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The Bonney Gull was an experimental aircraft: Leonard Warden Bonney, was unable to find a willing test pilot and chose to fly the aircraft himself. He performed a test hop, damaging the landing gear once. On 4 May 1928 Bonney took up another aircraft on a flight, then announced he would test fly the Gull that day. Bonney was killed during the maiden flight when the aircraft nosedived into the ground from about 50 feet of altitude, seconds after taking off from Curtiss Field on Long Island.