Slim and Bud
Meet Charles Lindbergh the barnstormer—as he interviews his oldest flying buddy.
- By Giacinta Bradley Koontz
- Air & Space magazine, January 2010
Linbergh Archives at Yale University Courtesy of The Gurney Family
(Page 3 of 6)
"We left to barnstorm in Ashland, Nebraska," Gurney said. "[Lindbergh] left a carborundum can on the magneto distributor, or by it—and it lay between the cylinders." Lindbergh's face must have shown surprise, because Gurney laughed.
"And [it] shorted out the magneto. We had a forced landing. He landed in an open field. We got on top of the engine to see what was wrong with it, and lifted out this carborundum can, and of course the engine ran perfectly after that. He's forgotten about that! Do you remember now?"
Lindbergh was succinct: "No, I don't remember it." "You don't?" asked Gurney. "Oh, you should remember that. I sure do."
The rest of their "adventure" included a desperate attempt to keep the Jenny from blowing across a pasture during a sudden thunderstorm.
Gurney's account of being knocked unconscious for several minutes by lightning is prefaced with a disclaimer:
"I don't know if I'm going to have much agreement with Charles Lindbergh on this, but this is the way I remember it.
"I was holding on to the stabilizer wires underneath the tail of the airplane.... The thing I remember next—which seems strange to me that [Lindbergh] doesn't—[is] that I was lying in about three inches of water...and Charles Lindbergh...said to me, ‘Did you feel that little shock?' "
Neither backed off his version, but eventually Lindbergh conceded that Gurney "may have gotten a worse shock," to which Gurney gracefully concluded, "I don't know.... At any rate, it wasn't a very successful barnstorming trip."