Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sabiha Gökçen - first woman combat pilot

Sabiha Gökçen (March 22, 1913, Bursa—March 22, 2001, Ankara) was the first female combat pilot in the world and the first Turkish aviatrix, aged 23. She was one of the eight adopted children of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Early life
According to Turkish sources and interviews with Sabiha Gökçen, she was the daughter of Mustafa İzzet Bey and Hayriye Hanım who was an ethnic Bosniak. The journalist Hrant Dink published an article titled "The secret of Sabiha Hatun" in which a former Gaziantep resident, Hripsime Sebilciyan, claimed to be Gökçen's niece, implying Armenian ancestry.[5][6][7] Official Turkish sources, and the only living adopted daughter of Atatürk, Ülkü Adatepe, have contested this claim.

During Atatürk's visit to Bursa in 1925, Sabiha, who was only 12 years old, asked for permission to talk with Atatürk and expressed her wish to study in a boarding school. After learning her story and about her miserable living conditions, Atatürk decided to adopt her and asked Sabiha's brother for permission to take her to the Çankaya Presidential Residence in Ankara, where Sabiha would live among Atatürk's other adoptive daughters, Zehra, Afet and Rukiye.[4] Sabiha attended the Çankaya Primary School in Ankara and the Üsküdar Girls' College in Istanbul.[4]

Just after the introduction of the surname act, Atatürk gave her the family name Gökçen on December 19, 1934. Gök means sky in Turkish and Gökçen means 'belonging or relating to the sky'. However, she was not an aviator at the date, and it was only six months later that Sabiha developed a passion for flying.

Atatürk attached great importance to aviation and for that purpose, oversaw the foundation of the Turkish Aeronautical Association in 1925. He took Sabiha along with him to the opening ceremony of Türkkuşu (Turkishbird) Flight School on May 5, 1935. During the airshow of gliders and parachutists invited from foreign countries, she got very excited. As Atatürk asked her whether she would also want to become a skydiver, she nodded "yes indeed, I am ready right now". Atatürk instructed Fuat Bulca, the head of the school, to enroll her as the first female trainee. She should have become a skydiver, however she was much more interested in flying, so she received her pilot's licence. Gökçen was sent to Russia, together with seven male students, for an advanced course in glider and powered aircraft piloting. However, when she was in Moscow, she learned the news that Zehra had died, and with a collapsed morale, she immediately returned back to Turkey, isolating herself from social activities for some time.

In the beginning of 1936, Atatürk urged her to attend the Air Force Academy to become the first female military pilot of Turkey. She improved her skills by flying bomber and fighter planes at the 1st Aircraft Regiment in Eskişehir Airbase and got experience after participating in the Aegean and Thrace exercises in 1937. In that same year, she took part in the military operation against the Dersim rebellion and became the world's first female air force combat pilot. She was also awarded the Turkish Aeronautical Association's first "Jeweled Medal" due to her superior performance in this operation.

In 1938, she carried out a five-day flight around the Balkan countries to great acclaim. Later, she was appointed chief trainer of the Türkkuşu Flight School of Turkish Aeronautical Association, where she served until 1955 and became a member of the association's executive board. She trained four female aviators, Edibe Subaşı, Yıldız Uçman, Sahavet Karapas and Nezihe Viranyalı. Sabiha Gökçen flew around the world for a period of 28 years until 1964. Her book entitled "A Life Along the Path of Atatürk" was published in 1981 by the Turkish Aeronautical Association to commemorate Atatürk's 100th birthday.

Throughout her career in the Turkish Air Force, Gökçen flew 22 different types of aircraft for more than 8000 hours, 32 hours of which were active combat and bombardment missions.

Legacy and recognition
The second international airport of Istanbul on the Asian side, Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, is named after her.

She was selected as the only female pilot for the poster of "The 20 Greatest Aviators in History" published by the United States Air Force in 1996.

She was the subject of a Google logo honoring her birthday which was displayed in Turkey on Mar 22, 2009

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

CarolAnn Garratt at International Women's Air and Space Musuem

I attended CarolAnn Garrat's talk tonight at the Women's International Air and Space Museum, located at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio.

