A 1927 political cartoon showcasing the dangers of cross-oceanic flying.
Credit: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Dying to Set Records

Aviators made unprecedented long-distance flights. It was exciting but dangerous. Many people tried . . . and many died.

Most often remembered as the year Charles Lindbergh flew alone across the Atlantic, 1927 also witnessed other record flights that presented far greater challenges. But the limitations of navigation technology often proved deadly. Even the relatively simple navigational task of crossing the North Atlantic claimed many lives. These disasters marked a turning point in navigational systems.

Old Glory Hit Sea at Terrific Speed

Wreckage Shows Effects of Impact

Lloyd Bertaud, James Hill, and Philip Payne

Maine to Rome

No Accident for Brock

Wives "Thrilled" as Two Detroit Airmen Reach London Goal

William Brock and Edward Schlee

Newfoundland to Great Britain

Byrd Plane Reported Wrecked

Flyers Safe

Richard Byrd, Bert Acosta, Bernt Balchen, and George Noville

New York to Paris

Nation's Officials Hail Chamberlin

President Cables His Rejoicing

Clarence Chamberlin and Charles Levine

New York to Germany

Costes and Le Brix Fly on 1,200 Miles

They Bring Plane to Point 300 Miles from Rio

Dieudonné Costes and Joseph Le Brix

Senegal to Brazil

Portuguese Flyer Crosses Atlantic

Fights Gales on Way

Sarmento de Beires, Jorge de Castilho, and Manuel Gouveia

Portuguese Guinea to Brazil

Plane Fell 800 Miles Short of Goal in Paris

But Aviation Leaders Praise Ruth Elder's Feat

Ruth Elder and George Haldeman

New York to Paris

Ocean Fliers Missing After Recent Efforts

Navy Sees One Chance in 1,000 to Find Fliers

John Frost and Gordon Scott

Dole Race: California to Hawaii

Prizes Handed Dole Winners

Goebel and Jensen Receive Rewards of Flight

Arthur Goebel, William Davis Jr., Martin Jensen and Paul Schluter

Dole Race: California to Hawaii

Throngs Cheer Pacific Fliers

Great Days for American Aviation

Lester Maitland and Albert Hegenberger

California to Hawaii

Lost Princess Hunt Goes On

Private Agencies Aid Search

Frederick Minchin, Leslie Hamilton, and Princess Löwenstein-Wertheim

Great Britain to Ontario

Fate of Nungesser is Still a Mystery

But Search Goes On

Charles Nungesser and François Coli

Paris to New York

Ocean Fliers Missing After Recent Efforts

Sea Hides All Trace

John Pedlar, Vilas Knope, and Mildred Doran

Dole Race: California to Hawaii

Fuel Clog at Sea Nearly Ended Hop

Mirages Added to Danger

Ernest Smith and Emory Bronte

California to Hawaii

Britain Concludes the Carling is Lost

Ill Luck Followed Lost Plane

Terrence Tully and James Medcalf

Newfoundland to London