This Day in Women's Aviation

Today is Thursday, July 20, 2017 5:37 AM

1944 - Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg made a failed attempt to assassinate Hitler. The wife of the would-be assassin’s brother, Melitta Schenk Grafin von Stauffenberg, the second German woman to qualify as an aircraft captain, agreed to help him but, since she had no suitable plane to fly that day, the assassination attempt took place without her.

1989 - In response to a question in the British House of Commons, it was announced that the Royal Air Force's policy has been revised to permit female aircrew to be employed in all specializations in non-combat roles. Women would still be banned from the fast jet, support helicopter, and maritime reconnaissance roles. The restriction on female aircrew flying support helicopters and maritime reconnaissance aircraft would be lifted in 1991.

2004 - The final sport pilot rule was signed into law. Among the FAA principals responsible for developing the rule were Sue Gardner, sport pilot program manager; Peggy Gillligan, who would become associate administer for aviation safety; and FAA administrator Marion Blakey.

2009 - Teacher-turned-astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, 34, sang the National Anthem at the Houston Astros game against the St. Louis Cardinals in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. She was among the inaugural inductees for the Space Camp Hall of Fame, created in 2007 to help mark the 25th anniversary of the Space Camp program and recognize alumni who helped mold the program into the world's premiere space-science based educational camp program. She was slated for her first space flight in 2010.

2010 - Edna Baldwin celebrated her 90th birthday by dropping like a rock from 10,000 feet. On her first jump from a plane, she and her tandemed instructor hit a top speed of about 125 mph. She paid $189 for the privilege, with no senior citizen discount available. A bowler and golfer, she has also tried parasailing, hang gliding, and hot-air ballooning.