CarolAnn's mother died of ALS (Lou Gehrig disease) in April 2002. A pilot for many years, this event spurred her to attempt to raise money for ALS research by using her love of aviation as a springboard. In 2003 she flew around the world, a 7 month trip, raising awareness of ALS along the way. (She paid for the trip herself, all funds donated went to ALS).

In 2008, she and pilot Carol Foy flew around the world, this time a "dash" taking 8 days, 12 hours and 20 minutes, setting a record for fastest flight around the world in a small plane.

In this talk, Garratt talked about the 2009 trip.

I'll have more to say about it, and the IWASM, tomorrow.

Monday, June 28, 2010

PR: VirtualHUD’s new Wingman Portable EFIS

June 28, 2010: It’s not just a low-cost, reliable, fully-portable, battery-powered EFIS (Electronic Flight Information System) that’s capable of interfacing with your GPS to display your own HITS (Highway in the Sky) in standard symbology. It can also integrate with the VirtualHUD, to project a “heads up display” picture in your line of sight. Your attitude, position, and groundspeed can all be right in front of you, all the time.

Plan your flight in your GPS; hook it to your Wingman, and experience integrated navigation and attitude information. (The attitude information and HITS display are courtesy of the Wingman and its integrated positioning and motion sensors). When used alone, the Wingman is an effective EFIS, giving Experimental aircraft more panel space, and offering pilots of LSA and Certified aircraft an independent redundancy for critical instrumentation.

William Steele, inventor and President of VirtualHUD, says, “It’s never been so easy to integrate attitude and position information. We’ll make the cable for your [GARMIN or other popular] GPS, and eliminate the need for one of your power cables or adaptors at the same time, helping keep your cockpit and flight bag clutter-free.”
The unit features a 4.3” screen and measures 3 ¼ x 4 ¾ x ⅞” thick. Its internal battery is good for over an hour; and charging it (through any standard accessory outlet) draws less than a quarter amp.

The Wingman will be available at AirVenture Oshkosh 2010, to ship right after the show. Pricing is $1595, with an early-order discount of $100.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mark your calendars: Sep 3, 2010

PR from the IWASM

Swing back in time at the International Women's Air and Space Museum (IWASM) Canteen! Join us on Friday, September 3 for our annual pre-air show party! This year we will transport guests back to the 1940s with our own Canteen! The event includes hors d'oeuvres reminiscent of the time period (with a modern twist, of course!), a cash beer and wine bar, swing music and dancing, and the opportunity to mingle with air show performers throughout the evening. We will also have raffle baskets, a card raffle, and more! Vintage civilian or military attire is encouraged but not required. Tickets for the IWASM Canteen are $40 for members and $45 for non-members and will be available by calling the museum office or through the online store.

July 7-10, 2010: Fly in the Ford Trimotor Tin Goose

You won't want to miss the many activities taking place July 7-10 in downtown Cleveland. IWASM is proud to welcome the EAA's 1929 Ford Tri-Motor to Burke Lakefront Airport. Aviation enthusiasts will be able to see and ride in the world's first mass-produced airliner. Visitors will have the opportunity to take a 15-minute flight aboard this unique aircraft. Those flights are available for $50 for EAA members and $60 for non-members. The Ford Tri-Motor will be available for rides on July 8, 2010 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The aircraft will be offering rides July 9-11, 2010 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The Ford Tri-Motor, nicknamed the "Tin Goose," was built by the Ford Motor Company in the late 1920s. Throughout its lifespan 199 aircraft were produced. Designed for the civil market, the plane was also used by the military and sold all over the world. Amelia Earhart and Helen Richey (the first woman to pilot a commercial airliner) were among the aviatrixes who flew the Tri-Motor.

Harborfest takes place July 7-10 at Voinovich Park, right behind the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and down the street from IWASM. Be sure to visit our booth! For more information visit

Riding in the Tri-Motor guarantees a very unique view of the Tall Ships, which are scheduled to be in town July 7-11. The Tall Ships Festival takes place at the Port of Cleveland behind the Cleveland Browns Stadium and down the street from IWASM.

