Best of the Web: Inspirational female pilot stories

Here is a collection of recent inspiration stories that also happen to be about female pilots:

ConcordeTribute to Concorde’s Only Female Pilot. The Winged Victory Women in Aviation blog has reprinted a story from the Vancouver about Barbara Harmer, who for 10 years was the Concorde’s only woman pilot to fly regular commercial services (until October 2003). Barbara died of cancer earlier this year. Hence, the article is a tribute to her and her flying career.

101 Year Old WASP Pilot. In addition, the Winged Victory Women in Aviation blog has noted an interesting newspaper article about Doris Lockness – a 101 year old former WASP (Women Air Force Service Pilots) who only stopped flying when she was 89 years old after logging 10,000 miles in all types of aircraft and even helicopters. When she took her first flight lessons back in the late 1930s, they were only $2.50 for a half hour (she had to do 10 hours before she could fly solo).

90 Year Old Pilot Recalls her WASP Days. On another WASP note, another local California newspaper has a profile of Alma Fornal who flew B26s and AT6s during World War II. The article noted that of the 25,000 women who applied to the WASP program, only 1,830 were accepted and only 1,070 graduated.

An Aviation First. On a non-pilot note, the LA Times had a recent story about Inez McDermott who was the lone flight attendant during the first aerial hijacking of a US passenger plane back in 1961. The hijacker forced the pilot to fly the aircraft to Cuba where he was then taken into custody.

Another Aviation First. For another aviation first, the Financial Times has a profile of former US Navy pilot Linda Maloney who became the first woman to eject from a particular kind of ejection seat after her aircraft loss hydraulics.

Wingwalker’s Story. Meanwhile, the Murfreesboro newspaper has a 3-part series called Love in the Clouds about Louie Gasser, Nashville’s first civilian commercial pilot who held the paten to fly advertising banners towed behind aircraft, and his wife Nora Lee Davenport who from the late 1920s into the mid-1930s, was billed as America’s only female wing walker who would perform without a tether or parachute.


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