9:44pm, June 22, 1924. Three minutes before dusk and still no sign of Pilot Russell Maughan. 50,000 people waited at Crissy Field outside of San Francisco for the first ever dawn to dusk transcontinental crossing of the United States.
What nobody had known was that thunderstorms and heavy rain had caused poor take off conditions on the grass field at his latest fuel stop in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Maughan wasn’t able to fill his Curtiss PW-8 to the brim with the necessary fuel to make it to the next leg.
This caused …Read the full story »