Spirit of St. Louis takes flight in Rhinebeck



On Monday, April 25th, during its regular meeting at The Beekman Arms, the Rhinebeck Rotary featured a presentation by Ken Cassens, director of aircraft maintenance at Cole Palen’s Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. Joining Mr. Cassens were Rotarian Knick Staley; the Aerodrome’s collections chairperson, Tom Polapink; and the Aerodrome’s oversight committee chairperson, Marion Love.


Mr. Cassens devoted his talk to the construction of the Spirit of St. Louis replica, which construction began at the Aerodrome in 1996 and which has recently been completed. The replica has flown short junkets around the Northern Dutchess area and is based on painstaking research. The Smithsonian in Washington D.C. was of enormous help, Mr. Cassens said, in providing measurements, photographs, and inspections of the original aircraft.


Colonel Charles Lindbergh piloted the original Spirit of St. Louis in the first non-stop flight between New York and Paris in late May, 1927. Taking off from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, the aircraft reached Aeorport Le Bourget after a grueling thirty-three and one-half hours.

The Rhinebeck Rotary Club meets on Mondays at 12:15 pm at the Beekman Arms throughout the year. The Rotary is a humanitarian organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of others through local, national, and international service projects. Weekly meetings typically feature speakers covering a variety of human-interest topics. Interested guests are welcome to attend.

For information on becoming a member, to reserve a speaker’s spot at an upcoming meeting, or to attend a meeting to hear a specific speaker, please call Lou Trapani at 845-876-3088, ext. 14.