Anthony Hanzlik, a photographer and a pioneer pilot for aerial photography managed Flushing Airport in Queens from 1936 until his death in 1974. Mr. Hanzlik did aerial photography for New York newspapers and was noted for his skill in piloting news photographers on hazardous assignments such as fire and train wrecks. He got his nickname, Speed, as a youngster when he served as a messenger at the WrightMartin Aircraft Company’s factory in Long Island City, Queens.
He was a flyer in WWI and tested pilots for the Royal Airforce in WWII. In 1960, he was taking pictures of a fire at the Brooklyn Navy Yard when the engine of his plane, a three‐seater Super Piper cruiser, with Alfred Engelen at the controls, sputtered and went dead. The plane crash‐landed on tile East River Waterfront near Grand Street. Neither man was seriously hurt.
We can thank Mr. Hanzlick for many of the aerial photographs of NYC during the 50s and 60s.