The Lindbergh Foundation Believes that Innovative Science and Technology Hold the Key to Addressing Humanity’s Environmental and Productivity Challenges

Lindbergh Foundation News and Events

Memories, Smiles, and New-Found Respect for Lindbergh’s Feat
Follow Rare Rides in EAA’s Spirit of St. Louis

Eight individuals from around the country enjoyed a rare opportunity to experience what few others have known -- a flight and some stick time in the EAA’s Spirit of St. Louis reproduction. The rides were part of the Lindbergh Foundation’s on-line auction and took place May 15-17.

“The Spirit is a great storyteller,” said Spirit Pilot Sean Elliott, director of Aircraft Operations at EAA. “If you read all the books written about the Spirit, they still don’t prepare you for the experience of what Lindbergh did when he flew that plane for 33 ½ hours.”

View from the WindowLarry Williams of Ballistic Recovery Systems, Inc., St. Paul, Minn., said, “I was awestruck to learn how unstable the aircraft is and how to keep it flying, you need constant input and diligence.”

Linden Blue of Spectrum Aeronautical, San Diego, Calif., said, “It was a big thrill to fly the Spirit and fly it from the seat that Lindbergh sat in. It allows me to better project what he went through. I have even greater respect for his airmanship after having seen how unstable the airplane is. There is no way it could get certified today. You have to fly it every second.”

The poor visibility in the aircraft is another eye-opener for those who get a ride in the plane. Not only was Charles an aviation pioneer, but he was also at the forefront of instrument flying. With no forward vision available, Lindbergh used instrumentation to navigate his way to Paris. The Earth Inductor Compass, invented in 1924, was very sophisticated instrumentation for the time.

“I found the ailerons heavy, relatively unresponsive, and they created considerable adverse yaw,” said Jeff Loeffler of Wyoming, Minn. “It helped to have a well-developed forearm and responsive feet,” he joked. “Flying over the Wisconsin fields, I couldn’t help drifting into thoughts of yesteryear and trying to imagine what it was like to occupy that seat over the Atlantic in 1927.”

Easudes takes a familiar poseJesse Easudes of Pittsburgh, PA., also bid on a flight. He is a lifelong admirer of Charles Lindbergh and a pilot with a deep affection for the Golden Age of aviation. Easudes, who never dreamed he would have a chance to fly theSpirit of St. Louis reproduction,actually bid on a ride not for himself but for adear friend, Ev Cassagneres, a worldwide expert on the Spirit of St. Louis, who has written two books about the famous aircraft.Easudes's bid was successful, but unfortunatelyCassagneres was unable to accept the ride. Easudes couldn't go to Wisconsin himself, so he offered the ride to his friend David Troup. Troup gratefully accepted, but was so delighted with the opportunity that he immediately arranged to return the favor and fly Easudes to Wisconsin. So it turned out that both of them were able to experience the flight of a lifetime.

“To hear about its handling characteristics is one thing but to actually experience them as a passenger and finally as pilot is quite another,” said Easudes. “Although I would have thought it difficult to do, this airplane increased the already tremendous respect I have for Lindbergh.”

“The Lindbergh Foundation is extremely grateful to EAA for making the Spirit available to us for our auction,” said Foundation Chairman John King, co-chairman of King Schools. “The Spirit is one of the most recognizable airplanes in the world. We are delighted to have made some dreams come true for a few very lucky people and we thank them for participating in our auction.”

See more photos from this very special event here.




Lindbergh Foundation Partners with the Patty Wagstaff Kenya Wildlife Service


Imagine Africa without elephants. That could happen, soon, if poaching goes unchecked. More than 25,000 elephants were illegally killed in 2007 alone, mostly to feed the insatiable appetite of ivory markets in the Far East. But aviation is rising to this challenge, and is making an important contribution to the survival of the gentle giants. Patty Wagstaff is helping to make this possible.

