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Intersection: JFK’s Flying Lessons

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Photo courtesy of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

In 1944, John F, Kennedy took his first solo flight on a seaplane out of Miami. Historians had heard rumors of JFK’s wartime flying lessons.  But it took some detective work to confirm the story. 

“It started with rumor from a witness that remembered John F. Kennedy being at one of our bases, our seaplane base,” says Embry Riddle Aeronautical University archivist Kevin Montgomery.

“Starting with the rumor, we substantiated that with a flight log that allegedly belonged to John F. Kennedy, and we corroborated that with another flight log recently from one of our employees at the time,” says Montgomery.

“All three of those pieces of evidence have come together and matched.”

Montgomery says JFK took just ten lessons.

“According to the log he was a very quick student. It was ten lessons over ten days, starting with the very first introductory flight to his solo flight. And his solo flight incidentally was on his birthday, May 29th.”

Click here to see JFK’s flight log from 1944.

Education reporting on 90.7 News is supported by Helios Education Foundation

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »