Portrait of Charles A. Levine, whit standing Capt. W. G. R. Hinchliffe.

LEVINE, Charles A.

From Krul Antiquarian Books (Hoofddorp, Netherlands)

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London, Keystone View Co., ca. 1925-1928, Original photograph, silver print, 20,1 x 25,5 cm. Charles Albert Levine (March 17, 1897 - December 6, 1991) was the first passenger aboard a transatlantic flight. - Charles Albert Levine was born on March 17, 1897, in North Adams, Massachusetts. Levine in 1927, at age 30, was a millionaire, who had made his money buying and selling World War I surplus materiel. He had purchased all the empty brass shell casings for recycling. He entered the competition for a Orteig prize for the first person to complete a nonstop flight from New York to Paris. He had a 225 horsepower (168 kW) Bellanca aircraft, named Columbia, ready for weeks, but Chamberlin s original co-pilot, Lloyd Bertaud, went to court to be reinstated as the co-pilot for the trip. Levine got the order lifted, but it was hours after Charles Lindbergh, in the Spirit of St. Louis, had left Roosevelt Field on Long Island. Levine's plane was still in its hangar at the same airport. Lindbergh won the prize on May 20, 1927, but the following day Levine announced that his airplane would fly farther into Europe and carry a passenger. The pilot was Clarence Chamberlin, and he would be the passenger. - After a series of bad business investments and losses in the stock market crash of 1929; the federal government sued him for half a million dollars in back taxes. He was arrested in 1932 on a charge of violating the Workmen's Compensation Law, and he received a suspended sentence but was arrested again in 1933 on a counterfeiting charge that was later dismissed. In 1934, after his release he was charged with smuggling an illegal German-Jewish alien into the United States from Mexico and spent 150 days in jail. That same year, he attempted suicide. He was the father of two children: Eloyse Levine; and Ardith Levine Polley, and he divorced their mother in 1935. In 1937 he was charged with smuggling 2,000 pounds of tungsten powder from Canada, and he served two years in federal prison, and was fined $5,000. In 1944, $209.56 was paid with the rest of the money still being owed to the Court. The Assistant United States Attorney on November 18, 1958, deemed that the debt was not collectible, and the case was closed - On December 6, 1991, Levine died at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. age 94. - - - - - - - - - - Capt. W. G. R. Hinchliffe. (1894-1928) - Capt. W. G. R. Hinchliffe died on 13 March 1928 while flying with actress Elsie Mackay from England to the U.S. - - - Making History listener Jayne Baldwin lives close to what is now the Glennap Hotel near Ballantrae south of Ayr in Scotland. This was once the home of Lord Inchcape of P&O fame. - One of his four daughters was Elsie Mackay and Jayne got interested in her story after attending a talk about her extraordinary feats as an early pilot. In March 1928 she attempted a crossing of the Atlantic travelling from East to West. - Tragically she was never seen again. This attempt was only months after Charles Lindberg had made it from West to East and well before other now famous female pilots (such as Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson) had gained any public recognition. - - - Jayne Baldwin has written an article about Elsie (see below) and is constructing a web site too. - - Article about Captain W G R Hinchliffe and the Honourable Miss Elsie Mackay to mark their attempt to fly the Atlantic from RAF Cranwell on March 13th 1928. - "By Jayne Baldwin" - Eighty years ago this month (March 2008) an intriguing pair of aviators took off from RAF Cranwell in an attempt to be the first to fly the Atlantic from east to west. - Half of the intrepid duo was the Honourable Elsie Mackay, one of the richest women in England and already famous as an actress and the third daughter of wealthy shipping tycoon Lord Inchcape. Her aim was to become the first woman to fly the Atlantic. - In March 1928 her name was splashed across the headlines of daily newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic as reporters learned of her association with Captain W G R Hinchliffe, a pilot known to be preparing for a long distance flight. - Captain Hinchliffe was a flying ace decorated for his bravery during World War One. Despite losing the sight of one eye in an horrific accident during the war he had become an accomplished pilot in the early days of civil aviation. - In the 1920s aviation was a new and exciting science. People were thrilled to read of the exploits of men and women who were trying to become the fastest or fly the highest or the furthest. Big money prizes were on offer to those who could achieve these goals. - Some tried to set records to prove the reliability and speed of new models of aircraft and were sponsored by the manufacturing companies. For others it was a matter of national and personal pride. For Elsie Mackay it was simply the thrill of flying that attracted her. - She had been one of the first women in Britain to gain her pilots licence despite one of her early flying experiences almost causing her death. Elsie had encouraged the pilot to carry out a dangerous manoeuvre whilst flying at 10,000 feet. The pilot later told reporters how she had asked him to loop the plane around with the wheels on the inside of the circle. During the exploit Elsie s safety strap had broken and while she gripped the bracing wires her body swung out of the plane like a stone on the end of a string. - The pilot returned the plane, with difficulty, to the ground and found that Elsie's hands had been cut to the bone due to her fearsome grip of the wires. Yet her response was to say she was ready to repeat the exploit any time as long as she was given a stronger safety belt! - After becoming one of the first women in Britain to gain her Royal Aero Club pilot s licence Elsie bought her own plane and she was later elected to become a member of the advisory committee of pilots to the British Empire Air League. - Despite her wealth Elsie had previously sought her own career and enjoyed s. Bookseller Inventory # 40117

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Title: Portrait of Charles A. Levine, whit standing...

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