For the past six years, Patty Wagstaff, one of the most decorated and skilled pilots flying today, has spent her winter “off season” in Africa conducting flight-training for anti-poaching patrol park wardens from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). Air patrols are the single most effective deterrent to illegal poaching and the single most effective means of catching those who refuse to be deterred. With a fleet of eight patrol airplanes, (the Piper Super Cub, Aviat Husky, and Cessna 180, plus one Cessna Caravan and a Bell 206 helicopter) the 11 KWS patrol pilots and a handful of volunteers watch over nearly 60,000 square miles of elephant habitat. Under Patty’s instruction, the accident rate of the patrol pilots has declined by more than 50%, and elephant populations in Kenya have increased by more than 25% since the program began in 2000.

Patty Wagstaff with KWS pilots
Patty Wagstaff with KWS pilots

“Working with the Kenya Wildlife Service Air Wing has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” said Patty Wagstaff. “Their excellent pilots appreciate the need for recurrent and aerobatic training and believe, as I do, that aerobatic lessons make all pilots more skillful, more confident and safer aviators, and gives them better tools to be able to combat elephant and rhino poaching in Kenya.”

At the EAA AirVenture Airshow in Oshkosh, Wisc., Lindbergh Foundation President Knox Bridges announced its new partnership with Patty Wagstaff / Kenya Wildlife Service Africa Project. “The work Patty is doing is in perfect harmony with the Foundation’s mission of balancing technology and the environment,” said Bridges. “Anti-poaching pilots need to fly low, slow and with precision, so who better to teach them those techniques than Patty Wagstaff.”

The Lindbergh Foundation will serve as the financial trustee for any donations made to the Patty Wagstaff/Kenya Wildlife Service project. Tax-deductible contributions can be sent to the Lindbergh Foundation at 2150 Third Avenue North, Suite 310, Anoka, MN 55303, or made on-line at Donors should make sure to designate their support of the Patty Wagstaff/KWS project on their checks.

“Partnering with the Lindbergh Foundation is such a perfect fit for this program because the mission is essentially the same,” Wagstaff said. “The Kenya Wildlife Service uses the technology of airplanes to help save elephant populations from poaching, which helps keep the planet in balance.”

The Lindbergh Foundation is keenly aware of the problem of elephant poaching. In fact, with support from the Cherbec Advancement Foundation, the Foundation funded a Lindbergh Grant project in 2007 dedicated to the reduction of poaching of forest elephants in Gabon using acoustics, which may prove better than aerial surveys in this case due to the dense forest cover. Dr. Peter Wrege of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, is conducting the study, which should be concluded later this year.


Pilot Training in 2009 is Enhanced by John and Martha King

Elephants at Amboseli National Park, Kenya
Elephants at
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Another pilot safety and proficiency training program is planned in early 2009 at the request of Mr. Julius Kipng’etich, director of the Kenya Wildlife Service and is supported by Interpol – the International Criminal Police Organization, which has donated a patrol airplane and will provide funding. In addition, John and Martha King, co-chairmen of King Schools, Inc., and Lindbergh Foundation directors, are volunteering to conduct classes in aviation risk management during the training program. Ms. Wagstaff will lead the flight safety and proficiency segments, and the Kings will teach new concepts of risk management. “The Kenya Wildlife Service is struggling against long odds to preserve wildlife species that otherwise might be lost to the wild forever,” said John King. “Martha and I are delighted to support the pilots of Kenya Wildlife Service. Avoiding aircraft accidents is critically important to the continuation of their incredibly valuable program. We hope we can help them install a process and pass along insights that their pilots will find useful in managing the inherent risks of their unique flying environment.”

Charles Lindbergh considered his many visits to Africa, including Kenya, to be among the great experiences of his life. It was while Lindbergh was in Africa that he realized that if he had to choose, he would rather have birds than airplanes.

In 1964, Charles Lindbergh wrote an article for Readers’ Digest entitled, “Is Civilization Progress?” in which he wrote: “In the jungles of Africa, I became more aware of the basic miracle of life. … Lying under an acacia tree with the sounds of dawn around me, I realized more clearly facts that man should never overlook: that the construction of an airplane … is simple when compared to the evolutionary achievement of a bird; that airplanes depend upon an advanced civilization; and that where civilization is most advanced, few birds exist. I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.

