Sunday, November 30, 2008

Amy Laboda

(One of the women who's photos appear on the new International Women's Air and Space Museum commemorative deck of playing cards.)

For more info on women in aviation see my website: Winged Victory.

Amy Laboda
1) does not have an entry at Wikipedia.
2. Is profiled at Women in Aviation International:
Amy began pilot lessons at age 15. She soloed at 16 and earned her private pilot certificate two days after her seventeenth birthday. She continued flying while earning a Liberal Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York; by the time she graduated she was an instrument-rated commercial pilot and before the year was out she had earned her instructor's rating.

She's had a variety of careers in the aviation fields, and is currently head of Marketing Arts, and does freelance editing for magazines such as: Flight Training, Dive Training and AOPA Pilot. She is also editor of Aviation For Women magazine.

She's married, has two kids, and along with her hubby is an avid scuba diver.

She wrote a series of articles on her attempt, with her husband, to build a kit plane:
and gave a talk about it at LoPresti (Vero Beach, Florida) on November 1, 2008. (Unfortunately and as usual, looks like all the participants are male. C'mon, girls!)

Check out some articles she's written: The Real Cost of Flying

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas gifts for aviation enthusiasts

I'll be putting together an article for Winged Victory: Women in Aviation on web stores and museums that feature women-centric items for the female aviator - although for many things, such as posters of WASP, guys should be perfectly happy getting those items, too.

But I think it's important to support organizations supporting women in aviation, and encourage the younger generations to get wings themselves.

So, first I'll deal with businesses that cater to women pilots, then I'll list museums and such that do so.

A desk calendar, each day with a note on women's aviation history
A pilot's journal, pink cover with the powder puff logo
Various clothing such as vests and t-shirts. No baseball caps, though
Children's book featuring a female teddy bear illustrating the pilot's alphabet
Scarf with logo
Headsets, white or pink, from Softcom

2. Abingdon watches
They offer two watches, specifically designed for women: the Jackie (for Jackie Cochran) and the Amelia (for Amelia Peabody).

3. Women Fly
They sell ballcaps, with the Women Fly logo, and lots of T-shirts, with photos of famous women pilots on them:
Amelia Earhart, Jackie Cochran, Patty Wagstaff, Bessie Coleman, Nancy Harkness Love, Fay Gillis Wells, Harriet Quimby, the WASP, Jerrie Cobb, Beryl Markham, Libby Gardner, Willa Brown Chappell, Gladys Roy and Wally Funk.

4. Flight Training Camp for Girls
Now this is what I'm talking about! Get your girl some flying lessons!

Judith Resnik

This blog sponsored by Winged Victory: Women in Aviation website.

There are several tributes at YouTube to the several heroes who died during the space shuttle tragedies.

Astronaut Judith Resnik (April 5, 1949 – January 28, 1986) was an American engineer and astronaut who was killed in the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger during the launch of mission STS-51-L.

Resnik was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. She had one brother, Charles, who was four years younger. Her parents were Marvin, an optometrist, and Sara Resnik.

She attended Fairlawn Elementary School (renamed in her honor after her death), and graduated from Firestone High School, where she excelled in math and played classical piano. She achieved a perfect SAT score and was the lone female to do so that year.

Resnik earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 1970. She married fellow student Michael Oldak in that year. They divorced in 1974 because Michael wanted children; Judith wanted to focus on her career.

After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, she was employed at RCA as a design engineer, and later worked with various NASA projects contracted to the company.

She earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1977 at the University of Maryland.

While working toward her doctorate, Resnik was affiliated with the National Institutes of Health as a biomedical engineer. Later, she was a systems engineer with Xerox Corporation.

She was selected for the astronaut program in January 1978, serving as a mission specialist on the maiden voyage of Discovery, from August to September 1984. She was also a mission specialist aboard Challenger for STS-51-L.

Resnik crater, located within the Apollo impact basin on the far side of the Moon, was named in her honor, as is a dormitory at Carnegie Mellon. There is a statue commemorating her on the grounds. The school library at Firestone High School, Resnik's high school alma mater, was also named after her.

Fairlawn Elementary School was renamed Judith A. Resnik Community Learning Center when it reopened in December 2006. There is also an elementary school in Gaithersburg, Maryland named in her honor, which opened in 1992. Judy Resnik Drive, a street in Randolph, NJ was also named after Resnik.

She was portrayed by Julie Fulton in the 1990 TV movie Challenger.

