"The life of an aviator seemed to me ideal. It involved skill. It brought adventure. It made use of the latest developments of science. Mechanical engineers were fettered to factories and drafting boards while pilots have the freedom of wind with the expanse of sky. There were times in an airplane when it seemed I had escaped mortality to look down on earth like a God."
- Charles A. Lindbergh, 1927
Charles Lindbergh was an American aviator who made the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean on May 20-21, 1927. Other pilots had crossed the Atlantic before him. But Lindbergh was the first person to do it alone nonstop.
Charles Lindbergh was born on Feb. 4, 1902, in Detroit. He grew up on a farm near Minnesota. He was the son of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Sr., a lawyer, and his wife, Evangeline Lodge Land. Lindbergh's father served as a U.S.
congressman from Minnesota from 1907 to 1917.
n childhood, Lindbergh showed exceptional mechanical ability. At the age of 18 years, he entered the University of Wisconsin to study engineering. However, Lindbergh was more interested in the exciting, young field of aviation than he was in school. After two years, he left school to become a barnstormer, a pilot who performed daredevil stunts at fairs. Fascinated with aviation, he earned his pilot's license, and in 1923 bought a Jenny to take up barnstorming.
In 1924, Lindbergh entered a U.S. Army flying school at San Antonio, Texas. He graduated first in his class the following year, then became the first air mail pilot between Chicago, Illinois, and St, Louis, Missouri. He became the first three-time member of the Caterpillar Club, that exclusive fraternity of people who had saved their lives with parachutes. In 1925, he began flying mail...