Defying Death: Australasian Gazette

Defying Death: Australasian Gazette
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The title of this Australasian Gazette newsreel, 'Defying Death', indicates just how life-threatening parachuting was in the 1920s. Mr Albert E Eastwood ‘performs a sensational drop from an airplane in a parachute from a height of 3,000 feet at Mascot Aerodome’. The parachute is seen in this film mounted on the wing of an Avro 504K piloted by Captain Percival.

Eastwood had previously displayed the use of parachutes in conjunction with hot air balloons and began ‘defying death’ by parachute in 1907.

A newspaper report from 1923 about one of Eastwood’s exploits gives some indication of just how perilous parachuting was: 'He is not attached to the parachute by any body gear. He simply puts his legs through a trapeze, takes a tight grip of the rope, and is pulled off head first into space by the parachute.'

The Avro 504K G-AUBL crashed at the Light Aeroplane Trials held at Richmond, NSW in December 1924.