Mayor T. H. Baird received notice today from government officials that a permanent aviation landing would be established at Greenwood. The city will lease the Whittington field, where the aeroplane landed today and will provide the necessary equipment for a permanent landing station. Owing to the closeness of the two aviation camps at West Point and Memphis, many planes will visit the city by the student aviators.
From The Commonwealth, October 9, 1918
Two aeroplanes from Payne Field reached Greenwood yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock, driven by Lieutenant Caldwell and Lieutenant Woodruff. The aviators, after flying for several minutes over the city, lighted in the Whittington lots, west of Greenwood. A large crowd of people went to the landing ground and viewed the machines.
The aviators came here on a pleasure trip and spent the night in the city. They will return to Payne Field Tuesday morning.
From The Commonwealth, January 15, 1919
In cooperation with the Greenwood Aero Club and the National Aeronautic Association, the Tri-State Airways will give an air circus here Saturday afternoon, beginning at 12:30 o'clock, which will be the most spectacular event ever undertaken in this section.
Trick flying, parachute jumping, wing walking, and the myriad other death defying tricks, will be undertaken by the pilots and Spider Burns, full-blooded Cherokee Indian. The Indian will stand on the top wing of a plane and hang by one toe while the ship is looping. He will also walk the wing and do parachute jumping. Spider Burns is the only stunt man who does not use a safety belt or parachute while giving his tricks. Jess Windham and Archie Steiger will exhibit flying tricks in two Eaglerock planes.
The party from Memphis will arrive Friday afternoon in the Eaglerocks and the big Buhl 4-passenger sedan. In the party will be Captain Wylie R. Wright, Tennessee Governor of the National Aeronautic Association, W. R. Dawkins, president of the Tri-State Airways, Gerald Kelly of the Memphis Evening Appeal, and mechanics.
This circus will be given over the flying field on Carrollton Avenue. It is believed one of the largest crowds ever to gather for an event here will assemble to see what means the opening of aviation here on a large scale. Following the circus, the planes will be at the disposal of passengers and students of the Aero Club.
From The Greenwood Commonwealth, February 22, 1928
One of the largest crowds ever to gather at the air field in Greenwood is expected Saturday afternoon when the first air circus of any proportion to be held here, will take place.
The Greenwood Aero Club, members of the National Aeronautical Association, is making unusual preparations for the event, which will begin at 12:30 o'clock. The event is being advertised extensively and thousands are expected to view the daredevils of the air.
This circus, which was postponed last week on account of rainy weather making the airfield, which is being worked on, a sea of mud, will be held this week dependent on the weather, also. This field is rapidly being put in shape and will be ready provided no more rain falls.
The outstanding event of the circus will be the stunts performed by Spider Burns, full-blooded Cherokee Indian. Spider, by name and nature, without the precautions of parachute or safety belt, he walks the wings and hangs by one toe while the plane is looping. He will also jump from a plane with a parachute.
Pilots of the New Brys airport, headed by Jess Windham, will do a number of stunts with planes, and these tricks should be greatly enjoyed. A number of visitors from Memphis will accompany the party here.
From The Greenwood Commonwealth, February 28, 1928
Spider Burns, noted full-blooded Cherokee Indian daredevil, was instantly killed at 3 o'clock this afternoon when he fell 1400 feet. He landed with such impact; a hole 18 inches deep was made by his body.
Burns' fall to death was witnessed by 10,000 spectators gathered for an air circus and exhibition at the local flying filed on the edge of the city. Burns fell 500 yards from the field on Grenada Boulevard.
The Indian's parachute failed to open, evidently caused from a broken strap. He jumped from an Eaglerock plane piloted by Jess Windham, chief pilot of the New Bry's Airport.
The air circus started here at 1:30 o'clock and a number of stunts had been given when Burns went aloft to make his jump, which he has specialized in. Burns, 27 years old, from St. Louis, is a daredevil of note. When he went up, observers said the parachute looked in perfect order, but it failed to open and he was instantly killed.
Funeral arrangements have not been completed.
From The Greenwood Commonwealth, March 3, 1928
This became an established fact yesterday with the closing of negotiations by the County Board of Supervisors for the purchase of a tract of land for that purpose less than a mile from the city limits.
The tract secured embraces 160 acres and lies just south of the city limits, opposite Craig's gin on Highway No. 49. It is known as the Bell property, and is high land, capable with little expense of being turned into a first class airport when the need arises.
The handing of the purchase was a splendidly progressive movement by the Board of Supervisors and one that will meet the approval of every citizen of Leflore County. The negotiations have been in progress for some time but final decision was made only yesterday, and Greenwood's airport became an assured fact.
Under the terms of the purchase, the county will make its first payment on the property next December, and the purchase will be financed without the outlay of any money from the county funds. It is intended to lay out runways immediately, necessary for use as a landing field and until the property is paid for, the remainder of the tract will be farmed by the county convicts. Some hundred or more acres will be used for farming purposes, and from the proceeds of the farming, the purchase of the entire tract will be financed.
Securing of this well located tract means that in the course of a few years, Leflore County will own one of the best airports in the South and have the property for use as fair grounds, athletic field, and other purposes, and all with out a single cent of cost to the taxpayers of the county.
Work is expected to begin immediately in preparing the runways for use as a landing field.
The present landing field at the intersection of Carrollton Avenue and Humphreys Highway will continue to be used until the new field is available.
Greenwood citizens are unstinted in their praise of the progressive spirit shown by the Board of Supervisors and the City Council in meeting the needs of the city from an aviation standpoint. The new field will be provided by the Board of Supervisors, while the field which is now used was made possible by the city council which has paid rent on the field, and which has been ready to continue to provide the field until more adequate space could be secured.
With the air looming as the means of transportation of the futures, the securing of the present large tract for aviation purposes means that this city and the territory adjacent will take their place on the air maps of the country, and will become among the first of the cities to secure the benefits of air transportation.
From The Greenwood Commonwealth, December 4, 1928