Wednesday, 7 August 2019

le vol

On this day in 1919, in order to redress what was perceived to be a slight during a parade on the Champs Élysées when flying aces were grounded and ordered to march on foot a month earlier, veteran and aviation instructor Charles Godefroy (*1888 - 1958) volunteered to pilot a Nieuport 27 biplane through the Arc de Triomphe.
Godefroy had his friend the reporter document the feat. Displeased with this surprise stunt that terrorised people on the streets and fearful of imitation that would put more in peril, however, authorities banned the publication of the footage—at least for the time being. Excused with a warning, Godefroy then retired from flying at his family’s insistence and ran a vineyard in a Parisian suburb.