“I think Mr. Lindbergh would be very pleased with this partnership because Patty’s work in Africa epitomizes his belief that if we can balance our hunger for technological progress with the wisdom we find in nature, we can have both,” said Bridges.

Patty Wagstaff flies one of the most thrilling, low-level aerobatic routines in the world. She is a six-time member of the US Aerobatic Team and has won medals in Olympic-level international aerobatic competitions. She is the first woman to win the title of US National Aerobatic champion and one of the few people to win it three times.

The Lindbergh Foundation is a public 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, based in Anoka, Minnesota, which supports great innovations that foster the environment for a planet in balance. The Lindbergh Foundation also values individual initiative and accomplishments. Its programs are devoted to supporting, honoring, and educating individuals, through three major programs: the annual honorary Lindbergh Award, presented to individuals for significant contributions toward applying technological solutions to improve our environment in their work; the Lindbergh Grants program, which provides grants in amounts up to $10,580 (the cost of building the Spirit of St. Louis in 1927) for research or education projects that will make important contributions to the technology/environment balance; and a variety of educational events and publications centered on the balance theme.


Technology and Innovation are Key to Making Aviation Safe, Enjoyable & More Fuel-Efficient
Cirrus “Perspective” Open for Public Viewing and
2009 Lindbergh Award Celebration Venue Announced


Cirrus A cool cloudy evening didn’t faze the hearty bunch of aviation enthusiasts who came out for the Lindbergh Foundation’s “Spectrum of Aviation Hangar Party” on Saturday, September 27 at the Golden Wings Museum in Blaine, Minn. “Many people were attracted by the stellar list of prominent aviation leaders scheduled to speak, including: Linden Blue, and Larry Williams,” said Lindbergh Foundation Chairman John King, King Schools, Inc. “Add to that the BRS rocket launch and the intrigue of the latest infrared technology to be featured by Patrick Farrell of Forward Vision and you’ve got a block-buster line-up. The folks forgot about the cold, though, when the Cirrus Perspective, and Cirrus Design CEO Alan Klapmeier arrived.” The doors to the new plane were open and it was plugged in so everyone could see it up close and personal.


LindenAfter enjoying a lip-smackin’ good pig-roast dinner, John King gave everyone a warm welcome and turned the program over to Master of Ceremonies Miles O’Brien of CNN. O’Brien introduced Linden Blue as the innovator of the Spectrum Freedom S-40, a new light business jet, built using a revolutionary graphite-epoxy construction, which reduces the plane’s weight by about two-thirds. Linden Blue addressed the technological innovations used in manufacturing airplanes over the years. The new composite material used on Spectrum Aeronautical planes is not only stronger, but also lighter weight, making them much more fuel efficient than aluminum and steel planes. Remembering “Rosie the Riveter” Blue explained that decreasing the number of parts that are punched through the body of the plane makes the planes stronger and provides fewer opportunities for corrosion. Blue’s philosophy is that by making parts big (his company builds one-piece wings and fuselages) and automating the system to reduce human error, his company can make stronger joints, which translates into safer, and more fuel-efficient flying.


Inviting Alan Klapmeier to the stage, O’Brien said, “Tonight we are surrounded by the living history of aviation and we’ve had a nice glimpse of the current state of the art.” Alan Klapmeier spoke enthusiastically about the dichotomy of new aviation technology within the space of the beautiful classic airplanes of days gone by. “The Lindbergh Foundation is a unique organization because of its dedication to the environment and new technology,” Klapmeier said. He went on to say that he believes technology can lift the barrier to entry by making flying easier and safer, and in this way, more people will be drawn to aviation. “Aviation has a bright future,” said Klapmeier, “but it will come as a result of new technology.” Alan

