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Five Things You Never Knew About the ‘Mile High Club’

Today the Mile High Club turns 100-years old, according to a story in the New York Daily News. There’s some fascinating tidbits in the article about the history of having sex while in flight.

1. People have been doing this for 100 years!

This might be stating the obvious, given that today is the 100-year anniversary, but it deserves to be said. We think of our society as exhibitionist and hyper-sexualized, though it seems even in 1914, there were people willing to not only have sex while in flight, but also willing to talk about it proudly afterwards.


Photo of Lawrence Burst Sperry

Care of the Daily News, Topical Press Agency & Getty Images

2. We have the Club to thank for the invention of auto-pilot.

Lawrence Burst Sperry, an aviator from the turn of the 20th century, is the founding member of the Mile High Club. The Daily News explains that it was Sperry’s desire for uninterrupted air time that spurred his creative spirit, which led to the invention of autopilot. 

3. Membership in the Club can be dangerous

Sperry, the founder of the Mile High Club, couldn’t get enough of the thrill of flying while otherwise occupied. The Daily News tells the titillating details of a 1916 crash off of Long Island:

In 1916, his plane crashed into the Atlantic off Long Island — and though the circumstances are murky, this much is clear: Sperry’s passenger was the lovely Mrs. Waldo Pierce, a sexy, and married, socialite.

Both survived the accident. But neither was wearing clothes when rescued. You do the math.

In 1916, Sperry’s plane crashed off Long Island. His passenger was a married socialite. Neither was wearing clothes when rescued; Sperry attributed this to the force of the crash ripping off their garments.

“When the rescue boats came over they found these two naked people hanging off the side of boat,” says Josh Stoff, the curator of the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, L.I.

Photo care of the Daily News and Flamingo Air 

4. Special service for the less adventurous wanna-be members of the club.

Would you like to join the Mile High Club, but you’re nervous about getting caught? Flamingo Air has you covered. You can rent a small private plane, equipped with a bed and some privacy. If you can afford it, there’s no need to join the Mile High Club cramped into a smelly bathroom.

5. The rules of the Club.

There’s a very strict set of rules for those who wish to gain entry into the Mile High Club, which has its own website (milehighclub.com). There is no need to finish the deed, for either party, though one must partake in sexual intercourse at an altitude of no less than 5,280 feet.