On May 5, 1921, Eddie Gardner was flying in an air show in Holdridge, Nebraska. His performance was regarded as lackluster. At the conclusion of his performance he went into a tailspin. A tailspin he was unable to recover from. He crashed. He survived the crash, but was in bad shape. He was checked into a hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska, and died during the early morning hours of May 6th. Gardner is buried in his hometown of Plainfield, Illinois.