Black Ace Pilot, Bessie Coleman Dies In Plane
Coleman was in .Jacksonville, Florida at the invitation of the local Negro Welfare League (forerunner to the Urban League) to perform in an air show for the Memorial Day celebration. The day before the event, April 30, 1926. Coleman and her mechanic, William D. Willis, took her craft up for a test run. Willis had flown the plane from Texas and Was forced to land twice because of engine trouble.
During one of the maneuvers. it is reported that a wrench became jammed against the controls of the plane. The aircraft rolled over, catapulting Bessie out and to an untimely death. Her mechanic was also killed when the plane crashed.
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