CHECKING THE FACTS by Beat H. Hearing (Switzerland)

How vital it is to check the facts

Susanne, Pierre and their three children were running late this morning. Unfortunately, their taxi was late and the rush hour had already started. Would they still make it to the airport in time?

The taxi finally arrived and the driver seemed to enjoy entertaining his foreign guests. “Ah, you want to go to Santos Dumont Airport? That’s a great airport and this Santos Dumont was a real Brazilian hero. Did you know that Santos was the first person in the world to fly an airplane? We Brazilians invented flying.”

Unsure of the legitimacy of that claim, Pierre laughed briefly and replied to the taxi driver. “You mean Santos Dumont was the first person to fly in Brazil, right?”

“No, no Senhor,” the driver said,  “Santos was the first person in the world to fly.”

A little later the family were on the plane when their eldest son enquired about the conversation in the taxi. Pierre explained the situation to him and said: “It is widely accepted common knowledge that the Wright brothers were the first to fly a motorized aircraft. That was in 1903 and their flight only lasted a few seconds, but it was the starting point for a development that continues today.” His son nodded and seemed to turn back to his iPhone when he suddenly looked up and said: Dad, I don’t think you’re quite right about the Wright brothers. There’s something interesting on Wikipedia about this Santos Dumont.”

He continued “It’s a very exciting fact, Dad. In fact, on 23 October 1906, Alberto Santos-Dumont made the first powered flight in front of the Aéro-Club de France and won the prize money of 3,500 francs. At the time, he was considered the first person to accomplish this. Only then the Wright brothers began to claim to have completed the first powered flight three years earlier on 17 December 1903, albeit ‘behind closed doors’. As a result it was not until the end of the 1940s that they were considered to be the first people to succeed in doing so.

The question of who actually made the first powered flight is complicated as other aviation pioneers are also considered, such as the German-American Gustav Weißkopf, Richard Pearse from New Zealand, Clement Ader from France or Karl Jatho from Germany.

But at least the fact remains, however, that Alberto Santo-Dumont was the first to have his flight officially confirmed. So it seems absolutely okay to honour him by naming an airport after him.

Just as the realisation that the first documented powered flight in aviation history can be attributed to the Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont who, like his achievements, has been unjustly and largely forgotten today outside of Brazil. It is always important to check your facts.

Especially in the field of functional private structures, there are a variety of design options and individual solutions for practically every situation and every customer requirement. Every day we at Carey are eager to learn from our customers, friends and family through proactive communication, honesty and experience – because we care(y).

At CAREY ZURICH, we are specialist in setting up and managing advantageous structures for our customers and we would be pleased to establish a private structure in the form of a company, trust, foundation or whatever is suitable. We are committed to serving the needs of our customers with all the Swiss thoroughness and reliability that you would expect, because we care(y).


This is an abridged version of the original. the original can be found on the carey website


Beat Haering – CEO

Adresse :

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Email : beat.haering@carey.ch

Website : https://carey.ch/