Lindbergh made his first flight into Mexico on December 13, 1927, when he flew non-stop from Washington DC to Mexico City, in his plane Spirit of St. Louis, tail number NX211. He was received by Mexican President Calles and toured the city for a few days before returning to Balbuena Field, where he made several flights over Mexico City in the Mexican Armed Forces’ Morane Saulnier M.S. registration number 31A128. On December 20, he made several more flights in a Compania Mexicana de Aviación Fairchild FC-2 (registration number M-SCOE), during one of which he gave President Calles his first ever airplane ride. On December 22, Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St. Louis for a few shorts flights in and out of Balbuena over Mexico City. On December 28, he flew the Spirit of St. Louis non-stop from Mexico City to Guatemala City.
After visiting Guatemala City, he flew the Spirit of St. Louis on to Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela. His return to Washington took him through the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba, but he did not pass back through Mexico on the northward leg of his trip.
The Spirit of St. Louis was turned over to the National Museum in Washington on April 30, 1928 and it never flew again. What this means, is that the Spirit of St. Louis never landed in Cozumel. Any pictures of the Spirit of St. Louis purportedly taken in Cozumel are actually images that were taken elsewhere.
Lindbergh again visited Mexico in February 1928, but this time flew a Curtis Falcon (registration number NC7455) on a round trip jaunt to Cuernavaca.
On February 3, 1929 Lindbergh made his third trip to Mexico, this time accompanied by John Hambleton and Lt. Christian Schilt in a Sikorsky S-38 (tail number NC8000). The trip was designed as a survey of possible landing areas Pan American could use on their newly awarded airmail routes (F.A.M. 5, 6, & 9) which were mail routes between Miami, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. During this trip, Lindbergh landed in Cozumel for the first time, though not in the Spirit of St. Louis, as is the myth, but in the amphibious Sikorsky S-38. It was a short re-fueling stop and he took off for Havana as soon as the gas was aboard.
On February 24, of 1928 Lindbergh made another trip to Mexico City in a TravelAir 962 (tail number NR8139).
Lindbergh once again visited Cozumel on October 9, 1929 flying a Pan American Airways Sikorsky S-38 amphibious plane (tail number NC9137). Landing at 6:12 PM, he was accompanied by his wife, Carnegie Institute’s Dr. Ricketson, Dr. Alfred E. Kidder, W. I. Van Deusen, Charles Lorber, and William Ehmer, while preforming an aerial survey of parts of the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, and northern Guatemala under the sponsorship of Pan-American Airways and the Carnegie Institute. On Cozumel they were the guest of Mosby Adams. Lindbergh and his party departed Cozumel the next morning, October 10, at 9:56 AM.
To view the flight log book of the Spirit of St. Louis (which includes every flight it ever made), see www.charleslindbergh.com/history/log.asp
Copyright 2011, Ric Hajovsky