Women in Aviation: Bessica Raiche

First Accredited Solo Flight by a Woman in United States

The first accredited solo flight by a woman in the United States is attributed to Bessica Raiche. On September 16th, 1910 in Hempstead Plains, NY, she made her solo flight in an airplane based on the Wright’s design, which she and her husband built in their living room. She made five flights on that day. The last flight nosed over, throwing her out of the plan. The aircraft sustained some minor damage and she was uninjured. Two weeks prior to that day, Blanche Stuart Scott, made a solo flight while under instruction with Glenn Curtiss, when the airplane became airborne due to a wind gust.

Born on April 23rd 1875 in Wisconsin, Bessica Raiche was a musician, painter, and linguist. She was also a practicing dentist. Her interest in flying was triggered, while studying in Paris, France. The Aeornautical Society honored her in October 1910 as America’s first woman aviator. She and her husband went on to build two more airplanes using light weight materials in airplane construction.

Owing to health reasons she eventually gave up flying and settled into a career in medicine as the nation’s leading specialist in obstetrics and gynecology. She died in her sleep on April 11, 1932 at her home in Newport Beach, CA.

March is Women History Month and Woman of Aviation Month.

See Also:

Women in Aviation and Space History

This Day in Aviation

Wikipedia – Bessica Raiche