fatal crashes of Delagrange and Le Blon. The high winds continued all through the afternoon, but the evening looked clear and promised good weather for the next day.

Friday 13 May
The day dawned still windy, but clear and less cold. The high winds had dried up all the puddles and mud from the rainy weather earlier in the week. Firemen, soldiers and business owners had worked hard to get the field in shape again. The press pavilion had been repaired, but there was no chance of repairing the honorary tribune. From 10:00 to 11:30 the hangar area was again open to the public.

At noon the cannon announced the start of the day's flying. Nobody wanted to confront the wind, which still reached 20 m/s in the gusts, until Van den Born rolled out his Farman and took off at 13:37. There was still very difficult turbulence on the east side of the airfield and he landed again after a single lap. The airfield was quiet again until 14:04, when Latham made a seven-minute flight. An hour later the wind had reduced to 8-10 m/s and Paulhan made a short flight, still bobbing and weaving in the turbulence. When he landed there were cries of "Fire, fire!", but it wasn't a plane but the unfortunate press pavilion that was on fire. The flames, caused by a careless smoker, were soon put out by the fire brigade.

After four o'clock the wind calmed down and Latham and Van den Born were first to take advantage. At half past four the flags hung along the poles in the still air, and they were followed by Legagneux, Chávez and Paulhan. Legagneux flew wider and wider circles and finally left the airfield for an excursion to the north. Soon he was seen flying this way and that far outside the northeast corner of the field and it was obvious that he was lost, zigzagging to find his way back. After almost an hour he was finally seen heading back to the field again and after landing he explained that he had got bored with flying around the tiny course. He hadn't intended to fly far, but he had simply got lost… He soon took off again. Meanwhile, Latham, Chávez and Paulhan were going for the altitude prize, turning in ever higher circles. For the spectators on the ground it was impossible to tell who reached highest. Chávez gave up first and dived spectacularly to the ground. Paulhan was later confirmed as the winner with an altitude of 825 metres, measured by a group of artillery officers. Van den Born and Legagneux were still circling, scoring lap after lap for the "Prix de Totalisation". Molon made a couple of short flights in one of his old Blériots, low and slow compared to the big guns. He didn't want to take out his new plane with so much action on the field. After six o'clock Paulhan took his mother for a flight - a world first, perhaps?

After the end of the official flights, at 18:58, Hauvette-Michelin took out his Antoinette. After taking off he flew close to the ground along the start-finish straight. When he was about to make the first turn he appeared to swerve and the left wing of the plane hit the pole of the pylon. The plane fell to the ground from some three or four metres and the heavy pole with its ball folded and fell over the plane, hitting the pilot squarely on the head. The accident was seen by many people and several cars rushed to the accident site. Hauvette-Michelin was unconscious and obviously badly injured and he was carefully removed from the plane and driven to the airfield hospital in Paulhan's car. The doctors at the airfield took care of him immediately, but there wasn't much that they could do. The hit on the back of the head had caused massive cranial injuries. He was transported to the Saint-Luc hospital where they performed a trepanation, but to no avail. Hauvette-Michelin passed away at 22:19, without having regained conscience. He was the sixth pilot in the world to be killed in a flying accident and the first to be killed during an aviation meeting. It was an unnecessary and extremely unlucky accident, and all the more tragic since Hauvette-Michelin had declared that he had had enough of flying and that this would be his last meeting. The day before he had bought a car and he had planned to drive to visit his family in Bourg on the day after.

Van den Born took another 33 minutes out of Legagneux's lead in the "Prix de Totalisation" during the day, but he was still one and a half hour behind.

In the evening a "Venetian festival" was held along the Saône downtown in the honour of the aviators. The quays were illuminated and the inhabitants were requested to add to the spectacle by helping to light up the area as much as possible.

Saturday 14 May
The morning was beautiful, calm and clear, and thousands of visitors arrived. The day again started with the popular exhibition of the planes in the hangar area. When official flying started at noon the wind had increased somewhat, but Van den Born was in the air already after two minutes, followed six minutes later by Legagneux. Legagneux had installed a new tank and could now carry 100 litres of fuel, which should allow him to stay in the air for four hours. This was not to be however, since he had to land already after five minutes due to the turbulence. The wind wasn't very strong, but it was blowing in an inconvenient direction from behind the big grandstands. They were very close to the course and when the air passed above and between them it caused a lot of turbulence, particularly along the eastern side of the course.

Legagneux took off again ten minutes later, but he was almost immediately hit by the turbulence again and crashed heavily from a height of some fifteen metres, immediately in front of the grandstands. The plane hit the ground hard and was smashed to pieces. Legagneux was thrown out and miraculously escaped without a scratch, so he could return to his hangar and comfort his relieved wife. The remains of the plane were brought to his hangar, but everything was broken and it was soon realized that it would be impossible to repair it. This meant he had to cancel a planned 35-kilometre cross-country flight to Villefranche on the Monday immediately after the meeting.

