January 16, 1929 Aviatrix Bobbi Trout sent a letter to Orville Wright, chair of the National Aeronautic Association Contest Committee, demanding that a separate class of records for women be reinstated. Wright and others contended that special women’s records should not be recognized even though women were not permitted to compete in powerful planes “inappropriate… Read more »
365 Female Flying Feats
January 15, 1943 Betty Deuser Budde joined the third class of Women’s Flight Training to become a WASP. After graduation she became a tow target pilot, dragging a 36 foot target behind her plane, flying for hours at a time as ground troops shot at her with everything from machine guns to 99mm cannons.
January 14, 1943 Astronaut Shannon Matilda Wells Lucid was born in Shanghai, China. In 1996, she remained in space from March 22 to September 26, at 188 days the longest duration space flight ever. Her record was broken in 2007 by Sunita Williams, another female astronaut.
January 13, 1928 Though deaf from a childhood case of measles, Nellie Zabel Willhite soloed after only 13 hours of flight instruction. She became a noted stunt pilot and helped plan the first Powderpuff Derby. She said “Even though I could barely hear the engine roar, I could tell right away if anything was wrong… Read more »
January 12, 1970 America’s first female professional pilot, Blanche Stuart Scott, passed away. Scott was known as the “Tomboy of the Air”. Although Scott retired from flying in 1916, in 1948 she became the first woman to ride in a jet.
January 11, 2006 A flag was flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of the life of pilot and Ninety-Nines International president Beverly Sharp. Sharp was a community activist who also authored the FAA Accident Prevention Counselor Handbook and accumulated over 1000 flight hours.
January 10, 1935 Amelia Earhart prepared to take off from Wheeler Field in Oahu, Hawaii in her Lockhead Vega. Her plan to fly across the ocean using only visual navigation was controversial and the Department of Commerce had been asked to prohibit the flight. She departed the next day in secrecy, the take off attended… Read more »
January 9, 1903 Dive bomb pilot Melitta Schiller Von Stauffenberg was born. Although she wanted to work for the Red Cross, Stauffenberg was ordered to serve in WWII as a Luftwaffe test pilot. By flying over 2,500 sorties she saved her family, of Jewish descent, from being deported to prison camps. In 1944, Stauffenberg’s brothers-in-law… Read more »
January 8, 1921 Aviatrix Neta Snook test flew a new model Kinner Airster. Six months later she taught Amelia Earhart to fly in that plane. “Snookie” was the first woman pilot in Iowa and the first American woman to own an aviation business.
January 7, 1906 Evelyn “Bobbi” Trout was born. Trout set a number of aviation records and firsts and was the last living participant of the 1929 “Powderpuff” Derby. Elinor Smith on the left, Bobbi on the right