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Naturally we have all heard of Amelia Earhart, but what other great female aviators are there that you consider worth mentioning and why?

 

 

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Naturally we have all heard of Amelia Earhart, but what other great female aviators are there that you consider worth mentioning and why?

Jean Batten

1933 England-India, Gipsy Moth

 

1934 England-Australia, Gipsy Moth

 

1935 England-Australia- England, Gipsy Moth

 

1935 England-Brazil, Percival Gull

 

1936 England-New Zealand, Percival Gull.

 

First woman to make a solo return flight England Australia.

 

First woman to fly solo to South America and New Zealand

 

First woman to cross the South Atlantic and Tasman Sea solo.

 

Read ' Alone in the Sky ' by Jean Batten

 

All our Kiwi mates will know her well

 

 

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On my DVR, I have an episode of The Restorers dedicated to women pilots, called The Aviatrix. The first woman featured is Louise Thaden, one of the founders of The Ninety Nines, or the International Organisation of Women Pilots, who in 1929, was the first pilot to hold the records for endurance, speed and altitude simultaneously.

 

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Another in the episode is Jacqueline Cochran, who was the first woman to break the sound barrier, in 1953. In WWII she formed the Womens Air Service Pilots, or WASPs, delivering aircraft to the battlefields, freeing male pilots to frontline fighting roles.

 

Jackie-Cochran-with-Lockheed-TF-104G-speed-record-holder.png

 

 

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" what other great female aviators are there that you consider worth mentioning and why?"

 

Cornelia Fort

 

She was the first US pilot to encounter the Japanese air fleet during the Attack on Pearl Harbor,

 

She became the first female pilot in American history to die on active duty, while serving in the Women Airforce Service Pilots, as a ferry pilot.Cornelia_Clark_Fort.jpg.996f2bff5dc3a3b3b9faab04ba228cf5.jpg

 

spacesailor

 

 

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Alas, there are not many recent cases. Some years ago, my club gave out scholarships to young women to go gliding. We got a few really good ones, who honestly tried ( from my observation) to continue after the scholarship.

 

 

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Nurse Becomes A Pilot

 

British Pathe film about our first female pilot. No sound.

 

Alas as per usual no mention she was Australian- if you did good, you were a British citizen. If you did nothing much or bad your a colonial, convict or Australian.

 

As a side note- A mate was good flying friends with Nancy Bird Walton and even housed his Bonanza in her hanger. She heard he was having trouble finding a spot and insisted he use her hangar- free. She just loved aviation and was born a natural pilot. My mate said she was a better pilot than anyone he knew even at when 70 plus . . And a Woman of the highest calibre

 

 

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Shirley Adkins probably won’t be familiar to many, but she was an influential figure in aviation in Australia. She started work with RACWA as a secretary in 1946 and learned to fly there in 1950 in a Tiger Moth. She later became RACWA Club President, Federal Secretary of the Australian Women Pilots Association, and President of the Royal Federation of Aero Clubs of Australia. Much of her behind the scenes achievements involved lobbying the authorities on behalf of industry to reduce the regulatory cost of aviation. She represented Australia at 13 FAI annual overseas conferences, and led the Australian delegation to Los Angeles in 1983 and Prague in 1984. She was the first woman in WA to gain a low-level aerobatic endorsement, owned a Tiger Moth and was endorsed on various singles and twins, and in 48 years of flying won nearly 50 local, national and AWPA competition trophies. She was awarded the Oswald Watt Gold Medal (first woman) in 1996 for her contribution to aviation in Australia, and an OAM. She passed away in 2015.

 

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In my humble opinion, our local Aminta Hennesy is certainly worth a mention. She's a notable pilot who has achieved a lot, and has contributed much to light aviation.

 

Aminta's Order of Australia Medal

 

Order of Australia Medal Citation to Aminta Hennessy Medal in the General Division of the Order of Australia

 

Australia Day 26 January 2005 Honours List

 

For service to aviation as a pilot and as an instructor through the establishment of the Australian Association of flight Instructors.

 

Aminta Hennessy was the first Australian woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1978. She was also the first woman to fly solo back-to-back crossings of the Pacific Ocean, 1994. Has crossed the Pacific Ocean 21 times. (20 of them solo), the Indian Ocean (solo) once and Asia four times (solo) all delivering aircraft.

 

Aminta Hennessy is the co-owner of Clamback & Hennessy at Bankstown Airport. Her company is an international aircraft ferry, charter and instructor school. She established the Australia Association of Flight Instructors and was President for more than five years.

 

She established the ‘Fear of Flying’ clinics on behalf of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association in conjunction with Qantas Airlines in 1979 and ran them for 10 years.

 

Ms Hennessy is an Approved testing Officer for the civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) appointed in 1988.

 

Was author of Future Vision Statement for the then Civil Aviation Authority 1988.

 

 

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Millicent Bryant (1878-1927)

 

On March 28, 1927, widow Millicent Bryant from Vaucluse, Sydney became the first Australian woman to gain a pilot's 'A' or private licence. She died seven months later in a Sydney ferry accident. Her funeral, at Manly in Sydney, included a flypast by five aircraft.

