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Airplane Crash on Ridge Route is Fatal to Two.
Official of Swallow Aircraft Company and L.A. Broker Plunge to Death.
Ignition is Shut Off as Men Foresee Fate.
Gust of Wind Plummets Ship Down 300 Feet from Highway No. 99.
By United Press | As published in the Fresno Bee | April 9, 1937.
Gorman, April 9. — Heavy low fog was blamed today for the crash of a cabin monoplane and the instant death of E.A. Grumm of Los Angeles and E.B. Christopher of Wichita, Kan., on a scrubby hill near here.
The plane smashed into a steep hillside on the Ridge Route about fifty miles north of Los Angeles and less than 300 feet from the crowded Highway No. 99 between Bakersfield and Los Angeles.
Grumm was vice president of the Brashear Investment Company of Los Angeles and Christopher an official of the Swallow Airplane Company of Wichita.
Plane is Demolished
George Hamilton, a resident of Gorman, reported he heard the airplane flying low over his home this morning and then crash a quarter mile away. Both men were dead when he reached the wreckage. Rescuers required several hours to extricate the bodies from the tangled mass of steel.
Hamilton expressed the belief that the men, flying north over the rugged mountain country, had been forced down by poor visibility and were attempting to make altitude toward El Tejon Pass when the engine failed. The ship crashed from a height of less than 100 feet and did not burn.
Two county surveyors, who saw the plane heading up a canyon against a strong wind at about 8:30 a.m., reported the pilot apparently was attempting to negotiate Tejon Pass.
They declared that as the plane neared the head of the canon the gusty wind apparently tossed it against the crest. There was no explosion, but both men were killed instantly.
They took off from Los Angeles Municipal Airport, bound for San Francisco. Grumm, 41, whose investment company had interests in aviation, had planned the business trip to San Francisco and Christopher, 35-year-old aviation official, offered to fly him north.
Grumm, a former resident of San Diego, is survived by his widow, Mrs. Nancy Grumm, and three small children.
The ship was completely demolished when it struck about 100 feet up a steep hill, in full view of the busy highway. The ignition had been shut off, Hamilton said, indicating the men probably knew that a crash was impending.
Sought Backing in Plane
Wichita (Kan.), April 9. — (AP) — E.B. Christopher, 34, president of the Swallow Airplane Company, was in California seeking financial backing for a new model plane designed by the company when he fell to his death in a plane crash today.
News story courtesy of Lauren Parker.