On March 12, 1924, he enrolled as a flying cadet at Brooks-Kelly government flying school at San Antonio, Texas.
Graduated from Brooks-Kelly on March 16, 1925, he went to work for the Mile-Hi Aircraft Company at Denver, Colorado.
A short time later, he became chief pilot for the Robertson Aircraft Development Company of St Louis. He is still under contract to them, having been given leave of absence to make the New York-Paris flight.
While flying the airmail, Lindbergh became a captain in the Missouri National Guard.
Early in 1926, Lindbergh first began to take an interest in long-distance flights.
Deciding to compete for the $25,000 Ortieg prize for the first non-stop New York-Paris flight, he secured the financial backing of a group of young St Louis business men.
While in New York to select a plane for the flight Lindbergh became interested in the performance of a Ryan monoplane.
Going to San Diego, California, he enlisted the enthusiasm of BF Mahoney, youthful president of the Ryan company.
Remaining in San Diego, Lindbergh supervised every detail in the construction of the plane.
When it was completed Capt Lindbergh flew the monoplane to St Louis, where it was christened the “Spirit of St Louis,” then flew to New York, making the trans-continental trip in record-breaking actual flying time.
Taking off from Roosevelt Field, New York, on the morning of May 20, he arrived in Paris thirty-three hours and twenty-nine minutes later.