Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The last week in women's aviation history

I'd intended to share a piece of info a day, but stuff intervened, as it has a habit of doing...

Anyway... what's been on my Women in Aviation Events calendar, which I acquired from www.powderpuffpilot.com? (No, I'm not affiliated with them in any way, shape or form, but I want women-owned and women-centric aviation businesses to do well...)

January 9, 1978
Gail Gorski
, a former Kentucky Derby Queen, was the first woman hired by United Airlines as an airline pilot.
Women Aviators Wiki entry on Gorski: http://www.womenaviators.org/wiki/index.php?title=Gail_Gorski

(What is a Kentucky Derby Queen? http://www.kdf.org/royal-court/royal-court-fillies.asp. Founded in 1959 by Frances Askew Davis, the 17-member Fillies Club began their history of volunteer service to the Kentucky Derby Festival. From crowning the first Derby Queen at the Official Derby Ball , the group has grown to an active membership of 250 and were incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1971. Today, the Fillies, Inc publishes the Festival's Official Program, coordinates the Derby Festival Princess Program, creates the Queen's float for the Pegasus Parade and still produces the Fillies Derby Ball.

January 10, and 11, 1935
(Okay, so there's a flaw in this desktop calendar. Saturdays and Sundays are combined on one page, with only one snippet of information to cover both days!)
On this page, "Amelia Earhart became the first person (man or woman) to fly solo from Honolulu to Oakland. The 2,408-mile flight was also the first where a civilian aircraft carried a two-way radio.
Women Aviators Wiki entry on Amelia Earhart: http://www.womenaviators.org/wiki/index.php?title=Amelia_Earhart

January 12, 1970
Stunt flyer Blanche Scott died, at the age of 84. She was billed as the "Tomboy of the Air" she had a six-year career as a stunt-flyer, before retiring.
Women Aviators Wiki entry on Scott: http://www.womenaviators.org/wiki/index.php?title=Blanche_Stuart_Scott

January 13, 1928
South Dakota native Nellie Zabel Willhite soloed. She was the state's first licensed aviatrix. In airshows, she would compete in bombing (dropping bags of flour on targets on the ground) and balloon racing (flying around floating balloons - presumably vary large and easily seen ones!)
Women Aviators Wiki entry on Willhite: http://www.womenaviators.org/wiki/index.php?title=Nellie_Zabel_Willhite

January 14, 1943
US Astronaut Shannon Lucid was born on this day, in Shanghai, China, to Baptist missionary parents.

After getting a biochemical degree from the University of Oklahoma, she volunteered for the astronaut training program and was selected in 1978. She flew on five space shuttle missions and for a while held the record for the most hours in orbit by a non-RUssian, and most by a woman (188). (On June 16, 2007, her record for longest duration spaceflight by a woman was exceeded by Sunita Williams aboard the International Space Station)
Women Aviators Wiki entry on Lucid: http://www.womenaviators.org/wiki/index.php?title=Shannon_Lucid
She is married to Michael F. Lucid of Indianapolis, Indiana and they have two daughters and one son, and five granddaughters.

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