Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 43
Among Sylvia Dyer
about her ancestor is
Aviator: Micajah Clark."
Top left: A state highway, Ga. 180, has been named for the pioneer aviator of Union County, Micajah Clark Dyer.
Above: A cemetery monument remembers the life of Micajah Clark Dyer, a farmer who wanted to fly.
tors for his invention, says Turnage,
who lives at Blairsville.
"He didn't have the money to
build a strong one," Turnage says.
"The one he built and flew was
made of wood. He searched for
somebody to finance the thing,
to help him have enough money
to put an engine on it, to drive all
these things that were hand-andfoot driven to navigate the air."
But Dyer didn't succeed in finding funding, Turnage says, and he
died on Jan. 26, 1891.
Later, as the family story goes,
Dyer's widow, Morena, sold his
flight plans and models to a couple of brothers named Redwine.
Further family stories say the Redwines, in turn, sold those plans to
the Wright Brothers.
But, wait-that's only speculation, Turnage notes. "We don't
have proof that it was the Redwines
who bought it. And as far as going
from there to the Wright Brothers,
we haven't found any connection.
But it's perfectly logical to me that
they could have bought the whole
information from the Redwines
eventually. So maybe they did use
some of his principles."
Those principles of flight that
Dyer determined in his patent, like
using navigational controls, "are
some of the same principles that
airplanes are still operating under,"
Turnage says. "His primary contribution was how to navigate a machine in the air."
Want to know more?
November/December 2017 43