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Pioneed Curtiss Aviator
Albert J. Engel was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1880. Information is lacking concerning his early life and education but it is evident that he developed a very early interest in flying experiments and reportedly became an ardent follower of the work of Glen Curtiss at Hammondsport, New York.
In this way Engel became a close friend of Curtiss and was with him on a motor trip down the Hudson River to look over possible landing sites, fuel stops and similar emergency locations before the renowned flight Curtiss made from Albany to New York City on May 29th, 1910. Later that year Engel was mechanic and assistant to Curtiss when he flew from Euclid Beach, Cleveland, to Cedar Point near Sandusky, Ohio, on August 31st, 1910 then returned to Cleveland on September 1st. 
These associations continued, then in late 1911 Engel decided he wanted to learn to fly.  As a result he enrolled for a flight instruction in the first January, 1912 class at the Curtiss School at North Island, San Diego, California.  There along with students Underwood, Hoover, Solbrig, Malik and Callan, he was taught to fly by instructor J. W. McClaskey.  There is evidence that Engel took both land and water instruction, and he ordered a Curtiss Hydro with a model "0" engine for his own use.
He was a contestant at the 1912 Chicago Meet in the Hydro events at Grant
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