By Inara Hossain
“My ambition is to have this wonderful gift produce practical results for the future of commercial flying and for the women who may want to fly tomorrow’s planes.”
Amelia Earhart is one of the highest regarded aviation pilots to this day, as the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo. She grew up in Kansas, America and was born in 1897. Not only was she an excellent aviator, but she also wrote best-selling books about her experiences flying. Earhart was also a key figure in the formation of the Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots established in 1929.
In her lifetime Earhart accomplished many great things. Here are a few, found on a website dedicated to Earhart (see bibliography below for more information):
October 22, 1922 – Broke women’s altitude record at 14,000 feet
June 17-18, 1928 – First woman to fly across the Atlantic in 20 hours 40 minutes
Fall 1928 – Published her book 20 Hours 40 Minutes and became aviation editor of Cosmopolitan magazine
August 1929 – Placed third in the First Women’s Air Derby
Fall 1929 – Elected as an official for the ‘National Aeronautic Association’ and persuaded the ‘Federation Aeronautique Internationale’ (FAI) to establish separate world altitude, speed and endurance records for women specifically
June 25, 1930 – Set the women’s speed record at 100 kilometres
July 5, 1930 – Set a speed record at 181.18mph over a 3K course
September 1930 – Helped to organize, and became the vice president over the public relations for a new airline that went through New York, Philadelphia, and Washington Airways
April 8, 1931 – Set the women's autogyro altitude record with 18,415 feet
May 20-21, 1932 – First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in just 14 hours 56 minutes. She was also awarded the National Geographic Society’s gold medal from President Herbert Hoover and Congress awarded her the Distinguished Flying Cross. At the time she also wrote The Fun of It about her journey.
August 24-25, 1932 – First woman to fly solo nonstop coast to coast and set the women’s nonstop transcontinental speed record, flying at 2,447.8 miles in 19 hours 5 minutes
Fall 1932 – Elected president of the Ninety-Nines, a women’s aviation club which she helped to form
July 7-8, 1933 – Broke her previous transcontinental speed record by making the same flight in only 17 hours 7 minutes
January 11, 1935 – First person to fly solo through the 2,408-mile distance across the Pacific between Honolulu and Oakland, California. This was also the first flight where a civilian aircraft carried a two-way radio
April 19 – 20, 1935 – First person to fly solo from Los Angeles to Mexico City in 13 hours 23 minutes
May 8, 1935 – First person to fly solo nonstop from Mexico City to Newark in 14 hours 19 minutes
June 1, 1937 – Began her flight around the world and became the first person to fly from the Red Sea to India
Unfortunately, Earhart never finished her flight around the world in 1937, and at the age of only 39, her achievements stopped. What happened to Earhart has not been discovered and probably never will be. As she flew over the Pacific Ocean on a route to Howland Island from Lae, New Guinea her communication cut off and the remains of her, her partners and her plane were never to be seen again.
I could dive deep into the mystery surrounding her, and trust me I would love to. However, that isn’t the point of the article. While yes, what happened to Earhart was tragic, the truth is we will never really know what happened aboard her plane. What we do know is that her determination and achievements forever changed the world. As you can clearly see through her long list of accomplishments, she worked extremely hard and thanks to her more women had the chance and determination to become aviators. However, she didn’t only help women. Through her work, she took a larger part in the overall evolution and accomplishment of aviators.
If you would like to read more about Amelia Earhart, which I strongly recommend, you can visit the sites I have listed below along with your own research of course.
Biography.com Editors. (2020) Amelia Earhart. Available at: https://www.biography.com/explorer/amelia-earhart [Accessed 21st Feb 2021]
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2021) Amelia Earhart. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Amelia-Earhart [Accessed 21st Feb 2021]
The Family of Amelia Earhart. (2021) Amelia Earhart. Available at: https://www.ameliaearhart.com/ [Accessed 21st Feb 2021]