My husband (an aeronautics professor) was trying to trick me yesterday and asked me which president was the first to fly in an airplane. I got it right - would you? The answer is Teddy Roosevelt. It was after he was out of office, of course, but he went up on October 11, 1910 in St. Louis:
At an airshow at Aviation Field in St. Louis, Missouri on October 11, 1910, Theodore Roosevelt was offered a seat as a passenger in a plane for a demonstration flight. The pilot's name was Arch Hoxsey, who had just completed a record flight from Springfield, Illinois. The plane reached an altitude of about 50 feet, circled the field twice and stayed airborne for about four minutes. TR said he wished they could have stayed in the air for an hour. Arch Hoxsey was killed in a plane crash on December 31, 1910. This flight made TR the first President to fly in a plane. There is a picture of him strapping himself in that does look as though he was the pilot, but he was not.
In addition, you can view this historic event as there is video footage online from the LOC.
Now, to keep you thinking....who was the first president to fly while in office? I'll answer this tomorrow with a post.