The Nation: They Almost Grounded Lindy

New light on old crackups

Was Charles Lindbergh a reckless flyer who should have been grounded for his own good? Or was he a skilled pilot who prevailed, with a bit of his famed luck, over the hazards of poor aircraft and sloppy maintenance of the 1920s? These questions are raised in an intriguing exchange of letters between Lindy and William P. MacCracken Jr., the first head of the Commerce Department's former aeronautics branch. The letters, written in 1968, have only recently been disclosed by MacCracken's widow (he died in 1969 and Lindbergh in...

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