Eddie August Schneider

(1911-1940) American aviator

Eddie August Schneider (October 20, 1911 – December 23, 1940) was an American aviator who set three transcontinental airspeed records for pilots under the age of twenty-one in 1930. His plane was a Cessna Model AW with a Warner-Scarab engine, one of only 48 built, that he called "The Kangaroo". He set the east-to-west, then the west-to-east, and the combined round trip record. He was the youngest certificated pilot in the United States, and the youngest certified airplane mechanic. He was a pilot in the Spanish Civil War in the Yankee Squadron. He died in an airplane crash in 1940 while training another pilot, when a Boeing-Stearman Model 75 belonging to the United States Navy Reserve overtook him and clipped his plane's tail at Floyd Bennett Field.

Eddie August Schneider on September 10, 1930 in Detroit, Michigan


  • From the beginning I had wanted to do something with my flying. Just being able to go up in the air and come down at the same spot wasn't very exciting. Airplanes are for going places quickly, safely and comfortably. I don't know why, but my longing had always been to go to the West Coast. First, because I had never been there, and then for various reasons you fly over all sorts of country on the way, and it is the best way to see the country.
  • I recently flew more than twelve thousand miles in a little over a month, through rain, fog, wind and snow, over mountains, cities and deserts, in a three-year-old, second-hand airplane that had already traveled some five hundred thousand miles. During that time I never was very late for an appointment or put a single scratch on myself. And considering that I am hardly an expert pilot at nineteen years of age, I knew that these statements must prove something about modern commercial aviation.
  • Not that it has much bearing on the story, but because people are always asking me, my name is really Eddie: I was christened that way. It isn't very dressy, but it serves the purpose. As for background, my grandfather was some kind of Scandinavian royalty and was thrown out of it for marrying a peasant girl.
    • Eddie August Schneider (September 1, 1930). "Look Out, Lindbergh - Here I Come". Flying magazine. 
    • Explaining that his name is not "Edward Schneider" and telling a genealogical tall tale. His maternal grandfather, Peder Andreas Pedersen (1831-1918) was a bread seller. All his other ancestors were farmers in Norway. His paternal ancestors were from Germany.
  • You can stop any plane on as small a space as an autogyro if you are willing to sacrifice the speed of your ship to do it. A little plane called the Doodle Bug has been constructed at Washington, D.C. which runs at a comparatively slow speed and lands with as short a run as the flying-windmill. The big advantage of the airplane is speed, and an autogyro with top speed 5 of 80 miles an hour will never replace a plane with cruising speed of 150 miles an hour in general popularity and usefulness.

Quotes about Schneider

  • Eddie A. Schneider "grew up" at Roosevelt Field, where he was a flunkey, mechanic and student flyer. He flew in the last two air tours, and in August of 1930, flew his Cessna to a round-trip transcontinental record for pilots under twenty-one. He made the trip in 57 hours, 14 minutes, carried greetings both ways between Los Angeles Mayor Porter, and Jersey City’s Frank Hague. Eddie Schneider was publicized as a Jersey City boy with a bare 300 hours flight time. In the late nineteen-thirties, Schneider went to Spain to fly for the Loyalists in the Revolution. But whatever promises of salary and glory were made him; he was back in New York within a short time. And as though cursed by the tragedy of the Spanish Civil War, like so many other young men, Eddie Schneider was killed in a student training accident at Floyd Bennett Field just two days before Christmas, 1940. He was twenty-nine.
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