Charles Lindbergh Bails on Mail Plane

Twice during the 10 months that he flew CAM-2, Lindbergh involuntarily lost custody and control of the mail when he was forced to bail out of his mail plane owing to bad weather, equipment problems, and/or fuel exhaustion.

Both incidents came while he was approaching Chicago at night: first near Ottawa, Illinois, on September 16, 1926 and then near Covell, Illinois, on November 3, 1926. After landing in rural farm fields by parachute, his first concern on both occasions was to immediately locate the wreckage of his crashed mail planes, make sure that the bags of mail were promptly secured and salvaged, and then to see that they were entrained or trucked on to Chicago with as little further delay as possible. Lindbergh continued on as chief pilot of CAM-2 until mid-February 1927, when he left for San Diego, California, to oversee the design and construction of the Spirit of St. Louis.