2011. június 2., csütörtök

Amelia Earhart, nicknamed "Lady Lindy"

                                                                     — Amelia Earhart

Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace.
The soul that knows it not Knows no release from little things:
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear
The sound of wings.
How can life grant us boon of living, compensate
For dull gray ugliness and pregnant hate
Unless we dare The soul's dominion?
Each time we make a choice, we pay
With courage to behold the restless day,
And count it fair.

Amelia EarhartAmelia Earhart in cockpit

Amelia Earhart, nicknamed "Lady Lindy" because of her achievements comparable to those of Charles Lindbergh, is considered "the most celebrated of all women aviators." Her accomplishments in the field of aviation inspired others and helped pave the ways for those that followed.
Born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas, Amelia Earhart's parents encouraged her from a young age to participate in activities usually left to boys, such as football, baseball, and fishing. Their encouragement, watching numerous air shows in Los Angeles, and paying a pilot a dollar for a 10-minute airplane ride all contributed to her decision to become a pilot and join this predominantly male field. After her first ride, she wrote, "By the time I had gotten two or three hundred feet off the ground, I knew I had to fly."
From 1921 to 1922, Earhart was taught to fly by Neta Snook, the first woman to graduate from the Curtiss School of Aviation. In October 1922, Earhart received her pilot's license from the Federation Aeronatique Internationale. Soon after, on October 22, 1922, Earhart set a women's altitude record of 14,000 feet (4,200 meters) in a Kinner Canary, an open-cockpit, single-engine biplane.

Charles Lindbergh made his record-setting solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927. One of the people inspired by his feat was flying enthusiast Amy Guest, who hoped to be the first woman to cross the Atlantic. She purchased a plane but her family vetoed the trip. Earhart went in her place and became the first female to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Leaving Newfoundland, Canada, on June 4, 1928, Earhart joined Wilmer L. Stutz and Louis E. Gordon in their bright red Fokker F.VII named the Friendship on their 2,000-mile (3,219-kilometer) trip to Wales. Earhart had no part in piloting the plane during the 20-hour, 40-minute trip and was, in her words, "just baggage," making her even more eager to cross the Atlantic on her own.

In 1929, Earhart co-founded an organization whose goal it was to advance women's participation and opportunities in aviation. Called the Ninety-Nines, the organization was composed of 99 charter members, representing 99 of the 117 licensed women pilots in the United States at the time.
Earhart continued setting records. On July 6, 1930, she set a woman's speed record of 181 miles per hour (291 kilometers per hour), in a Lockheed Vega, a single-engine monoplane. On April 8, 1931, she set an autogiro altitude record of 18,451 feet (5,623.8 meters).
On May 20-21, 1932, Earhart accomplished her goal of flying solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She took off from Newfoundland, Canada, at 7:12 p.m. on May 20, in her Lockheed Vega. Her flight was filled with dangers, from rapidly changing weather to a broken altimeter so she could not tell how high she was flying, to gasoline leaking into the cockpit. At one point her plane dropped almost 3,000 feet (914 meters) and went into a spin (which she managed to pull out of) and flames were shooting out of the exhaust manifold. She brought her plane down on the coast of Ireland after a harrowing trip lasting 15 hours and 18 minutes The flight was the second solo flight across the Atlantic and the longest nonstop flight by a woman--2,026 miles (3,261 kilometers)--as well as the first flight across the Atlantic by a woman. President Herbert Hoover awarded her the National Geographic Society Medal on June 21, 1932, for her achievement, and the U.S. Congress awarded her the Distinguished Flying Cross, the first woman to receive such an honor. Earhart's accomplishment meant a great deal to the entire world, but especially to women, for it demonstrated that women could set their own course in aviation and other fields.
Her next major achievement was to set the women's nonstop transcontinental speed record. On August 24-25, 1932, she flew from Los Angeles, California, to Newark, New Jersey, in a record 19 hours, 5 minutes, flying a Lockheed Vega, also becoming the first woman to fly solo coast-to-coast. The next July she set a new transcontinental speed record, making the same flight in a record 17 hours, 7 minutes.
In January 1935, Earhart became the first woman to make a solo long-distance flight over the Pacific Ocean, flying from Honolulu, Hawaii, to San Francisco, California. This complicated flight in her second Lockheed Vega occurred in adverse weather conditions and demonstrated Earhart's courage as well as her stubbornness. She followed that flight with two more first solo flights--one on April 19-20 from Los Angles, California, to Mexico City, in 13 hours, 23 minutes and the second on May 8, 1935, from Mexico City to Newark, New Jersey, in 14 hours, 19 minutes.