Van den Born landed almost immediately after Legagneux's crash, having been in the air for 26 minutes, and then the airfield went quiet for almost five hours. The wind got somewhat stronger, reaching 8-10 m/s, and it's understandable that nobody wanted to take any risks, having watched another crash so soon after Hauvette-Michelin's fatal accident the day before.

Latham was first to leave the hangars, at 17:21, but the front skid touched the ground and dug in during his take-off. The plane briefly stood on its nose and the propeller and the skid were damaged, but Latham was unhurt. During the rest of the day Van den Born, Paulhan and Chávez made several short flights, Paulhan first with one passenger, then with two and then with two different lady passengers, first a famous actress and then the sister of engine-builder Louis Seguin. Latham's mechanics managed to replace the broken parts in less than an hour, so that he could fly one lap before the official closing. He then made a second flight at almost half past seven, but after only half a lap the engine stopped and he crashed from a height of around fifteen metres. Latham was again unhurt, but this time the damages were worse. The fuselage was broken in two when the nose hit the ground.

Van den Born had by far flown longest during the day, 1 h 05:37.4, and this combined with Legagneux taking a penalty for not flying the required daily distance meant he had closed to within 31 minutes in the struggle for the "Prix de Totalisation".

Sunday 15 May
The last day of the meeting was another sunny day and since it was the Pentecost weekend a lot of people came into Lyon from surrounding towns. The official flying started already at ten in the morning and Van den Born was soon in the air. He didn't need to stay long in the air to win the "Prix de Totalisation", since Chávez and Paulhan was far behind. In Legagneux's hangar everybody was busy, even Mme Legagneux who was sewing fabric on the repaired wings, but there was no chance that his plane could be repaired during the day. Van den Born landed after 42 minutes, having secured the win.

Otherwise there was no activity. There was no sign of Paulhan, Chávez, Latham, Molon or any of the other flyers. Gaudart made some engine runs, but his Voisin was still not ready. There was a light breeze, and nobody seemed anxious to fly. The crowds were understandably getting irritated and the organizers felt forced to announce, by a placard mounted on an automobile that was driven around the field, that the flying was extended until seven in the evening.

Towards half past five the wind calmed down and Van den Born rolled out his plane again. He was soon followed by Paulhan, Chávez and Molon. Van den Born kept flying for one and a half hour, but the others landed relatively soon. At 18:17 Chávez took off in order to go for the high-flying prize. He was followed eight minutes later by Paulhan and they both climbed higher and higher in big circles. Chávez was first to give up, but Paulhan kept going and finally reached 920 metres. According to his own barometer Chávez reached 750 metres, but since the highest part of his flight was outside the area where the trigonometric measurements could be made he was only credited with 450 metres in the official results.

While Chávez and Paulhan were flying Molon made three short flights. At 18:53 Mignot, who had now qualified for his "brevet", finally made his first official flight. It ended in tears almost immediately. After only half a lap his right wing touched the ground and pulled the plane down. Mignot escaped unharmed, but the nose, the right wing and the landing gear were wrecked. Immediately after the end of the official flights Paulhan took Louis Seguin of Gnôme engine fame for a long flight around the airfield and its surroundings. As he landed darkness was falling and the crowds, estimated at 200,000 inside and outside the field, left the airfield. Trams and carriages were overcrowded with passengers hanging on to what they could, "like fruits on a tree" according to one observer.

The funeral services for Hauvette-Michelin were held in the evening. The procession, which was watched by huge crowds, was full of important persons - the prefect, the mayor and representatives of the army, the police, the Aéro-Club and all the other organizations that were in any way involved in the meeting.

Monday 16 May
After the official closing the meeting was wound down by a display of the machines in the hangars. It was a holiday and around 10,000 people came, and they were surprised to see that no entrance fee was charged. The organizers had been taken by surprise by how quickly everybody would leave and quickly decided that it would be unwise to charge for seeing little more than closed hangars and big freight boxes. Only two hangars were open, those of Legagneux, where there was lots of activity but little to show after his crash, and Molon. It was Molon who would save the day. He had already packed two of his planes, but the third was still available and he offered to fly if people wanted to see him. He made several short flights during the afternoon and was rewarded with a special prize of 1,500 francs, provided by the organizers, the town council and the local press.

From an organizational point of view the Lyon meeting was very successful. The organizers had invested 375,000 francs in the meeting, but since they had wisely bought insurance against bad weather and could collect money for the damages and lost income they got their money back. 100,000 people had paid to watch the last day of the meeting alone, and even though some were disappointed with the amount of flying they had seen on a couple of days the meeting was considered a great success.

The flyers were not so enthusiastic. All of them except Chávez and Molon damaged their planes more or less during the meeting - Latham crashed three times! The high number of accidents was blamed on the short course, which required constant turning, in combination with the farm buildings inside the course and the grandstands close on the outside, which caused turbulence.

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