NEWS RELEASE 11-09
July 28, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Harriet Quimby, the first woman in the United States to earn a pilot's license is the inspiration for this year's WomenVenture, now in its fourth year. One hundred years ago on August 1, 1911, Quimby passed her checkride at an airfield in Long Island, New York, becoming the first licensed woman pilot in the United States.
AirVenture kicks off tonight in the Theater in the Woods with a panel of accomplished women, moderated by WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. For this program, the Quimby 100th anniversary theme is tied in with the Centennial of Naval Aviation. The panel will include Connie Tobias, a Harriet Quimby historical re-enactor and a USAirways captain; Captain. Kay Hire, a Navy pilot and astronaut; Suzanna Darcy-Henneman, Chief Test Pilot for the Boeing Company and Lt. Col. Maryse Carmichael, Commander of the Canadian Snowbirds.
On Friday, July 29, Women in Aviation, International will hold its annual Celebrity Breakfast in the Nature Center with special guests the Misty Blues (all-women) parachute team. At 10:30 a.m., the annual group photo of female pilots, including student pilots, will take place in ConocoPhillips Square.
"The group photo is the highlight of AirVenture for many of our members," says Dr. Chabrian. "WomenVenture participants are given t-shirts for the event so we have a sea of women all wearing the same shirts. The photo has become a WomenVenture tradition."
Celebrating the Quimby Centennial
The day after Quimby earned her pilot's license, The New York Times reported that, after successfully demonstrating the separate maneuvers required for the test, including a spot landing where she came within just over seven feet of the target (which was close to a world record at the time), "Her face was covered with grease and dirt, but her blue eyes flashed happily as she greeted the official observers with the remark: 'Well, I guess I get that license.'"
Quimby was also the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel on April 16, 1912. Unfortunately that accomplishment was overshadowed by the sinking of the Titanic which had happened two days previously. The Harriet Quimby Centennial Committee is planning to erect a monument in Dover, England (where the flight originated) on the 100th anniversary of her flight.
Prior to Harriet Quimby, two other women had earned pilot's licenses in the previous year. That was Raymonde de Laroche of France, and Helene Dutrieu of Belgium. Later in 1911, there was a quick succession of licensed female pilots: Lidia Avereva (Russia); Hilda Hewlet (England); Amelie Hedwig Beese (Germany); Beatrix de Rijk (Netherlands); and Bozena Laglerova (Czech Republic).
Women in Aviation, International is a nonprofit 501(C)(3) organization dedicated to providing networking, mentoring and scholarship opportunities for women and men who are striving for challenging and fulfilling careers in the aviation and aerospace industries. For more information, contact WAI at 3647 State Route 503 South, West Alexandria, OH 45381, Phone (937) 839-4647; Fax (937) 839-4645 or through www.wai.org.
Women in Aviation International