Back on stage, O’Brien commented on how technology is drastically changing general aviation in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. “The latest cool thing to reach the kinds of cockpits I sit in is FLIR. I am not talking about that which lies below the ceilin’,” O’Brien joked. “I am talking about Forward Looking Infrared Radar. It is not just for black helicopters anymore.” Patrick Farrell, CEO of Forward Vision, took the stage and fascinated the audience with his talk on the new infrared technology that allows pilots to see in the dark, through snow, fog, and rain. He agreed with Klapmeier that by making flying safer, more people may become interested in aviation. Farrell pointed ou3-D camerat that many of the major causes of aviation accidents are related to vision – such as bad weather, night disorientation, and animals on the runway. He explained that the military has had this technology for years, but Forward Vision’s EVS 100 is something that can be put on every plane, not just the business jets. A video demonstrated the technology and the level of detail that can be seen. He even pointed out a herd of mule deer in a field at night. After the event, Farrell said, “We were honored to participate and are inspired by the ideals that are represented by the Lindbergh Foundation. These ideals will remain timeless.”

LarryLarry WilliamsLarry Williams, CEO of Ballistic Recovery Systems, capped off the evening with the story of Icarus’s fall from the sky and explained that BRS is focused on “the fall.” Williams pointed out that a centuries old idea, like parachutes, have led today to a product that has resulted in saving 214 lives. As a director of the Lindbergh Foundation, Williams spoke eloquently, weaving parachutes and Lindbergh history together, including the fact that Charles Lindbergh himself used a parachute four times. “I feel Mr. and Mrs. Lindbergh would be proud to see the growth of aviation, the innovations of today and the expressed commitment and concern by our industry to realize their vision of a balance between the technological advancements they helped pioneer, and the preservation of the human and natural environments they cherished,” said Williams. “The Lindbergh’s helped establish and certainly influenced aviation as we know it today.”

Before the evening concluded, Foundation President Knox Bridges announced that the 2009 Lindbergh Award Celebration would be held at the EAA Eagles Hangar in Oshkosh, Wisc., on May 16, 2009, and he invited Elissa Lines from EAA to join him on stage to greet the audience. “Oshkosh is all about innovation,” said Lines. “So we feel that Oshkosh is the perfect place for the Lindbergh Award event. EAA is where innovation and technology take flight.”

The Foundation thanks our sponsors:

Knox Bridges




The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation Presents:

Low and Slow With the Kenya Wildlife Service

They are risky missions with an important purpose. The brave, committed game wardens who fly for the Kenya Wildlife Service routinely fly low and slow in small single engine airplanes over the spectacular parks of Kenya to protect their endangered inhabitants from the threat of poachers and human encroachment.

The flying is demanding and the caliber of training required to do it safely is hard to come by in that part of the world. Over the years, KWS pilots have crashed or made emergency landings with alarming frequency.

But air show superstar and environmentalist Patty Wagstaff has helped change that. Acting on an invitation from KWS advisor and supporter Bill Clark, Patty took her sixth trip to Kenya this year to put these pilots through their paces – making them much safer doing their risky business saving the elephants, the rhinos and a host of other animals on the brink of extinction.

Funded this year by The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation, with additional support provided by the David Clark Company, Patty's expedition was the most ambitious and successful ever. In the air, she was joined by Patty Wagstaff prepares for an instructional flight in a Super Cubairshow performer, vintage airplane owner and backcountry flying virtuoso Rich Sugden. The airwork was buttressed with intensive classes from the foremost ground school instructors in the world, John and Martha King (Chairman and Secretary of the Lindbergh Foundation, respectively).

Former CNN correspondent and now freelance producer/director/reporter Miles O'Brien (himself a Lindbergh Board member) and his wife Sandy documented this remarkable mission every step of the way. Viewers of "Over Africa!" will be treated to the remarkable stories of these determined pilots - some of them from nomadic tribes - who pursued their dream to fly against steep odds - and who consider it a great privilege to receive the best training available anywhere in the world. The O'Briens also captured great interviews with Wagstaff, Sugden and the Kings - who have tremendous fondness and respect for their pupils - and whose enthusiasm for the mission is infectious.

Their insights are set against stunning High Definition images of Kenya's Tsavo West National Park and the Masai Mara - replete with all manner of wildlife - including elephants which are mercilessly hunted by poachers for the ivory.

The O'Briens flew with the KWS pilots on patrols - and installed cameras on the Piper Super Cub, Aviat Husky, Cessna 180 and American Champion Super Decathlon used during training.