June 29, 2010 Cleveland Lakefront Airport: CarolAnn Garratt speaks

CarolAnn Garratt, who set a world record circumnavigating the globe in 2008 to raise money and awareness for ALS research, will lecture at the International Women's Air & Space Museum on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 7:00 pm. The free lecture is part of museum programming in celebration of 100 years of American women in flight. Garratt will be speaking about her aviation career and the two flights she has taken in honor of her mother, who died from ALS. CarolAnn Garratt is a resident of Gainesville, Florida and is a former manager with a Fortune 500 company. She earned her private pilot's license in 1978, her instrument rating in 1980 and a commercial license in 1996. After her mother suffered and died from ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), she first flew around the world in 2003. In 2008, Garratt and her co-pilot Carol Foy set a world record, circumnavigating the globe in 8 days, 12 hours and 20 minutes. The National Aeronautics Association certified their flight as the U.S. record.

CarolAnn Garratt has written two books about her experiences and they will be available for purchase at the lecture. All proceeds go toward ALS research. For reservations or more information about this free event, contact the museum office at (216) 623-1111 or

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Minnetta Gardinier prepared for Air Race Classic

From Local pilot prepared for air race

When Minnetta Gardinier hops into the cockpit this morning for a four-day aviation race through the eastern U.S., there's one thing she's sure to have handy.

A working set of keys.
It was three years ago sitting on the runway for her first Air Race Classic in Bozeman, Mont., that Gardinier had received the all-clear for takeoff when she realized her key -- a spare just made at the hardware store a day or so before -- didn't work.

Gardinier hurried out of the cockpit and rifled through the baggage compartment before finding the original, but not before raising a few eyebrows and holding up the takeoff line.

"People were looking at us like, 'What are they doing?'" she said last week in a hangar at the Iowa City Airport where she was preparing her plane for its third-straight run in the all-women's race.

Don't expect the 56-year-old Iowa City pilot to make that same mistake today when she and her co-pilot, Deb McGee of Indianola, will be aboard one of about 55 single-engine planes scheduled for takeoff at 8 a.m. in Fort Meyers, Fla.

By Friday, the pilots will have traversed nearly 2,500 miles with stops in Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and West Virginia, before ultimately crossing the finish in Frederick, Md. Planes are allowed to be in the air from sun-up until sundown to complete as many legs of the trip as possible. The top 10 finishers split a $15,000 purse.

Gardinier, an associate dean at the University of Iowa Graduate College and an associate professor of pharmacology, has raised $6,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society the past two years through sponsorships for her plane, and she's hoping to donate $4,000 more this year.

MS is a cause that's important to Gardinier. She has received research grants from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society over the years to study the disease, and a close friend has been diagnosed with MS.

Gardinier took up flying on a whim seven years ago when she spotted a brochure for flying lessons at the Iowa City Airport.

"We went out the first time and I just loved it," she said.

Gardinier earned her license in 18 months and now has logged more than 800 hours in the air. She co-owns a 1978 Cardinal Cessna, which she often flies to job-related destinations across the country. Earlier this month, she flew into her college reunion in Syracuse, N.Y., before darting down to Washington, D.C., for a meeting.
"For me, it's so different from what I do with the rest of my life," Gardinier said. "It just gives you a different perspective on the earth. When I took lessons I used to refer to them as my little micro-vacations because it was an hour up there and it puts you somewhere else."

Gardinier discovered the thrill of flying at an early age and has long been intrigued by airplanes. Growing up in upstate New York, her mother worked for a company that prepared airline meals and often would take Gardinier on the free trips she earned.

While Gardinier is a veteran in the skies, her co-pilot will be making her first appearance in the Air Race Classic this week. McGee, 57, earned her pilot's certificate in November and will be running the radio and helping with navigation in the cockpit this week.

The two are members of the Iowa 99s, a women's aviation group in which Gardinier serves as the chairperson.

