Friday, February 29, 2008

Miss Nevada USA flies with Thunderbirds

Miss Nevada USA flies with Thunderbirds

I don't follow the various beauty pageants..and don't think much of them, nevertheless I thought this was interesting news.

Miss Nevada is going up in an F-16, as well as spending a week with the Thunderbirds.

Read the article for more details.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Helen M. McGee has passed away

Newswoman, pilot McGee dies at age 83

Helen McGee didn't take up flying until the age of 40, but she went at it full throttle, participating in several Powder Puff Derbies (until they ended in 1977), and winning a 2nd and 4th place trophies.

She was also the co-owner of the Union Democrat newspaper.

New at Winged Victory: interview with author of Lady Icarus

I interviewed Lindie Naughton, author of the 2004 biography Lady Icarus: The Life of Lady Mary Heath.

It makes for pretty interesting reading, both from the standpoint of how one goes about researching a biography - of anyone - and also gives some insight into the rather tragic life of this larger-than-life woman, Britain's "Lady Lindy" - Mary Heath, the first woman to fly an open cockpit plane from Cape Town, South Africa to London, England - a journey that took three months!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Gladys Ingle of the 13 Black Cats

This is a video of Gladys Ingle, who not only wing-walks, but walks from one plane to another in order to change a tire.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Diana McIntosh - one woman show on Beryl Markham

Diana McIntosh is a musician with a 30-year career, doing one-woman shows, concerts,and so on.

She's agreed to do an interview with about her one woman show about Beryl Markham.

She's got a website at:

and there are two videos of her up at YouTube:

Friday, February 15, 2008

"Women mustn't be put in authority over boys"

I don't know much about religion, but I know what I don't like.

A woman referee, on Feb 2, 2008, was supposed to referee a game between St. Mary’s Academy, a private religious school that sits on a sprawling campus about 25 miles northwest of Topeka, and some other team.

But because she was a woman, they wouldn't allow her to do so.

Removal of woman referee by religious school has some crying foul

"That would be putting a woman in a position of authority over boys, he was told — a scenario that was contrary to beliefs at St. Mary’s Academy."

I thought that only happened with Muslims these days, not "Christians."

Yes, I'm sure adult males wouldn't want a woman in authority over them, but these religious types are saying that grown women musn't be given authority over boys?

My god I feel sorry for their mothers, and that's not a pun.

Women, even in the Western world, still have a long way to go for equality and respect.

Two new media reviews at Winged Victory

2008 Women Aviators Calendar

Women Aviator Playing cards from the Women's International Air and Space Museum

I've also added some aviation photos to our new Aviation Photo Gallery, by Scott Wolf.

I'm still waiting for answers to various interviews I've done... these pilots are busy!

Friday, February 1, 2008

YouTube: Lady Icarus

Lady Heath - the "Indiana Jones" of her day.

See the blog of a woman who wrote a biography of her (2004) at

and here's another Pathe news release

Unfortunately, her story did not have a happy ending.

Below is the Wikipedia entry (public domain text)

Lady Mary Heath (1896 - 1939), the Irish aviator, began life as Sophie Catherine Theresa Mary Peirce-Evans in Knockaderry, County Limerick, in the town of Newcastlewest. She was one of the best known women in the world for a five year period from the mid-1920s.

Early life
When the young Sophie Peirce-Evans was one year old, her father John Peirce-Evans, bludgeoned her mother Kate Theresa Dowling to death with a heavy stick. He was found guilty of murder and declared insane. His daughter was taken to the home of her grandfather in Newcastle West where she was brought up by two maiden aunts, who discouraged her passion for sports. After schooldays in St Margaret's Hall on Mespil Road in Dublin, where she played hockey and tennis, Sophie enrolled in the Royal College of Science in Ireland (which later became subsumed into UCD and is currently home to the Taoiseach's office on Fitzwilliam Street). The college was designed to produce the educated farmers which the country then needed. Sophie, one of the few women in the college, duly took a top-class degree in science, specialising in agriculture. She also played with the college hockey team and contributed to a student magazine, copies of which are held in the National Library.

Before becoming a pilot Lady Mary had already made her mark. During the First World War, she spent two years as a dispatch rider, based in England and later France, where she had her portrait painted by Sir John Lavery. By then, she had married the first of her three husbands and as Sophie Mary Eliott-Lynn, was one of the founders of the Women's Amateur Athletic Association after her move from her native Ireland to London in 1922, following a brief sojourn in Aberdeen. She was Britain's first women's javelin champion and set a disputed world record for the high jump. She was also a delegate to the International Olympic Council in 1925, when she took her first flying lessons.

The following year, she became the first women to hold a commercial flying licence in Britain and along the way, set records for altitude in a small plane and later a Shorts seaplane, was the first woman to parachute from an aeroplane (landing in the middle of a football match). After her great flight from the Cape, she took a mechanic's qualification in the USA, the first woman to do so.

In an era when the world had gone aviation mad, due to the exploits of Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart, Mary was more than able to hold her own. "Britain's Lady Lindy," as she was known in the United States, made front page news as the first pilot, male or female, to fly a small open cockpit airplane from Cape Town to London. She had thought it would take her three weeks; as it turned out, it took her three months, from January to May 1928. She wrote about the experience later in a book Woman and Flying, that she co-wrote with Stella Wolfe Murray.[1]

Unfortunately, just when her fame was at its height, with her life a constant whirl of lectures, races and long distances flights, Lady Mary (she married Sir James Heath in 1928) was badly injured in a crash just before the National Air Races in Cleveland, Ohio in 1929.

She was never the same after, though she returned to Ireland with her third husband GAR Williams, a horseman and pilot of Caribbean origin, and became involved in private aviation, briefly running her own company at Kildonan, near Dublin in the mid-1930s, and helping produce the generation of pilots that would help establish the national airline Aer Lingus. She died destitute in 1939 after a fall from a tram car in London.