Ira O. Biffle
Ira Biffle
Courtesy of Janet Roseen

Biffle Researchers
From the New York Times, April 8, 1934.
Chicago, April 7.Ira Biffle, pioneer American aviator and the birdman who taught Charles A. Lindbergh how to fly, first encountered the now famous colonel in Lincoln, Neb., in 1922. Ray Page, another aviator, introduced the two. Lindbergh had a check for $400, which he said his mother had given him for flying lessons. Biffle was to get half the $400 for lessons.
At one time, Mr. Biffle's flying proclivities netted him a fortune of $100,000. In the days when he was Corporal Ira Biffle, he was one of only four enlisted men in the United State Army Air Corps. As early as 1915, according to David Behnke, president of the Air Pilots Association, Mr. Biffle was "a fine pilot" in the crude Wright and Martin planes of that early aviation day.
Mr. Biffle's companion in those days was Jimmy Coyle, who was later killed while teaching an aviation pupil. Mr. Biffle also was one of the first government air mail fliers and is said to have taught more persons in the United States to fly than any other aviator. Army air service officers abound in the list of his students.
His first flying was done in 1914, he recalled from his hospital bed. His parents had died when he was 10 years old. The World War came and Mr. Biffle became a flying instructor at the San Diego field. It was in November 1922 that Lindbergh flew his first six hours' solo flight under Mr. Biffle's direction. Later, Mr. Biffle came to Chicago and flew the air mail between this city and Omaha. Later he "barnstormed" for a year, but he never did much "stunting."
It was in 1919 that Mr. Biffle enlisted public confidence in Uncle Sam's air mail by flying a cargo of 600 pounds of mail in a non-stop flight from Chicago to Cleveland after a fellow pilot had sacrificed his life in the attempt. In 1928 and 1929, Mr. Biffle piloted a Sikorsky amphibian plane purchased by a drug concern.
Editor's Note: This article is taken from the website of the Biffle Researchers. It contains many important references, including many links to other sites. I highly recommend it to those of you who are interested in pursuing the details of his career.
To access the site, just click on:
Biffle Researchers

Ira Biffle died in 1934
Editor's Note:
If you have any information on this Early Flier,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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