McGee said she admittedly was a little nervous about the race -- the flight to Fort Meyers was her longest trip aboard a non-commercial plane -- but she said Gardinier's experience was reassuring.
"She's been through it before," McGee said. "I would never do it as a first-time pilot with someone who had not raced before, but she knows the ropes."

Gardinier, who also serves on the Iowa City Airport Commission, successfully lobbied to have the Air Race Classic begin in Iowa City next summer.

The race uses a handicapping system to give all pilots an equal chance of winning, with each plane undergoing a test flight before the race to determine its air speed. The winner is the pilot who pushes her plane the fastest beyond its handicap.
"So what you're really trying to do is catch the best winds and catch the best weather conditions and get the best performance from your plane," Gardinier said.
Gardinier said it's the camaraderie of the female pilot community that she looks forward to the most with the classic each year.

"Some people kind of refer to it as summer camp for pilots and I kind of look at it that way, too," she said. "I look forward to seeing a lot of the same women who've done it in the past. The thing that's really special about it is meeting all of these women from different walks of life."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Flight attendant takes over for sick co-pilot, helps land jet

To be honest, I would have preferred it if both pilots had been incapacitated and the flight attendant (aka stewardess) had had to land the plane herself. I remember as a kid seeing a Doug McClure/Roddy McDowall TV movie where just that thing occurred.

This story is not that heroic. The captain of the plane - which can be flown by one person - was perfectly healthy, so Patti DeLuna (61) stepped in and acted as co-pilot. She does have a pilot's license.

I'm all for giving women the praise they deserve, but one wonders, if the flight attendant in question had been a man, would they have made a story out of this? DeLuna was interviewed on TV and looked rather uncomfortable - she clearly didn't think it was a big deal. (Or she could have just been terrified of the cameras, I know I would have been!)

In any event, it does show that she did her job above and beyond the call of duty:

Flight attendant takes over for sick co-pilot, helps land jet
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO – A flight attendant who has a pilot's license replaced an ill first officer during a landing at O'Hare International Airport this week.

Officials said the co-pilot of an American Airlines plane that departed San Francisco on Monday fell sick en route to Chicago.

After the pilot checked to see whether any off-duty pilots were on board, Patti DeLuna, 61, told him that she is a commercial pilot and was asked to sit in the right-hand seat in the cockpit.

DeLuna, who lives in California, helped the captain by reading off a checklist of procedures. She handled other tasks, in addition to providing a second set of eyes in the cockpit.

DeLuna was scheduled to be off work on Monday, but she was called in to replace another flight attendant for the trip from San Francisco to Chicago with 225 passengers on board.

The condition of the ill first officer, who is based in Chicago, was not serious, officials said. He was met on the ground at O'Hare by paramedics and transported to a local hospital, where he was treated and released.

Purdue women fly for the title (Air Race Classic)

From the Exponent: Purdue Women Fly For Title

The Air Race Classic Begins on June 22, 2010

By Joanne Norell
Summer Reporter
Publication Date: 06/16/2010

For female pilots, the Air Race Classic is a chance to showcase their skills and raise awareness of women in flight.

Lauren Steele and Allie Springer, both seniors in the College of Technology, take this opportunity seriously. Steele and Springer are the pilot and co-pilot, respectively, of this year’s Purdue Air Race team.

“I think it’s just a great opportunity,” Steele said. “Not a lot of people know about it ... Sometimes I even get ‘you’re a pilot?’ They kind of can’t believe that, being women, there are pilots out there who are females.”

“The women’s race aspect of it is kind of cool, because it kind of proves that a woman pilot isn’t any more or less talented than a male pilot,” Springer said.

The women’s air racing concept began in 1929 with the First Women’s Air Derby. Similar derbies were held throughout the thirties and after World War II, took the form of the All Women’s Transcontinental Air Race or the Powder Puff Derby. In 1977, the Air Race Classic became a continuation of the discontinued Powder Puff Derby.

The Classic is open to all women. In 2009, the youngest pilot was 18 and just out of high school. The oldest women were in their mid- to late-80s.

