This Day in Women's Aviation

Today is Saturday, September 22, 2018 9:26 AM

1910 - Marthe Niel, 29, participated in the 4-day aero meeting at Dijon, France, the only woman competitor in a field of seven. She earned her pilot's license only the week before, becoming the second licensed woman pilot in France. Most of the prize money was won by Marcel Hanriot, 16--the youngest licensed pilot in Europe.

1976 - Angela Masson was hired by American Airlines as its second woman pilot. When Bonnie Tiburzi retired early, Angela would inherit the designation of "Senior Female Pilot at American Airlines," a title she would retain for over a decade, until retirement in 2007. Angela would be the second woman captain at AA, flying as captain for over 20 years, and the first female chief pilot for the airline.

1999 - Aviator Joan Diehl McCauley, 87, mother of U.S. Senator John Heinz, died Wednesday in San Francisco. The 12th woman in the nation to be licensed to fly--in 1928 at age 17--she served as a lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol during the 2 years prior to the U.S. entry into World War II. As chairwoman of the National Defense Aviation Committee of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, she flew patrol missions in her Bellanca Cruisair and recruited women into an aircraft warning network.

2006 - Aviation cadet Saira Amin became the first woman cadet in the history of Pakistan's defense forces to win the Sword of Honor--awarded on the basis of overall performance in flying, academics, and general services training.

2009 - The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Massachusetts, confirmed that supermodel and soon-to-be mom Gisele Bundchen had been taking helicopter flight lessons from Marshfield’s municipal airport. She was reported to be well on her way to completing the 40 hours needed to get her helicopter pilot’s license. Her husband, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, had not shown up at the airport to go along for a ride--it was a rather busy time of year for him.

2010 - reported the flight training progress of Sylvia Wall, 67. The Cotswold Aero Club member was just two flights away from being a fully-fledged microlight pilot. She took off for her first lesson at Gloucestershire Airport, in Staverton, UK, in November 2008, and achieved her restricted license in 2010. She needed to complete two cross-country solo flights to earn her private pilot's license.