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Charles Leonard Flight Log, 1920 | by The Urbana Free Library Digital Collections
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Charles Leonard Flight Log, 1920

A page from Charles Leonard's flight log from 1920. Charles Leonard was stationed at Chanute Field as Commanding Officer, among many other positions. While at Chanute, Leonard logged 244 hours of flight.

 

One of those flights nearly ended in tragedy. On April 29, 1921, 5,000 thousand citizens of Ottawa, Canada patiently waited for two planes to arrive from Rantoul. They gathered to see the new and innovative flying machines of the U.S. military, which were sent to Ottawa on a recruiting mission. One of the planes arrived on time two hours after taking off at 9 a.m. The other plane was unaccounted for until it was discovered that the pilot, Charles Leonard, crashed his Curtiss Jenny. Leonard, in an effort to impress, took a young lady onboard the flight to show off his aerial skills. Leonard took the plane to approximately 4,000 feet and did a spiraling nose-dive toward the earth. After making the sensational dive, Leonard made a daring attempt to pull the nose of the plane up close to the ground but failed and crashed into the soft dirt. Both passengers survived with minor injuries.

 

Part of the blog post: Chanute Spotlight: Charles M. Leonard

 

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For more information please contact the Champaign County Historical Archives at The Urbana Free Library: urbanafreelibrary.org/local-history-genealogy/contact

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Uploaded on September 20, 2021