Biddeford, ME – April 19, 1909

Biddeford, Maine – April 19, 1909


    Early balloon with net On the morning of April 19, 1909, a balloon, piloted by William Van Sleet, took off from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and drifted northeastward.  Four hours and fifty minutes later it came down in some treetops in a forest north of Biddeford, Maine.   Neither Van Sleet, or his passenger, Oscar R. Hutchinson, were injured.  The men climbed down the trees and reached the ground safely. 

     The distance traveled was calculated to be 160 miles in a straight line, but was actually 50 miles longer by the route taken.  It was reported in the Bennington Evening Banner that the men had “completed one of the longest balloon trips ever made in New England”.          


    Bennington Evening Banner, “Balloon In Tree Top”, April 20, 1909

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