Emory Conrad Malick

Ernie worked with another man to establish Flying Dutchman Air Service, perhaps a man named Emory C. Malick. Malick received a pilot's license in March 1912. Later, Malick worked in the Philadelphia area, doing aerial photography for Aero Service Corporation and Dallin Aerial Surveys. Malick graduated from the Curtiss Aviation School, in San Diego, in March 1912 and received International Pilot's License #105.

Malick was among the earliest licensed pilots in the United States and even in the world. Recall that in 1905 the fact that Wilbur Wright demonstrated sustained, controlled flight (flying 24 miles around New York City) was considered a big deal. He was able to fly around the city, all alone in the sky, going where he wanted to go, and was able to land when he wanted to. Other great pioneers, such as Alberto Santos Dumont or Louis Blériot, who first flew across the English Channel (1909), were in the air not much before Malick. Also, it is worth noting that Malick had been flying for years before he went to Curtiss.

We believe it possible that Emory Malick and Ernie Buehl worked together at some point, perhaps during the time Ernie was working for Brock & Weymouth and when Malick was working for Dallin Aerial Surveys, both of them doing aerial photography. This would have been between 1926 and 1928. During his lifetime, Malick told people that he was a partner in establishing Flying Dutchman Air Service.

According to the story Ernie told, in the beginning of Flying Dutchman Air Service he had a partner. The partner contributed most, if not all, of the capital investment in the business - he provided the airplane, a KR-31. Ernie contributed his time and labor. Both were licensed pilots and both were licensed mechanics, but as Ernie told the story, he was the one who did most of the flying. The business was named for Ernie, who came from Germany ("Deutsch" is the word Germans use to identify their own nationality, so it was not too much of a stretch to make him the "Flying Dutchman"). It was the partner who promoted Ernie as having been a German "ace" pilot during World War One (a complete fabrication). Ernie and his partner split the money they took in from giving sky rides and flying lessons.

The partnership came apart, according to Ernie, when Ernie realized that his partner had borrowed the money to purchase the airplane. In Germany, this sort of financing was unknown. It was a huge revelation to Ernie to find out it was common in the United States. Ernie realized that he could borrow money, buy his own airplane and become an independent business man. 

The problem we have is that no one has any clear documentary evidence that Ernie and Emory worked together. No one in the Buehl family can recall the name of the partner and no one in either family can find any surviving records of this arrangement. Also, there are no photos in Ernie's collection that clearly include anyone of Malick's description. In Malick's collection, there is no evidence that Malick ever owned a KR-31 (Malick was known to prefer Waco). After 1928, Ernie did not have any partners; after 1928, business papers show that he was the sole owner of Flying Dutchman Air Service.

The best evidence we have is indirect but persuasive. While there is no mention of his partner's name in the log book, it identifies the airplanes Buehl was flying. Ernie's Pilots Log shows that in 1928, he was flying airplanes belonging to Thomas Trivigno, a beginning pilot who had his eyes on a career in aviation. Trivigno did own a KR-31 and Buehl used it for giving commercial flights. None of the airplanes Malick ever owned are mentioned in Buehl's log.