Amelia Earhart was all very well, but did she cycle the Tour de France? Amy Johnson was pretty good but did she swim the length of the Seine? Jackie Cochran achieved a lot but was she the champion precision shooter of all France? No. And how many people fly in a supersonic Voodoo jet on their 80th birthday? The remarkable…
Love in the Clouds
Photo Courtesy: Smithsonian
Suzanne Asbury-Oliver is the only professional female skywriter in the world. She started flying gliders when she was only 14, soloing at 15 and by the time she was 18, she was a Certified Flight Instructor.
She has been skywriting the skies of United States and Canada for Pepsi Cola Company since 1980. In fact, she met her husband Steve Oliver at the Kentucky Derby while she was skywriting for Pepsi and he was banner towing advertisements in his 1941 Stearman. She and her husband own their own plane and skywriting business called Olivers Flying Circus.
March is Women History Month and Women of Aviation Month.
There was a news item earlier this week that Indian Women Pilots have surpassed the global average. I had written a brief article last year about how, even though there is no General Aviation activity, the proportion of women pilots in India was higher than other countries.
This past week, Avani Chaturvedi became the first Indian Women to fly a fighter jet solo, a MIG -21 Bison for 30 minutes. What is remarkable is, she is 24 years old and is one of the three women inducted into the Indian Air Force. The other two women are Bavana Kanth and Mohana Singh.
Geraldyn “Jerrie” M. Cobb, a well-established female trailblazer of the skies, was born in Norman, Oklahoma. Her father was a pilot and, with his encouragement, she developed a strong interest in aviation at an early age. By the time she was 12, Cobb was learning how to fly in her father’s 1936 Waco Aircraft Company […]
First Women to Fly
Blanche Scott was the first women to drive across the United States and the first women to fly.
Born in 1889, Blanche Scott’s life spanned from the era of airplane invention, to seeing the first man walk on the moon. In an age when women couldn’t vote and their place was considered to be at home, she became the first woman to drive across the US. There were only 218 miles of roads outside the cities.
Photo courtesy Wikepedia: Blanche Stuart Scott seated at the controls of a Curtiss Model D, circa early 1910s.
Some aviation firsts:
- She became the first women to take a shot solo hop in the air, when an aircraft she was taxing lifted off the ground.
- She was the first and only women to receive flight instruction from Glenn Curtiss.
- She made her first public flight in October 1910.
- She set the women’s long distance record for flight of 10 miles and later 25 miles in 1911
- She became the first women test pilot in America, the first woman stunt pilot or The Tomboy of the Air
- She played the lead role in The Aviator’s Bride, the first movie about flying
- She was also the first women passenger to ride in a passenger jet
March is Women History Month, and Women of Aviation Month.
Based on real events from Sept 11, 2001 when 38 airplanes were diverted to the small town of Gander, Newfoundland in Canada, Come From Away, is a heart warming Broadway Musical, that captures the generosity of the residents of Gander who welcomed 7,000 stranded passengers.
Beverly Bass, one of the pioneering pilots (the first female Captain at American Airlines), was the captain of one of the 38 airplanes that landed there that day and whose character is portrayed in the musical.
There is the old saw about getting your Private Pilot certificate, that it “is a ticket to learn,” meaning that you’ve just gotten the little slip of paper that lets you learn to be a better pilot. I totally buy that. I didn’t count on forgetting some of the things I learned, though. To get […]
Derby Day. Check-ride Anniversary. And most importantly the simply joy of flying!
May is always memorable. I got my Private Pilot Certificate. Three years later I got my Instrument rating.
“I hope we will be done by 3:00 pm, ” said Wanda, “I wan’t to watch the Kentucky Derby”
“I hope so too,” thought I. “With positive results.” For it was the day of my private pilot check-ride and I wanted to get home without a pink slip!
It was also Derby Day. And getting home to watch the race would be good too…
I did make it home in time to catch the race that day. That was 16 years ago!
As it happens, Derby day is tomorrow this year (5/6/2017).
Always Dreaming or Fast and Accurate?
Take your pick!