This Day in Women's Aviation

Today is Friday, April 20, 2018 7:04 AM

1914 - Alberta Hunt Nicholson was born in Baker City, Utah. She would give piano lessons to raise money for flying lessons, where she would be the only woman in her ground instruction class of 100. Finishing in the top 10%, she qualified for a federal scholarship that would fund flying lessons, but her application would return marked "No Females." Undeterred, she would go on to fly with the WASP during World War II, compete in eight transcontinental air races, and become the only women inductee in the Utah Aviation Hall of Fame.

1930 - Anne Morrow Lindbergh and her famous husband, Charles, set a transcontinental speed record flying from Los Angeles to New York in 14 hours, 45 minutes. Anne was 7 months pregnant at the time.

1932 - Irene Dean Williams, the first woman in Western Australia to own an aircraft, arrived at Essendon in a Gipsy Moth airplane enroute to an airshow. Also the first woman in WA to earn a commercial pilot’s license, she was never employed by an aviation company, working only as an independent operator.

1998 - The first Scandinavian Airlines flight with an all-female crew departed Stockholm for Dublin. The first female SAS captain, Swedish Lena Lindeberg, had been hired 3 years earlier.

2007 - The “St. Augustine Record” ran a story about Joy Hampp, coordinator of the Marineland Right Whale Project. In 2002, after putting off getting her pilot license for more than 40 years, she began flight lessons to enable her to enhance her ability to obtain identifying photos of endangered whales. On her 50th birthday, her husband presented her with part ownership in an AirCam, an unusually designed open cockpit twin that allows the pilot and photographer unparalleled visibility.

2009 - Former WASP member Marion Schorr Brown, 89, passed away. In 1956, she won the All Women's International Race, flying a 90-hp Luscombe from Ontario, Canada to Havana. Cuban President Batista held a reception for the racers at his palace, where she was presented with a large gold trophy that was to be shipped, since there was not enough room in the Luscombe to carry it. Castro took over soon afterward, and the trophy never arrived.