Earhart wanted to be the first of either gender to fly around the world at its widest, close to the equator. She acquired the most advanced long-range, non-military aircraft available--a Lockheed Model 10E Electra. The all-metal, two-engine plane had been reconfigured with extra fuel tanks replacing the passenger seats, allowing the plane to travel farther between refuelings.
Her first attempt at the world flight began on March 17, 1937, in Oakland, California, but ended abruptly with a runway crash in Honolulu, Hawaii, after a tire blew and a shock absorber on the landing gear failed. Earhart decided to repair the damaged plane and try again.
The flight began again on May 20, 1937, this time heading from Oakland to Miami, Florida. But it was plagued with mechanical problems along the way that resulted in further delays. Eventually she and Fred Noonan, her navigator, reached Miami and made final adjustments to the plane's engines and instruments. Finally, Earhart and Noonan were ready to depart.
What turned out to be the final flight of Earhart's career, and, ultimately, her life, began on June 1, 1937. Earhart and Noonan left for their round-the-world flight from Miami, Florida, in her twin-engine, red-winged Electra. From Miami, they flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Right before taking off on this leg of the flight, Earhart was quoted as saying, "I have a feeling there is just about one more good flight left in my system and I hope this trip is it. Anyway, when I have finished this job, I mean to give up long-distance 'stunt' flying."
As Earhart's journey continued, news of her flight made the front page of newspapers around the world. She sent reports of the land, cultures, and people she encountered. On June 30, 1937, Earhart and Noonan arrived in Lae, New Guinea. They had traveled 22,000 miles (35,406 kilometers) and had 7,000 miles (11,265 kilometers) left to go.
Their next destination, and the most dangerous stop of the trip, was Howland Island, a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean, 2,556 miles (4,113 kilometers) away. Before Earhart took off from Lae on July 1, there was confusion about which radio frequencies were to be used, which remained unresolved before she took off. As the scheduled time neared for Earhart to approach the island, several transmissions were received from her, demanding to know the weather. A new weather report describing heavy clouds and rain northwest of Howland had been issued, and Earhart had apparently run into the storm. Earhart transmitted several more times but never reached her destination, disappearing somewhere off the coast of the island. A large search party was quickly organized, but no remains of the crew and the plane were ever found.

There are many theories surrounding the controversial disappearance of the plane on July 2, 1937. The most commonly accepted theory is that the fliers got lost, ran out of gas, and went down somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. However, as war between the United States and Japan was imminent, there were rumors that Earhart had been on a spy mission for the United States and was supposed to photograph Japanese military installations. This theory says that she crash-landed and was captured by the Japanese, who imprisoned or executed her. A third theory was that her disappearance was staged to allow the U.S. Navy to conduct a search in the South Pacific.
Although only 39 when she disappeared, Earhart accomplished a great deal and is considered a true hero of the 20th century, especially for women. She demonstrated courage, integrity, and an independent spirit. She used her fame to advance the cause of women and showed that a determined woman could achieve anything. Her efforts led a generation of women to seek new horizons and new roles for themselves.
--Keri Rumerman

Amelia Earhart being greeted in Londenderry, Northern Ireland
Amelia Earhart surrounded by news personnel after landing in Londenderry, Northern Ireland following her transatlantic flight.

