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DogsBite.org - While browsing through The New York Times historical archives recently, we happened upon an incident in 1911 where a "big white bull terrier" (known today as a pit bull) darted into a whirling propeller of a biplane killing itself. The force of the blow split the propeller and knocked a corner loose. The daring aviator, Harry N. Atwood, wanted to risk the flight with a piece of the blade still hanging, but was cautioned by his mechanics to replace the propeller.
Atwood opted to wire the damaged propeller and 15 minutes later, fired up the engine again. Passenger Charles K. Hamilton, another historic aviator, climbed inside of the biplane and the two were off. After rising two hundred feet, the plane crashed into the ocean. Both men survived, and with the help of onlookers, dragged the wrecked machine back to shore. According to The Times, the two men laughed as they emerged from the water. The dog wasn't mentioned again.1
Atwood's Flight Stopped by a Dog
Atlantic City, NJ, July 7 - Harry N. Atwood, carrying Charles K. Hamilton as a passenger, started for Washington in his aeroplane this afternoon on the last leg of his 518-mile journey for the cup offered by The New York Times, but had hardly risen from the beach when a big white bull terrier ran across the sands and poked its nose into one of the whirling propellers. The dog was killed and the force of the blow split the propeller for about six or seven inches and knocked one corner of it loose.
Atwood's mechanic and people in the crowd shouted to him and he shut off his power to discover the extent of the injury. He was willing to risk it with the piece of blade hanging. (The New York Times, July 8, 1911)
In 2009, a pet pit bull bolted into a train killing itself and its female owner who had securely wrapped -- possibly even knotted -- the leash around her hand. The young woman could not stop the dog nor undo the leash wrap in time. Numerous incidents have been documented when a pit bull has attacked an automobile; most occurrences involve a human being inside. None of these victims laughed afterward, nor would the aviators of 1911 had either man been killed.2
2There was another story we found during the same search, "Johnny No Match for the Dog," that did not have an uplifting ending. A 14-year old boy was brutally attacked by a bull terrier. Police pumped 5 bullets into the animal but it later "got up and ran away." Eventually, the dog was driven into a vacant lot and "its brains beaten out." (December 3, 1893)
12/14/10: Pit Bulls Attack Student Driver's Vehicle, Two Persons Inside
10/01/10: Pit Bull Deflates All Four Tires of Cumberland County Deputy's Cruiser
06/08/09: Pit Bull Drags Adult Owner into Oncoming Train, Killing Her
Great Find! i will be sure to include this in my frankenmauler roundup and file it under "why pit bulls are different".
This is amazing. Its always been this way with pit bulls – geez.
They still attack airplanes, but now they do it from the inside.
I think the american airlines plane was grounded for over a week for repairs on that.
Now i'm wondering about the hindenburg, was there a pit bull on it…
I bet the pony express has pit bull stories…that's why the horse is always running flat out…
oh yeah, the pony express for sure. i hear that the pit bulls that came over on the mayflower did some damage to that ship too.
I wonder, did Amelia Earhart have a pit bull companion?
Like the Nutterdom — pit bull advocates, Best Friends, and countless other "humane" groups who consistently mislead the public about the safety of the pit bull breed — the Hindenburg was full of A LOT OF HOT AIR!
On a separate note, it is not unreasonable to believe that an influential passenger aboard the Hindenburg demanded that his "bulldog" also be aboard the 1937 flight that ended in disaster.
According to Wikipedia, at least one dog was documented aboard the flight:
The dog owner was even suspected:
Don't forget about the pit bull that could have brought down the American Airlines plane…
Who can forget when Tige latched onto the castoff rope of a departing US Navy Airship, then soared up to 400 ft before plummeting to his death back in 1931?
5 May 1931: Bull Dog "Tige" latches onto the cast off rope of a US Navy Airship, hangs on for several minutes, then plummets to his death in a swamp surrounding NAS Lakehurst NJ.
And they wonder why the US Military doesn't use pits in it's working dog programs…
"Attack on Helicopter Leaves Dog Injured," The Victoria Advocate, September 18, 1953 (news.google.com)
TULSA, Okla. — Tuffy, pet bulldog of a local airport, is suffering a broken leg and a nearly severed ear today.
Yesterday he attacked the whirling tail rotor of a helicopter. Total damage to the craft was $1,500. That included a broken propeller and vibration damage."
Unbelievably stupid and vicious breed. Sometimes it's hard to fathom people who are stupid enough to keep them as pets.