Courage She sucessfully completed her flight, breaking

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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 vivid 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 souls dominion? Each time we make a choice, we pay with courage to behold the restless day and count it fair.”
Those were the words of Amelia Earhart in a poem she wrote, entitled “Courage.” Amelia Earhart knew a lot about courage. Even when faced with impossible odds, she always had the courage to try and overcome them. She had a never give up attitude that made her so attractive to the public and took the science community by surprise. Without that attitude, she would never have been invited to make her first flight across the Atlantic ocean on June 3rd 1928. Because she had the courage to be one of the only women pilots at the time, she was invited by her future husband, George Putnam, to make the 20 hour 14 minute journey across the Atlantic. Although she was just a passenger on the flight, she was still promoted to celebrity status for being the first woman to cross the Atlantic by plane.
Although her fame was set with her first flight, she wanted to promote aviation in women. In 1929, she organized a cross-country air race for women pilots named “the Power Puff Derby.” She also formed “the Ninety Nines” a now famous women pilots organization. In addition to forming organizations for women pilots, she occupied her four year break from flying with writing her first book, “20 hours, 40 minutes” on her first flight, became assistant to the general traffic manager of TWA and served as vice president for public relations of the New York, Washington, and Philadelphia Airways.
Amelia enjoyed public relations, but missed flying greatly during her four year sabatical. In 1932, no one else had ever flown solo over the Atlantic since Charles Lindberg, and Amelia set out to change that. On May 20th, 1932, exactly five years after Lindbergs flight, she set off for her 2nd journey across the Atlantic. She sucessfully completed her flight, breaking several records. She was the first woman to fly the Atlantic and the only person to fly it twice. She flew the longest nonstop distance by a woman, and set a record for crossing in the shortest time. After this amazing record setting flight, her name became known in every household across the country as she won the Outstand Woman of the Year award. She accepted the award on behalf of all women, demonstrating to the world that women can accomplish almost anything.
For the next two years, she toured Europe and America giving speeches to various groups and promoting aviation. In autumn of 1934, her ambitious nature and love for flying caught up with her again, and she announced to her husband, George Putnam that her next venture would be a trans-Pacific flight flight from Hawaii to California. This was her most courageous flight yet, as ten pilots had already lost their lives trying to fly the same course she was about to set forth upon. On January 4th, 1935, Amelia took off from Hawaii and later that day landed in Oakland California to a cheering crowd of thousands. For the next few months, she went back to promoting aviation through lecture tours almost nonstop.
In later 1935, Amelia began to make plans for what was to be her longest flight yet: around the world. On March 17th of the same year, she took off from Oakland to Hawaii. After resting in Hawaii, she set off from Luke Field near Pearl Harbor, but lost control of her plane at takeoff. Although Amelia wasn’t injured, there was massive damage done to her plane. She had to send it back to California for extensive repairs.
After such a major setback, she didn’t give up, but rather waited almost two years before embarking on her journey for the second time. On June 1st, 1937, she departed this time from Miami Florida on a different route around the world.
Amelia made it all the way to Singapore this time before problems arose. On June 17th, she fell ill with dysentery that lasted for many days. Although weakened and exhausted from her illness, she had the courage and perserverance to continue with the flight.
At exactly midnight, she took off for the last leg of her journey. Twenty hours she made her last radio contact, saying “KHAQQ calling Itasca, we must be on you, but cannot see you. Gas is running low.” After several failed transmissions to Amelia, the coast guard determined that she must have landed somewhere in the Pacific Ocean and began rescue search procedures.
Although neither Amelia or her plane were ever recovered, she did not die in vain. She left behind a legacy to all aspiring women, pilots or otherwise. It was a legacy with the message of hope and determination to follow dreams and success will follow. But most of all, her legacy was of courage. A courage that changes a person’s life, as it did Amelias. And as she so truly stated in her poem, each time we make a choice, we pay with courage.

Categories: Tech & Engineering

Amelia pilots Wilmer Stultzman and Louis Gordon

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Amelia Mary Earhart was born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas. She was the
daughter of a railroad attorney and had a younger sister named Muriel. Amelia was a
tomboy and was always interested in learning. She was educated at Columbia University
and Harvard Summer School. She taught English to immigrant factory workers. During
World War I, Amelia was a volunteer in a Red Cross hospital.
Amelia heard of a woman pilot, Neta Snook, who gave flying lessons. She had her
first lesson on January 2, 1921. On July 24, 1921, Amelia bought her first plane, a
prototype of the Kinner airplane and named it “The Canary.”
In 1928, she accepted the invitation of the American pilots Wilmer Stultzman and
Louis Gordon to join them on a transatlantic flight, becoming the first woman to make the
crossing by air She described the flight in a book she wrote, 20 Hours. 40 Minutes. After
that flight, Amelia made a career of flying.

