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Lindbergh Honors Grandfather With Transatlantic Flight - 2002-05-02

75 years after American pilot Charles Lindbergh made his historic, solo, non-stop, cross-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris, his grandson has repeated the journey. 37-year-old artist and flyer Erik Lindbergh, touched down his single-engine New Spirit of St. Louis plane at Le Bourget airport outside Paris, just before 11:30 a.m. local time, this morning. The entire New York to Paris flight took Erik Lindbergh 17 hours and 10 minutes, about half the time of 1927 flight of his grandfather, American aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh.

Erik Lindbergh's spokeswoman, Diane Murphy, said the younger Lindbergh was elated at the end of this journey.

"He was just really glad to see that runway," she said. "He said he got out of the plane and kissed the ground."

Erik Lindbergh is a sculptor and private pilot who lives near Seattle, Washington. He timed his re-enactment of his grandfather's flight to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Charles Lindbergh. Charles Lindbergh became America's hero with that solo, nonstop transatlantic journey. He also became an explorer and worked to promote aviation, mapping air routes for the world's emerging airline industry.

Erik Lindbergh's single-engine Laincair Columbia 300 airplane is lighter than his grandfather's plane, with a shorter wingspan. His spokeswoman said the overall flight time was about an hour longer than originally scheduled because of strong winds.

Erik Lindbergh said he made his New York-to-Paris flight partly to promote private, manned space travel, and to honor his grandfather's legacy of innovation.