Clark County Clipper, March 28, 1929


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 parachute.

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 me.

"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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