6 April 1927

William MacCracken’s Pilot Identification Card
United States of America Pilot License No. 1

6 April 1928: William Patterson MacCracken, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics, became the first person to be issued a pilot’s license by the government of the United States. License Number 1 was a private license, signed by then Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, who would later become the 31st President of the United States of America.

Assistant Secretary MacCracken had offered the first pilot certificate to aviation pioneer Orville Wright, but Wright declined, as “he no longer flew and did not think he needed a Federal license to show that he had been the first man to fly.”

© 2018, Bryan R. Swopes

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2 thoughts on “6 April 1927

  1. Your post regarding the first pilot license is incorrect. Glen Curtiss was awarded the first pilot’s license in the United States on May 29, 1910.

    1. Mr. Hall, no, you apparently did not read the article. Glenn Curtiss was issued an Aviator’s certificate by the Aero Club of America, a private organization, on 8 June 1911, on behalf of the FAI, another private organization. Neither of these groups were representatives of the United States government.

      As I wrote in the article above, “6 April 1928: William Patterson MacCracken, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics, became the first person to be issued a pilot’s license by the government of the United States.”

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