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Amelia Earhart,

charter member of the Ninety-nines

An American Icon 


After learning to fly in 1921, Amelia became a passionate promoter of aviation.  She also pursued flight records as did so many pilots during the Golden Age of Aviation.  In 1922, Amelia set an unofficial women’s altitude record of 14,000 feet.  She became the first woman to cross the Atlantic by air in June 1928.   Although she was only a passenger on that flight, Amelia solidified her heroine image with the public by making a round-trip, trans-continental flight three months later.

Amelia participated in several small races during the next two years, earned a transport pilot license, acquired a Lockheed Vega, flew in the first National Air Race for Women, and set an altitude record in an autogiro.  In 1932, she made the first solo flight across the Atlantic and set the women’s record for the fastest non-stop transcontinental flight from Los Angeles to New Jersey.  Amelia broke this record in 1933 by approximately two hours.

Seeking new records to set and to prepare for a round-the-world flight, Amelia became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu to Oakland in January 1935.  This was followed by flying solo from Los Angeles to Mexico in April and then on to New Jersey.  Her last attempt to set a record by circumnavigating the earth in 1937 seemed beset with problems from the start.  After a second attempt to begin the flight, Amelia flew 22,000 miles successfully.  Her desire to complete the flight in record-breaking time, left her exhausted.  In addition, when she left Darwin for Howland Island, the weather was worse than expected and, seemingly, her radio expertise was lacking.  The last time Amelia and her navigator Fred Noonan were heard from was July 2, 1937


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