Since the College Park Airport runway (off photo right) is about 10 feet
lower than the adjacent railroads, landing planes must glide in fairly low.
Imagine the surprise of a train operator when out from the trees emerges
a plane barely above eye level. Double stacks reach almost as high as
these CSX signals, so a slightly lower plane could strike such railcars --
or "knock down a signal" the hard way.
Note: to better illustrate the proximity of landing planes and trains,
the main photo is a created composite of two, inspired by the actual,
poor-quality, cropped photo at left shot moments before. These two photos
may not depict the same plane.
When the US Post Office Department during 1918 began air mail service between
Washington and New York, they soon chose this airport because it was adjacent
the railroad. Due to the lack of navigation references during that era,
pilots followed the tracks. Unfortunately the very first pilot to try this
followed the wrong tracks and ended up flying south to Waldorf, Maryland.
ready for takeoff 1912,