Lorna DeBlicquy takes to the skies

September 14, 1946 Fifteen year old Lorna DeBlicquy soloed in a Piper J-3 Cub. The next year she became the youngest female in Canada to make a parachute jump. Lorna later worked as a flight instructor and professional pilot, flying a Waco biplane across northern Manitoba, hauling fish and supplies.

Yikes Amelie!

September 13, 1911 Amelie Beese became the first German woman to earn a pilot’s license on her birthday, September 13. A determined woman, she’d had a difficult time finding a flight instructor who’d teach her after she crashed her first teacher’s plane and after her own plane was sabotaged by competing pilots.

Laura Ingalls, High Flyer

September 12, 1935 Laura Ingalls (the aviatrix, not the prairie girl!) flew non-stop from Union Air Terminal in Burbank, California to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York. The trip took 13 hours 34 minutes, five and a half hours faster than Amelia Earhart’s 1932 record. Two years later Ingalls was arrested as a German spy and sent to Alderson prison (the jail that later welcomed Martha Stewart.)

Birds Fly Too

September 11, 1911 Hilda Hewlett, aka “Grace Bird”, Britain’s first female pilot, flew her Farman Pusher biplane in an airshow at Chelson Meadow in Plymouth, England. Fly Bird, fly! She later taught her son to fly and separated from her husband Maurice after he said “Women will never be as successful in aviation as men. They have not the right kind of nerve.”

Go Claire, Go!

September 10, 1951 Claire McMillen Walters won the All Women’s Air Derby in Detroit, Michigan and married her husband Mike Walters on the return trip to California. Called “Flight Instructor To The Stars” Walters owned a successful flight school in Santa Monica, California and was a founder of the Ninety-Nines Museum of Women Pilots. Claire Walters passed away in January, 2010.

Hooray For Queen Bess!

September 9, 1923 The world’s first African American woman pilot, Bessie Coleman aka “Queen Bess”, performed loops, figure eights, and near ground dips before an audience of over 10,000 at a Columbus, Ohio airshow.

No fair!

September 8, 1920 Wingwalker Ethel Dare was banned from the air after a male wingwalker was killed attempting a stunt Ethel had mastered.

East To West With Beryl Markham

September 5, 1936 Although her fuel line had frozen Beryl Markham brought her Vega down in a Nova Scotia peet bog and became the first person to fly solo from England to North America. She greeted two stunned fishermen saying “I’m Mrs. Markham. I’ve just flown from England.” Her memoir West With The Night is an aviation classic.