‘UPSIDE DOWN PANG’

When Charles Lindbergh flew the Atlantic in 1927, he became a celebrity for all time. However, when Clyde Pangborn crossed the Pacific in 1931, his fame was fleeting. Kathleen Hanser tells his story

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View of ‘Miss Veedol’ lying on 'her' left wing after a belly landing in Wenatchee, Washington, on October 5, 1931.

It wasn’t that Clyde Pangborn was incapable of keeping his aeroplane the right way up. It was just that he didn’t want to. After all, what could be more fun than flying inverted? Maybe wing-walking, or jumping from one aircraft to another mid-air without a parachute? Or perhaps the many other antics in which he participated, such as diving on barnyards to scatter animals, or trying to take the hands from a town hall clock and the knob from the top of a flagpole. These were just some of the stunts this fearless daredevil perfected as one of the best aerial showmen in the ‘Roaring Twenties’.

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