 

The ferry accident was the Greycliffe disaster FERRY DISASTER. - GROWING DEATH ROLL. TWENTY-SEVEN BODIES RECOVERED. FIFTY-FIVE DEATHS FEARED. HOW DID COLLISION OCCUR? - The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) - 5 Nov 1927

 

Dredging up tragic memories - www.smh.com.au

 

OME

 

 

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Naturally we have all heard of Amelia Earhart, but what other great female aviators are there that you consider worth mentioning and why?

Jerrie Mock, 'the flying housewife'

First woman fly solo around the world, 1964 Cessna 180.

 

 

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AWPA (Australian Women Pilots' Association) produced a booklet "Australian Women Pilots" ISBN 0959948511 which covers a selection of women - early pilots, record setters, early passengers, War ferry pilots, RAAF, airlines, Air Traffic Control, flying professionals (eg nurses, doctors), gliding, ballooning, Examiner of Airmen, etc. It was first published in 1988 (I think). I have an early edition and one from 1995. A number of the stories are in their own words, and many have passed on since.

 

Lores Bonney learnt to fly in 1931. In her Gypsy Moth 5 January 1932 with only 8 hours 40 mins solo in her log book, she flew 1,000NM Brisbane - Wangaratta solo (a record). 21 August - 27 September 1932 she flew around Australia solo - 37 days, 8,335NM. A month later she she gained her Commercial Licence and was awarded the Qantas Trophy for 1932 for outstanding performance by a Queensland pilot. 12 April - 21 June 1933 Brisbane - London solo 71 days 10,000NM including a crash in Thailand. 1934 she became the first Australian Woman awarded the MBE. She went on to do more record breaking flights, however she was mostly overlooked by the Overseas press who were not interested in Australian achievements, and the Australian press wasn't interested in women's achievements - yet most Australians have heard of Amelia Earhart.

 

According to the booklet Florence Taylor was the first known woman to fly in Australia, in a glider in 1909. Women were not permitted to hold a pilot's licence in Australia at that time, but her husband flew gliders and had one built for her. Apart from the one sentence in the booklet, she is not mentioned, but I did read a little about her in other sources.

 

So many stories and achievements!

 

 

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  • 3 years later...
(Posted in 2017) Aminta Hennessy is the co-owner of Clamback and Hennessy at Bankstown Airport.

 

Alas, no more. One of the first victims on Bankstown Airport to the Robber Baron approach of the lease-holder to long-term tenants. When Aminta decided to retire, the company could not sell the hangars they had built to another small business. The buildings were resumed by the lease-holder without compensation. Now the smaller buildings have been demolished, making space for another non-aviation business to struggle on the site. As of this week (May 2020), the site remains undeveloped.

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Alas, no more. One of the first victims on Bankstown Airport to the Robber Baron approach of the lease-holder to long-term tenants. When Aminta decided to retire, the company could not sell the hangars they had built to another small business. The buildings were resumed by the lease-holder without compensation. Now the smaller buildings have been demolished, making space for another non-aviation business to struggle on the site. As of this week (May 2020), the site remains undeveloped.

The large Clamback & Hennessy Hangar is now occupied by Sydney Seaplanes.

The whole south west corner of the airport is being levelled for Industrial development.

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From a very old post, I know, but is that an aviation euphemism?

 

even housed his Bonanza in her hanger.

[/quote

 

Sorry.......:sad angel:

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The whole south west corner of the airport is being levelled for Industrial development.

 

Yes, and it's not leveling, it's massive filling to control drainage so that corner can have a really big retail outlet built on it. I'd really like to see the certificates that Sydney Metro Airports has to confirm that the material used is Virgin Excavated Natural Material that they require tenants to use. virgin-excavated-natural-material

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Here's a couple of women who held their own with the best male pilots of their day;

 

If you want a true hell raising maverick check out the Pancho Barnes' story [read The Happy Bottom Riding Club if you can] - Founder of the US movie pilots union, Barnstormer, an original member of the 99s who broke Amelia's world speed record, and respected as a pilot by people like Bob Hoover, Chuck Yeager and Jimmy Doolittle no less....

 

Hanna Reitsch - A total Nazi who was with Hitler in the bunker at the end of WW2 - the last pilot to fly out of Berlin. A test pilot who flew one of the first helicopters [indoors btw], and as a very gifted test pilot flew a lot of the Nazi secret projects including the Me163 rocket plane and a piloted version of the V1 pulse jet (recommend 'The Sky Is My Kingdom')

 

Many many more examples but these two gals come to the front of my mind right now.

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The Pancho Barnes and Happy Bottom Riding Club story is on YouTube. I read her story on the Wikipedia page, it's pretty disgusting the way senior officers in the USAF were so corrupt and domineering, as regards trying to get ownership of her Ranch property for a new runway - but she won eventually, through the Courts. But none of the senior officers were ever held to account. And eventually, the runway was never built.

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