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James "Jimmie" Rinehart

1908 - 1954

This page would not be possible without the wealth of information provided by Cindy (Rinehart) Boeing.  Her ceaseless effort in researching Jimmy Rinehart's life are shared on this page with her kind permission.  Enjoy...

13 Aug 1908

James "Jimmy" Rinehart was born in Firland, Oregon, a suburb of Portland.  He is the son of Dr. Jackson Carle Rinehart and Mary Elizabeth Pritchard.


Built his own airplane and learned how to fly.  He was instructed by Jack Clemans, a Canadian War veteran pilot.  After 8 to 10 hours of flying he soloed at Pearson Field, Vancouver, Washington.

1 Nov Rinehart's first solo flight was made at Pierson Field, Vancouver, Washington after only eight hours of instruction.


Graduated from High School and attended Reed College

June Graduated from Jefferson High School

13 Aug

Obtained his Commercial Pilot's License on his 18th Birthday.  One of America's first commercially licensed pilots, holder of certificate number 829.


He established the first passenger route from Portland, Oregon to the ocean beaches in 1927, making weekly trips.  Continued studies at Reed College

June Youngest board member of the Portland (Oregon) Aero Club

21-27 Sep

Participates in a San Francisco to Spokane, Washington National Air Race.  The September 21st edition of the Oakland Tribune mentioned that flew in the Class B section and was forced down in Camas Valley (Oregon), breaking a wheel upon landing.  He was flying a 1927 Travel air monoplane named  "The City of Roses"  His race entry number was #90.


Founded the Columbia Gorge Air Service, Inc., with sea planes and land planes, with hangars at Hayden Island and Jantzen Beach park, all built by himself. The planes are used for sightseeing trips in the Columbia gorge and he gives student instruction.  Enrolled at Oregon State College to study medicine.

28 May Purchased a new 1928 American Eagle from the factory.  The December 1928 suggested price for the 90 horsepower OX5 powered variant of the airplane was $2,985.

19 Jun

Took off on an endurance flight at 4:57 from Seaside, Oregon. The American Eagle airplane is manufactured by the American Eagle Aircraft Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri. 

29 Jun

Set a world endurance record (official) for planes powered with the 90-horsepower OX5 motor.  He stayed in the air for over 13 hours.  He did it in an American Eagle airplane at Seaside, Oregon.

25 Aug While Rinehart was giving flight instruction to 36 year old Jimmie Nolan of Portland the airplane went into a tailspin falling 2000 feet and crashing into a prune orchard owned by A. J. Fletcher.  The crash site was outside of Vancouver, Washington.  Both 20 year old Jimmy Rinehart and Jimmie Nolan were extricated from the wreck with serious injuries.  The American Eagle airplane was wrecked.  Both men recovered from their injuries.  It is not known if the plane was repaired.
1929 Continued studies at Oregon State College
1934 Came to Alaska and flew as a bush pilot out of Petersburg.
30 Sep Forced to land at the Petersburg, Alaska Territorial airplane ramp due to engine trouble.  During the landing one of the pontoons was ripped off.  The airplane was a Fokker Universal registration NC128M.  Rinehart and Gaylord Adams were the only individuals on board, both were from Portland, Oregon.  Parts are on order out of Seattle, Washington for the repairs.
19 Oct Rinehart and Adams departed Ketchikan, Alaska for the states.  They had been flying in Southeast Alaska for part of the summer and into the fall.
1935 Formed Alaska Seaboard Airlines in Petersburg, Alaska.
1936 Pilot for Alaska Air Transport out of Juneau, Alaska.  Chief pilot is Sheldon "Shell" Simmons.
May Arrived in Juneau, Alaska from Portland, Oregon in his new blue and silver Fairchild 71 seaplane.  Rinehart Seaplane Service will be based in Petersburg for the summer season.    For the past several months he has been flying out of New York and Saratoga Springs.
13 May Arrived in Petersburg from Juneau in his new Fairchild plane.
3 Aug Rinehart flew south to Seattle, Washington.
17 Feb Registers a 1930 Curtis Wright Travel Air Model 6-B as N452N, Serial Number 6B-2037.  The airplane can accommodate 5 passengers.  Rinehart's address was listed as Portland, Oregon.
4 Aug Rinehart is based out of Wrangell, Alaska.  Has been in Detroit and San Diego since he left last fall.
27 Oct Operating as Wrangell Air Service.
29 Dec Still in Alaska flying passengers.
19 Jan Building a hangar for his airplane.
31 Jan Left Alaska for the lower 48 states for several weeks on business. 
15 Jul Cancelled registration on Travel Air N452N
13 Jul Giving flight instruction in Sitka, Wrangell and Petersburg, Alaska


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