“Cap” Cornish, Indiana Pilot: Navigating the Century of Flight
Purdue University Press, 2014
Ruth Ann Ingraham’s “Cap” Cornish, Indiana Pilot is as much a history lesson as it is a biography. One can trace the development of flight in the United States through the life of her eponymous subject, also her father.
Born in 1898 in Canada, and raised in Indiana, Clarence “Cap” Cornish first flew an aircraft during World War I. After the Great War, Cornish flew part-time for Goral Airways and later secured a position at Aereco—a sales agent for an airplane manufacturer—as their manager and chief pilot. However, his municipal and commercial interests were put on hold, as he was called back to service during World War II.
While Cornish was most active as an aviator between the mid-1920s and mid-1950s, his legacy extends far beyond that period. He completed his final flight at age 97, breaking his own Guinness World Record as the world’s oldest actively flying pilot.