Wednesday, October 4, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: October 4

October 4, 1914 - Clifford Bissonett, 21, of St. Paul, was instantly killed at Red Wing this afternoon when the balloon in which he was making an ascension caught fire and he was dashed 500 feet to the ground; his parachute failed to open. The balloon was more than a hundred feet in the air when a fire was first noticed. By the time Bissonett discovered he was in danger, the big bag was enveloped in flames. He cut his parachute loose but it was not until he was nearly to the ground that it started to open. Experts said the “accident was caused by the scorching of the muzzle rope.” Bissonett crashed to the ground, receiving a broken neck in the fall and dying a few seconds later.

Bissonett was hired to make ascensions during the three days of the Red Wing Harvest Festival that opened Tuesday. He made a special flight Sunday in connection with a baseball game. He was a well-known aeronaut; including ascensions at the State Fair, Bissonett made more than 200 ascensions in the past two years. A year ago he fell from a balloon at Thief River Falls and was badly injured. He was survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Bissonett, two sisters and two brothers.

Wabasha County Herald; ”Fall Kills Aeronaut.”; Wabasha, Minn.; Oct. 8, 1914; p. 1.

The Zumbrota News; Oct. 9, 1914; p. 7.


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