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In January, 1917, he was an instructor at the new Curtiss Flying School at Miami, Florida, where he remained for some time and taught a class of notable students. In early March Rader made several wide-range flights over the Everglades with a student passenger in search of three New Your survey engineers who were believed to be lost in the swamps. After searching for over five weeks, Rader located them from the air and they were brought out to safety by ground crews.

Rader remained at Miami until about June 1st when he transferred to the Gallaudet Aircraft Corporation at East Greenwich, Rhode Island, where he did test and instruction flyting through June and July. Then he returned to Miami and stayed there for some time.

During the winter months of 1918 Rader was an instructor at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas. During that period the Curtiss Company of Buffalo [[strikethrough]] were [[/strikethrough]] was at work on a program to produce a British fighter plane in America, using the Liberty-12 engine. The first of these new experimental planes was ready for test in March, 1918, and Rader was assigned to conduct the flight tests at Buffalo. He was killed on June 10, 1918, when a serious situation arose during flight resulting in an unavoidable crash. The Liberty engine was heavier and of considerably higher power than the engines previously used in this plane; this was believed to have been the primary cause of the accident.

Flying Pioneer Lieutenant Philip D. Rader was a very expert early aviator who had never had a serious accident prior to his fatal one. Well-known and highly respected, his death was a serious loss to aviation. 

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