January 24 was a cold winter day, but in Brooklyn the roofs and other places were there was a clear view of the sky were crowded with people who had gathered to watch a solar eclipse of the sun.
Early that morning, A. A. Caterpon took off in his sea plane to photograph the eclipse. On his way home to Mitchel Field in Long Island engine trouble forced him to land in the waters near Red Hook (where exactly we are not sure). Before long he was forced to take to the air again as ice was forming on his plane's pontoons and dragging it down. He made it almost as far as Coney Island where he again was forced to land on the water. There he and his photographs were saved but not his plane which sank below.
Text of the account in the Sunday January 25 edition of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle:
Photos Barely Saved As Caterpon's Airplane Drops Twice Into the Water
Photographs of the eclipse made high above the clouds near New Haven today by A. A. Caterpon, who left Mitchel Field in a Curtis plane at sunrise, were nearly lost when the plane, on its return trip, fell into the bay off Governor’s island. Engine trouble, forced Caterpon to seek a landing for his seaplane. He struck the icy water fairly and commenced to tinker with his engine when he noticed the plane settling in the water. A hasty investigation showed that the salt water was freezing to the underside, of the pontoons.
Caterpon was able to retake the air and to head for the flying [field]. At Coney Island the trouble again occurred, and for the second time the machine was brought down on the chilly water. The machine floated until within 100 yards of the shore and then sank under the load of ice on its bottom, however not before a boat had been put off and the aviator and his precious films safely landed.