This Day in Women's Aviation

Today is Thursday, May 23, 2019 1:41 AM

1908 - French pilot Helene Boucher was born in Paris. In 1934, she would be dubbed the "quickest woman of the world" setting the speed record over 100 km (485 km/h on average). She would also hold the altitude record with 5,200 meters as well as eight other world records. The young stunt pilot, one of the most popular attractions on flight shows in France and abroad, would be killed in a crash during a test flight at 26.

1930 - Well know pylon racer Judy Wagner was born in Lakewood, Ohio. While living in North Olmsted, she would become interested in aviation while watching pylon racers from her yard. She would place first in the 1966 Washington National, and serve as president of the National Women's Pylon Racing Association. Her life would be cut short when she and her husband crashed their twin engine plane in Burbank, California on May 8, 1982.

1937 - Amelia Earhart, 39, arrived in a Lockheed L-10E Electra in Miami, where she would announce her intention to fly around the world. Accompanied by navigator Fred Noonan, her husband George Putnam, and mechanic R.D. McKneeley; she had departed Oakland 3 days earlier. She would begin her ill-fated flight on June 1 and disappear over the Pacific on July 2.

1958 - Frenchwoman Colette Duval set a new world record by parachuting into the Atlantic without oxygen from an altitude of 40,700 feet.

2002 - The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum marked the 75th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh's solo transatlantic flight with a new book, Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis and the annual Charles A. Lindbergh Memorial Lecture delivered by his daughter, Reeve Lindbergh.

2006 - Australian husband and wife team Glenn Singleman and Heather Swan launched themselves from a precipice on Mount Meru in the Himalayas, flying for 80 seconds at a speed of almost 125 mph (200 kmh) horizontally and 30 mph (50 kmh) vertically. The jump earned them two world records--the highest BASEjump and the highest Wingsuit BASEjump, both set from 21,850 feet (6660 meters. It was also the first world record held by a husband-wife team.

2007 - A British grandmother set a new aviation record by flying round the world via both the South and North Poles in a helicopter. Jennifer Murray, 66, originally from Rhode Island, touched down in the U.S. after covering 32,000 miles in a 171-day journey with copilot Colin Bodill, stopping 101 times to refuel.

2007 - Lt Col Pi Woo-jin, one of the first female helicopter pilots in the South Korean military, was reinstated into the military after a legal battle over her forced medical discharge undergoing a mastectomy for breast cancer. She is the first soldier to be reinstated into the South Korean military after a forced medical discharge.

2009 - The 2009 National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) concluded at Parks College of St. Louis University. As the top-scoring female contestant, Cassie Nagle of Emery-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott captured the Candi Kubeck Award, named after the captain of ValuJet Flight 592, which perished when her DC-9 crashed in the Everglades. Candi was named the top female of the SAFECON competition in 1981.

2009 - The National WASP World War II Museum in Sweetwater, Texas honored the Women Airforce Service Pilots with a day-long open house followed by a barbecue dinner. The featured dinner speaker was Major Bridget McNamara, Deputy Director of Staff from the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess AFB, Texas. After earning her wings in 1998, Bridget became the first female B-1 Weapons School instructor pilot and served three deployments.

2009 - Seven of the nine women pilots featured in the book “A Hunger for the Sky,” along with author Sparky Barnes Sargent, attended a book signing during the Swift Nationals Fly-in at McMinn County Airport, Tennessee, on. The book told the personal stories of women who were drawn irresistibly to the sky, including professional skywriter Suzanne Asbury-Oliver, DC-3 captain Sheila Mabbitt, Guinness World Record holder, gliderport operator Sarah Kelly, and aerobatic school owner Catherine Cavagnaro.