I’m reading what is becoming an interesting biography on a shy farm boy from Little Falls, MN. He grew up with estranged parents, had an aptitude for machinery, once rode his Excelsior motorcycle from Minnesota to visit his father in Florida, but generally was drifting in life.
Flunked out of the University of Wisconsin and enrolled in one of the first flying schools, where he learned not only to fly, but aircraft construction. The new owner of the flight school just happened to sell the plane with which he was to practice, so he goes barnstorming with the new owner.
Although he had never wingwalked before, volunteered to stand on the wing as they were coming to a new town, so as to attract new potential riding customers.
$5 for 5 minutes.
Flying, it seems, has always been expensive.
He was not only in love with flying, but just being in the air.
Back at his flight school, he met a wandering couple, Lt. Charles Hardin and his wife Kathryn. Hardin was at the forefront of another new industry, parachuting.
For his first jump, he didn’t want to just make a jump but what was known as a “double jump”, as done on the barnstorming circuit. A double jump occurs when the main chute, that has already deployed, is released – the jumper falls again and deploys the reserve chute.
He tried this and was noticing during free-fall that the 2nd chute was having difficulty opening. He had no idea that something wasn’t right until he began falling head first. It finally opened.
“For the rest of his life, Lindbergh remembered feeling no panic over what might have happened to him, only how soundly he slept that night. Easier for him than most, with nobody dependent on him for anything, Lindbergh decided “that if I could fly for 10 years before I was killed in a crash, it would be a worthwhile trade for an ordinary lifetime”
This book by A. Scott Berg is becoming quite a read.