John Cobb, a butcher, rides an ornithopter bicycle with wings in San Fernando Valley, California. John has a collar to flap wings when he raises his torso. The bicycle has a rocket to assist takeoff. William Modes helps him as he starts riding. Ralph Spergis lights the rocket. The heat of the rocket sets tail on fire. Tail sets John's pants on fire. He purposely falls down, yelling for water. John is caught in the collar wires and can't get away. The rocket breaks loose, which it was do after takeoff, and sets wings on fire. A man throws water from a bucket to extinguish John's pants. (William Modes later became a director at Northrup Aircraft Company. Ralph Spergis later became longtime manager at Agua Dulce Airpark. Ralph and William, at the time this was taken, were roommates in Santa Monica, both working as aircraft mechanics at Douglas Aircraft Company.)
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