Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis

December 9, 2008 at 11:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This is a divergence from my usual post.  I recently rewatched the Jimmy Stewart movie, Spirit of St. Louis.  Even though it got luke warm reviews when it came out, I still conisder it one of the best non-war aviation movie ever made. 

The movie resonates with me for many reasons.  Being a pilot, I admired Lindbergh’s skill and appreciate the task he undertook to fly across the Atlantic when he did.  His dead reakoning skills were fantastic.  He came within 6 miles of his intented European landfall during his flight.  That is not bad if you have no modern meteorological forecasts, gps, etc.  He just had a map, erratic compass, and the stars.  He did not even have  a sexton since that took up too much weight.  Just incredible. 

I was so taken by his spirit and fortitude when I studied the man, that I named my daughter, Lindy, after what he stood for and accomplished.  Sadly, his beliefs during WWII which included being a Nazi sympathizer tarnished the rest of his life.  I consider Lindbergh as two people – the younger who flew across the Atlantic and the older who was a Nazi sympathizer later in life.  The younger is an icon, while the older can be forgotten.

Below is a compilation video from the movie, Spirit of St. Louis.  The book, with the same title, being authored by Lindbergh, is wonderful and really gets into the nitty gritty of the flight and its preperation.  A great read for any level of aviation enthusiast.

If you can not view the video, please click here.

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