 Miles O'Brien Interview

Click to Hear Miles O'Brien Interview with Sun 'n Fun Radio


The Lindbergh Foundation funds endeavors that attempt to find technological solutions to environmental problems. It honors Charles Lindbergh's philosophy of stewardship of the planet, which was forged as he flew the world over in small airplanes. The Foundation heartily supports this effort to train the KWS pilots - with the certainty Lindbergh would embrace it as the case in point for his "balanced" approach to environmentalism.

"Charles Lindbergh is up there somewhere smiling on this project," said Lindbergh Foundation President Knox Bridges.

"Over Africa!" is a wild, fun ride - with a serious purpose - filled with some larger than life characters who, in Miles O'Brien interviews a KWS pilottheir own small way, are helping save the planet.

KWS plane flies above a group of elephants at Tsavo National Park The week-long flight and ground-school training took place at the Kilaguni Air Strip Miles Interviewing Pilot
The Kings provide valuable ground-school training for KWS pilots Patty Wagstaff prepares for an instructional flight in a Super Cub Rich Sugden Speaks to a KWS Pilot

Photo Credits: Photos provided courtesy of the Lindbergh Foundation, photographer Sandy O'Brien.


Lindbergh Awardees Are Focused on Environmental Stewardship and "Going Green"


 AwardeesMINNEAPOLIS, June 12, 2008 — The theme, “Honoring Environmental Stewardship,” rang loud and clear at the Lindbergh Foundation’s 31st annual Lindbergh Award Celebration as the Foundation presented its annual Lindbergh Award to Ted Turner and the Corporate Award for Balance to The Jacoby Group, on May 17 at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.

“We at the Lindbergh Foundation celebrate and embrace a philosophy of stewardship of our little spaceship earth that is optimistic and pragmatic – and celebrates our collective ingenuity,” said Miles O’Brien, Foundation board member and CNN correspondent, who served as the Master of Ceremonies during the event. “The Lindberghs believed that technology and protecting the environment are not at odds. To the contrary – they believed – and we agree – that our bright ideas are our salvation.”

Pointing to Ted Turner’s most recent bright idea, O’Brien explained that Turner’s restaurant chain of 55 Ted’s Montana Grills recently announced its plan to “go green.” According to a USA Today article entitled, “Can Eateries Go Green, Earn Green?” restaurants are the retail world’s largest energy user, at nearly five times more energy use per square foot than any other type of commercial building. Turner is helping fund a green restaurant program to encourage restauranteurs to control energy use and curb waste at their establishments. In the article Turner said, “Imagine the implications for global warming if we get the whole restaurant industry to go green.” In an effort to reduce his restaurants’ carbon footprint, the straws at Turner’s restaurants are now made of biodegradable paper, the menus are printed on 100% recycled paper, disposable cups are made from cornstarch, and low-voltage light bulbs are being used.

The annual Lindbergh Award honors individuals who, through their work, have made significant contributions toward achieving a balance between nature and technology. “Mr. Turner has been extraordinarily successful in his business ventures. His efforts on behalf of the environment have been equally monumental,” said Foundation Chairman John King, Co-Chairman of King Schools, Inc. “Mr. Turner’s focus on economically sustainable and ecologically sensitive land management and support of scientific research through his other Foundations makes him an ideal recipient for the Lindbergh Award.”

Much like Lindbergh, Turner’s love of the natural world began in his youth. As a boy, Ted Turner was fascinated with the natural world. He read books on everything from animals in Africa to whales in the ocean deep. Today, Turner believes that protecting the environment is central to the very survival of human life, an opinion that closely mirrors Charles Lindbergh’s statement that “all the achievements of mankind have value only to the extent that they preserve and improve the quality of life.”

During his acceptance remarks, Turner stated that he was very honored to receive the Lindbergh Award. “I have tried, in the latter half of my life, to use the time I have left to make the world a better, safer, more equitable place to live,” he said. He outlined the philanthropic work he has been committed to over the past two decades, including the preservation of natural habitat, endangered species and ecosystems through the Turner Foundation and the Turner Endangered Species Fund. Mr. Turner closed by saying his work has given him “a lot of pleasure and satisfaction, and particularly when we get recognition like we are tonight. It really is the icing on the cake.”

