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FRANK T. COFFYN
Early Wright Exhibition Pilot - Instructor

Frank T. Coffyn was born in Charleston, South Carolina, October 24, 1879, son of a well known eastern banker. He was educated in the public schools of Washington, D. C., and graduated from Central High School there in 1898. 

Coffyn was interested in aviation from the first published accounts of the Wright Brothers flying developments, but did not give the matter any serious consideration until he saw the early flying of Wilbur Wright and Glenn Curtiss in the vicinity of New York in 1909. Then he really caught the bug and resolved he wanted to learn to fly. At that time Coffyn was in New York in the railroad business. 

His father, George M. Coffyn, was Vice President of the Phoenix National Bank of New York. One of the directors of the bank, Andrew Freedman, was also a director of the newly formed Wright Aeroplane Company. Through his father Coffyn was introduced to Freedman and boldly asked if he would arrange an interview with the Wrights the next time they were in New York. A short time later Coffyn got his wish and met Wilbur Wright in Freedman's office. Coffyn asked permission to learn to fly and Mr. Wright replied, "We will have you come out to Dayton in a month of so and will see how we get along." As a result Coffyn arrived in Dayton about the middle of May, 1910, and had his first ride with Orville Wright on May 19th. 

The Wrights had decided to go into the exhibition business and were adding to their group of student aviators to form a team for this work, and Coffyn became a member of the first class at the newly established Wright Flying School at Simms Station about June 1 [[strikethrough]] st [[/strikethrough]], 1910. Orville Wright had just completed the training of Al Welsh and was teaching Duval LaChapelle. Walter Brookins and Arch Hoxsey had returned from the earlier school at Montgomery, Alabama, a short time before,
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