Fog in N.C. led to famous flier’s crash in N.J.

“Emilio Carranza was…the choice of the Mexican government to make a good-will flight, in 1928, from Mexico City non-stop to Washington. This was a formal response to a good-will flight made in the reverse direction by Charles Lindbergh. Carranza… flew a Ryan monoplane, as Lindbergh did, and newspapers called him ‘Mexico’s Lone Eagle.’

“Fog overcame Carranza in Mooresville, North Carolina, and his non-stop flight to Washington included a stop there until the fog lifted. This detail was politely  deemphasized… in the speeches and parades that welcomed him to Washington and, later, to New York….

“Nonetheless, he had failed to carry out his mission as planned, and he intended to redress the failure by flying home nonstop from New York to Mexico City…. He waited for a thunderstorm to let up, then took off [from Roosevelt Field on Long Island]  and headed south before another one closed in. There was, however, a thunderstorm over the Pine Barrens [of New Jersey], and it apparently killed him.”

— From “The Pine Barrens” (1967) by John McPhee

Hat tip to the Mooresville Historical Society for these vivid details (Carranza kissed the ground upon landing) and photos.

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