“I’ve learned a lot and you meet a lot of great people along the way,” Steele said. “The race builds your pilot skills and you learn a lot, especially flying in different parts of the country. There’s women from all over the world who race, it’s not just U.S. citizens and such.”

Steele and Springer take inspiration from women who have gone before them, starting with legendary Purdue faculty member Amelia Earhart. For them, Earhart led the way for female aviation, and they hope to be the same kind of inspiration for generations of younger aviators.

“It’s just been neat to see all of these women who have led the way. There’s so much they’ve gone through with discrimination and been told they can’t fly ... but we’re encouraged to do that and pursue that,” Steele said. “It’s neat to be a part of that and I hope that because of our race, I hope, people see or hear about us in the paper, or whatever it may be, and just be an inspiration and encourage young girls to go after their dreams whether it’s something like flying or something that just some people don’t think a women should do.”

“It’s kind of like an awareness that we can do just as much as the males and it’s also kind of cool that you can show that this many women are involved,” Springer said.

Take-off for the Air Race Classic is June 22, but Steele and Springer began their journey to Florida, the starting point, on Sunday. The extra time will give them room for weather, maintenance issues and a tour of sponsor Lockheed Martin headquarters in Dallas.

“We want to have fun and be safe, overall, that’s most important. And if we come out and win the collegiate trophy ... it’d be awesome to get first ... and since they’ve had a collegiate trophy Purdue’s won it the most,” Springer said. “We hope to bring back the trophy and keep it the whole next year until the next year’s race. So we hope to bring it back and put it on a shelf and be proud that we won ... It would be awesome to even get Top 10 but we’ll be happy with anything and we’ll have fun while we’re doing it.”

The Air Race Classic will take three days and span from Florida to Missouri to Maryland. Rather than compete against the speed of others, racers will race against their own handicap, with a speed above the handicap counting for positive points.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

PR: Blue Thunder II Claims New International Speed Record

Blue Thunder II Claims New International Speed Record
Crowds at Golden West Airshow Witness History

June 13, 2010, Marysville, California: Pilot/owner/builder John Parker, former Formula One air race champion and holder of several speed records at shorter distances in his earlier Thunder Mustang, Blue Thunder, took his successor machine, Blue Thunder II, to record speeds over the long course set up in California, launching and finishing in front of the crowds at the Golden West Fly-in on both Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13.

On each day, Parker went fast enough to break the old record of some 330mph; he went 361mph on Saturday, and a blazing 363.9 on Sunday.

Blue Thunder II is powered by a Falconer V-12 engine of 600 cubic inches and 640 horsepower. The Thunder Mustang is a faithful rendering of a P-51 Mustang, in ¾ scale, built in composite materials. The fuel was 115 octane ERC racing gasoline. Nitrous oxide was also used during a portion of each run.

The record runs were made in accordance with international rules and were officially observed by Brian Utley, a representative of the National Aeronautics Association, the US arm of the international organization of record, the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale). Parker’s class, C1c, is for piston-powered landplanes between 2200 and 3850 pounds.

Parker battled high winds that prevailed throughout the show. The 20-knot wind that faced the Saturday run was particularly rough.

Though the record is for a distance of 100 kilometers, the course was laid out at a total distance of 142km, out and back around an observer’s waypoint. The average speed over the course counts for the record.

Parker and “Blue II” will be attending the AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, at the end of July; the man and machine will also be competing in the SuperSport class in the Reno Air Races in September.

To learn about Blue Thunder II:

Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony an Unqualified Success

From AMT (Aircraft Maintenance Technology Newsletter): Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony an Unqualified Success

Wetaskiwin, Alberta, June 15, 2010 – Four Canadians have been inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame (CAHF) at its annual induction ceremony and dinner at the River Rock Casino and Hotel in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, June 10.

The event was attended by more than 280 guests from across Canada’s aviation and aerospace community.

Official presenter, Department of National Defence chief of air staff, Lieutenant-General Andre Deschamps inducted Julie Payette, Vi Milstead Warren, Redford Henry “Red” Mulock, and Willy Laserich.

CAHF chairman John Holding said, “The event was an unqualified success; it was great to see so many members of Canada’s aviation community come together to celebrate the achievements of these four outstanding individuals.

