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Milo Burcham

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Milo Garrett Burcham (May 24, 1903 - October 20, 1944) was an American aviator. He worked as a stunt pilot, airshow pilot, and test pilot.

Burcham was born in Cadiz, Indiana, and grew up in Whittier, California in the eastern Los Angeles basin. Burcham sold burglar alarms of his own design to finance flying lessons from the O'Donnell School of Aviation in Long Beach, California, where he became chief instructor. In 1933, Burcham and Lt. Tito Falconi of the Italian Air Service competed in setting inverted flight endurance records. Burcham's flight of 4 h 5 min 22 s that December was not broken until July 24, 1991 when U.S. airshow pilot Joann Osterud set a new world's record of 4 h 38 min 10 s. In 1936, Burcham flew his Boeing 100 to the World's Aerobatic Championship at the National Air Races in Los Angeles. In 1941 Burcham joined Lockheed as a production test pilot and spent a year as chief pilot of Lockheed's operations in England. He became Chief Pilot a few years later and in that capacity was co-pilot on the first flight of the Lockheed Constellation transport in Jan 1943. In Jan 1944, he turned the first flight of "Lulubelle," the XP-80 prototype, into a thrilling low-level airshow before a crowd of military and civilian VIPs at Muroc Army Air Base, now Edwards AFB.

On Oct 20, 1944 Burcham was killed in the flame-out take-off of a production prototype P-80 Shooting Star, America's first production jet fighter from Lockheed Air Terminal at Burbank, Calif and was succeeded a few months later by Tony LeVier as chief pilot. Burcham is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California.

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