365 Female Flying Feats
November 29, 1985 An all female crew, led by Captain Saudamini Deshmukh, flew an Indian Airlines Fokker F-25 Friendship. It was the first time the popular plane, introduced in 1955, had been flown and attended exclusively by women. Deshmukh is credited with many other “firsts” including first to captain an all woman Airbus crew and first woman Deputy General Manager of Air India.
November 27, 1929 Elinor Smith and Bobbi Trout took off in a Sunbeam biplane to become the first women to refuel in mid-air. With Elinor flying the plane and Bobbi operating the gas hose, they intended to stay in the air for over 100 hours. Unfortunately, the fuel plane, a rickety Curtiss Pigeon, lost altitude and could not keep up. At the 36 hour mark the Pigeon’s engine failed completely. Elinor kept the Sunbeam aloft for another six and a half hours until its tank was completely dry and set the woman’s refueling endurance record at 42 1/2 hours.
November 24, 2009 Grace Koepp, age 93 flew as a passenger in a Cessna 182 piloted by Anne Noel, fullfilling a promise to see Koepp’s Nebraska family farm from the air.
November 23, 1977 President Jimmy Carter signed legislation to grant veteran status to the women who served in the WASP. The Women’s Airforce Service Pilots was established during World War II to fly non-combat missions within the United States however they did not receive the same pay or benefits as male pilots. On July 1, 2009 President Barack Obama presented the WASP with the Congressional Gold Medal.