Biographical data from the NASA website: Learning center for students, honoring the fallen heros of the Challenger space shuttle.

In memorium: The Crew of the Challenger during flight STS-51-L:
Gregory Jarvis
Ronald McNair
Christa McAuliffe
Ellison Onizuka
Michael J. Smith
Dick Scobee
Judith Resnik

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mary Rawlinson Creason

Information about her on the web:

Her sister, Mabel Rawlinson, was a WASP.

1) Profile at the MDot Department of Transportation website,1607,7-151-9620_11154_41535-143071--,00.html
Mary Rawlinson Creason joined the Aeronautics Bureau, then part of the Michigan Department of State Highways, in 1977, and became the first woman pilot in state government. She earned her private pilot's license in 1943 while a student at Western Michigan University.

See link for complete article

Profiled at the WMU Alumni Association (Western Michigan University) website:

Michagan 99 Flyers

Make*Believe TV: Wings of their Own Documentary (a 99-minute video. The 99's, get it? ; )

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Commercial websites for women pilots

Came across this website which has a desk calendar featuring dates in women's aviation. That's a calendar I've been searching for for a long time, indeed, if I had had the financial wherewithal myself I would have made one meself and put it on the market.

Anyway, they beat me to it, and I ordered it today. I'll report on it when I get it, but if you know of anyone interested in aviation, (female or otherwise!) send 'em this as a Christmas gift!

They also have clothing - t-shirts, fleecy vests, a logbook (pink, with the powderpuff logo on the front), and Softcomm headsets.

Ruth Alexander

Visit for more info on women pilots.

Ruth Blaney Alexander was born on May 18, 1905 and died on September 18, 1930.

Info about her on the web
She has an entry at Wikipedia.
On September 9, 1929, Ruth had an introductory flight at Ryan Field in San Diego, California.

She became the 65th licensed woman pilot in the U.S.

On November 18, 1929, less than 24 hours after receiving her license, she took off from Lindbergh Field in SAn Diego in a Great Lakes biplane and continued climbing to what she believed was an altitude of better than 18,000 feet. Twas later recognized as a new official altitude record for women in light planes of 15,718 feet.

On February 16, 1930, she qualified for a United States second-class glider license from the slopes of Mount Soledad, near La Jolla, California. In doing so she followed Anne Morrow Lindbergh as the second woman in the United States to achieve this distinction.

Ruth made a perfect flight using a primary glider lasting 2 minutes, 33 and 2/5 seconds.

On July 4, 1930, she flew her Barling NB-3 light aircraft (serial number 52, U.S. Department of Commerce registration number 880M) to 21,000 feet, however this was an unofficial record. In the spring of 1930, she became a glider instructor -- the first woman in the United States to hold this position.

On July 11, 1930, Ruth took off at 1:34 p.m. in the Barling from Lindbergh Field. After briefly losing consciousness at extreme altitudes, she established a new world record in light planes (both men and women) of 26,600 feet at the apex of the flight. The American record held prior to her flight was set by D. S. Zimmerly (male) at an altitude of 24,074 feet over St. Louis, Missouri on February 16, 1930.

Ruth died on September 18, 1930 when her NB-3 Barling struck a hillside shortly after takeoff on from Lindbergh Field, San Diego. She had been on a scheduled cross-country flight to New York City via Wichita, Kansas.

She had been married for just a few months, to Robert A Elliott, a Naval reserve pilot (and apparently had been married twice before).

Times printed a brief obituary:,9171,740428-4,00.html

Media that references Alexander:
Carlson, D (1978) "Women in San Diego...a History in Photographs" The Journal of San Diego History, Vo. XXIV, No. 3.
Fogel, Gary (2001) "Wind and Wings: The History of Soaring in San Diego" RockReef Press, San Diego
Fogel, Gary and Lindemer, Grant (2007) "Ruth Blaney Alexander: A Dream of Wings" Quiet Flyer, Vol. No. 8, pp. 22-27.
"Girl Flies Up 20,000 Feet," The Irving Leader, July 11, 1930.
"Ruth Blaney Alexander Will be in Irving Soon," The Irving Leader, September 12, 1930.
"Cracked Up," The Irving Leader, September 19, 1930.
"Ruth Blaney Alexander," Advocate Democrat, September 25, 1930.
"Left Pathos When Crashed to Death," Marshall Co. News, September 26, 1930.
"Hall of Fame Beckoned to Ruth," Marshall Co. News, September 26, 1930.
"Struggles Led the Way to Her Success," Marshall Co. News, September 26, 1930.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sue Parish

Sue Parish is one of the women pilots whose photos appear in the new IWASM Museum playing cards.