Aviation was a new concept and the industry looked for ways to improve its
image. In 1921, Amelia was appointed Assistant to the General Traffic Manager and
Transcontinental Air Transport (TWA) with a special responsibility of attracting women

Amelia organized a cross-country air race for women pilots in 1929, the Los
Angeles to Cleveland Women’s Air Derby, later called the “Powder Puff Derby.” Amelia
placed third in this race. After the race, Amelia had a meeting in her hotel room in
Cleveland with other women pilots. She formed a women’s pilot organization called the
“Ninety-Nines” because of the ninety-nine applicants. She served as the organization’s
first president. Amelia continued to work for TWA and was writing regular articles for
Cosmopolitan and other magazines, and had speaking engagements in many cities across
the country.
In 1930, she broke several women’s speed records in her Lockheed Vega aircraft.
In 1931, she wrote a book about those exciting experiences called The Fun of It. By early
1932, no other person had successfully flown solo across the Atlantic Ocean since Charles
Lindbergh. Amelia decided she would be the first woman to fly solo over the Atlantic.
She would not duplicate Lindbergh’s course, but would fly from Harbour Grace,
Newfoundland and the British Isles would be her destination.
On May 20, 1932, exactly five years after the Lindbergh flight, Amelia’s modified
Lockheed Vega began the journey. Since she did not drink coffee or tea, she would keep
awake by using smelling salts. All she took with her to eat and drink on this trip was
water, soup, and tomato juice. Amelia broke several records on this flight. She was the
first woman to fly over the Atlantic Ocean solo, the only person to fly it twice, it was the
longest non-stop distance flown by a woman, and the flight set a record for crossing the
Atlantic in the shortest time.

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When Amelia returned to New York after her famous flight, she was honored by a
ticker tape parade. President Roosevelt presented her with the Special Gold Medal from
the National Geographic Society. Honors of all kinds were given to Amelia, as well as
keys to many cities in the United States. The United States Congress awarded her with
the Distinguished Flying Cross. Amelia was voted as Woman of the Year which she
accepted on behalf of all women.

Amelia’s next venture would be a transpacific flight from Hawaii to California,
then on the Washington D.C. Ten pilots had already lost their lives attempting this
crossing. She departed Wheeler Field in Honolulu and landed in Oakland, California to a
cheering crowd of thousands. After this flight, Amelia was busy on the road almost
non-stop with her lecture tours. During this time, she accepted an appointment at Purdue
University in Indiana. She would be a consultant in the Department for the Study of
Careers for Women.

Later in 1935, Amelia began to make plans for an around the world flight. This
flight would be two major firsts. She would be the first woman to fly around the world
and she would travel the longest possible distance, 29,000 miles, following a route around
the equator. Frederick Noonan, a former Pan Am Airlines navigator was chosen as the
flight’s navigator because he was familiar with the Pacific area. The plane chosen for the
flight was the Lockheed Electra 10E. The first leg of their journey would be from
Oakland, California to Hawaii on March 17, 1935. In Hawaii, Amelia had an accident
during take-off from Luke Field near Pearl Harbor. A great deal of damage was done to
the plane.

On June 1, 1937, Amelia and Frederick Noonan left Miami, Florida to once again
begin their around the world flight. After many stops in South America, Africa, the India,
and Southeast Asia, they arrived at Lae, New Guinea on June 29. About 22,000 miles of
the journey had been completed and there were 7,000 miles more to go, all of them over
the Pacific Ocean. Photos taken at Lae show Amelia looking very tired and ill.

On July 2, 1937 at 00:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), Amelia and Frederick
took off from Lae with 1,000 gallons of fuel, allowing for 20-21 hours of flying time.
Their intended destination was Howland Island, a tiny piece of land a few miles long,
twenty feet high, and 2,556 miles away. The Coast Guard cutter Itasca was stationed near
Howland Island and was assigned to communicate with Amelia’s plane and guide her to
the island. Several short radio transmissions were received by the Itasca, but they were
unable to get a fix on her location because the radio contact had been too brief. At 19:30
GMT, almost twenty hours into the flight, the following transmission was received from
the Electra; “KHAQQ calling Itasca. We must be on you, but cannot see you…gas
running low…” . After six hours of trying to communicate with the Electra, all contact
was lost.

A search by the Navy and Coast Guard was organized and no physical evidence of
the Electra or of Amelia Earhart or Frederick Noonan was ever found. Over the years,
many unconfirmed sightings have been reported and there are many theories of their fate.
Some of those theories are that Amelia was a on a spy mission authorized by President
Roosevelt and was captured; that she purposely dove her aircraft into the Pacific; they
were captured by the Japanese, Noonan was executed and Earhart was forced to
broadcast to the American GI’s as “Tokyo Rose” during World War II; and another
theory is that Amelia lived for years on an island in the South Pacific with a native
fisherman. In 1961 it was thought that the bones of Earhart and Noonan had been found
on the island of Saipan, but they turned out to be those of Saipan natives. In 1992, a
search party reported finding remnants of the Electra at Nikumaroro, Kiribati, but those
claims were disputed by people who worked on Earhart’s plane. Researches believe that
the plane ran out of fuel and that Earhart and Noonan died at sea.

Amelia Earhart spent most of her lifetime establishing the permanent role of
women in aviation. She became an international heroine overnight as the first woman to
fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Amelia’s disappearance is still a mystery, but her enduring
legacy remains.

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