Monday, January 14, 2013

Jack Frye - High Flyer

Jack Frye as we know was a top flyer in the country that could easily fit in the company of Rickenbacker, Lindbergh, Fokker and in more modern times, Yeager & Doolittle. In the airline industry, Jack was the leader, the trail blazer, the one man that singlehandidly transformed aviation into a commercial passenger travel enterprise as non ever seen on the globe since. One of the ways he 'led the way' was his deep desire and skill to go where no other went before.

This clipping donated by Mr. Frye's daughter, Nevajac Frye, is just one example of Jack Frye in action climbing into his Northrop GAMMA for some high elevation testing that paved the way to 'overweather flying before any other.' Jack loved the pioneering challenges set before him because he invisioned the need, and he was completely freed from any restaints while in the cockpit.

As related to the constant danger of high-flying, Jack Frye has been quoted as stating - 'The Danger is on the Ground.' Hauntingly true as Jack's life was tragically taken by a drunk driver while driving home from work! He was 55.

An important item of note. Though this image isn't clear, one can see that Jack is well dressed underneath his flying gear. You can pick out his dress shoes, pinstriped pants and his overall office attire appearance. Jack flew his Northrop Gamma all over the country on business hops. He would leave from any number of locations at speed up to 250mph, and land to have a meeting with associates or Senators in D.C., then off again to his next destination. They called him 'The Flying President' in which he was surely glad to oblige. More later on Frye and his Gamma travels.

Below an LA Times news clipping about Jack Frye and Paul Richter setting a 4 mile high record in 1929! A remarkable feat given the technology of the day.

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