Bert White (R) & G.C. Quick, Popular Aviation, February, 1932 (Source: PA)
Bert White landed once at Tucson, Wednesday, October 15, 1930 at 12:45
PM. He was a passenger with 29 year old Pancho Barnes. They flew in Barnes' Travel Air NC4419. White was a well-known stunt parachutist. He and Barnes were westbound
to Los Angeles and home after a harrowing east-west cross-country journey,
which is described in detail with a chart at Barnes' link.
At left is a photograph of White (R), with George C. Quick, another Register pilot. The context of this photograph is described in an article authored by White entitled "How I Broke the World's Record Jump," in Popular Aviation (PA) magazine, February, 1932.
White and Quick flew over the 1931 National Air Races where White had been billed for an attempt to set a new altitude record for a parachute jump. In the article White spins a ripping yarn from the Golden Age about his successful parachute jump from five miles up over Cleveland, OH. It took him 43 minutes to descend, and he floated 16 miles from the point he jumped: he was moving laterally faster than he was descending. It is worth a read at the link (PDF 2.3Kb). His feat made scant mention in The New York Times, September 7, 1931. White authored several other articles for contemporary aviation magazines.
In the interest of details, according pp. 82-83 of "Pancho" by B.H. Schultz, the dates in Barnes' pilot log and the ones in Schultz's book do not agree. According to her pilot log, which you can view at Barnes' link, she landed Tucson October 15, 1930. Her airplane is a speedwing Travel Air, purchased on November 24, 1928 from H.C. "Red" Lippiatt (p. 65). It is still registered with the FAA. You can see photographs of it at the link for 4419.
There is no biographical file for White at the Smithsonian, so I don't have a lot of informaton about his early life, education, birth or death dates. His Web presence is practically nil. If you can help fill in the blanks, please let me KNOW.
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 08/07/14 REVISED: