Date: September 9, 1927
Location: Rapid City, SD
(Original document available here)
In common with what I am sure is the sentiment of all the American people, I can only express my great regret at the recent losses that have been met with in attempts to fly across the Atlantic, either from this side or from the other side. As I have had occasion to remark before at the Conference, it all goes to show that the accomplishment of Colonel Lindbergh was even more remarkable than we supposed it was at the time.
I am not enough of an expert on aviation to have any opinion that is worth very much about trying to provide regulatory measures by legislation relative to the navigation of the air on the Atlantic. I doubt very much if they would be of any very great value.
I can hardly imagine any government board that would want to take the responsibility of sending any one to fly across the Atlantic. Such flights would have to be done by volunteers. And I do not know of any airplanes that have attempted to cross that it could be said were not properly equipped. There may have been some. If that is the case, it hasn’t been brought to my attention. I think those flights that have been attempted have been made with all the precautionary measures that it was possible to take. I doubt if any department o£ the Government could have added anything to the equipment, or anything in the way of counsel or advice to the aviators that desired to make that trip. But it will be necessary to assemble all the evidence and make a careful investigation of it, in order to see whether anything can be done to make Trans-Atlantic flying more certain. It may be that it will develop that a single motored land plane is not one that ought to be permitted to be used to make a flight of that kind. But I imagine that if a sea plane came down in the middle of the Atlantic it would stand very little show of surviving until the occupants were rescued. Of course, it does without saying that where there is a multiplicity of motors that that is an added increment of safety, but whether a multiplicity of motors is feasible for so long a flight, on account of the additional weight they place on a plane, is something of which I am not informed.
I do not know that any application has been made by the French Government for a loan here. If any application is made, it will be taken up and determined on its merits, and it would be very improper I think for those who have the responsibility of making a determination to undertake to make it in advance on a hypothetical case and a suppositious question.
I indicated to the people of Rapid City that I had enjoyed my visit here very much. I haven’t any particular conferences in mind when I return to Washington. It goes without saying that I shall expect immediately to see a great many officials, the Cabinet and the different department heads, and members of the Senate and the House.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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