According to the ID on the card, she is "one of 1st women warbird pilots on airshow circuit, and co-founder of the Air Zoo."

Read up on her in this article at the Wings Across America website:

Visit this website to see a photo of her today:

N777SU (cn G-18) Sue Parish taking shots of the crowd after her performance at the Kalamazoo Air Show. She's flying a Beech T-34A Mentor (A45)

If you play Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator II, you can put in her Pink P-40 (which is currently on display at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo.)

Other info:
(established 1995)
1995: Paul Poberezny, Walt Ohlrich, John Baugh, Bill Harrison, Jerry Walbrun
1996: Dick Dieter, Charlie Nogle
1997: Sue Parish, Rudy Frasca, Jeff Ethell
1998: John Ellis, Randy Sohn
1999: William Dodds, Richard Ervin
2000: Dave Schlingman
2001: Lincoln Dexter, Edward Maloney
2002: Frank C. Sanders
2003: Chuck Doyle, Lloyd Parker Nolen
2004: Howard Pardue

International Women's Air & Space Museum playing Cards

Got my playing cards today, the second edition.

Visit their site at:
Visit their shop at:

This pack includes photos of:

Sue Parish - co-founder, Air Zoo
Ruth Alexander (1905-1930)
Mary R. Creason - Michigan aviator
Judith Resnik (1949-1986) astronaut
Amy Laboda - aviation journalist
Mary Regalbuto Jones (1922-2004)
Willa Brown (1906-1992) 1st black woman licensed in US. (Bessie Coleman was licensed in France)
Blanche Noyes (1900-1981)
Evelyn Bryan Johnson - instructor
Capt Jammie Jamieson - first female F-22 Raptor pilot
Galina Korchuganova (1935-2004) Founder Aviatrissa-Russian women's aviation organization
Valentina Tereshkova - first woman in Space
Wilma Fritschy (no photo)
Doris Scott (1918-1998) IWASM president, 1976-1985
Hanna Reitsch (1912-1979) Glider pilot, Whirly Girl #1
Florence Boswell (1894-1968)- 1st woman flight instructor,Ohio
Fran Bera - 7 time Powder Puff Derby winner
Patricia Hange - co-owner Lenox Flight School
Harriet Hamilton - co-owner, Lenox
Sarah Ratley - one of Mercury 13
WAFS: Evelyn Sharp, Barbara Towne, Nancy Love, B.J. Erickson
Pamela Ann Melroy - 2nd woman commander, space shuttle
125th Guards - Soviet women's WWII Dive Bomber Regiment - flew 1,134 combat missions
Pat Brady - airborne traffic controller.
Zoe Dell Lantis - official hostess, 1939-40 SFO World's fair
Patty Wagstaff - 1st US Nstl Aerobatic champion
Libby Mele (1917-2000) one of the first female air traffic controllers in the US
Louise G. Vamos (1907-2001), Clebelabds first female commercial pilot
Elizabeth Schwenkler - 1st woman US National soaring champion - 2006
Edna Gardner Whyte - champion air racer
Evelyn "Bobbi" Trout (1906-2003) record setter, 1929
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001), 1st US licensed glidr pilot
Mercury 13 (7 standing in a group)
Ruth Shafer Fleischer - WASP
Edith Dizon - first female Filipina pilot
Phoebe Omlie (1902-1975), 1st female transcontinental air racer
Peggy Whitson - 1st female commander of the Space Station
IWASM Founders (5 standing)
Marjorie N. Gorman - commercial and helicopter pilot
Kay Brick (1910-1995) WASP
Helen MacCloskey (1909-1977) World speed record holder 1935
Mary Fecser (1912-1986) - air racer
Sally Ride - 1st American woman in space
Helen Sammon - IWASM trustee
Virginia M. Schweizer - 1947 World Women's Altitude Record - Soaring Hall of Fame
Nicole Malachowski - 1st female US Air Force Thunderbird pilot
Wally Funk - Mercury 13
2 of the Night Witches
Nancy Batson Crews (1920-2001) one of the original WAFS
Jerrie Cobb - one of the Mercury 13
Elizabeth McQueen (1876-1958) - founder of WIAA
Barbara Donahue Ross (b. 1920) WAFS #16
Marion P. Jayne (1926-1996) FAI Gold Medalist WOrld Air Race, First Century of Flight Aviation Hero