Here is more information about COL Billy Mitchell's friend, LCDR Zachary Lansdowne, who played an integral part in Mitchell's fight for aviation safety. Mitchell's persistence led to his court-martial. It all was portrayed in The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell.
A strong weather front was due to pass over the route of the Shenandoah. Billy Mitchell strongly urged Lansdowne not to go up, but the lieutenant commander obeyed his superior officers and took the ship up. Such lighter-than-air equipment was not made to endure strong weather, and the ship went down over Ohio. The incident left Mitchell heartbroken and more determined than ever to fight for aviation safety. Today, of course, COL Mitchell is a hero in aviation circles.