New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Monday, July 15, 2024
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December 31, 1910 John B. Moisant Crashes

Aviator John B. Moisant was selected to put a group of aviators together to come to New Orleans in December of 1910. The promoters were correct in their assumption that there was a great interest in this newfangled machine. The crowds were large, plus they enjoyed what they saw immensely.

On Dec. 30, as a special promotion in his Bleriot, Moisant competed in a five-mile race around a local track against a Packard automobile. He lost by a whisker.

The very next day, Dec. 31, 1910, he left City Park and headed for a field near Harahan. His intentions were to attempt to win a $4,000 prize that went with the Michelin Cup for sustained flight. The record was 362.66 miles, and Moisant hoped to shatter this record.

As he flew his plane from City Park to the field from which he was to begin his flight, his aircraft encountered a windshear. The plane fell, and without seatbelts holding him in, Moisant fell from the aircraft and was killed. The area where he landed and died was named in his honor. John B. Moisant became the 30th fatality among pioneer airmen throughout the world.