Amelia Earhart in her Lockheed Electra
Amelia Earhart perched atop her custom Lockheed Electra Model 10E, 1937. The plane had most of the cabin windows blanked out and had specially fitted fuselage fuel tanks. The modifications increased the tank size from 200 to 1200 galloons.

Aviation records don't fall until someone is willing to mortgage the present for the future.
— Amelia Earhart

Courage is the price that life extracts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things.
The soul that knows it not knows no release from little things.
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,
Nor mountain heights, where bitter joy can hear
The sound of wings.
— Amelia Earhart

Flying might not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.
— Amelia Earhart

In soloing — as in other activities — it is far easier to start something than it is to finish it.
— Amelia Earhart

So I accept these awards on behalf of the cake bakers and all of those other women who can do some things quite as important, if not more important, than flying, as well as in the name of women flying today.
— Amelia Earhart

Women must pay for everything. . . . They do get more glory than men for comparable feats, But, also, women get more notoriety when they crash.
— Amelia Earhart

You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky.
— Amelia Earhart

Ours is the commencement of a flying age, and I am happy to have popped into existence at a period so interesting.
— Amelia Earhart, '20 Hrs 40 Mins,' 1928.

Trouble in the air is very rare. It is hitting the ground that causes it.
— Amelia Earhart, '20 Hrs 40 Mins,' 1928.

Too often little attention is paid to individual talent. instead, education goes on dividing people according to their sex, and putting them in little feminine or masculine pigeonholes . . . Girls are shielded and sometimes helped so much that they lose initiative and begin to believe the signs 'Girls don't' and 'Girls can't' which mark their paths. . . Consequently, it seems almost necessary to evolve different methods of instruction for them when they later take up the same subjects. For example, those courses which involve mechanical work may have to be explained somewhat differently to girls not because girls are inherently not mechanical, but because normally they have learned little about such things in the course of their education.
— Amelia Earhart, 'The Fun of It,' 1932.
As soon as we left the ground I knew I myself had to fly!
— Amelia Earhart, after her first flight in an airplane, a ten minute sight-seeing trip over Los Angeles, 1920.

[I'm] getting housemaid's knee kneeling here gulping beauty.
— Amelia Earhart, comment in logbook, 1928.

I have a feeling that there is just about one more good flight left in my system and I hope this trip is it. Anyway when I have finished this job, I mean to give up long-distance "stunt" flying.
— Amelia Earhart, departing from Los Angeles, California, for Florida on May 21, 1937. Start of her last flight.

I was a passenger on the journey...just a passenger. Everything that was done to bring us across was done by Wilmer Stultz and Slim Gordon. Any praise I can give them they ought to have...I do not believe that women lack the stamina to do a solo trip across the Atlantic, but it would be a matter of learning the arts of flying by instruments only, an art which few men pilots know perfectly now...
— Amelia Earhart, first flight of a woman across the Atlantic.

Where am I?
In Gallegher's pasture . . . have you come far?
From America.
— Amelia Earhart, first solo flight by a woman across the Atlantic, upon arrival in an open field near Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail their failure must be but a challenge to others.
— Amelia Earhart, in her last letter to her husand, 1937.

We are on the line of position 157-337 . . . . We are running north and south.
— Amelia Earhart, last received radio transmission, while searching for Howland Island, morning of 2 July 1937

Aviation, this young modern giant, exemplifies the possible relationships of women with the creations of science.
— Amelia Earhart, Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana, 1935.

Women must try to do things as men have tried, When they fail their failure must be but a challenge to others.
— Amelia Earhart, The New York Times, 29 July 1928.

I have often said that the lure of flying is the lure of beauty. That the reasons flyers fly, whether they know it or not, is the aesthetic appeal of flying.
— Amelia Earhart.

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