Clark County Clipper, March 28, 1929
PHIL JONES TO HIS DEATH IN MOVIE PLANE CRASH
Unfortunate Mechanic Was Brother of E. G. Jones of Ashland
Hollywood, March 28 - While cameras in three other planes recorded the tragedy,
a mechanic was carried to his death in a hugh German Gotha bomber which could
not be brought out of the tailspin into which it had been put so movie audiences
might be given a thrill.
For 18 months Phil Jones worked abroad the great plane as it soared through
battle scenes of "Hell's Angel," an epic of war in the air. And then, as fate
would have it, he plunged to earth yesterday, in the shot that was to have been
his last of the picture.
Pilot Leaps to Safety
While he tossed helplessly in the forward cabin of the plane, from which he
could not escape, Al Wilson, noted movie stunt flyer, drifted to safety in his
A scene that was all to realistic in its resemblance to the screaming death
drops of the World War, cost Jones his life. As the great plane roared along at
an elevation of 7,000 feet, Wilson threw it into a tailspin.
Then came the signal from the camera planes, and he released the lamp black that
was to have been the smoke of death in a burning plane, for picture purposes.
"I felt the left wing go and I yelled to Phil to jump," Wilson said. "After we
had fallen 2,000 feet, I pulled my safety belt and was thrown over the motor
into the air.
"As I fell I saw Phil and his face was set and determined. I plunged downward
and grabbed hopelessly at the parachute ring, but my gloves and mask hampered
"It looked like curtains for me until I got them off and opened the 'chutes'
just as the bomber shot by me. I think the lamp black blinded Phil."
Phil Jones was the youngest brother of E. G. Jones of this city. He had visited
his brother here about 3 years ago and will be remembered here by those who met
him at that time.
Contributed by ~Shirley Brier~ November 4, 2005.
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