Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Missouri Aviation Historical Society Meeting: Who Taught Lindbergh to Fly?

By Carmelo Turdo
The theme for the May meeting of the Missouri Aviation Historical Society was: Who taught Lindbergh to Fly?  Presenter Stan Crader, a pilot, novelist and author of an authoritative article on the topic, introduced Ira Biffle of Bollinger County, MO, a man of great accomplishment in his short flying career.  

Stan Crader
Ira Biffle began his flying career in 1914 in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, reportedly one of the first four pilots, and was a flight instructor throughout World War I.  He later flew the U.S. Mail, flew for the government of the state of Nebraska, and became possibly the first corporate pilot while flying for Walgreens in the late 1920s.  When Charles Lindbergh decided to learn to fly in 1922, he sought out Ira Biffle in Nebraska because if his reputation for soloing a great number of pilots during his time as an Army flight instructor (translated: he was skillful enough to not be killed early in life teaching cadets to fly).  Sadly, Biffle's health and fortune declined after 1930, and he died in 1934.

Please visit for more information about Stan and his books, Paper Boy and The Bridge.  All proceeds from the books support Resurrecting Lives, an organization that assists military members and veterans that have sustained traumatic brain injury.  Learn more at

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