Charles Williford Brady

"The Indiana Icarus". Pioneering stunt pilot.


Mental 2

  • Mechanical Intuition
  • Spatial Awareness

Physical 3

  • Any Wreck You Walk Away From…
  • Any Wreck You Walk Away From…
  • Exceptional Equilibrium

Social 2

  • Carny Showmanship
  • Won’t Stay Down

Combat 3

  • High Striker Strongman
  • Takes a Lickin’
  • Takes a Lickin’

Drawbacks 3

  • Can’t Resist a Dare
  • Reckless
  • Sucker

Knack 0


Charles was born on a farm in Wabash County, Indiana in 1883. He earned his first nickel as a street acrobat in Indianapolis, and soon made a living demonstrating the safety of a new model of bicycle for the Mount Holly Bicycle company by purposely crashing in entertaining ways with a traveling show. Addicted to the thrills of speed and danger, Charles stayed with the show when it was bought out by the Ringling Brothers and went on to perform many death-defying stunts with the circus for money and acclaim.
In late 1907, John Ringling himself consulted with Charles on the purchase of several Wright Model aircraft in the interest of starting an air show. It was a huge success early on, mostly involving planes racing against cars or daredevils leaping from planes into nets below. Tragedy struck in 1910, however, when Charles lost control of his Model EX and crashed into the bleachers at an exhibition, wounding 12 and killing three—including John’s youngest nephew. In response to the negative publicity and personal heartache, the Ringling Brothers shuttered the fledgling program and let Charles cart off the busted plane in exchange for a modest sum.


Wright Model EX (2-seater plane), FN Browning 1910 pistol, box of La Confederacion Suiza Cuban cigars, Ronson Pist-O-Lighter, throw-out parachute, tool kit, Kodak No. 2 Brownie Box Camera, binoculars, journal and scrapbook.

Charles Williford Brady

Tales of the Venture Society goatunit