Bill's Aviation Page - A Tribute to Charles Lindbergh

When hotel owner Raymond B. Orteig made the public offering of $25,000 in 1919 for whoever would succeed in being the first to fly non-stop from New York to Paris few gave an obscure little known mail pilot named Charles Lindbergh a chance to collect that money. He did not have the financing and the backing that many more did seeking to be the first in this endeavor. He did however, have the determination and the grit required, and was able to get some St. Louis businessmen to help fund the project. Many French and American aviators made unsuccessful and often tragic attempts at the flight.

In the wee hours of the morning on May 20, 1927 following an exhaustive preflight inspection and checklist, which was preceded by a sleepless night Charles Lindbergh would board a plane named the Spirit of St. Louis built by Ryan aircraft of San Diego, California. After firing up the big radial engine he would lumber down the rain soaked runway at Roosevelt Field in Long Island, N.Y. and at 7:52 am take off in the heavy laden plane bound for Paris and unknowingly for history. After 33 and 1/2 hours of grueling flight consisting of intense navigation, fuel management, and fighting a tired and sleepy body, Charles Lindbergh would land the Spirit of ST. Louis at Le Bourget Field in Paris at 10:21 PM immortally etching himself into aviation history. On May 22 the day after his flight, the obscure pilot from Minnesota became the best known pilot in the world.


 

created by bill black 1997 all rights reserved on originals, updated 09/20/02

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