The Jacoby Group was selected to receive the Foundation’s Corporate Award for Balance, which is given to corporations or organizations whose concern for and dedication to the environment and improving our quality of life is demonstrated through their business practices.
Through years of working with community leaders and economic partners throughout the country, Jim Jacoby has come to understand that the nation’s environment and economy are linked. “Jim Jacoby is an outstanding example of what the Lindbergh Foundation is trying to accomplish with the Corporate Award for Balance,” said Foundation Chairman John King. The company’s move from being a typical strip mall developer to one that transformed a decrepit and hazardous brownfield into a vibrant city within a city has earned Jim Jacoby a reputation as a “business-savvy developer with a social conscience.” The Atlantic Station project in Atlanta, Ga., was a “19th century steel mill — abandoned, rusting, filled with toxic waste,” said Miles O’Brien as he introduced Jacoby. “Today it is the gleaming site of condos, offices, restaurants, retail and theaters, all built with recycled materials and the environment in mind.”

Upon accepting his award, Mr. Jacoby said, “I am deeply honored to receive the Lindbergh Corporate Award for Balance, and extremely humbled to be in the company of companies like Patagonia and Google. Sharing this moment with you tonight is tremendously meaningful to me and The Jacoby Group team because it is a validation of our efforts to move beyond the bricks, mortar, and convention of commercial real estate and focus on sustainable green projects.”

Mr. Jacoby then highlighted several projects his company has worked on over the years including a public-private partnership with the state of Hawaii using all alternative energy as well as a project that was not developed and is now an extension of the Ding Darling Wildlife Center in Florida.
Among his favorite projects is Florida’s Marineland, the world’s oldest oceanarium. “We are creating what we hope to be a Woods Hole1 for people interested in issues of the ocean to come together,” said Jacoby, adding that Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney and Juan Trippe of Pan American Airways founded the original Marineland in 1938, and that Charles Lindbergh worked for Pan Am starting in 1928.2 The Marineland property is now undergoing an expansion in partnership with the Georgia Aquarium. When completed, it will be the first dolphin, manatee, and whale rescue center on the East Coast where injured animals can rehabilitate and be released back into the wild or have a permanent home.

Looking to the future, Mr. Jacoby discussed his idea for an “aerotropolis” — a central business district for the airport — at Airport Station, complete with green art. “One of the things we are trying to do is green the airport. With some of our technology we are looking at taking the garbage of the airport and using our plasma technology to create a gas to run turbines to create green electricity from the airport. I think that is something that Mr. Lindbergh would have liked to hear about,” said Jacoby. “We have a great opportunity to do a green project using and showcasing alternative energy and green materials.”

Other Aviation Notables in Attendance

Patty Wagstaff flies one of the most thrilling, low-level aerobatic routines in the world. She is a six-time member of the US Aerobatic Team and has won medals in Olympic-level international aerobatic competitions. Patty is the first woman to win the title of US National Aerobatic champion and one of the few people to win it three times.
Jamail Larkins, the first ambassador for Aviation & Space Education for the Federal Aviation Administration; National Spokesman of the EAA Vision of Eagles Program; and founder of the DreamLaunch Tour, a nationwide tour designed to educate students about career opportunities in the aviation industry.
John and Martha King. The Kings have revolutionized the flight training industry and have taught nearly half of each year’s class of new private and instrument pilots in the United States. They are the first couple to both hold every category and class of FAA pilot and instructor certificates. And, Martha is the first and only woman to achieve this complete ratings sweep.


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To see all the photos from the 2008 Lindbergh Award Celebration, click here. Scroll through the Gallery list and click on the Lindbergh Foundation event. When prompted, enter password: lindbergh

1 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute is the world's largest private, nonprofit ocean research, engineering and education organization.

2 In 1928, Juan Trippe, founder of Pan Am, engaged Charles Lindbergh to serve as a technical advisor to Pan Am. Lindbergh served in this capacity for 45 years, and was instrumental in determining the company’s transatlantic routes.
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