The Hall inducted Canada’s former Chief Astronaut Julie Payette, a pilot, engineer, and musician who has logged more than 1,200 hours flying and 25 days in space; inspirational female flight instructor Vi Milstead Warren, who also worked in remote and dangerous conditions as Canada’s first female bush pilot. WW1 fighter pilot Redford Henry “Red” Mulock was also inducted, having been recognized for his combat flying with a Distinguished Service Order and as a Companion of the British Empire who rose to the rank of RCAF Reserve Air Commodore. Northern bush pilot Willy Laserich was also inducted; he flew over 3,000 medevac flights and 100 search and rescue missions in Canada’s arctic.

The Hall of Fame encourages nominations from individuals from across the country. CAHF membership and nomination forms can be downloaded from the CAHF website Entries are assessed by a Nominations Review Committee, independent of the Hall’s board of directors, on an annual basis.

The Hall’s now 200 inductees have been honored for their contributions to Canadian aviation and space endeavors. Their achievements have been recognized as playing an integral role in the growth of modern Canada.

Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame is located in the hangar at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, south of Edmonton. Founded in 1973, Members have come from all across Canada and have led extraordinary lives as military and civilian pilots, doctors, scientists, inventors, aeronautical engineers and administrators.

The Hall strives to increase the public’s understanding and interest in aviation history by making its displays, archives, records and artifacts accessible to current and future generations. The heroism and courage embodied in the Members of the Hall serves to kindle the spirit of adventure in Canada’s youth.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Press Release: “Aviators Helping Aviators” Helps Vendors and Aircraft Owners

“Aviators Helping Aviators” Helps Vendors and Aircraft Owners

June 9, 2010: Aviators Hot Line has heard the need of its most-loyal readers and customers: when it’s time to switch to a smaller, lighter, and well, new machine, the LSA (Light Sport Aircraft) movement is often the answer. The so-far unsolved problem with the transition isn’t the flight training, the financing, or even where to put that big ol’ flight bag – it’s how to sell the existing mothership.

After discussions with LAMA (the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association), Aviators Hot Line has launched a new program that appears to make everyone a winner: Owners get help selling their prior aircraft; LSA vendors gain new customers after their airplane sells; aviation expands by one more airplane and post-sale flying activity will increase providing work for repairmen, fuel sellers, airports, insurance companies, financing providers, and more. The program is called “Aviators helping aviators.”

“When pilots can sell one aircraft to buy another, the aviation economy gets a shot in the arm,” said Carol Harrison, publisher of Aviators Hot Line and the LSA-focused Light Aviation Edition. “Our ‘Aviators helping aviators’ program offers advertising vendors a complimentary advertisement for an owner wishing to sell his aircraft.”
“Now, this organization that has been so helpful to Light-Sport aviation has created the new ‘Aviators helping aviators’ program where the big-A Aviators is helping small-A aviators who would buy a new LSA if only they could sell their current aircraft,” said LAMA president, Dan Johnson. “Through this new program, Aviators Hot Line is offering to help that owner sell the aircraft he owns today... at zero cost to that owner.”

The program:

The program is simple. A vendor of LSA places an ad contract with Aviators Hot Line. That vendor comes to agreement with a buyer of their aircraft and collects a deposit. Subsequently, that owner can place an ad for the aircraft for the airplane they currently own and Aviators will run the ad until the airplane sells or one year passes, whichever comes first. The selling owner pays nothing to run the ad, assuming he or she has placed an order for a new aircraft from a participating vendor that is a current LAMA member. Hence... Aviators are helping aviators to enjoy flying.

Harrison says, “We are happy to cooperate with the LSA manufacturers and Dealers, with LAMA, and with our loyal readers and customers to help keep the momentum building across our industry.”

The program begins immediately and covers LSA deposits made starting April 1, 2010 or later.

At the time of this release, Rainbow Sport Aviation, importer of the 3X Trim LSA, is the first company to join the program and offer this service to their prospective buyers.

For more information:

Kansas City, MO, June 17 - WASP Marjorie Ellfeldt Reesspeaks to marines

WWII WASP to Speak at June 17 Marine Corps League Meeting
Marjorie Ellfeldt Rees, 88, will tell about her experiences as a World War II pilot, at the monthly meeting of the Simpson-Hoggatt Detachment of the Marine Corps League, 7 p.m. Thursday, June 17, at the Disabled Veterans of America building, 8787 Old Santa Fe Rd. in Kansas City, Mo.

Rees flew military planes as part of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, known as WASPs. A Prairie Village, Kan., resident, she was one of only 1,800 women accepted for training and 1,074 who graduated and became civilian pilots. Last July President Barack Obama signed a bill recognizing Rees and the other women pilots. The WASPs were also honored in Washington, D.C., in March receiving Gold Medals, the highest award given in honor of civilian service. In the 1970s the WASPs had also received retroactive militarization, and are now recognized as veterans.

The event is free, and all veterans and active duty military from all service branches as well as nonveterans are invited. For more information call Commandant Ken Spencer at 913-362-8383.
About the Marine Corps League: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the federal charter in 1937. Membership numbers more than 60,000 nationally, and is open to current and honorably discharged Marines and to Navy medical corpsmen. The Simpson-Hoggatt Detachment was formed in 1925 in Kansas City, Mo.

Simpson-Hoggatt Detachment
Charles Barnes, Lot Z-8, Lake Lotawana, MO 64086

Release Date: June 7, 2010

Contact: Susan Pepperdine, 913-262-7414, cell 913-205-5304, or

Monday, June 7, 2010

June 11- 13 , 2010, Golden West Fly-in at YUBA COUNTY AIRPORT (MYV), CALIFORNIA

Check it out at:

Friday, Saturday & Sunday Daily Schedule

0600 Marysville Tower opens for business

0600 – 1100 Pancake breakfast by Linda Lions Club

0700 – 1700 Aircraft arrivals and parking

0800 Gates officially open to the public

Thursday, June 10
0700 – until? Aircraft arrivals and parking; exhibits setup
1300 - 1400 Performer Arrivals (Cornick & Suderman)
1730 – 1900 Early Bird Dinner on the field

Friday, June 11 (KID'S DAY - KIDS FREE)

0900 - 1100 Kids Programs and Young Eagles Flights
0900 – 1000 Showcase briefiings

1100 – 1200 Concurrent workshops & forums
Radio-Controlled Model Airplane Demonstrations
1200 – 1300 BLUE THUNDER Speed Record Attempt

1300 Airspace opened
Radio-Controlled Model Airplane Demonstrations
Kids Programs and Young Eagles Flights

1730 – 1900 Dinner on the field

Saturday, June 12
0900 – 1700 Concurrent workshops & forums

0900 – 1000 Showcase briefings

1000 - 1100 Airshow briefings

1130 – 1200 Showcase aircraft
1200 - 1300 BLUE THUNDER Record Speed Attempt

1300 – 1500 AIRSHOW

Opening by Liberty Parachute Team
Air Boss: Willie Turner
Announcer: Steve Stavrakakis
National Anthem (musical quartet TBA)
Spencer Suderman
Eric Hansen
T-6 Formation
(Al Goss "Missing Man" Tribute)
Bill Cornick
Reno Air Racers
Team Rocket
ACR Racing Challenge

1500 Airspace opened

1800 – 1930 Dinner on the field & Awards
"Fly Boys" movie showing (included in admission)

Sunday, June 13
0900 – 1700 Concurrent workshops & forums
Radio-Controlled Model Airplane Demonstrations

0900 – 1000 Showcase briefings

1030 – 1200 Showcase aircraft all categories

1200 - 1300 BLUE THUNDER Record Speed Attempt

1300 - 1600 Airspace opened
Radio-controlled Model Airplane Demonstrations

Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co (Irwin Intn'l)
Ameritech Industries
Beale Blackbirds Remote Control Club
Bridgeford Flying Service

California Cub
CAP Beal Composit Squadron
Cobra Torches
Commerative Air Force (CAF)
Computer Science Corporation
Cutting Edge Helicopters

DTC (Data Transformation Corp)
Dynon Avionics

E Z Flight Chart .Com/AJ printing & Graphics
Embry Riddle Aeronautical Univ/
Experimental Helo Magazine

Flight Design

Global Travel Network

Haze Buster Optics

Inogen Aviator

Jabiru Pacific LLC

Lightning Aircraft West
Lincoln Regional Aviation Association
Lincoln Skyways Interiors


Quality Sport Planes LLC

Samson Motors , INC
Sky View Aviation
Sutter Buttes 99's

Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.

Van's Aircraft Inc.
Vertical Power

West Coast Sport Aircraft
World Design Inc.

Yuba-Sutter Shetriff's Aero Squadron
Yuba-Sutter United Veterans Council

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nancy Batson Crews: Alabama's First Lady of Flight

Just received the book Nancy Batson Crews: Alabama's First Lady of Flight, by Sarah Byrn Rickman with a forward by Jane Kirkpatrick. Fire Ant Books, University of Alabama Press. 2009.

Nancy Elizabeth Batson was number twenty to qualify for the Women's Auxiliary FErrying Squadron (WAFS) which was made upo of the first 28 women to fly for the US Army in WWII.

She was 22. She was so good at her job that she was given the nicknane "Golden Girl of the Ferry Command." She was also very pretty, which earned her the nickname "Veronica Lake of the Ferry Command."

I'll be reviewing the book in detail shortly.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memphian Frankie Yearwood was WWII WASP

From the Memphis Appeal: Memphian Frankie Yearwood was WWII WASP

Frankie Inez Yearwood was, quite literally, the last WASP on record.

A member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, an elite group of the first American women to fly in the military, Ms. Yearwood was among the program's 1,074 graduates and a part of its last class. Because her name fell at the bottom of the list alphabetically, she was the last on the roster.

Frankie Yearwood was a true WWII hero from Memphis. In March, along with about 300 other women who flew in the service, Yearwood was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Barack Obama.
Ms. Yearwood, who attained the rank of captain, was honored in March along with about 300 other women who flew in the service. President Barack Obama awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to each of the remaining WASPs, who were integral in the training of combat pilots during World War II.

She died of leukemia Sunday, fittingly on Memorial Day weekend, at her home in East Memphis. She would have been 89 on July 10.

Although she was born and raised in Oklahoma, Ms. Yearwood considered herself a Memphian. After high school, she moved to Memphis and found a job building airplanes at Fisher Aircraft. From there she enrolled in a West Memphis flight school, which led to her military career.

The WASP program, which ran from 1942 to 1944, received applications from more than 25,000 women, but only 1,830 were selected. Female pilots were not in active combat during the war but were crucial to training and transportation, flying long swaths of fabric behind their planes for target practice and moving aircraft from base to base.

Her brother, Alfred Yearwood II, recalls that her short stature, at around 5-feet tall, nearly kept her from her goal.

"Frankie was a half-inch shorter than the minimum height requirement for the WASP program, but after a visit to a chiropractor, she was admitted," he said.

After the war, Ms. Yearwood returned to Memphis, where she opened a camera and photo shop, Photos by Frankie. An avid photographer, she documented special events, including weddings and reunions, until retiring around 1980.

Niece Cathy Whaley also remembers her aunt's fondness for golfing.

"She loved to play golf," Whaley said. "She and I played together, and she played in a league at Galloway."

In addition to remaining active in the WASP organization, helping with reunions and travel plans, Ms. Yearwood was very involved with her church, Getwell Church of Christ, and her large extended family. "She took care of her mother in West Memphis," Whaley said, "and then her sister."

Frankie was the third of five siblings, and when her sister Mary was widowed, brother Alfred said, Frankie became her constant companion. The sisters lived together for decades until Mary's death earlier this year.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete, but Roller Funeral Home on Austin Peay will have charge.

Ms. Yearwood was proud that she could still fit into her military uniform, which the family said she will be buried in, with full military honors.

She is survived by her brother and nine nieces and nephews.